Friday, February 12, 2010


January 30, 2010, Saturday.

Caribbean Misadventures # 9 sniffles in paradise

Sometimes life sucks - even in paradise. Can there be anything worse than being stuck inside on a gorgeous sunny day in the Caribbean with a raging headache, a sniffly nose, and lousy tv? As I sit here, I am facing a sort of jungle of glorious green plants from my second story balcony, and in the distance... well not that far ... across the street and a block down.... the ocean (cough cough) filled with lovely boats, as there is a regatta this weekend.

I tried, I really really tried to get out and about early this morning. I took the bus to town, as the weekly market was on. I guess it would have been interesting, but all the smells and noises made me feel much worse. I contemplated climbing the gazillion steps up to the top of this huge hill to see the old fort... and then thought better of it. Everything interesting necessitates a climb, so I just started walking along the sea level waterfront, called the carenage, back towards where I am staying.

Out of a day of lemons, I managed to make a bit of lemonade. I made lots of pleasant stops in the shade and people watched. I could of taken the bus, but it was more interesting to walk. The traffic is horrendous, and non stop. Sidewalks are semi existant, and when they are not there, you walk on the narrow road, dodging cars. While they drive on the left, like the Brits, that dosen't mean there is any consistancy. They will stop suddenly on either side of the road, facing the wrong way if they choose to. Busses honk as they approach you, and if you want them to stop, you just flag them down. To get out of town, you walk through this one way tunnel, that goes under the 'mountain' on which sits the fort. There is no sidewalk in the tunnel, so you hug the wall and hope you don't meet anyone coming the other way. Sometimes the busses stop in the middle of the tunnel to let people off!!

Last night (Friday) was a bit of circus. My rasta hostess (she has meter long blondish dreds) said she would take me in the car to the pharmacy and to the grocery store to get antihistamines and a few other things. So off we went, with rasta boyfriend, and their four year old son who never stops squealing, yelling, talking, jumping. My head wasn't into it. We stopped at the pharmacy, but before we went for groceries (cough cough) they decided they wanted to pick up some bbq chicken for dinner. Now this wasn't a simple matter, because when we stopped at their favorite guy, who was roasting chicken pieces on a spit made out of an old oil drum, it wasn't ready yet. It was friday night and the roads were busy, but we went on an around the island tour looking for another 'good' chicken man. This took nearly two hours of twisty turny roads, traffic jams, and mexican stand offs. I was not feeling my perkiest. Finally we found some Jamaican Jerk chicken that was acceptable, and headed waaaay back to town to the supermarket.

She shopped, I picked up a few things, and (stops to get a tylenol)... and then we head home, with rasta man whining and begging and cajoling for money to go out with the boys or something.. A marital tiff ensues in the front seat. He'd already tried to co opt the change I was due from the chicken had given the money to buy. She finally dropped him off, and told him not to 'smoke' too much (ganja), and we got home. I had earlier made some instant chicken egg drop soup for dinner, so I picked up my book and headed for bed. I slept badly, as a result wasn't really feeling like traipsing around town today, but forced myself to. I have regretfully concluded that I simply have to wait this damn cold out. I have time. However, I am going to try and walk down to the closest beach sometimes this afternoon (if my head ache goes away)

This isn't fair... I shortened this holiday to four weeks, cos I usually get hit with something nasty in week five and this is only week THREE for god's sake. Resident (probably flea bitten ) little cat has taken up residence behind my computer on the table.

sunday...I recieved some good advice from tt friends last night... booze is good for colds. So I cracked open my nice bottle of barbados rum, and finished up my evening with rum and coke. It definitely worked, as I felt better this morning, so I hopped on a bus and headed to the beach. Grand Anse is a huge lovely beach, with fine white sand... but to tell the truth, I think i preferred the beach in Barbados. For one thing, it was closer! I am now brown as I will ever get, without the necessity of doing the rotissery thing on the beach. I just brown so easily.

I found a shady spot and spent the morning chatting with a boatie family from the u.s. They had been living and sailing down here for four years with two kids., 11 and 9. Bright, lovely kids. I went with them to the yacht club where there was a craft show, and then had some lunch.

I saw this lovely little blue restaurant, and decided have a beer, and maybe a bite to eat. I was the only one there, and was served by a good looking, lisping, gay fellow whose accented English I had a hard time understanding. I learned from this experience to ask for a menu in the future. He asked me if I wanted a 'full plate' or buffet. I figured a full plate sounded good, so I ordered it. Well dish after dish after dish of different things appeared. I had ordered the house special!! every dish different. There was no way I could eat it all, and when the bill came, I didn't have enough money with me! I told them what I had, emptied my wallet, and they smiled and said ok, even giving me a 'doggie' box to take the stuff i couldnt eat home... and then when i said I didn't even have money left for the bus, they gave me back five EC dollars!!!!

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