Living on an island

My stay on Newfoundland is the first time that really makes me feel to live on an big island. In fact, we also have a very big island in Europe (GB) but it is still different. At least I didn’t feel that kind of dependend on other vehicles like ships or planes to get off the country when I was there. Here it is definitely the only possibility to leave the island, to take a ferry or a plane which takes you somewhere else. Further here is only one big city on Newfoundland (which is St. John’s) – all other places where people live are towns or villages. If you just drive outside St. John’s for 1 or 2 hours and leave the Trans Canada Highway, you will soon find yourself in empty nature.

You also recognize that here is not that competition as it is in countries where more people live. When I first thought communication would be very cheap in North America in general, I now know that Europe is really cheap (of course in comparison to our island here). We don’t have cheap flatrates for the internet and with your cell you get charged for incoming as well as outgoing calls. Apparently this is due to the fact that there are only one or two cables laid which supply the island with those services. One of my professors told me that it even happened one time that the whole island was cut off the internet because one cable had been damaged.

I think this would be different, if there would be more competition. But Newfoundland is as big as a third of Germany but on the whole island are only almost as many people living as in Stuttgart. So there won’t be increasing competition if there are only so few people in the market.

Another issue of course is the supply. Nearly everthing has to be imported. That means not only industrial goods like cars, but even most kinds of groceries or housewares. For instance, when I went to WalMart here the first time, many racks were empty because the goods were sold out. I couldn’t remember that in Germany, because there are always guys refilling the racks as soon as anything’s running out. Here you will sometimes have to wait for the next delivery by ship or plane.

After all it is a very unique experience and I think every European should have this experience. Now I realized how many people there are really living in Europe. Maybe it’s getting even too many people, because you definitely feel the difference between people here to those living in bigger cities. It’s way more relaxed here. And I must say, I appreciate it.

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