Thursday, February 11, 2010


January 13/2010
Caribbean Misadventure#2: busy doing nothing

I spent my first few days just wandering around English Harbour, sketching, visiting a couple of the beaches. As the song goes 'I'm busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do.' That's about it, so far in Antigua. I decided to go to the main and only city of St. John's for the day, to pick up a few things and check it out. I was there about thirty years ago, and remember it as a smallish, bumbling kind of place. Well no more... its now a bustling busy, commerical centre. I did my banking, picked up a few things at the pharmacy and market and headed back to English Harbour.

The buses are easy and affordable, people are friendly, and easy to talk to, however the vision of men, young and old, with the waist of their pants deliberately 'hanging' below their butt crack is amusing and speculative. They seem to have adapted, and as their pants slide to their knees, in imminent danger of tripping them up, the hand reaches out and there is an automatic hoisting up. That and the very casual open zipper crotch adjustment seems to be common here. On the female side I feel right at home as there are ever so many nice, plump O/S women, young AND old.

Despite English Harbour/Falmouth Harbour being the centre for mainly British Boaties, and a key tourist site for the day trippers from the big cruise ships, I like it here - except for the non stop boom box noise from the bar. But there is no escape from that in the Caribbean so you learn to live with it, or put on your own ipod to drown it out. The local beer is good, and i eat mostly at 'snackettes' or pick up street food. However I do enjoy going out for a half decent dinner. It's not cheap, but you can get a decent meal and beer for about 20-25 bucks. I figure my expenses, with the room included are less than 100 bucks a day, which is definitely over what I normally spend, but it is the Caribbean in hi season.

I met a nice English woman, who is waiting for her husband's boat to arrive from Portugal. We get together to do things sometimes, and generally have dinner together. Mornings I head for the beach. Afternoons? Maybe a nap, reading, sketching, then dinner and bed. Definitely hard to take. On friday I will head to Barbuda for a couple of days, and then on to Barbados.

I had planned to spend a few days in Montserrat, but my hostess emailed me to say that the the air was not good, and given that I have asthma, it would not be wise. I found out this morning that the air fare to Montserrat is non refundable, but good for a year...HAH..... not likely I will be this way soon again, but I did come up with a brilliant idea. I will fly there tomorrow morning, for a few hours, grab a taxi for a fast look see, and return on the only return flight at around noon. I have my hi tech asthma mask with me, so I will wear it. Since the ticket is paid for, why not? Of course there is always rebooking fees....sigh.... they getcha coming and going...this is proving to be very very expensive. I am looking forward to a week on the boat where I won't have to spend money (maybe).

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