Thursday, December 5, 2013


Next morning around 8:30 am, we went to the side street, where we had a glimpse of a likely vehicle the day before. Lo and behold, there was one small minibus with two customers inside, and three islanders in front, chatting. When I asked, one of them confirmed that this taxico was going to Fort De France, and we could get down in the town of Le Marin on the way. Despite Doyle's caution about the taxicos starting only when filled (which is the case in everywhere else in the world), ours started with just four customers. The driver was a character, he kept on shouting after every pedestrian,  jokingly inviting them for a ride, while they took the time  to seriously decline him. The other ladies in the car and I had a ball, laughing at him.

He let us out at a make-shift bus station, quite a long way before our destination, which I thought was the Carrefour strip-mall by looking at the adress. We walked there, and saw that there was a self-serve laundrette and dry cleaning service, but not the one I was looking for. However,  the young islander in charge gave as a map, and showed where to go. It appeared that we had to go back a long way. But before that, we were determined to find the other boatyard/old marina in Carenage/Caren, close to where we were. In the booklet, a lot of serious boat maintenance services were advertised to be there,  along with the biggest chandlery in Le Marin. So we walked on, then down and found the boatyard and the supermarket Leader Price, which Rick had mentioned to be the cheapest, but not the dinghy dock that was supposed to be very close to the market. Al asked a guy at the chandlery how to get to the dock, and he signed that the only access was through the boatyard. Some security! We decided to check it out later, by coming by the dinghy, and walked along to the supermarket. It was a good size, and quite cheaper than Carrefour. Our Canadian friends know how to shop.

We returned to the main road, and saw a great boulangerie right accross, very inviting. While we were looking at the various bagette choises, a woman hit my back with the door, while entering the store, and expressed anger that I was standing too close to the door. I remembered my daughter's comment about the extreme politeness of Canadians; when one hits another, the one hit would apologize, while the hitter would be mortified and apologize more. She realized how unique this conduct was when she lived in Germany for a while and came home for a visit. I guess for the French, it is a given that the hitter is blameless, even though the glass door might be showing a person partially blocking the way. Hard to beleive isn't it? In all the time we spent in Martinique, we heard the word "pardon" only once, when a woman threw garbage into our dinghy from the dock (without looking of course).
Anyway, we got our baguette, and croissants for Al, and set out to find the laundry service called Diaka Laverie. We walked a bit, and came accross it. Inside was a middle aged lady, who could speak some English. When I made myself understood, she just said she could only pick the laundry up at 7:30 am by the church at St Anne, and not at the dock; and bring it back to the same place around 5:00 pm. No problem, but how much? She said 15 Euros for a load of laundry, delivery no charge. You can imagine my delight. This solved a major problem for me, do-it-yourself laundry is a pain, and costs 7 Euros (at the marina), but the food and drinks we pay for while waiting greatly enhances the expense. I had no problem with paying 30 Euros for two loads a week while we are anchored here , and felt like hugging Yvonne, while promising to be at the church front on the next morning. What a relief,  I started to like St Anne!

We found the bus stop for St Anne by asking and looking around for a suitable spot (a clearing at the side of the street where the bus can stop witout disrupting the traffic). We only had to wait a few minutes with some elderly islanders for the bus to Sainte Anne to show up.

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