Many years ago, I should say 2 decades ago or more, I was sent on Temporary Duty to work at our Canadian High Commission in Trinidad & Tobago that little Commonwealth Nation in the Caribbean. I stayed there for 6 weeks at the Hilton which was said to be upside down because its reception was on the roof of the building and the hotel itself was built downwards hanging on a cliff at the bottom of which was the pool and terrace. The hotel had one restaurant and every meal was a buffet, nothing but buffet food, three times a day. Going elsewhere was out of the question for security reasons. There was also few guests at the hotel, so it was a bit of a golden cage.
It was a very boring time, lots of work at the Office, our manager Brian would often disappear after lunch to go play golf, being a young Officer I found that unacceptable, not realizing that this is the way a lot of managers ran their offices at our Missions. After work there was nothing else to do but go to the beach which after a week was starting to feel very limiting. The only interesting sight where the vultures who walked along the beach looking at people but not disturbing anyone.
I was told then that vultures only pick the bones of the dead and they know when you are dead, so they will not peck at a sunbather sleeping, a reassuring thought I suppose.
I did fall asleep on the beach one day, only to wake up and see about 8 vultures looking at me from close range, they are ugly birds and they were startled when I shoo them away looking annoyed as if to say, oh well we have to move on.
The only thing they had to eat at the beach restaurant was a sandwich called shark bait which was a piece of bread or bun stuffed with a piece of grilled fish and hot sauce, it was tasty and different.
One weekend I decided to fly to the other island Tobago which is all of 10 minutes away in a 737 airplane, imagine the waste of fuel using such a plane for such a short flight, I flew on BWIA, it was Trinidad and Tobago airline and went bankrupt in 2006. Tobago was even more quiet than Trinidad, if not more so and the only people I met were ex-pat Canadians who drank far too much all day and every day, who operated small motels and they rented rooms to people like me who came over for the weekend. It all had an air of old colonial setting, the Sun had not quite set on this part of the British Empire.
When my duty time was over I was very happy to leave and return to Canada, I promised myself never to live on an Island, to confining I thought, but that was almost 30 years ago.
Now we live here on PEI, an Island, the difference is that life here is quite lively and numerous activities and things to do. We do have the loveliest of beaches but alas no vultures, I do not miss them, don’t worry. We have instead lovely foxes which are far more congenial.
The other day Will said to me, you do not want to leave the Island, strangely enough, I don’t and I do not know why. Maybe after a life of travelling around the planet and living here and there, I simply want to stay put. Am quite happy with the current state of affairs, I am not saying that we will always be here and not travel anywhere else, no that is not true. I would love to visit Halifax and see other spots in the Maritimes. It’s just that I do not have the travel bug anymore.
Then I saw a photo in one of the last posts by Sophie who had a blog until a few days ago on Mali where she lived for 11 years owning an hotel in Djenné. In this photo she appears in our friend David N. apartment in London with Susan, of course J. is not in the photo because he prefers not to appear or in this case he is the photographer. Looking at the photo taken in May, I thought we have been to London many times but I never saw David and J. apartment which looks absolutely lovely and comfortable, full of books and stuff.
So maybe we will have to return to London one day if for no other reason but to look at that apartment.