Sign Language

1 August 2017 – “Handpoked with love” (see Walk & Gawk) does not exhaust the sign language currently enchanting me around here.

I am on the 3rd floor of downtown government offices, seeking directions to the correct Ministry to tidy up one final e-registration, as I change provinces.

Right by the elevator, a sign.

No, that’s not my Ministry. But I am charmed to think I live in a province with an official Ministry of Red Tape Reduction. And, to be fair, when I find the right office for my own purposes, the registration is completed very quickly.

I spend yesterday on near-by Bowen Island with friends. We do a respectable amount of hiking up-trail and down; eat our backpack lunches overlooking a pretty inlet with bobbing boats (and bobbing Canada Geese on shore); and then — of course! — seek a café for seriously swell coffee.

There is always a tip jar. (I don’t understand this royal pairing, either. I just like it.)

And, these days, there is usually, if not always, a uni-sex washroom.

Which, as we discover, can prompt new ideas about protocol.

Somewhere along the line, Sal calls on her old CBC “streeter” instincts — we are all three one-time CBC journalists — and asks a passing Bowen Island resident the best place for ice cream. “Branch & Butter,” he instantly replies. The name makes no sense, but we don’t care. Priorities! The priority is: find ice cream. So we take careful note of his directions, ask his name (Sven) so we can give due credit, and follow his waving hand to the other-dock-over-there. (Not to be confused with this-dock-right-here.)

Branch & Toast, says the big sign on a rooftop. “A gourmet toast & ice cream snack bar,” it promises us. “???” we ask ourselves.

Another sign, on the building wall, very slightly explains.

So we are yet again charmed.

And would have been even more charmed, had the snack bar been open! Alas, we are there on a Monday, when they are open “by chance.” Chance is not our friend, this particular Monday. So we press our noses longingly against the glass, but never get to tell anybody that Sven sent us. (Say that, three times quickly…)

Wind-blown, sun-stunned, walking the last block back home that evening, I pass a line-up of familiar retail shops. Including Black Dog. Whose line of business I know, and whose current sidewalk sign, therefore, confuses me.

Until I read the small print.

You got it. Ice cream specialists across the street; videos right here. Yuk yuk. Ho ho.

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5 Comments

  1. So many great signs! I’m wondering how the smoke is there – as you may have heard, we’ve got major smog these days from the fires northeast of you, and it’s bad!

    Reply
    • Yes, it’s hazy here, though I believe worse where you are, because of wind current patterns, presumably

      Reply
      • At unhealthy levels now and no end in sight, though of course it will end, I”m sure by next week. Meanwhile, yesterday was a good day for a museum. I’m glad it’s not interfering with your walks!

      • The air is beginning to interfere with healthy walking. The particulates in the air turned last night’s near-full moon bright red. Very pretty, until you think why

  2. I notice that you really are shaping what I notice! Like signs. And you remind me that I’m mystified about the seat-down protocol – shouldn’t it be seat down half the time?? And oh for thproliferation of ministries of red-tape reduction.

    Reply

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  • WALKING… & SEEING

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