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Day 4 – The Day to Forget

Written By: dawg on May 25, 2009 No Comment

Adventures in Saint Martin – April 2007

My internal clock woke me at 5:45, signaling the start of my solitary hours, before the ladies arose. I headed to the beach for my first photos of a Saint Martin sunrise, which was beautiful that day. However, being my first SXM daybreak event, I wasted plenty of time just looking for a nice photogenic spot from which to shoot. Unfortunately, I remembered the perfect location, the rocks at Coco Beach, a few minutes after the sun broke the horizon.

I was still working on the proper protocol for passing unclothed people on my morning beach walks, or as Madam Luvely jokingly referred to this activity, the Nekked Parade. 🙂 Most of the beach walkers, whether clothed or not, seemed not to notice passersby. Either they were talking with a companion or were too focused on their own walking to look in my direction. So, I had become astute at doing the same … walking as if I was the only person on the beach. However, I usually found myself cheating this protocol and glancing out of the corner of my eye, looking for the rare nod of acknowledgement. I certainly did not ever want to give the impression that I was staring at unclothed areas, so I made sure my fleeting glimpses never strayed below the neck. Although I was becoming proficient at this learned behavior, I was also feeling kind of bored and lonely, during these early morning hours. Maybe I could introduce a fresh protocol to this beach in the coming days.

Later, as we prepared to leave for the Alamanda ghetto, I stopped, paused, and said … wait, where is the room key? I can’t lock the door without it. Just a second, I don’t have my sunglasses. Madam Luvely, have you seen my hat? Darn, I forgot to put ice in the cooler … make a trip to the ice machine and back. Is my MP3 player in the beach bag? Nope, OK, it must be in the safe … enter code to open … get MP3 player … enter code to close … wait, do we have enough cash? … open safe … get cash … close safe. Where is the room key? Madam Luvely replies “We just found it for you a minute ago”. Yes, but then I put it down somewhere to look for my hat. OK, here is the key, but did I put the #15 sunscreen in the bag. Finally, we arrive at the beach, settle into our ghetto chairs and I reach in the cooler for a beer. Oops, I forgot the bottle opener … round trip from the beach to the room and back. Aw shucks (or similar phrase), I forgot the camera … back to the room … open safe … get camera … close safe … see Ma Doudou on counter, it’s past 12:00 in France … get a shot … walk out the door … go back in to get the camera off the counter … back to beach. Etc, etc. Go ahead and laugh, but this was the general disorganization scenario whenever we went to the beach, a restaurant, or just a quick trip to the hotel lobby. The basic daily routine was, I waited several hours for Madam Luvely and Miss Witt to wake up and get ready and later they sighed deeply and waited for me to absentmindedly figure out everything I had forgotten. This day particularly was my day to forget.

Madam Luvely heard from a jewelry vendor in the hotel lobby that there would be a festival in Grand Case, with the main road blocked off and plenty of street vendors. Since Madam Luvely and Miss Witt refuse to miss a good shopping opportunity, we drove the Sad Little Car to Grand Case at about 6:15 and parked on airport road. What a difference this little town is when you are not fearing for your life on the “roadwalk”. Again, while the ladies shopped the full length of the street, I walked around with a Carib in my hand, occasionally making small talk with other unfortunate men like myself, waiting on their females to cordially reduce the risk of carrying large amounts of cash.

Next, we returned to Orient Village for a dinner at Tex Mex. By now we had figured out the $1=1€ exchange ratio at French side restaurants would save us about 35% and had withdrawn more dollars at an ATM in Phillipsburg. I had seen the $1=1€ sign above the bar in Tex Mex. So, when we got the check, I laid down enough dollars to pay for the meal plus a very nice tip and we left. As we were half way across Orient Village, suddenly the waitress came running across the courtyard hollering “SIR, SIR, YOU OWE MORE MONEY. SIR.” Of course, all the people eating in the surrounding patio dining areas turned to see who had run off without paying. So there I stood, a thief, running from the scene of the crime and publicly caught red handed. She explained that they only gave $1=1€ on drinks in the bar. Embarrassed, Madam Luvely and Miss Witt wisely said “we are walking down to Tap Five, while you go back and straighten this out.” Thus, I was left to face the horrendous humiliation alone.  I returned and saw that she was right about what the sign said. The check also had two different totals, one for Euros, one for Dollars. I agreeably took back my cash, paid the total by credit card, still adding a nice tip, said merci, and slithered away, as everyone around me snickered and stared.smiley-sad031

Reflecting on this day, I know there was plenty more to write about, but quite honestly, I forgot. We were looking forward to Day 5, which would certainly provide many more opportunities to forget.

Note: Story originally posted on Traveltalkonline.com Forums >> St. Maarten – St. Martin

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