I’m in Aruba. People in Boniare and Curaçao said I would not like this place — too many casinos, too much Americana.
Well, I have found that I like Aruba quite a lot. It is very like the other Dutch islands, rough seas and desert in the north, calm seas and sandy beaches in the south. Crazy cartoon like Dutch gable buildings, and yes a few more casinos and lots more designer shops and yes Taco Bell and Dunkin’ Donuts and a few supersize yachts in the marina. But also, I note that in the marina are lots of tiny pirogues with names like SEA FLY spray painted on them, so its very upmarket and downtown too in there. And there is still that demented Pappiamiento in the air, and calypso jamming from shops and people here are very friendly. Today a taxi picked me up, and when I told him how much I liked the blues he was playing, he handed me the CD from his player. Oranjestad, the capital, just like the towns on other Caribbean islands, is a cultural creole mix, it’s own place.
The marina, by the way, is crawling with lizards. Fat beefy bastards, these ones pictures are babies.