Archive for November 19th, 2007

November 19, 2007

Bon Bini a Aruba

Just a quick entry while i sit by the bar where there is an internet signal and I can quaff a few $5US beers. Aruba has changed little but in many ways that is good. Yes, it is a bit of a tourist trap and yes you go through money here faster than a starving cow in a hayfield but the people are unfailingly pleasant. Coming from Trinidad where scowls are the norm for both local and foreigners alike upon arrival to have so many welcomes and smiles all of which are genuine is almost stunning.

Amsterdam Manor, my residence for my trip and my favourite hotel on the island is greatly improved and I am quite happy thus far. Tomorrow will be a flurry of activity so I am just relaxing and enjoying the ambiance this evening. I opted not to go out to dinner and , instead, went to one of the local supermarkets to enjoy their bounty. If I may indulge in a quick listing of my purchases – bottled brussels sprouts from Holland, a baguette, instant coffee, anise flavoured sugar cubes ( who knew?), French buttter, gouda, cilantro ( I know…I am an addict) , habanero peppers from Suriname, Argentine beef ( no comparison to Kobe but still) , boiled peanuts in a tin and a mysterious substance that i am yet to identify that cost me 4 guilders. Oh..and 3 fresh limes in case of scurvy.

Sitting on the rooftop above the pool now with a ferocious wind howling around me in the warm and dry tropical night ( Arubans refer to it as a gentle breeze…thank God for hair gel) I am reminded why so many people come to this island. Even though the majority of those who come are fat and generally destination challenged Americans it is still a lovely island. I like the taxi driver who drove me from the airport. He asked me if this was my first time on the island to which i replied I had been here at least 7 times before. His response? “Well then it is okay if i take the back roads then to avoid the traffic…and welcome back home”. Indeed.

Until tomorrow.


November 19, 2007

Another suitcase, another hall.

Well  here I am in Curacao waiting for my connecting flight to Aruba in an hour and a half. I am still dealing with waking up at 4am to get to the airport in time for my Insel Air flight at 7 this morning. Who picks these ridiculous departure times? Must be some sort of demented Amish people. And 3 hrs early for a one hour flight is passing ridiculous. Is it just me or wasn’t there a time when flying was a thrill and a pleasure? How I miss BOAC.

There is an eerie sameness about Caribbean ..and to a point World…airports. One cavernous lounge looks so much like all the others it would be easy to forget where one is exactly if it weren’t for the eerily similar voice saying “welcome to _____ airport, this is a no smoking environment please do not smoke except in designated areas”. As a smoker I can tell you nothing makes you crave a cig quite as much as a detached voice exhorting you to not smoke.  In fact the words “designated areas” got me momentarily excited and sent me scurrying off to find one only to discover the designated areas are, like honest politicians, mere creative fabrications. I am trying to subdue my cravings now by eating a 1/2 lb of 72% cacao chocolate but even with the espresso it is having only a limited effect. Flight should be calling soon…damn that no smoking woman’s voice! Damn her to an eternity of stultifying limbo.

Still, 3 megs wireless free download is not bad…every so handy for sending up a blog entry. More coming soon from Aruba.