Public Spaces and Secret Bunkers

When my brother Steve was in Pusan, South Korea back in the late 1990s, I paid him a visit. One of the things from that visit that stayed with me is the different notion of “public space” in Korea.

Many Koreans have very small apartments or houses, and so they seek places outside the home to socialize and wile away the hours. One example of this is the ad hoc bars — called soju tents — that spring up every night on the streets of suburbia. In these tents, the men of the neighbourhood gather, drink sujo, and eat snacks cooked in the knock-down kitchens set up in the tents. Another example is the proliferation of very comfortable coffee houses throughout the cities, places you can happily go and spend 5 or 6 hours doing, well, whatever while you’re drinking coffee.

We don’t really have analagous public spaces here in Charlottetown. There are coffee shops — Beanz, GrabbaJabba, and the ubiquitous Tim Hortons — but with the exception of Tims they keep anemic hours, and are never open when you really want to get out of the house (at, say, 11:30 p.m.). And if you’re at Tim Hortons at 11:30 at night you’re widely considered to be worthy of scorn are at least derision. There are bars, but because of our bizarro liquor laws, they aren’t really bars, more restaurants posing as bars. And if you don’t smoke, even that option is out.

Not being a bona fide Islander, I’ve always had my suspicions that people born here, or at least people who have been here more than 13 years (which, Catherine Hennessey says, is the qualifying period of Islander status consideration) have secret bunkers where they gather to make secret Islander plans. I’d welcome any true Islanders in the readership who are willing to break ranks with the fold to confirm or deny this fact.


Johnny's picture
Johnny on September 16, 2002 - 19:38 Permalink

Aren’t the ‘secret bunkers’ actually the homes of the bootleggers?

Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on September 16, 2002 - 19:46 Permalink

Don’t you dare tell Peter where we meet (CFA of 27 years — and only now starting to be thought of as an Islander)

Alan's picture
Alan on September 16, 2002 - 20:47 Permalink

You’re not a Islander, Willson — you catapult!

Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on September 16, 2002 - 22:36 Permalink

Ah, yer right of course laddie. ….and for those who have no idea what that mad man is talking about…see….

Built between 1030 am and 430 pm on Saturday last. (lesser men would be playing golf on a beautiful late summer Saturday.) Sadly missing the 6 old car seat belts to make the sling, and with only 120 pounds of ballast to fire the test round (just to make sure it would not collapse), we managed to sail a large Tim Hortons coffee cup filled with packed sand through the tool bench. :(

Sunday next shall see the actual unveiling. With 470 lbs ballast, the sling completed and Tom’s secret aiming device we anticipate that a 7 lb pumpkin will be deadly accurate at 350 ft.

…..don’t even ask, you would not understand.

Steven Garrity's picture
Steven Garrity on September 17, 2002 - 01:21 Permalink

Peter, pardon my feeding this tangent, but Craig — will there be a public (or semi-public) demonstration of the device? Ever since Chris Steven’s flung (flinged?) a piano on Northern Exposure with an enourmous trebuchet (see photo). The device was also used in a later episode to fling a casket to a watery grave (on an interesting but completely unrelated note, the episode also guest-starred Adam Ant.

Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on September 17, 2002 - 11:28 Permalink

<g>..semi-private Sunday next (you will be welcome)..The plan is to test-fire with pumpkins Sunday afternoon at the Orwell Historic site. You still have time to get the Elves at SO to build a competing device!

Alan's picture
Alan on September 17, 2002 - 14:22 Permalink

May we bring our own squashes — I have a few planted especially for this occassion.

Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on September 17, 2002 - 14:50 Permalink

Ammunition welcome.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on September 17, 2002 - 17:56 Permalink

PFA’a should be aware that an Islander has at least 1 (one) grandparent who has died AND is buried in the province.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on September 17, 2002 - 19:27 Permalink

(2)And in order for that Island citizen to be an Islander, he/she must have been born on PEI.

Rob MacD's picture
Rob MacD on September 17, 2002 - 19:47 Permalink

On topic: As an Islander, I am not at liberty to divulge the possibility of existence of any secret bunker, unless you know the correct answer/reply to this statement: “Sum noice, wha.”

Off topic: Here’s a dilemna…suppose a very pregnant Island woman is flying, at a great height, over the island. She jumps out of the plane, and in the time of her descent, while still in the air, gives birth to a child. Both mother and child survive the fall. Here’s the question: Is the child an Islander?

Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on September 17, 2002 - 19:51 Permalink

Sum noice, wha.

ayup..we’re gonna pay for it tho”

Wayne's picture
Wayne on September 17, 2002 - 20:24 Permalink

What dilemna? Over Island airspace? Sounds like an open and shut case to me.

Alan's picture
Alan on September 17, 2002 - 20:24 Permalink

One good thing about being Nova Scotian is that you are one if accepted as such. Acceptance, though, is as masonic as the degree of generation and connection it takes for innate Islandness. Another good thing is having the retort of homeland to the japing maws that bother to say I am not an Islander.

Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on September 17, 2002 - 21:42 Permalink

Can I borrow some of yer retorts? <dismissive shrug=”“>

Alan's picture
Alan on September 17, 2002 - 22:14 Permalink

You’re a Yank! You should have the best retorts of all.

Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on September 17, 2002 - 23:44 Permalink

Yep, but I blush when I use them (really Alan, you know what a humble and sensitive sort I am). Looking for something with a more gentle Nova Scotia flavour..damn..mean flavor.

Wayne's picture
Wayne on September 18, 2002 - 00:10 Permalink

A PFA telling another PFA that he is a PFA.(See above) Islanders love it!

Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on September 18, 2002 - 10:27 Permalink

We live to please Islanders!

Alan's picture
Alan on September 18, 2002 - 17:22 Permalink

My line is usually “why the hell would I want to be an Islander when I am a Nova Scotian”. A Yank might use the more generic “so….looking to set up your own nuclear umbrella and economic furnace for the West?”

Wayne's picture
Wayne on September 18, 2002 - 19:58 Permalink

God bless America!

ghost of march's picture
ghost of march on July 27, 2003 - 18:52 Permalink

that’s not Craig Willson once of U.S.A.F. Strategic Air Command fame is it?

not likely, eh?


Craig Willson's picture
Craig Willson on July 27, 2003 - 21:02 Permalink

Uh, oh, jeeze, not another ghost. Stop it, I have far to many.