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.
Originally published on Women who Live on Rocks as 6 Do’s and Don’ts when visiting the Caribbean.
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”.
I’d rather regret the things I’ve done, than always wonder what could have been
Name: Lisa Dijkshoorn
Nick name: Lies or Liesje
Occupation: Lead Deck hand on board MV Sherakhan
From: St. Maarten
Official current home: St. Eustatius
Actual current home: Everywhere
I decided to go natural about three years ago. It was decision I made after much deliberation. Before that I’ve been straightening or “perming” my hair since the age of 11 or 12, I can’t really remember. I just remember it was around the same time I started wearing a training bra. The training bra of course meant that I was now almost a woman, well at least according to my mom, who immediately made an appointment at her cousin’s hair salon to permanently get rid of my curls and thus make her life much easier.
When I told my bff that I would be visiting Curaçao last October at the same time that she would be there for work, she insisted I stay with her in her condo at Palapa Beach Resort, her family’s hotel. Knowing about this project from when we were little girls I was more than happy to accept this generous offer. How could I resist? After all I had spent most of my youth looking at the plans, which her dad had hanging on his office wall way before the first block was ever laid.