Archive for November 26th, 2007

November 26, 2007


Back in Cascade now after a rather horrid night in Curacao. The mini Insel plane got me from Bonaire to Curacao with no problems but apparently the powers that be at Insel decided that canceling the larger plane to Port of Spain was the way to go. My connecting flight was nowhere to be seen on the departure board and after clearing Curacao immigration ( rather than just transiting through) got me to an Insel counter where the young gentleman blandly informed me I should go to the Insel “incident centre”. I told him that my onboard GPS wasn’t functioning so a little guidance would be helpful and thus made my way to confusion central. While  I appreciate the need for euphemisms to make life more pleasant I honestly feel they should have called it the “we fucked up please don’t shout too loud centre”. The tempers were high and not helped by Insel’s apparent desire to do things on the cheap. People ahead of me were shouting at the staff and my understanding of the gist of their anger was that Insel was trying to make stranded passengers share rooms. Interestingly, most of the shouting was coming from a large group of preachers from various Caribbean countries who were there for a retreat ….so much for the mellowing influence of religion. Thankfully, by the time I got to the desk the shouting had the desired effect and I was assigned a voucher for a room at the Curacao equivalent of the Bates Motel.

I have traveled a bit and few things phase me so I waited for the pick-up and soon enough the owner Allan arrived to whisk me to my temporary abode ..very temporary as the replacement flight was leaving at six and we were to be back at the airport by 4am. Given it was already 9pm I steeled myself for a possibly dangerous but time-limited night. As we drove through various back roads for 5 minutes I briefly pondered my mortality as i learned from Allan that the “hotel” was primarily used my people from St. Marteen coming to Curacao for medical treatment. Now I am not cheap and were the layover longer I would have taken a taxi and stayed at Avila or the Ho Jo in Willemstaad but as this was more a matter of a temporary holding cell I steeled myself for the impending strange experience. As it turns out the apartment hotel was not that bad – clean and basic – though I swear I detected a faint whiff of formaldehyde.

The rest of the day is a bit of a blur as my afternoon soul and 4am wake-ups are not a good combination. The flight too off at 6 am as promised and other than the entire cabin laughing when the crew announced “Thank you for flying Insel Air and we hope you will fly again” there isn’t much to report. Peter picked me up in my car as i had left it at his place and braved the 8am traffic to drop him back home. When we got there, however, I realized his landscaping was..well…there was no landscaping…and given he was living in his new duplex for 6 months and despite my tiredness I drove him to the plant shop and we picked up plants for the front of his place. After I placed them where I knew they had to be, I left him to dig and headed in the general direction of home.

I loved Aruba and Bonaire but there is something comforting about being behind the wheel of my Ford so I didn’t resist when it guided me to the supermarket before I even got home. I purchased ingredients for Bonaire goat stew and then made my tired way home. I seem to confuse several people and, frankly, I confuse myself most of all. Why, when I am dog tired and need to sleep do I feel it necessary to duplicate the goat stew i had on my last day in Bonaire? With my eyes rolling back in my head  I marinated, sauteed and finally loaded the pressure cooker enjoying the thrill of being in my own kitchen and not having to deal with mini fridges or haiku ingredients. It came out great. So as I nibbled my perfect Bonaire goat stew and a Tanqueray Rangpur and soda ( it was after 12..don’t judge me…I ignored the weeks of writing ahead of me and Tobago and Margarita still looming.

Eventually I headed to bed at 2pm for a quick nap and awoke at 9:40pm in time to write this. Back to television tomorrow and then writing like mad. What do I miss? I miss Amsterdam Manor and the view of Eagle Beach, I miss Bucuti and Susan’s take on the world, I miss Bonaire in general.I think it would be a great Marketing strategy if Bonaire offered grief counseling at the airport. I would have taken it. At least I will not have to deal with any more strange restaurant food as i have the best food right here and enough ideas from AUA and BON I can develop into my own perfect recipes.