Anyone who knows us realizes that “Kris & Doug’s Retirement Adventures” has been the sole effort of only one of us to date. I have been a bit reticent to participate. Heck, I can always shoot you an e-mail or give you a call and actually talk to you!! Truth be told it has always been a difficult task for me to put thoughts to paper and while I always feel better after having done so, I will avoid it at all costs, kind of like working out.
So, a few thoughts;
In an attempt to overstate the obvious, the tropics are hot and humid. The weather has taken a subtle shift to the cooler side of things since our arrival in St. T three weeks ago, but it is still very possible to just stand in place and sweat like a teenager before their first prom date.
This place is a contradiction in many ways. You go from the stunning beaches with their turquoise blue waters that are everywhere to the inner island which gives you the sense of being in an industrial area in decline, like South Seattle. There are poor neighborhoods everywhere, the roads are narrow with no shoulders and full of man eating pot holes.
Island time is pervasive here. I am sure some of you understand the concept, but for the uninitiated, things aren’t as regimented as they are in the states. Waiting becomes an art form here. Island time applies to most everything here with the exception of driving. Put a local in a car and they become a NASCAR driver 3 days late to their own funeral. I don’t get it, the island is only 15 miles wide, the roads are steep (we’re talking mountain goat terrain) and full of curves and yet most of the drivers seem to have a death wish.
This place is a jungle!! Vegetation encroaches everywhere. It is full of wildlife, mostly birds, tree frogs and lizards ( including pick-up sized Iguanas). One of the more challenging things I have had to adapt to is after enjoying the beauty of the daily sunsets, the jungle symphony starts. The lizards and frogs become very vocal at night. Some of you who know me have accused me of exaggerating from time to time, something I just don’t understand, but it is difficult to describe just how loud the night time is. I have actually resorted to using ear plugs at night. Something I have never done before.
This place is an island and it is easy to see how “rock fever” could settle in after awhile. There are only so many places you can go, supplies are limited and expensive and if you want to have something shipped, forget it. The time and cost are both something you can’t afford.
Enough of me for now. I’ll try and weigh in from time to time but I am still transitioning to my retirement and that requires the majority of my focus for now. Speaking of which, I need to pack a cooler and head to the beach.