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Saint Maarten One Day Instant Tourist

I am about to go to the zoo, and see all the stuffed animals in their cages. What I mean is the Disneyland effect--bring in tons of white sand, add a backdrop of palm trees and colonial shops, and the copy is better than the orginal- It's beautiful and predicatble, like plastic surgery. The statue's not the saint, but the menu is the meal. Yet, Sint Maarten has a retro Carib-vibe going on in that magical strip of land called Phillipsburg beach.

I wrote about this before , The Merchants of Venice, and can say the same for The Caribbean: It's not just visited by tourists, but inhabited by them. Even though I am hitting it and quitting it, it seems in the gaze of locals that "we" are just one critical mass, and more than that, from their POV, "always here" and "Here comes everybody!". ( Next Wednesday, The Oasis of the Seas, the largest cruiseship in the world hits the beaches here).

I took these videos before The Herd came in to stampede the shops and restaurants. There was a guy who called himself the CandyMan, a kind of quasi Peter Max merchant: the Lovebeads puka shells , tie-dyed red dirt t-shirts,pineapple incense, psychedelic ,black-light posters and the fabulous '60s. I think he sprinkled some crack on his corn flakes as my three espressos couldn't keep up with his banter. He wanted to friend me on Facebook, but I just couldn't see us being buddies! Somehow a restraining order would come into the equation..


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