|Porto Marie, our favorite beach|
... you're completely used to people speaking at least three languages--fluently
... your sentences often contain more than two languages--and you're surprised when people don't understand you
... you end your sentences with "swa"
... you automatically switch to Spanish at the snek (and you know what the snek is)
... you know which direction is up- or down-wind (and you buy property based on that)
... you know the definition of "choller" (and you've actually "cholled" something in your life)
... you look up when you hear "psssst"
... you sometimes wake up craving a "pastechi"
... you call any girl "dushi"
... you know there's no point in making appointments, because no one gets there on time anyway
... your friends call because you're late, and you say "mi ta yegando" (I'm almost there) when you're still in the shower... you know the other meaning of "sushi"
... you try to buy breakfast at McD's after 11 am
... you need some heavy lifting done and you ask whether anyone knows a Haitian to do it
... you know that after nightfall traffic slows to 30 km/hr because everyone's drunk (yeah, you too)
... you've tried to bribe police with a cold beer--and succeeded
... you no longer expect silence at a movie theater
... you keep the beach cooler in the trunk of your car
... you hear the first notes of bachata, or salsa, or merengue, and your hips start moving--even if you're sitting
(selections from the Curaçao Forum, paraphrased and tweaked around by me)
This is an awesome island, truly sui generis. It's Caribbean, but not like Dominican Republic, or Jamaica. It's also Latin, but unlike any other Latin country. It's European--and yet as far away from Europe as one can get. It's a mix, heterogeneous and diverse. It's a microcosm of the world, and also a world in and of itself. Its history is rife with conflict--slavery, imperialism, revolution, struggle for freedom, struggle with freedom.
These photos are borrowed from the Facebook group You know you've lived in Curaçao when. If you're curious and want more, take a stroll over to their site. There's more wonderful images than I had space for.
|The Venezuelan market|
@ Punda (downtown)
|Sculptures at the Avila Beach Hotel|
|Mural in Punda (since painted over)|
of the son of Ras Elijah, a local
|Cliff jumping, a national sport|
(and yes, the water really *is* this blue)
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