Living on St. Maarten v.s. other Caribbean Islands definitely has it’s advantages. We have a beautiful and busy airport with direct flights arriving from, and departing to destinations like New York, Miami, Atlanta, Paris and Amsterdam to name a but few. Besides that, St. Maarten/St. Martin is unofficially the gourmet capital of the Caribbean and another unofficial title we have is that of being the Vegas of the Caribbean. I mean, seriously one just cannot get bored living here. Yet, for us islanders even this perfect little rock can become quite mundane.
No, this is not one of those lists of empty promises to myself. No resolution to quit smoking (I don’t smoke anyways), to go on a diet (hell no. I love food too much) or to stop drinking (like that will ever happen). Recently I’ve seen this quote go around on social media and although it is hilarious it has a ring of truth to it:
As I sit down to write this blog post I am full of excitement. I mean, I am super psyched, my stomach is making somersaults. You know that feeling when you’re totally “GaGa” for someone? You can’t eat, you can’t sleep. Butterflies have taken up what seems like permanent residence in your stomach? That’s how I feel about the next White Sensation party. Why? Just because of three little words:
FEDDE. LE. GRAND.
In the valley called Cripple Gate just when you’re coming down the hill from Marigot, capital of French St. Martin lies this little house. It’s bright, it’s cheery, and it’s definitely colorful. Some say it is where Santa resides whenever he is on the friendly island. Others say it is where he has his Caribbean workshop. The truth is it is the residence of Madame Monique, a generous islander who for the past 30 years or so has been opening her doors to complete strangers during the holidays. She turns her house into a true Christmas House. Every corner is decorated, no rooms are spared and all stops are pulled to make the decor even more elaborate then the previous year.
Aaaaah the high season is here. The time when St. Maarteners start practicing their smiles and hellos in front of the mirror. Be ready y’all, the tourists are here!
Every winter season St. Maarten and other islands in the Caribbean get a mass influx of visitors arriving from Europe, North and South America and all other continents of the world. Winter season is high season, and we call it high season for a reason: higher tips = higher pays, for some of us in the hospitality industry at least. When you think Caribbean, you think beaches, sun, sand, sea and friendly people and we islanders have perfected the art of friendliness. After all, we have a rep to protect since St. Maarten is generally known as the Friendly Island.
However, it has come to my attention in recent years that although we value the arrival of our dear friends from all over the world, our friends don’t seem to know much about us at all. They don’t know what makes us tick, so to speak. So I’ve decided to put together a list of do’s and don’ts when vacationing in St. Maarten.
It’s almost that time again. I sense it in the crawling of my skin. My sensors all go on high alert. I’m crabby, emotional, obnoxious and unbearable. Yes, Christmas is upon us.
It’s the only time of year that I get home sick. Home sick to Curaçao, hell even the Netherlands will do, anywhere but here.
If you haven’t noticed it yet I dislike the holidays on my current home island very much. I say this knowing very well that this revelation might get me kicked off the island permanently. I can see the true St. Maarteners already, coming to get me in the middle of the night with pitch forks and torches, holding up signs saying “Off with her head” and “Death to the traitor”.