"The road that could not be built"


How is it that an island surrounded by salt water, with no visible standing fresh water anywhere can have such a problem with mosquitoes?  Seriously, I am Floridian, I am well acquainted with mosquitoes, and this is an unprecedented level of mosquito swarming and buzzing, even for me.  And they’re sneakier than the mosquitoes at home too.  Instead of biting you and taking a little ride while they get their fill of your delicious delicious blood like normal mosquitoes, these seem to bite and disappear.  It’s like they know I am about to wallop them so they fly off.  They must have special salt water spidey senses.  Or something.

The island is comprised of little villages.  From what I can tell, there is The Bottom, St. Johns, and Windwardside (in that order).  Most of the names are very imaginative; The Bottom is the valley and Windwardside is very windy.  I feel like the local engineers must have saved all of their creativity for the road.  You would think that on an island that is only five square miles there wouldn’t be many cars or much need of a lot of roadways.  You’d be wrong.  The Road is twisty and scary and steep and reinforced on the sides with stones that I bet were chiseled off of a cliff somewhere.  I was trying to go from The Bottom to Windwardside today- to go to the hardware store where my package is going to be delivered to pay some entry tax or something like that- and I only made it about 200 yards before I wanted to die.  Or at least my legs did.  Florida is flat and mostly below sea level.  These mountains are actually mountains.  So, I did what any resourceful Florida girl would do and flagged down the next passing car and caught a ride.  Hitchhiking is apparently very common on the island.  The gentleman that picked me up turned out to be Alain, the local mechanic, who was in quite a hurry because someone “needed a new differential yesterday.”  Although Alain was only going to St. Johns (the middle village) he brought me all the way to Windwardside.  As we were driving I noticed that NO ONE WAS WALKING.  So, when I was done with my errands I caught a ride home too.  I figure, when in Rome…

Oh yeah, they called him the "engineer of this road that could not be built"

I love locals.  I love local characters even more.  While I was waiting on my Chinese food at the Lime Time Chinese Restaurant (oh yes, there is a Chinese takeout place, you should be super impressed) I met the kindliest older gentleman, a real live actual Saban.  His name is Michael.  He “works in government” and is the “head of the agriculture department and the island veterinarian.”  From Michael I learned that there are more than the goats, chickens and dogs I’ve seen on the island.  There are also sheep, pigs, cats and COWS.  I haven’t seen a cow yet.  Maybe they’re hiding the cows?  I feel like I have seen a good bit of the five square mile and no cows.  And cows are pretty big, so they MUST BE HIDING THE COWS.

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