Friday, October 29, 2010

My friends visit Miami.....

The last two weeks have been very nice: friends from Curaçao have come visiting. I truly enjoyed that! First came Mary...she is a lot of fun. Never a dull moment, interesting insights in the goings on of the island: tidbits of Life in the Tropics. She was here with her husband and made time to meet me for lunch. We met in Barnes & Noble in Coral Gables, sort of middle ground between her hotel and my house. Worked a treat! Parked there and walked to a raw bar restaurant on Miracle Mile. It was lunch hour rush, but we got great service since Mary had been visiting frequently during this trip! Food was good, drinks and conversation even better. We walked back and bought some little things and said goodbye, until next time she is in Miami. When I go to Curaçao next time she has moved on to Aruba....what to do. Looking forward to her visits!

This week, Elssy came calling. She is a dear friend from year and years. Getting together with her gave me the opportunity to see Mary (different one!) who also lives in Miami and used to live in Curacao...I know, this is a pattern. This Mary and I try to get together regularly, but not always succeed. She travels, I travel, she lives on Key Biscayne, I lived on Brickell Key....Miami is just too complicated. Believe like planning a military operation. Anyway, I met them at Dadeland Mall, accompanied them while they shopped....had lunch. Caught up with the latest island "redo"...couldn't have been better!

I have made new friends since moving here...and I am not one for making new friends; but they can open your eyes to new things. These friendships can also be uncomplicated.....a definite plus, who doesn't like mindless fun? You are bound to try new things too, and why not? Still, old friends, the ones that know you, the ones that can read you and know where are you coming from, can give advise because they know all the circumstances, the ones you can be yourself with at all times....those are priceless!!! So here is to those friends...may they keep coming to visit!!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


When we lived in Curacao, Saturdays were not my favorite. After the hectic week, the grocery shopping, the committee meetings, the office, and not that I didn't do fun things: Wednesday bridge, Thursday Happy Hour, Friday at the movies....Frankie went to the office in the morning, came home, had lunch....later, went to play tennis at the club. I usually went together with my friend Kathy for breakfast, wandered around shopping or visiting, came home for lunch....went walking with friends in the late afternoon.

If there was a wedding, a birthday party, dinner with friends, it was a good Saturday. We plowed along, waited. There was the certainty of friends always there, the week was busy and engaging, Sundays were relaxing and there was the beach. Still Saturday was not completely fulfilling. Once the decision was made to move to Miami, I was looking forward to a change in Saturdays......well...NEEE!

When we first moved, we went to the movies every weekend, had drinks at some nice spot, walked around the island after dinner. Not much difference from Curaçao, but Frankie said all would changed once we settled in our new home. I was skeptical, and I was right! As in every place you live, you have to do your own thing, there is no guaranty anyone will look you up.....not even family.

Nowadays, Miami's Saturdays have become a routine: tennis in the morning, brunch, errands or, better yet, in good weather (not all the time!) sitting by the pool. Church, dinner, television..ugh! Do not get me wrong: there are tons of things to do here, it is just you wander sometimes who to do them with. Sharing is not part of this city's culture, I guess. Seems I forgot the Golden Rule: bloom where you are planted!!!. Definitely needed a reminder and should start planning ahead for Saturdays.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Rain and Rebirth.....

During the months and days coming up to Curaçao independence rained cats, dogs and chihuahuas. For those of you that know the island, this is rare indeed. The island is more like a desert with a beach; shrubs and bush, some tall trees and nothing of the luxuriant flora seen in other islands in the Caribbean. Everything that looks out of place, probably has been imported: like mango, palm and other fruit trees. Even the famous laraha (orange) used to make the famous Curaçao liqueur, was brought by the Spanish hoping to cultivate the sweet Valencia orange in the sunny island...well, they were disappointed. The fruit turned sour and can only be used to cook or to make the liqueur!

So when there is a really wet rainy season, or it last too long or both....everyone senses something is amiss. This year it has been raining for months, and not the kind of rain that usually pounds the island and dries as fast as it takes the sun to come out. No, this years it has been relentless and heavy, sometimes with awesome displays of thunder and lighting. That is so uncommon, people started to think that there was a reason the heavens were opening up in such a way.....The suspicious mind of islanders, who are always attuned with nature because their lives are so intertwined with it, immediately told them. It gets that way on the islands, you learned to feel the place, catch its vibes and understand the coming and goings. It is an experience, I tell you!

Anyway, it rained and rained and rained......there was flooding and the soil was saturated and the heat got unbearable, the mosquitoes and other flying pest came out in droves. I was there twice this Summer and couldn't believe was as if a wet blanket was wrapped around this piece of Paradise! A few times during the years I lived there, we had the odd long and wet rainy season, but this was really too much. The political climate was also not too cut and dry. There were elections and negotiations to form a coalition government and things were said and done and tempers was something else to watch and all the while it rained!

Finally, everything came to a point islanders understood: 10-101-10 was coming. All these displays of nature and people's behavior were just like a big lying-in......Curaçao as an independent country was about to be born and these were the pains of labor! The rain subsided and the rebirth has taken place. That difficult part over, this new country can take a deep breath and begin its new life. It is time for the people, like loving parents, to nurture and help and cajole and guide their new country into the force it can become in the Caribbean area.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pais Korsow!!!!!

Today is a historic day for that beautiful has become the newest country in the world. The Netherlands Antilles has ceased to exist. This concept was created in 1954 when the six remaining islands under the Dutch colonial rule became an independent partner within the Kingdom of the Netherlands: Aruba, Boanire, Curaçao, St. Maarten, St. Eutatius (known as Statia) and Saba. They became known as: The Netherlands Antilles. This association lasted until 1986 when Aruba negotiated for a place of its own within the Kingdom. The remaining five islands stayed together.

In a world of economic ups and downs and with little natural resources, The Netherlands Antilles found strength in numbers. At the same time, the differences in economic circumstances, size, mentality, language (Curaçao and Bonaire speak Papiamentu as their everyday language, St. Maarten, Statia and Saba speak English) and the fact that they are scattered in the vast Caribbean Sea made for an uneasy union. It's been one long period of disagreements, small frictions and a need for a solution. Finally it has come to this: Bonaire, Statia and Saba are now part of the Kingdom with no independent government. St. Maarten and Curacao are becoming countries in their own right, independent but still within the Kingdom.

At the stroke of midnight on 10-10-10 it was Curaçao's turn. Crown Prince Wilhelm Alexander and his wife Princess Maxima were in attendance as were political figures, consuls, important persons from the island. There was celebration and canon fired, fireworks and, I am sure, a bit of sadness. It is the end of an era. Most people I know have lived under this structure all their lives. A new era has started and the people of the island are full of hope and energy. They are prepared to do a lot to make this work. I have no doubt that they will. As a friend pointed out: a lot of people call their countries motherland, but no other people call themselves children of their country when expressing their nationality. Curaçaoans call themselves: Yu di Korsow, (child of Curaçao) My congratulations to all...masha, masha PABIEN!!!!!