The Babble-Blog has been on sabbatical for the past two weeks as we, the company’s padrones, shamelessly stole away from the voice-over recording business for some sun, fun and a scratch of Caribbean beach on Jost Van Dyke in the B.V.I.
Our thanks to Amelia, Greg and John for making sure the recording studio hummed along while we parked our butts on beach towels, and coated ourselves in SPF 30 like yogurt covered raisins.
We know that we owe you guys big time.
The handiwork of our friend – local artist and comedian, Ari Hoptman.
Traveling to another country can provide the chance to see how other cultures approach their lives, solve their problems and pass the time. Surprisingly, in just a fortnight you can see how others view you, how you view the world, and where the two might (or might not) intersect. ‘Course, one could write a book about that – I’ll just try and share the most relevant stuff.
Less Is More:
No internet. No TV. No radio. No cell phones. No video games.
For those with a multimedia jones, this is Hazelden. And, get this, it’s even 12 steps from the cabana to the beach. Cured.
Crabs and Politicians are the same species:
Bury yourself in sand. Avoid scrutiny. When all seems safe, pop out of nowhere. Strut your stuff with the clan. See trouble? Panic, reverse, and bury yourself in the sand.
Repeat as necessary.
Pelicans are better than Medicare Part D:
If laughter’s the best medicine, let’s go into every dank, fetid and ill lit nursing home in this country with a 700 inch plasma display, 100 lbs of sand and some cheap beach chairs. Crank up the heat, set the fans to “breeze”, and plop Gram and Gramps in front of an endless DVD of pelicans dive bombing a reef. There’s perhaps nothing more graceful, peaceful, and amusing. If you can’t relax, grin and guffaw, you’re already dead.
Meds have costly side effects. Smiles and laughter don’t. Door number two, please.
Paradise is not Nirvana:
The Caribbean has beautiful weather, lovely beaches, sailing, snorkeling and a panoply of sounds and wildlife that would be difficult to match anywhere else. Truly, it is Paradise. One would be remiss not to see it at least once in a lifetime. Sadly, however, like everywhere else in the world, you can see racism, classism, greed and mistrust too. Regrettable proof that, indeed, we truly are all created equal.
There Are No Diabetics In The Caribbean:
Don’t go to lunch hungry. Seriously. The island clocks are set to Saturn or something. It’s likely you’ll either expire from low blood sugar or succumb to the effects of imbibing too many Red Stripes from the Honor Bar while waiting for a conch fritter. Odds are Haley’s comet will pass twice before your waitress does.
The weather is tropical. The pace is glacial. Relax, it’s actually good for you.
Just eat before you go.
Plan, Is A Four Letter Word:
If you ever hear the phrase, “No Problem” rest assured – there is one. Your Plan A, will morph into plan B, then perhaps C , and eventually become plan D all in the course of fifteen minutes. Or fifteen hours. It all depends. Sometimes.
Simply getting a taxi here requires a lesson in “adaptive scheduling”. This is an actual exchange with one of the drivers on the island….
Claude, the taxi guy, answers the call in an island patois as thick as the laissez-faire attitude that sways over everything here.
“Talk to me”
“Uhhh, hey Claude, um, I need a cab tomorrow morning to get us over to Little Harbor”
“No problem. Just call me in the morning to remind me”
“Okay, so, can you pick us up around, 8:45?”
“Call me a half an hour before you want to go”
“So I’ll call you at 8:15?”
Mind you, Claude’s cell phone is typically off. He’s one of only three taxis we saw on the island. Not taxi companies – taxis.
Oh, and Claude arrived at 8:15 while the call was being placed. Plan E.
We’re All On Loan To Each Other and Living On Borrowed Time:
Red State. Blue State. Who cares? When you’re baking under the sun with little to do it’s amazing how boundaries melt away. People were just happy to connect and pass the time. Our first week we hung out with a couple who worked in academia. Y’know, a biology prof is great to have along when you’re discovering so much flora and fauna. It was like hanging with Darwin on The Beagle but with better food, laughs and God’s greatest gift – cold beer. Thanks Kim and Peggy. Hope we see you again.
To sum things up, the B.V.I. is a great place to visit for a couple of weeks to get away from the nasty cold and limited sun we get here above the Mason Dixon line this time of year. We absolutely loved it. However, to quote a particular Minnesotan named Judy Garland – “There’s No Place Like Home”