If you’re wondering whether I’ve figured out how lucky I am working on a stunning tropical island for a few months, then rest assured that indeed I have. In fact, I was thinking this very thing just the other day as I floated peacefully in the clear waters of the Caribbean, gazing at the beach around me. I am, indeed, very spoiled, and truly do believe in kharma.
In a fitting start, after Miami, I arrived here late on Saturday afternoon, straight into a long weekend. On Sunday morning, I hit the breakfast buffet (which was purely experimental – I didn’t think it worth trying again after this) and got directions to the beach on the south (Caribbean side) of the island – an easy 20 minute stroll (albeit in the heat).
This was South Frigate Bay, which is lined with coconut trees casting shade over shacks with names like Mr X’s Shiggidy Shack and Cathy’s Ocean View offering food and drink, and even weekend entertainment such as music, dancing and – wait for it – Karaoke (look out St Kitts, your newest star is on the way!). My first night, I ate delicious ribs at Cathy’s next to a group of college kids who’d just arrived from the US to attend university, which explained why an enormous amount of young things in their 20’s were busy unloading even more luggage than me from the incredibly slow baggage carousel at the airport. And, on Sunday, I discovered a better breakfast place before heading off to the same beach again.
My worthy objective is to make my way through each of the menus on the beach and home in on the best of the best so I can take you straight there when you come to visit (by virtue of the fact you are reading this blog you are, of course, invited). Over the next few nights, I’ll sample the lobster, fish, prawns (labelled shrimp, of course) and the burgers, purely in the name of research you understand.
The locals are very friendly and I’ve met a few people already. One lady called SweetPea went off in search of accommodation brochures for me once I told her I was going to look for an apartment. Another guy, a nearby bartender with long thick dreadlocks and a face that looks 50, offered to show me the island and told me not to go off with somone else and forget him. A third was a guy who offered up aloe and a massage, and claimed to be mentioned on Trip Advisor.
And, of course, there has already been the official offer of a “boyfriend” from a visiting Jamaican construction worker who lives in Canada, something which I continue to consider. And in between these adventures, I swim, get sunburnt, and contemplate my blessings.
This morning, I am off to the office to meet the people I’ll work with day to day – I am hanging out to see if the place is air conditioned and, if it’s not, might just need to lobby to move my base of operations to the hotel. This week’s tasks (amongst other objectives of actual importance) will include getting a local SIM card, and a connection to the internet that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like the Marriott charges (I’ve located two free wi fi places so far – both my local breakfast place which also has decent coffee and the Shiggidy Shack).
My objective is also to move out of the Marriott (although it does have the most comfortable bed I’ve slept in for a long time…) and find a house or apartment near the Caribbean side of the island where I can do things like properly unpack my clothes and cook. My little dream is to wake up every morning with a view of the water, head out for a walk and a swim and then off to work after breakfast. After work, the dream involves a swim followed by some fish on the beach or a home-cooked meal overlooking the Caribbean – and maybe, just maybe, there’ll be a place set for you.