If its a nice day and your walking around the George and Water Street Areas you will see the occassional busker.
This guy is as local as your going to find playing the accordian. A popular local instrument and you will hear it in a local of traditional music.
When you visit the city or the Island of Newfoundland, there is a local custom to make visiters welcome.
It is a drink called Screech. I was taken by my friend who lives there to one of the bars that does it. the Pub is called Trapper John's.
they make you kiss a Fish on the lips...luckely, they had no fish, so I had to kiss a Puffins arse...yes, a puffins arse. Then you state your name and where you from. Then you drink the drink and recieve a certificate.
A VERY fun time and fantastic holiday.
You have to be sensative these days about using the word Newfie, it is not politically correct anymore, however in any event Newfoundlanders are famous for the Newfie joke book because thoughout history they enjoyed laughing at each other. Here is an example of a Newfie job and the picture is classic too :-) You will literally see these books in a lot of stores, so for a laugh buy one.
I live here to so I am aloud to laugh at these, hehehehe.
Newfie in Space
There was a newfie and an irishman and a french man that volunteered to go up in a space ship for 10 years. NASA asked each one what they would like a 10 year supply of and the irishman replied "I would love to have a 10 year supply of all the best whiskey!" and then the french man replied "I would love to have a 10 year supply of all the best food in
the world!" and then the newfie replied "Smokes! I gotta have my smokes!" and so then they packed them up and sent them off and then 10 years later they retured. They asked each of them how they liked their
things. the irshman replied "Oh, I was drunk every second night!" and the french man replied "Oh, I ate like a little pig!" and then the
newfie replied "Uh, gotta light?"
A Newfoundlander walks into a bar in Halifax, orders three drafts of Keith's and sits in the back of the room, drinking a sip out of each one in turn. When he finishes them, he comes back to the bar and orders three more.
The bartender approaches and tells him "You know, a draft goes flat after I draw it, it would taste better if you bought one at a time." The Newfoundlander replies, "Well, you see, I have two brothers. One is in Toronto, the other is in Boston, and I'm here in Halifax. When we all left home we promised that we'd drink this way to remember the days we drank together. So I drink one for each o'me brothers and one for myself."
The bartender admits that this is a nice custom and leaves it there. The Newfoundlander becomes a regular in the bar and always drinks the same way. He orders three pints and drinks them in turn.
One day, he comes in and orders two pints. All the other regulars take notice and fall silent. When he comes back to the bar for the second round, the bartender says, "I don't want to intrude on your grief, but I wanted to offer my condolences on your loss." The Newfoundlander looks quite puzzled for a moment, then a light dawns and he laughs, "Oh, no, everybody's just fine." He explains. "It's just that my wife had us join the Pentecostal Church and I had to quit drinking. Hasn't affected me brothers though.
There is a local brewery in St. John's called the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company.
You can try their variety of beers and get a tour of the facilities. The brewery is located in a very picturesque section of the city.
People in Newfoundland and Labrador have traditional dined on fresh seal meat now for a very long time!!!
If you are in St. John's in the spring time and are daring enough, drive to the water front and you will find local people selling fresh seal flippers!!
It is a very dark meat and taste good. It's not something your going to try everyday.
Be sure to rate my tips and I would love to hear from people who give this a try!
I had heard about the Screeching In ceremony before travelling to Newfoundland. This is where newcomers to the island drink a shot of Screech and then kiss a cod fish in order to become true islanders. (This is, of course, all a big joke to the locals.)
While we were on George Street (the only place to go bar hopping) we came across Trapper John's. According to a local, Trapper John's is the place to go to get screeched in. You pay $5 for your liquor, pucker up and then get an official certificate of your screeched-in status. Apparently they do this every night at 10:00 or so.
We arrived later that night and so never tried this - and I'm grateful now that we didn't. The local said that, at Trapper John's, instead of kissing a cod fish, they make you kiss a puffin's arse! Ak! I think I'd rather kiss the fish, thanks. In any case, it might be a funny show to watch the unsuspecting foreigners get initiated!
We found this out by being on the whale tour. We wanted to know about the drink "Screech" which is supposed to be a local drink of St. John's. Our guide told us that basically it is made out of Jamaican rum that you drink straight out of a shot glass and people are supposed to cringe and go on about it. But it's your local lore. My friend Beatrice and I drank it like pros and the rum that he had was actually quite tasty and smooth. So if you hear about getting "screeched in" by all means try it!
On the waterfrong of the city of St. John's there is or was a red double decker bus fitted out as a tiny coffee shop. I don't know if it's still there now. You can actually sit inside and in summer there were a few tables outside.
Newfoundland is such a unique environment. The most important cultural tips which might be stated are: Nobody dresses up, fancy restaurants are few and far between, and grumpy natives don't exist. Therefore, take it like it comes, and be a non-complaining, non-grumpy visitor. The natives are so peaceful, and so well grounded, we could all learn from them.
Not everything is as it appears. Be mindful of where you are and avoid the shallow mistake of judging someone based on what they look like. The people of the area include a diverse mix of cultural backgrounds including European settler, Aboriginal (Inuit and Innu) and Métis.