We (Ivan and I) opted for the red-eye flight, dooming ourselves to a fitful night of interrupted napping on a crowded, lumbering and jostling jet. When we finally arrived at the crack of dawn, we were overdressed for the balmy climate, and too bogged down with bursting-at-the-seams carry-ons to assert ourselves in the line for customs. So we waited and shuffled along at the end of the line, way too sleepy to care. Between head-nods, we managed to claim our luggage, pay duty and stumble out of the airport.
Outside I woke immediately to the brilliant surrounding vegetation. Having just left a slush-filled greying city, I was astounded. How had I never visited the Caribbean before? To make things even better, our new landlord was there to pick us up and take us to our new home!
Our new home: I don’t hesitate to call this a home because, beyond the intents and purposes of a dorm room, this apartment is a home. Simply put. It’s big, first and foremost. There are 2 bedrooms, a bathroom, full kitchen and living room. There is a full size bar for meals and a wraparound balcony. The home is fully furnished and comfortable. What more could I ask for?
A tour of the island: The landlord took us for a half-day tour of the island. That consisted of him explaining culture, history and customs, while driving at breakneck speed down roads far too narrow to accommodate the truck. (Had I been paying less attention to the looming edge of the road and the certain-death plummet that it promised, I may have learned more about which beach is best to visit.) We did, however, visit Fort George and learned a bit about some gruesome history (Google Maurice Bishop). Then we checked out one of the many impressive waterfalls on the island. Entering the path to the waterfall, we were given the opportunity to pose for pictures with a monkey. Obviously we did, because who would say no? Probably the single coolest thing that had happened since touchdown was that little monkey licking my cheek and trying to pry my watch off my wrist. Stealthy pickpocket or no, that monkey was awesome. When I grow up, I’m totally getting one.
We were able to get some much needed grocery shopping done, also thanks to our landlord. We anticipated high prices because of other warnings we had read online. And it was expensive, but not ridiculously so. We didn’t buy any name-brand items and stuck to basic staples so we could cook our own meals from scratch. As long as we don’t splurge on Ben & Jerry’s or Lean Cuisines, we’ll get along just fine.
I know I have tons to write about, but I have slept very little in the past 36 hours and I doubt I’ll make sense if I allow myself to ramble.
To wrap up and touch on topics I should really talk about later: I imagine it is incredibly difficult to maintain certain infrastructures in a tropical climate; I am, therefore, totally okay with the wicked vines tearing down the few guardrails left with their super-charged tropical tendrils. Also, goats are hilarious. Goats are everywhere here. If you live next to a goat, your garden is up for grabs. If you own a goat, your neighbors may hate you.