Saturday, June 10, 2006

Still sitting

June 10, 2006   Saturday
Still sitting in Clarkes Court Bay Marina, Grenada

Bill left early this morning for his business trip to Houston.   It is not yet 9:00a.m. and I am already bored being alone here on the boat.  This is going to be one long week.  I do not like driving the dinghy and there is really nothing within walking distance, so I am basically stuck on the boat unless I take a taxi or break down and actually drive that dinghy. 

The last time we called for a taxi it cost us $70EC to go to the nearest shopping area.  The taxi driver did not have any change and all we had was a $100EC bill, so it actually cost us $100EC.  Later, we found out that we could take the dinghy across the bay and catch a local "bus" all the way to downtown St. Georges (the main city) for only $2EC each way per person.  So, $8EC round trip for a distance twice as far as we had paid $100EC for that taxi. 

The "bus" is a real experience.  We were the only white people on it, and some of the locals were looking at us sort of strange.  Like, what are you doing in here with us.  No one ever said one word to one another in the buses.  A bus is really a small van with sliding side door entry, equipped with 4 bench seats and a few fold-up seats along the side, inaddition to the driver`s and front passenger`s seats.  There is a "controller" who handles the sliding door and collects the money.  He/she tells everyone where to sit.  Man, do they pack people into those things.  And they drive really fast and scary.  I felt uncomfortable sitting in the third row when they stopped and someone filled up a plastic gallon water jug with what appeared to be gasoline.  All I could think about was that we might crash into oncoming traffic the next time we rounded a mountain curve at breakneck speed on those narrow roads, and that the resulting fire from the gasoline was going to burn us all up before we could possibly get out of that van.  Bill later said that he didn`t think it was really gasoline, maybe kerosene.  All I know is that it was filled from a pump at a regular automobile gas station, so I assumed it was gasoline.  Anyway, it was an unomfortable drive.

We walked around St. Georges; shopped at many of the local shops.  Their version of the 99-Cent store or the Dollar Store is called the $10.00 store.  They have about 4 of these stores in every block of downtown St. Georges.  They also had numerous cars selling clothing from their trunks on the side of the street.  And copied movie DVDs all over the sidewalks.  Didn`t see any movies that we were interested in acquiring; plus, we have heard that you can buy just-released movie DVDs in Trinidad for $1.60US, so maybe we will buy some down there.

Another thing that struck us a a little strange is that there were big umbrellas set up on the sidewalks, filled with bras hanging down and a woman sitting beneath.  Apparently, that is where one shops for a bra.  I could use a few new ones, but just couldn`t bring myself to bra shop on the sidewalk.  They appeared to be in no order whatsoever, so you would have to stand there and find the size on each one before haggling for a price.  For one who is accumstomed to Victoria`s Secret catalog shopping, no thanks.

We found the new produce market downtown.  It encompasses about one city block, with vendors everywhere.  Just spices and locally grown produce are sold there.  The vendors were not nearly so agressive as the ones in Bequia.  You did not feel like you were being attacked by them.  Should have bought more but didn`t want to carry it around half the day.

We were looking for a very small or hand-held 220V vacuum cleaner.  Did not find one small enough for the boat.

Bill got a haircut.  We had bought hair clippers for the boat, with plans for Judy to cut his hair.  But I did not want to cut his hair for the first time right before he left for a trip home.  I might as well have tried my hand at it.  The barber just basically shaved Bill`s head.  I could have done that.  But what the heck, it only cost equivalent of $7.40US; and it was an interesting experience.  We saw a barber shop sign on the second story above a busy sidewalk.  Then we had to figure out how in the world you gained access.  After several attempts through various passageways, we found an interior courtyard behind the stores that faced the sidewalks.  There were several stairways leading up to businesses above.  On the second stairway attempt, we finally found the entrance to the barber shop.  It was just an interesting experience.

The barber shop had these rules posted on their entry door:
1.  Do not drag your feet while walking in the barber shop.
2.  Do not stomp your feet while inside the barber shop.
3.  Do not come and go from the barber shop unless you have business in the barber shop.
4.  No dancing in the barber shop.
5.  No singing in the barber shop.
Here is a business.

Guess they have had a problem with singing, dancing, stomping, foot-dragging patrons.

We had lunch at a nice little restaurant just across from the main bus terminal.  We chose that particular restaurant for the most important reason -- it was air conditioned.  Served us a larger meal than we expected, so that was our big meal of the day and we had popcorn and a DVD for dinner on the boat.

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