Where are you from?
Carolina. That's a long way to sail from. Are you from N.C.?"
The question is often asked by fellow cruisers.
a logical question considering "Oriental, NC" is painted
on the back of DRIVER. Dave usually evades the question by saying:
"The boat is from NC"
we step out of our car--yes we do have a car--we get a different
question: "Wow, did you drive all the way from Colorado?"
Another logical question given the car has Colorado plates (see
The Martins Have Landed #1).
get even more confusing when people put the car and the boat together.
"How do you get the car on the boat? Does it fit on deck?"
we lived in Newfoundland we had a car and a boat for the first time.
Our friends knew we had recently sailed from Norway. But the car?
It just didn't add up.
someone has talked to one of our kids first, they will be even more
confused: "But, your son said he was from Australia!"
are you from?" is a question that is difficult for us to respond
to in one easy sentence. Our answers often elicit additional questions.
Before we know it our explanation takes on book-length proportions.
(See Into the Light pages
we were in Europe it was easier because we were from "The States".
That response was always satisfactory because we look and sound
American. Now that we are in The States, we have to be more specific.
is from Seattle and I am from New Jersey (should I admit that?).
We met in the Caribbean, and lived abroad for years. In '96 we lived
in Oriental, North Carolina and put together DRIVER. Years later
we spent a winter in Colorado--that's where we bought the car.
cruising down Nova Scotia's south coast this past summer we met
many friendly people. When casual strangers asked us where we were
from, Dave and I would reply: "Maine". The reasoning was
that Maine was close and logical. The strangers would conclude that
we were out for a summer cruise. Our intention was not to mislead
people, just to give a quick, satisfying answer. We didn't want
to bore people with details. In general, a casual answer is all
people are looking for. It's similar to the question: "How
are you doing?". No one wants your medical history.
day in Nova Scotia, we anchored off a beautiful white sand beach.
While the kids played in the sand, Dave and I climbed up some giant
boulders that rose out of the surf. From our aerie we could look
directly below to our kids. An elderly man walked by; he veered
over to say hi to Chris, Holly, and Teiga. Dave and I eavesdropped
from above, undetected by the new visitor.
are you from?," he asked the kids, kindly.
looked at each other with blank expressions on their faces. Finally,
Holly hazarded a guess. "Maine," she said. She was imitating
our practiced answer. Dave and I chuckled: our kids had never been
to Maine. Neither had Dave, for that matter.
Wow!" said the man. "My whole family lives in Maine. What
town are you from?"
to come up with the name of a single town, Holly changed tactics.
"Actually we came from Newfoundland," said Holly. "We're
on our way to Maine."
the man talked to them about Newfoundland, Chris joined in the conversation
and with authority rattled off town names and National Parks we
had visited. I was impressed with how well they had handled the
prior to the first day of school, Holly and I had another "where
are you from?" conversation.
should I say to the kids when they ask me where I'm from?,"
Holly wanted to know. She was nervously anticipating her first day
in a new school.
them you're from New Zealand," I answered. "That's where
you were born."
answer doesn't work," she said, "because then everyone
thinks I'm a different nationality. I'm American, just like them."
them you grew up on a sailboat," I said. "That's the truth,
and anyway it's cool."
too hard going through that explanation with every single new person
I meet," said Holly. "Besides on my first day I don't
want to do all the talking."
tell them you're from North Carolina..."
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