Monday, April 30, 2012
The "Le coeur de la Caraibe" Story
It was an ordinary day. Met a few extraordinary people in St. Martin today. The first two were patrons of the Super Grande Marche, as were Carol and I. While waiting at the deli counter, I encountered Adrian who was also waiting for a clerk to slice his ham and cheese for him. He was provisioning his boat, for his next stop in Anguilla later today. We got to talking and he told me he is in the process of building a hotel on the island of Nevis in the Caribbean. It was started about a year ago and he expects it to take about a year to be up and running. It will be the second largest on the island. Called the Tamarind Cove and will have not only hotel rooms and villas, but a full marina. Even invited us to visit with him in the future. Told us to email him and he will make arrangements for us to be picked up at the airport when we arrive. Even wrote down my name! Didn't even ask what that might cost me, even though I was his new found friend. As he received his deli items and paid farewell, I saw the look on James' face. James, who was standing on the other side of me, said his offer to me sounds great, but not sure he could afford to visit. He then went on to tell me that he plans to start a new radio station on St. Martin that will play all jazz music. Already had the airwaves license for channel 97.7 and is constructing his new building for his station. Assured me that it will be nothing like the hotel we both had just heard about. His station may take longer to build than the hotel, because it is being built on island time, and that doesn't move fast. Then, he said, I will be able to listen to something other than the rap and other junk that now fills the airways in St. Martin. I agreed I can hardly wait, and wished him well with his project. The last islander I met was George who made a pizza for me at Tap 5 in Orient Village. Checked the pizza titles on a list on the window where I met him. George didn't want to talk much at first, maybe because we spoke different languages, but after watching him put the finishing touches on my Cannabale pizza and popping it in the oven, he was more willing to talk about his many years making pizzas. I'd relay some of the story he told except I'm not quite sure what he said. He's a real pro at what he does, though. After about 5 minutes he opens the big oven, uses his wooden paddle, and pulls out the best looking thin crust pizza you ever saw. Popped it in a box and handed it to me. Where do I pay I asked him. Motioned for me to go through the next door and pay for it. The automatic door opened and I entered Tap 5 and went to the counter. A smiling George came from around the corner and took my money. I questioned him about the new conveyor belt that was next to the cash register. Never saw it there in the 10 years I have been a customer at Tap 5 when we visit for vacation. Told me it was moved from their store at the other end of Orient Village in the old Le Chapell Sports Bar building when they closed it two months ago. We talked about the store and how it was losing money so they decided to close it. Moved the belt to the old store on the main street into the village. Told me to enjoy the pizza and I thanked him for the both it and the info. I'll return soon! It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy. PS - for those who cannot decipher french, my title reads: The heart of the Caribbean.