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If St Maarten is the Mitt Romney of vacation destinations---self restraint in an age of rage, then Barbados is the Keith Richards of the Caribbean--it's over the hill, showing signs of age but can still belt out the kareoke hits of Paradise it once sang. A sort of life is going on, beating with a reasonable version of a pulse, but that life consists for the most part of travelers like myself. The very unspoiledness you are there to experience still shows up in unexpected ways, like the coconuts and the flowers.
Caribbean Roadkill- What Am I doing Here?
The newly refurbished Fairmont Royal Pavillion is beautiful. Yet I always end up in that part of the Carribean which has been made almost exactly the same as everywhere else in the world for the sake of Cruise Ships who have come all this way to "inhabit" a port for 6 hours.
To be a cruise ship tourist in the Caribbean to escape accountability. Quirks and flaws don't stick to you the way they do back home.
Cruising the open-sea is a Virtue, Shopping the ports of call, a deadly sin.

Coo Coo for Coconuts
You're able to drift across continents and languages, suspending the operation of sound thought. Tourism is the march of stupidity. You're expected to be stupid. The entire mechanism of the host port of call is geared to cruisers acting stupidly. YOU are economically significant but existentially loathsome. You walk around dazed, squinting into fold-out port and shopping guide maps. You don't know how to talk tothe locals, how to get anywhere, what the money means, what time it is, what to eat or how to eat it. Being stupid is the cookie cutter mold, the level and the norm. You can exist on this level for weeks and months without reprimand or dire consequence. Together with a thousand other passangers, you are granted immunities and broad freedoms. You are an army of fools, wearing bright polyesters, riding scooters and 4by4's and Jet Skis, taking pictures of each other, bloated, drunk stiill thirsty. There is nothing to think about or lust after but the next shapeless event. Alien, ignorant, greedy for something you cannot ever have---sunshine, sand and indifference to the treadmill of consumption and "stuff.


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