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84 – St Croix

84 St Croix
I had wandered a bit too far off the beaten path even for me.  This place was starting to get an eerie vibe to it.  The west side of St Croix gets real rural real fast and the road I had decided to follow was literally crumbling and getting narrower and narrower.  This side of the island is rainforest and so there are vines covering everything making it difficult to see very far in any one direction.  I had told my self I was going to keep walking until something interesting happens.  This was getting to be the kind of interesting I didn’t want, so I turned around and was heading back the way I had come.  I was by myself and had my laptop (one of my few valuables) with me so the stories of people getting robbed were getting the volume turned up in my head which was making me walk a little faster, but that wasn’t worrying me as much as the car behind me that was slowing down.
Well, let me back up to that morning at Polly’s beachside cafe.
“Sorry man, if you want the password for the WiFi you have to buy something off the lunch menu.”  That was soul-patch McSuperGay and he was a dick.  His gayness had nothing to do with his dickness but it was this dickness that made me dislike him.
“Look, can’t I just get an Americano and a Brownie and then we round it up to $10 and call it even?”  I thought this sounded pretty reasonable.
“No, that wouldn’t be fair to everyone else, besides it’s like this everywhere else in the Caribbean.  That lady was just in St Thomas yesterday and had to pay for wifi”
“I was just in St Thomas yesterday too, you want me to give you the names of at least 3 places that have free wifi?  Look, I just ate, I really don’t want to eat again, I just want coffee and something sweet.”
“Sorry.”
“Fine, I’ll just pass.”  I wasn’t going to buy anything from Douchelord Fuckerton so I went out on the patio to meet up with a couple of spa girls and fume.  They had wraps and wifi.  I had  vengeful anger and 3G.  Now would be a good time to introduce Jolien (pronounced Yo-lene) and Carol (pronounced Carol).  Both from South Africa and both a handful.  I call them Moeilikheid nommer een en Moeilikheid nommer twee. (trouble one and trouble two in Afrikaans.)  Jolien (een) is the loud vivacious one who you would think is the instigator and maker of questionable decisions, but that job is better left to Carol (twee) the quiet one.  Don’t get me wrong, they are both good kids and I adore them and they are not so much trouble that they don’t blush a little when I bust out my Afrikaans profanity.  Jy is so heilik, jou ma se poese was so besig, sy moes vir jou uit kak.  (You are so ugly, your mother’s vagina was so busy that she had no alternative but to poop you out)

