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Caribbean

198--St. Barths: Cheeseburger in Paradise
@ CherieSpotting     Mar 17 2004 - 04:55 PST
I memorized the song long ago, but I finally had one--Jimmy Buffet's cheeseburger in paradise at Le Select in St. Barths.

I memorized the song long ago, but I finally had one--Jimmy Buffet's cheeseburger in paradise at Le Select in St. Barths.

cherie writes: After having the song play in my head for so many years, its no wonder I crave one—a cheeseburger in paradise. Jimmy Buffet made it famous, a garden tucked away in the charming (but cosmopolitan) streets of St. Barths, in the French West Indies.

St. Barths is laced with 22 translucent beaches and possibly the most sung about cheeseburger joint in the world—Le Select. For only 4.50 Euros, you can enjoy a cheeseburger in paradise, and all the barefoot elegance that St. Barths can dish out.

We sailed from Tortola to St. Barths, and who did we anchor next to? Our California friends on Profligate, the 63-foot Custom Cat! After a sail around the island with our friends, we spent the afternoon doing very sophisticated things—like boogie boarding.
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124--The Caribbean: Living Like Locals
@ CherieSpotting     Mar 12 2003 - 08:36 PST
In the Caribbean, you wear bug-off as if it were deoderant.

In the Caribbean, you wear bug-off as if it were deoderant.

cherie writes: In this section we live like the locals. Tom, Mike, Greg and I were invited to see their homes and workplaces. We sat in their motorcycle side-cars and on their bicycles, relaxed in their rocking chairs and doorways, leaned on their bars and statues, visited their “movie theaters” and ice-cream shops, watched the masters play chess and then played our own game on giant board, and finally stood in lines for EVERYTHING. We initiated conversations with the everyday folk and learned what it is really like to live under a dictatorship.
*All of the photos in this section were taken by Tom.
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122--The Caribbean: The American Way
@ CherieSpotting     Mar 05 2003 - 08:28 PST
If I'm American, I should be able to fix this Oldsmobile, right?

If I'm American, I should be able to fix this Oldsmobile, right?

cherie writes: “Are you American?” a local asked me.
“Yes.” I responded.
“Can you take a look at this?”
“Sure” I replied before I knew what “this” was.
“This” was in fact an Oldsmobile. An American car. According to him, since both the car and I were made in the same country, I should be able to repair it, right?

The broken Oldsmobile was stranded on the side of the road with its hood open. A bunch of men hunkered around it and shook their heads in pity for the dead car. The rusty old auto’s engine was shamelessly bared for all to see. It looked like a patient still lying on the operating table after an unsuccessful operation.
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120--The Caribbean: The Perfect Cigar
@ CherieSpotting     Feb 27 2003 - 11:34 PST
Now that's what I call a "fattie!"

Now that's what I call a "fattie!"

cherie writes: The Perfect Cigar

If the people only knew. If the workers who make cigars only knew how much their cigars sold for in other countries. They’d be shocked. They simply wouldn’t believe it. Not when the locals can buy what we would call a “premium cigar” for a few pennies.

We smelled the cigar factory before we saw it. The musty, humid scent of fresh tobacco invaded our nostrils and pulled us like a leash inside. The tobacco factory was warm, dank and full of curious smiles. The workers cautiously examined and we cautiously examined them. Why would we care how cigars are made? Americans are so funny. They decided we were harmless and went back to rolling their fatties. I was happy to see that the laborers weren’t lifeless cogs in some machine--they were proud and more like craftspeople than workers.
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118--The Caribbean: Wanna See My Big Fish?
@ CherieSpotting     Feb 17 2003 - 08:40 PST
He wasn't kidding when he said he had a big fish!

He wasn't kidding when he said he had a big fish!

cherie writes: “You want to see my big fish?” He asked me.
What a line! Was he trying to reel me in?
“I have a boyfriend” I told him in Spanish.
“He may like my fish, too?” The guy replied in Spanish.
A fish that goes both ways? “What kind of fish is it?” I wondered.
“A big fish.” He answered.
“Yeah, you said that.” I was thinking: ‘It’s not the size of the fish that matters, it’s the taste of the fish.’ But I said: “Is the big fish on your boat?”
“I have a lot of fish on my boat.” He responded.
About this time, Greg came over because apparently I was talking too long to the cute stranger.
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116--The Caribbean: How Sweet it is!
@ CherieSpotting     Feb 04 2003 - 10:45 PST
Two classic things that just keep getting better with age!

Two classic things that just keep getting better with age!

cherie writes: I wish I could tape record portions of our Caribbean conversations. Our conversations are as classic as the cars. For example: a man ran up to us and excitedly asked “Tienes Jabon?”

Greg looked at me and said “That man wants a bone.”

I scrunched up my face. “He wants soap.” I told Greg. “‘Jabon’ is Spanish for soap.”

Why would I be carrying a bone in my pocket? Or soap, for that matter?
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115--The Caribbean: Sugar, Sugar
@ CherieSpotting     Feb 01 2003 - 03:10 PST
Look who landed!  Kristi has arrived!

Look who landed! Kristi has arrived!

cherie writes: The Caribbean is a colorful place. In fact, most of the drink flavors would be more accurately described by a color. Sodas here don’t come in strawberry, pineapple and grape; they come in red, yellow and blue.

The streets here are incredibly clean, but they reek with urine. Men and children have no problem peeing on the public streets. In fact, boys swing their organs around with pride, not unlike a lasso. There are lots of “Joses” using their hose As to water the sidewalks. I don’t blame them. Often I’d rather squat in the gutter than to use some of the restrooms here. The word “disgusting” is too mild of a word to describe what you encounter when you have to tinkle. Our guidebook suggests that you bring your own toilet paper wherever you go. Greg and I suggest you bring your own toilet seat.
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