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Monday
Mar152010

Partying with the Friars

Location: Chez Kali, Friar's Bay, St. Martin

Rating:

We were a little slow getting started yesterday as Steve had work to do, but eventually we found our way out to Friar's Bay (Anse des Peres). It was a perfect day, and the beach was heavenly - I could understand why those wily old Friars approved of it. 

Yesterday was the first of three days expected to have amazing visibility, and the predictions were absolutely right. I got in to take a swim, and could easily see the bottom w/ my mask on, even when I was in ~ 20 feet of water. So there I was, swimming my "laps" (I know, the French are definitely laughing at me). For some reason, I'm rarely scared of critters when I'm diving, but when I'm swimming, all I can think of is the shark that's probably trailing behind me (I like to do "crazy ivans" every so often to check). Yesterday I was happily swimming along when I saw a sudden movement out of the corner of my eye. As I flopped to a stop with a big gulp, I realized what it was - a turtle! Way cool. And I had scared it off. It probably observed my technique, thought I was some wounded creature, and decided to get away before the predators arrived. 

After my lovely swim, we sat ourselves at the beach bar for a late lunch. Kali's Cafe is a Jamaican lounge in the true sense - the afternoon air, even outside, was pervaded by what I like to call the Scent of the Isles (a smell everyone in SF would readily recognize). My club sandwich was only OK - I refrained from putting mayo on it when I realized the bottle was nowhere resembling cold, on a hot, sunny day - but the french fries were fantastic. Forget freedom fries, the French truly do know how to make a mean pomme frites. But I digress. 

At the end of our meal (and several mid-afternoon beers to celebrate having survived our last hangover), the waitress arrived with the traditional flavored rum digestif. Only, it smelled like tequila - a dead giveaway that we had a problem. She said it was rum flavored with ginger. Likely story. Then the Jamaican gentleman who had helped set up our chairs arrived on the scene, and explained in Franglais that this drink was intended to raise the dead... specifically the man, if you catch his drift. So, when no one was looking, I tossed my shot under the table into the sand in an attempt to avoid a similar fate to last Friday evening. When I was done, Steve said "Hey, is that the guy from Baywatch?" and would you believe I fell for it? Upon turning around, I had another full shot in front of me. I was forced to repeat my surreptitious performance. 

I have a sneaking suspicion that no one EVER actually drinks the ginger rum, because no sooner had I disposed of them, than the waitress brought us ANOTHER ROUND. And the Jamaican guy sat down with us. So, I had no choice but to drink the second one, after which I appreciated even more that I had skipped the first. I was breathing fire. I was also talked into sharing the only French profanity that I know, at which point the quiet French couple and their 1-yr-old who had been sitting at a nearby table abruptly grabbed their belongings and left. I thought I knew what it meant...

After our afternoon in the sun, and knowing that I was diving today, we decided to have a quiet night at home. However, we ended up having a guest for the evening and dinner: Steve's new soulmate. He's the endearingly cheeky 12-yr-old son of our friends Kristin and Marc, and he and Steve really relate to each other on many levels. I just can't believe that here we are in St. Martin, and Steve has found a friend who has an Xbox and playstation and loves Assasins Creed 2 as much as he does. On several beautiful evenings I have found myself trekking up to their house to collect my husband, like he's a wayward teenager, at which point his parents offer to pay Steve for babysitting. He and Steve are truly like twins separated at birth (give or take 28 yearrs). Last night Steve showed him how to do some coding, and I swear, I witnessed a hacker being born. 

 

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