Every year during the summer season North Americans dig out their tents and camping gear to experience the great outdoors. I personally have done this for most of my life. In July my son and I, along with cousins, a brother-in-law and friends, were camping at Lake Louise in Banff National Park. Lake Louise is known as one of Canada’s most beautiful places. The lake has visitors from all over the world. Just sitting along the lake or hiking on one of the trails, you will likely hear ten or more different languages. It really is cool to witness.
On our first night of tenting, across from our campsite were a group of young campers of Asian heritage. I’m not sure which part of Asia they were from; China, Japan, Korea and really it does not matter. They looked to be university students or at least of that age. What was fun to watch was that this was obviously their first time tenting. Likely the first time they camped ever. They apparently had just purchased a new tent and were attempting to set it up. One of the young ladies was holding the instruction papers. Several individuals were scuttled around the tent lying on the ground. And so our “entertainment” for the evening began. Two of the young men pulled out the tent poles and placed them into where they believed them to go. Eventually, they got the tent to “stand up” only to fall down once they let go. This went on three or four times. At one point they appeared to have the tent looking as it should but still had a pole. Where to put the pole? They had not realized that the extra pole was for the tent’s fly.
There were two or three times when one of the young people would run over to another camp site of what I can only assume to be friends that were camping with them. They would return with someone else in the hope that they could help them understand the directions and get their tent set up. We referred to these as the “consultants”. This also went on two or three times.
What was great to see is that this was all in great fun. At no point did they appear frustrated as we heard much laughter. Feeling sorry for them, I suggested on more than one occasion that one or more of us should go over to help them, but we were just too engrossed to find out if they would succeed. I am happy to report that they eventually did get their tent set up; without our help I might add.
It is so wonderful to see people from all parts of the world experiencing the outdoors of our beautiful country. I must admit, we were entertained by them for a least an hour and an half. I am sure that we can be equally as entertaining to people in other countries when we visit their country. I know the French were most entertained by my attempt to speak to them in their own tongue. I can just picture them laughing after I left them. To be human means to laugh and some of the best laughs are at ourselves. I have no doubt that these visiting Asians, or perhaps new Canadians, will tell their story of tenting in the Canadian Rockies many times in the future and have many laughs about their experience. I know my family and I still laugh when telling the stories of my attempts at speaking French.
So don’t be afraid to have a good laugh at yourself once in a while. Laugh with those laughing at your entertaining ways.