Saturday, July 31, 2010

Wearing Oranje......

Back from Paradise! Yes, the trip was wonderful and almost everything I expected. Went to the beach, watched the sunsets, went to new restaurants and to old favorites, had drinks on Thursdays, played bridge on Wednesdays, cuddled the new baby, visited my oldest friend (she is 91!), had lunch, dinner, breakfast with friends, talked and talked and listened to all the redo (gossip) !!! It was fabulous.....as I expected. One BUT, though. I had to see the dentist and that part is never pleasant. Still, he is very good and things were alright, now I need to go back at some point to finish the treatment. Couldn't be better!

You must be wondering why the tittle of this post. Well, the Dutch have descended on the island as I never expected. There is a veritable invasion....retirees, young couples with children, young single professionals, tourists, investors. Construction sites are everywhere, new hotels, restaurants, businesses. Dutch is heard everywhere and you can see signs of this continuing in the near future. It is the future.....

In many ways, with the new deal the island is getting from the Kingdom, is to be expected. As of October 10, 2010, Curaçao will enter into a new partnership with Holland. Not a minute too soon according to some, absolutely not the thing to do according to others. Either way, it is inevitable since the people has spoken in two referendums and it is a fait-accompli. As in every time a major change comes along, there are divisions, but in general, I think people are pleased with this change. It will work out well for the island in general. The world is evolving into a village, countries are intertwined. The state of the global economy is in shambles, unity in the face of collapse is the order of the day. Smaller nations cannot survive easily and need all the help they can get, so let's be positive about this change.

The influx of Dutch citizens have brought money and prosperity. The fact that tourism has become a vital part of the economy (it was not always the case) has changed the atmosphere of the island. It used to be more laid-back and relaxed, more sleepy-town than tourist haven, more familiar and friendly than hectic and......friendly! That is the part that has not changed much. You still feel like everyone knows you and everyone is truly interested in your answer when they ask: kon ta ku bo? (how are you?). And really mean it when they wish you Bon Siman (good week!) every Monday.

Another thing that never lets me down: the sheer beauty of this small piece of rock laying like a jewel in the Caribbean's Windward Islands. It has been raining, so the approach by plane offers a green mantle covering most of the island. Christoffelberg is lush and beautiful, resplendent in the sun. The rough North Coast is full of life with high waves and necklaces of foam, the South Coast is ringed with small coves and bays of the most amazing shades of blue. The city and small towns are alive with cars and homes and roads. This beauty can't never disappoint! So even if the island is wearing Oranje......this is still Paradise!!!! and I can understand why the Dutch are flocking to it....

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Mercedes,
I like your blog, it's really interesting (specially the posts about Curacao). I'm a French professional, and going to relocate to Curacao by the end of the year.

Do you have some good addresses to share? any websites or forums for expats (I'm trying to find people to share an accomodation)?

Thanks
Bruce

Sunset Goddess said...

Thanks, Bruce! I lived there for about 20 years. Love it still...take time to travel every chance I get. It has changed, but it's still so beautiful.
If you are moving there for work, your company should be able to help, but go to curacao.com
They have very good information on the place. On Facebook you can find a Curaçao Tourist Board page and a there is also a ChristoffelPark page. Become friends with those and you'll get information on events, changes, political news and more.You are in for a treat, enjoy!!!

Mercedes de Marchena said...

Hello Bruce!
Did you finally move to paradise? Never heard from you about it, hope you did.
Drop a line when you have the time!
I am now trying to gear my move to Panama. Still, the island is very close to my heart...