GHB has the best wi-fi I had seen in weeks so it was already great that I got there early but it became even greater when I got to help the staff sing along with all the melodramatic radio ballads before any other passengers showed up. For my layover day in Nassau I took the ferry over to Atlantis and the casinos because I couldn’t bring myself to visit the Pirate Museum with the wax Anne Bonny. All I have to say about the “authentic” markets on Bay Street in downtown is that Bob Marley is not Bahamian.
Nassau has a lot of the gentle introductory parts of a developing country (hilariously non-compliant construction sites, questionable electricity supply, driving by touch) without the violent crime or the heartbreaking poverty. It is also just enough still in the Commonwealth to have GR postboxes but nothing so updated as EIIR. It is clearly adapted for American cruise tourists because the bars advertise “all NCAA and NFL games” and the hotel TV has Cartoon Network and Say Yes To The Dress, but as soon as you get on the local bus there is faith healing on the radio station. I never figured out the social power hierarchy, because while the inviolable rule seems to be to make fun of yourself before the other person ribs you back, I observed a taxi driver nearly prostrate himself in front of the traffic controller in order to get a better fare.
Next time through I’d like to skip Nassau altogether and go straight to the family islands, but if I have to stay overnight then I hope it is a weekend so I can go to the zoo or a fish fry or to church with a baptist, eat myself sick on piña colada rum cake, and rent a scooter. Trip notes and lessons: Inside out french braids work well for a Caribbean climate. A nice way to carry wet flip flops is on a carabiner. I forgot a sun hat and my list of addresses, but who notices the postmarks on their presents anyway and otherwise the most lasting trip disaster will probably be my mosquito bites (so itchy). I went $14.20 over budget if you count buying a book of stamps when I got home and if you include being rescued by Emily Packer, Australian Travel Angel back at SFO.
Good times, good times, and a good start to 2014.
Although not quite as ad-hoc as the last beach wedding I attended, this one was also as DIY as it was full of laughter and love. The day before the Big One was prep day at the Villa de las Palmas, a stunning beachfront property where Curtis, Evan, and myself formed Team Frond and scoured waterline of the postcard-perfect pink (!) sand beach for driftwood and downed palm fronds with which to fuel the wedding bonfire. I hemmed trousers for wedding outfits, organized and built cakes, and generally tried to be useful. Pablo, Evan and I ended the day with a thoroughly companionable viewing of The Wolverine, where the rules of the drinking game were (1) gratuitous ninjas, (2) gratuitous feats of strength or (3) gratuitous pecs.
The wedding itself was perfect and the fact that the jamón ibérico was stuck in Bahamian customs was just a beautiful wabi sabi detail that made everything more perfect. The vows were heartfelt, the bonfire burned true, and the masks and stick-on mustaches released the electric boogaloo in all of us.
A lovely wedding video is available here.