Straight To De Soul

Sunday, April 16, 2006

A horse! a horse! My kingdom for a horse!

Today was horse racing day on Nevis, sister island to St.Kitts.

First the race was off, then on, then off, then who knew. Finally at 16:00 hours, the first race was on. Three thoroughbred horses and their jockeys, good looking steeds/riders, took off clockwise (the English style) around the oldest race track in the Caribbean. The track is located along the beach, on the island side that faces Monserrat, a neighboring island about 30 miles away. For the price of 15 EC, one can sit in the grandstand, complete with boxes for the press, owners and other important people.

We were only able to watch one race, as our ferry back to St.Kitts was due to depart at 5:00 pm, but the one race we saw was worth all the wait. Several images stay with me, such as a bleating baby sheep, rolling surf, a blue sky with a clear view of Montserrat, and a jockey in virginal white garb that rides without his stirrups, holding on to the horse only on with the might of his thighs. Unfortunately, the innovative horse/jockey pair lost by half a horse's length.

On his way back to the start line, the white rider took a fall, but he was up on his legs again in no time, eagerly greeted by his horse who had wondered what had happened to him.

Yours Truly,

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Good Friday on St.Kitts is all about flying kites, and there is no better way to watch it than laying on the hood of your car.

Needless to say, I passed out and took a wee nap while staring of into the blue sky, following all those colored dots that are climbing higher and higher and higher until there is no more line and the sky is alive with tiny paper dragons.

PS: In Germany, kite flying is called Drachenfliegen, which literally means to fly dragons.

Yours Truly,

Balmy Palm Sunday on St. Kitts

Do you know what St. Kitts has in common with Rome apart from the holy day? At both locations the stations of the cross are framed by palm leaves. The Vatican has to import the palm leaves; on St. Kitts we grow them locally.

Yours Truly,


Need I say more? They are here in the Caribbean, those furry little arachnids known from the Southwest of the USA. Caribbean tarantulas come in different shades of brown and black as is the case with the wee one from Nevis. They live in holes in the ground, probably in many people's gardens; they only come out at night and as I was told, "Their bite is very painful, but not deadly."

Yours Truly,

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Honky Tonk Sugar City Blues

I had to buy a car to get around the island as I live on Frigate Bay where most of the expatriates and affluent Kittitians live and therefore the buses never venture. To drive a car successfully on St.Kitts, one has to obey several written and unwritten laws.

1. Cars drive on the leftside of the road and the best way to remember is, Always have your butt on the side of the midline.

2. At any point in time, dogs, cats, single and herds of goats, cows, roosters, hens and tiny peeps will cross the road. Always have your eyes on the road.

3. Signals indicating turns are irregularly used. Do not depend on them.

4. Everybody is in a hurry, and although there are only 34 miles of road around the island, everybody wants to get there fast. Beware of passing cars and keep your foot close to the break pedal.

5. The horn is to be used at all times. In particular, when going around a blind curve, honk; when passing a bus, honk; upon seeing someone you know, honk. There is always a situation where one could honk, so just honk.

6. Mind at all times the sleeping policeman (aka speed bump) and the traffic wardens in downtown Basseterre.

7. Do not expect to see much at night as the street ligths are few and far between. Always drive with your brights on even if the oncoming traffic is blinded by the light.

8. Round-abouts are sooo much fun.

9. Kittitian roads are steep, so a good set of brakes is essential.

10. Just honk.

Yours Truly,

HASHING on ST. Kitts

On Saturday, I walked my third hash. You, who are not familiar with the HASH, check out the website. Hashes are every three weeks and there are runners and walkers. I am a walker for now:>

Just like last time, we went up into the canefields, then into the rainforest, and 2 hours later, it was over. