Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Green Flash

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Hello out there —

Friends from Massachusetts say they had a 60F day recently. Global warming really has us topsy-turvy, because we had a cold wave here. It was only 75F during the day (which might sound nice to those in the North, tho’ not for us) and chillier at night. I had no desire to swim. When you visit, bring a sweater for the evenings.

But — wowie zowie — after all my complaining about the weather and all the low clouds that obscured the horizon even on sunny days, I finally saw the Green Flash!!!! And saw the Green Flash on 2 successive evenings! Everybody says it’s a record. BTW, to those new to tropical sunsets, the Green Flash should properly be called the Aquamarine Flash — the color of swimming pool water. It occurs (if you’re lucky) in the very last split second when the sun sinks into the ocean. It’s been occurring every now and then ever since.

Meanwhile, the nice warm low-80’s weather has come back and I am perfecting the art of dolce far niente, which really suits me. My mother always called me lazy (I didn’t feel like I was being lazy at all), but it must have been a self-fulfilling prophecy because, compared to Lincoln where I’m always rushing hither and yon, here I can indulge my lazy gene. Read, sleep, eat, swim, check out the birds and boats from my terrace — all play and no work, what’s wrong with that? I don’t think I’m any duller, either. I do call grocery shopping work, and guiding my tourists around is actually extremely HARD work mentally and physically; but that’s not every day.

I have taken a timid step toward feeding the birds again. In years past, I always fed them — just plain old sugar is what they like. But I had trouble when they flew into the house through the sliding glass doors, then panicked because they couldn’t figure out how to get out again. (Except for those sliders, all the windows have screens.) So they banged against the windows, often pooped on the furniture, etc. But it turns out that I miss them too much. There’s really a charming and colorful collection of tropical birdies here, and I miss their activity when I’m outside eating or reading. So I’ve just started with a few sugar cubes. We shall see. . . .

The Jacquinia tree next to my front path is flowering and the perfume is crazy-making, it’s so divine as I come and go. In Papiamentu, they call it Mata Piska (fish-killer) because they say if you put some fragrant branches in the water, the fish will flock to it, get drowsy/high, and thus be easy to catch.

Still reading “Team of Rivals” on my Kindle. I’ve reached 40%, the middle of the Civil War. BTW, do you realize that more people were killed in that war than in all of WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc., combined?

I’ve got a new blog post in mind, so stay tuned. Cheers, Diana

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No light pollution or noise pollution here in the boonies of Curacao

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Bon Bini — Papiamentu for “Welcome.”

Welcome, newbies, to the never-ending saga of the Boston suburbanite working on the delicious/delightful Dutch island of Curacao.


This island just gets beautifuller and beautifuller. In addition to the ocean below, I’ve got a 10′ x 22′ pool, which I like to swim in after dark. This is because there’s no light pollution here and from the pool I see every darn constellation possible in our galaxy. 
It’s easy to make out Orion, Cassiopeia, and maybe the Dippers and the Pleiades, but HELP! there are so many more out there that’s it’s frustrating to be so ignorant!


I’m also grooving on the silence. No noise pollution either.  Which was shattered, to my chagrin, on New Year’s Eve. The Dutch traditionally do firecrackers for New Year’s: half are the beautiful kind, and half are ear-splitting noise. From the terrace of my best friend Alicia’s house, I saw many of the beautiful ones in a panoramic display. (BTW, fireworks are legal for purchase by anyone here.) When I got home, I saw one or two “beautifuls” but then my very own next-door neighbors launched some that seemed like atomic bombs! Yikes! The cat ran under the bed.)  Generally, t
he lack of light pollution and noise pollution makes sleepy Lincoln, MA  (my home town) seem like Times Square in comparison.

 

I have finally eaten lionfish. Unless you’re a diver or marine biologist, you might not realize that lionfish (a gorgeous/venomous denizen of the tropical Pacific; google it) has become the scourge of the Caribbean. (Probably released — i.e., disposed of — irresponsibly by hobby acquarists.) Here it has no predators and its population has exploded so that you see them on every dive, though they don’t belong here. There are organizations and individual divers who try to capture and destroy them, but it may be too little too late.


Anyway, the saying goes, the only proper place for a lionfish is on your plate. So I ordered it. Turns out it looks pretty on the plate (they gave me 4 fish: 2 little and 2 big; I wasn’t expecting that); it’s all striped and attractive. But it’s totally insipid!  You would like it if you hate bluefish and swordfish, and love haddock. Big surprise for me since I expected something stronger-tasting, given the rep of the fish.


Honey is another thing to enjoy here. (Try good honey in your coffee, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.) My fave is the honey from Bazbina Farm (don’t you love the sound of that name?), where right on the label it says in Papiamentu: “Si bo ten problema ku abeha yama 667-5674 —-.” “if you have problems with bees, call 667-etc”. Obviously, this is the real thing, honey. You betcha, he’ll relieve you of your unwanted swarm.


Yes, I’m living the life of Riley/Reilly, especially since my tour business has really picked up, thanks to appearing on an app that is on iPhones and Androids. I try to avoid cruise ship passengers because I’m afraid they don’t have the curiosity to enjoy the things I do, but I accept them if they insist. See my website www.CuracaoWithDiana.com, to get an idea of my approach.

Stay tuned. Meanwhile, I’m wishing you a 2013 full of joy, peace and health!!! Diana