Cruise Day 2

December 24, 2007
Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Also read: Lee's Day 2 synopsis.

You could fill a book (or a hundred thousand books!) with the things I don't know. When asked where our cruise was going... I'd shrug and say "Caribbean". Even when I knew the names of the islands we'd be visiting, there was nothing else attached in my mind. Here are a couple of things I didn't know about St. Maarten:

  • It has 2 capital cities: Philipsburg (the Dutch capital) and Marigot (the French capital)
  • The island was taken over by the French and Dutch because of the salt flats that produce excellent salt.
Just so you know, flip-flops are comfortable for the 1st 2 miles, but the 2nd 2 miles is asking for it. Oh! Also, that scarf/wrap I bought, I saw in the very 1st shop on the boardwalk. I bought it on our way out, and it was only $6. I'm not a very good tourist. We did not go in one single jewelry, booze, or duty-free shop, although we saw roughly a million of them.

Me with my scarf/wrap, and very handsome man:

We bought foot cream in a tiny, cramped hole-in-the-wall "pharmacy". A man (tourist, also) asked me if I knew how much such-and-so cost, and I said "Does it really matter? You know you're going to buy it anyway." He laughed and said "You're right."

You know in stores how they often put expensive, or age sensitive, or shop-liftable items behind the counter? In this pharmacy, where I was expecting to see, oh, I don't know, condoms, cigarettes, or magazines, they had 3 packs of men's underwear.

This "throw-away" shot turned out to be one of my favorites from that day. I was fiddling with my polarizing lens, trying to get the sky bluer. Like it really needed my help ("Don't tamper in God's domain", and all that.), but anyway... I like how Paul's orange shirt keeps the balance with the orange building, or at least keeps drawing my eye.

And from the Thanks for the Heads Up Department:

I don't know if you've experienced this... I hadn't until Cozumel in 2004. A whole bunch of places in the world do not have toilet systems that can handle toilet paper, so you throw it in the garbage. I remembered in 2004 that I had seen this as a child and it didn't make sense until just that moment. I was at John Ball Park Zoo in Grand Rapids, MI with my folks? and possibly other family members, and I was in the bathroom, and a family of non-English speakers were in there and they threw their used toilet paper in the garbage. I reported this to my family, and I can't remember what they said, probably because it didn't make sense to me and didn't connect to any experience I'd ever had in my 7 years. Now I know. Huh.

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