Jolien and Carol had to go back to the ship which left me with no coffee, brownie or wifi and no one to talk to.  Last time I was here was shortly after a hurricane came through and I ended up on a beach that had more broken glass than sea shells and I thought I would wander over that way to see how the repairs were going and on the way, I noticed some horses… just wandering around in an open field.  I thought I would wander over and see what was up with the horses and then I saw more horses, tied up under a large shade tree and around the corner was a narrow road that went, more or less, in a direction away from the boat, which was truly its most appealing quality and that is when I decided that, since I had to be back on the boat in 3 hours, I was going to walk for an hour and a half or until something interesting happened.
Let me back up even further.
Last time we were in St Kitts a whole busload of our passengers got robbed on a shore excursion.  Their bus was in a rural area and came across a tree limb in the road, they stopped and when the driver got out to move the limb, masked gunmen came in and demanded everything, wedding rings, wallets, and jewels.  No one was hurt, but they were all a stunned.
So since then, if I am going to be wandering around alone, I limit the amount of cash on me and leave my wedding ring in my cabin.  Except I didn’t plan on wandering into this area of the island loaded down with things that would be hard to replace, like my laptop and phone.  An area of the island that was dark and very poor with stray dogs, cats and chickens.  There were goats, horses and the most amazing cappuccino colored cows I have ever seen all behind fences that were either built or repaired using found objects and ingenuity.  I’m not sure if the thick vines growing through the fences was a matter of lucky happenstance or planning.
This is the kind of place you start practicing the things you think you will say if you are faced with a situation like, being robbed.
“Boy, don’t flatter yourself, this isn’t the first time I have had someone point a knife at me.”
“You’ve got two choices, you can keep walking and we pretend like this never happened or you wake up in the hospital, your choice chief, what’s it gonna be.”
“You’re gonna have to learn to pick your victims better, I’m a former Marine son, and this day is about to go really bad for you.”
You practice them in your head and in your head you are calm and smooth, Clint Eastwood-John Wayne, but in reality it would be hard to be convincing playing the part of a former Marine who wets himself at the first sign of trouble.
And now there was a car behind me and it has slowed down to match my pace, I moved aside and it didn’t pass, time to become the badass, time to man-up, time to not pee myself which is exactly the abrupt shift of focus that reality brings to a situation.  In my imagination I can use my stature and bravado to scare off potential attackers but in reality I just don’t want to have embarrassing laundry.
“You need a ride?”
My attacker was an old woman in a Jeep, wiry with the kind of skin that not all smokers have, but only smokers have.  While she waited for me to answer, she took a drink out of her Ole Milwaukee.
“You need a ride?”
“Where are you headed?” I asked
“No, that’s not how this works, Where are you headed?”
“I need to go to the seaport”  I thought that sounded better than the cruise ship
“Well seaport’s on the other side of the island.”
“No, I just need to get back to the dock, over there.”  I pointed
“Ohhhhh, the cruise ship.”  Damn-it, there is was.  It always comes out of their mouths in the same tone as, “only child” as if now, suddenly, everything makes sense.  “What time do you have to be back?”
“Crew time is 4:30.”
“Great, then you have time to go drink beer.  Get in.”  So I got in.
“Where are we going to drink beer?”
“Oh, it’s not too far from here, we’re going to the Domino club, home of the beer drinking pigs.”
The road to the Domino club is long and bendy, there were still quite a few washouts from the hurricane and as we got higher into the hills I started to wonder if this had been such a good idea.  If you miss the boat the consequences can be pretty steep.
“Hey, I’m the only white person who lives on that street I picked you up on, what were you doing there?”
“Just walking.”
“Well you better start walking with a stick or a weapon of some kind.  I always carry a Machete.” She pronounced it without the “tay” at the end of the word I was used to.  Then she reached under her seat and pulled out hers, held it high and smiled a toothy grin.  Her teeth could be charitably described in the same way they grade brown diamonds: cognac, chocolate, latte and her gums had receded far enough to see quite a bit of the root of the teeth.
I was trying to figure out all the ways this could go wrong.  Is the Domino club someone’s house and really creepy or is she going to get ripping drunk or not be a reliable ride back to the boat, will I start to hear banjos in the woods?
Turns out it was just a really simple outdoor bar for locals with really nice people.  We got there just in time for my attacker to pick her secret santa.  I ended up sitting between an engineer at the refinery who’s son lives in Austin and a guy  with business interests (whatever that means) in the USVI who lives in Driftwood, Tx.
They make a house specialty called momowanna which is a honeyed rum that has been soaked on herbs and it is quite nice.  As for the beer drinking pigs, well….. the bartender takes you to the place where the pig’s stalls are and I couldn’t see them at first but as I got closer, one of the pigs, and keep in mind these are not Wilber from Charlotte’s web, these are full grown male boars.  The one there in the picture reared his head up and stared at me and because he has been conditioned to… opened his mouth to receive the can of beer I brought.  You are supposed to set the can in his mouth and he will crush it and drink the beer.  In the picture, you can see a little bit of green aluminum in his mouth, those are crushed O’douls cans. 

Frankly this creeped me out, I couldn’t unlock my eyes from his piggy stare, the stench was overwhelming and it really was just a little-just a little surreal.
My attacker’s name is Sande and she was even watching the time for me.
“You ready to go back to the ship?”
“Can we wait until I have to go back?”
“You wanna go down to Rainbow?”
“Rainbow?”
“Ya, beach bar…. you’ll like it, come on let’s go.”  She said her goodbyes and we loaded up.  “Make sure and buckle your belt this time, OK?”
“Got it.”
Rainbow was another small place where Sande knew everyone, pointed them out and told me a little about them.  One beer later, she drove me back the 1/4 mile to the ship and that was that.
I wanted something interesting to happen and I got what I wanted.

Sande is on the left and on the right is Sandi her friend and the pic was taken at Rainbow

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December 6, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

6 Comments »

  1. I always wondered what happened to Ralph the Swimming Pig from Aquarina Springs in San Marcos. Now I know- he retired to the Caribbean and begs beer off people

    Comment by Jeanine Adinaro | December 6, 2010 | Reply

  2. I applaud your sense of adventure.
    I do, however, have some concern for your safety.

    Comment by Mom | December 6, 2010 | Reply

    • No worries, I could have taken her.

      Comment by davidsjones | December 7, 2010 | Reply

  3. Ask the trouble twins about this phrase
    “Jou mammie naai vir bakstene om jou sissie se hoerhuis te bou”, which I won’t translate because your mother is here.

    Comment by bill | December 7, 2010 | Reply

  4. Bill, it couldn’t be any worse than some of the other translations.

    Comment by Mom | December 7, 2010 | Reply

    • translate.google.com It is more comical that bad

      Comment by davidsjones | December 7, 2010 | Reply


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