May 9, 2011
Saint Martin is not one of those places. We’ve been home for a couple of days now, but all the images and feelings from the past week spent on the island are still in front of my eyes – so lively that I don’t even need to close my eyes to find myself walking down the shore.
My daughter and I were planning to get away for a while before her summer class starts. My travel agent called me up one day and offered me an exotic vacation. I asked my daughter – “Do you have any plans for the day after tomorrow?” She said – “No”. I told her – “Then we’re going to Saint Martin.”
On our very first day, we got to see the carnival. Then, when we tried to get directions to the nearest supermarket, we were told that there is one “after the first cemetery; turn left before the second cemetery”.
Saint Martin is an island that is governed by two coutries – France and Holland. Everybody there knows English, and can also speak other languages.
In the capital of the Dutch side, there are only two streets – Front Street and Back Street, and the names of the streets that run perpendicular to them are written in Dutch. On the French side of the island, naturally, the street names are written in French.
There are pretty much no sidewalks on this island, - and if there is a sidewalk, it’s so narrow that there is only enough room for one person and a dog. If only the dog is not larger than medium-sized. And still the local citizens manage to park their cars right on the sidewalks.
There are many pelicans, flying above your head; they do, in fact, make the island’s national bird.
On this island, walking down the shore at nine in the morning, you can stumble upon an old-fashioned wooden school desk. On it, there lies a little saw, just so you can take a picture with that unlikely combinations of objects.
I will make another, separate post about the carnival.