Friday, February 24, 2012

Carnival in St Martin

For almost a week, we have been listening every night, and some days, to incredibly loud music coming from various parts of the village. What we hear is a beat and some lyrics repeated over and over. Apparently the first few days were the practice, and the real carnival was supposed to be on two days, (and nights); the 21st and 22nd which were official holiday for the French side, but not the Dutch. Everywhere is closed; no businesses except restaurants are open. The Dutch are making a killing in trade; they are always open, even Sundays (unheard-of for French), and they observe different days holidays.

Yesterday, after dealing with the anchor etc. all day, we were kind of tired, and I thought that if we would be in the music (or noise for some) and participate, we might be able to stand it better. So we followed some people towards the music, and saw that police cars had blocked a street for about a mile, where the spectators, all black with a few white tourists like us, lined both the sidewalks. Except for some crazy motor-bike crew that burned rubber, the street was clear. So we were able to walk all the way, and explored abundant liquor and some food for sale, nothing inviting, and several stations of musicians with extra loud speakers. When I looked at the people, I thought nobody was having any fun, all stone faces, nobody dancing or even smiling. I guess they were tired from partying all week long. We just turned around and went home. Al was surprised about the lack-luster carnival in St Martin compared to the one he had experienced in BVI. I think we started missing BVI.

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