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Day 7 – I’ll Have Those Drinks Now

Written By: dawg on June 7, 2009 6 Comments

Adventures in Saint Martin – April 2007

I arrived at a deserted beach at 5:30 AM and witnessed the most beautiful sunrise I had seen all week. With high thin clouds on the horizon, the sun came up as a brilliant orange/pink glowing ball.sunriseday7sunriseday7b

After the sun was up, I decided to resume The Salutation Experiment. Only this time, I would not contaminate the results by failing to speak in the native language. Therefore, each individual who I passed received a cheerful “Bonjour!” Surely this adaptation of the experiment would net a 100% positive result. However, contrary to my hypothesis, the new results were almost identical, with about 90% of the people providing a happy verbal response and the other 10% offering only a bewildered stare and no reply. Although the outcome was the same, I made a few additional observations that were very interesting. First, everyone who replied today, replied with a friendly “bonjour”, whereas yesterday all of the replies were either “good morning” or “hi”, the same as my initial greeting. Thus, not only could I elicit a response, but I could also alter the language of the response by altering the input stimulus. Second, one person who I remembered from the “no reply” group yesterday, recognized me today and greeted me with a “Hi” before I even had a chance to say “bonjour”. I became confused about how to judge this particular answer. Was this a positive response to the “Bonjour” test today or a 24 hour delayed positive response to the “Good morning” test yesterday? After careful consideration, I decided that it is not very positive if the greeter must wait 24 hours for the reply. So I only counted this one as a positive on the “bonjour” test.

For two days, The Salutation Experiment had enlightened me and given me new confidence in humanity, proving that people will generally return a gracious gesture with a gracious reply. In some tiny way, maybe my simple salutations had enhanced the moment for those few individuals … which in turn enhanced the whole beach … then all of Saint Martin … and the Caribbean … and ultimately THE ENTIRE WORLD … AARGH, AARGH, AARGH!!! Nah, don’t be ridiculous, it was just a frivolous ploy that provided simple entertainment about human nature as I wandered aimlessly down the beach.

Upon returning to the room at about 7:00, I was surprised to find Madam Luvely had awakened early and was ready to take a walk. So we returned to the beach, where Madam Luvely got her first close up experience of the Nekked Parade. Since The Nekked Parade was usually concluded by about 10:00, Madam Luvely had previously only observed the event from our balcony. I was elated to finally have someone to speak to, other than the simple “bonjour” of The Salutation Experiment. Luckily for Madam Luvely, she capitalized on my expertise to learn the proper beach walking protocol and was soon behaving very well. However, she occasionally found it difficult to follow the explicit rule of no glances below the neck, despite my desperate attempts to re-iterate its importance. She undeniably incriminated herself when she stated “people should know to use plenty of sunscreen on parts that are rarely exposed to the sun”, after a lady walked by with a rather nice figure and tan body, but very red areas on her upper torso. How do I know she had a nice figure and tan body? Well, OK, I confess … I may not have always executed that rule to 100% perfection myself either.

The beach was again quite crowded, because of the holiday (Good Friday). After having walked the entire length of the beach three times earlier that morning, I was ready to crash on one of the ghetto lounge chairs. Shortly after we all surrendered to sand gravity at the beach, Miss Witt struck up a conversation with Madam Luvely and me, “Remember how you said I could have one alcoholic drink per day can find on this page?” Yes, I said. “And you know I only had a drink on two previous days, right.” That’s right, I said. “OK, so that means I still have 6 drinks left and I was thinking I would have them all today” she exclaimed, very content and proud of her sudden revelation. Madam Luvely and I were dumbfounded and could not utter a single word, because we were laughing too hard. When we resumed our composure we realized that she was still smiling sweetly and waiting for an answer. As always, I defer such questions to the one with “proper upbringing”, Madam Luvely. Darn I forgot the … um, um, um … I forgot what I forgot back in the room. But I have to go get it. Madam Luvely, can you please answer that question while I am gone.

For 7 days at Orient Beach, I had walked the entire beach at least a dozen times. Well … the entire beach as far as the “Hotel Guests Only” sign at Club Orient. I had cautiously glanced into the premises (only above the neck) on a few occasions, before re-reading the sign to make sure I hadn’t missed a “loophole” and then turned around in disappointment. My curiosity was growing and I feared that I might soon succumb to that emotion. I repeatedly struggled, but always squashed the desire to figure out what was beyond the famous sign and obediently returned to my proper place in the Alamanda Ghetto.

Miss Witt

Miss Witt

As always, Miss Witt dressed for dinner each night wearing her fleece lined winter coat. After all, the weather in Saint Martin can get bitter cold after the sun goes down. The temperature frequently drops to a bone chilling 75 degrees. Perhaps even below 72, when the wind chill factor is considered. Miss Witt could not risk the possibility of shivering during the meal. She can be seen here (as well as in the Day 6 dining photo) miserably protecting herself from these harsh island conditions.

Furthermore, in her sweltering loft bedroom at the hotel, she insisted that the ceiling fan and air conditioning be turned completely off, since she professed to have frostbite when she awakened on the first morning. She would frequently hibernate in said loft, further contesting the arctic conditions on the main floor, where Madam Luvely and I maintained our igloo at a frigid 22 C (72 F).

For dinner we chose La Chapelle, which had good service and excellent food. My grilled seafood plate was possibly the tastiest meal of the vacation. Madam Luvely was delighted with her spaghetti and Miss Witt feasted on bread & fettuccini. We all three walked away stuffed.

It was our last night on the island, so we returned to the room and began packing. We would truly miss this wonderful place, but in some small way we were also looking forward to returning home. Somehow, I still knew there were plenty more exciting adventures in store for Day 8!

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

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6 Responses to “Day 7 – I’ll Have Those Drinks Now”

  1. Lois Settles says on: 8 June 2009 at 5:26 am

    and the six drinks???

    • dawg says on: 8 June 2009 at 10:25 pm

      Ahh, yes, the six drinks. As I mentioned, that matter was left in the capable hands of Madam Luvely, who’s superior parenting skills were most likely utilized masterfully to negotiate a reasonable and satisfactory outcome for Miss Witt.

  2. Miss Witt says on: 9 June 2009 at 4:07 pm

    Sadly I never did get those six other drinks. Although I must say I thought my idea of saving them all up was quite genius.

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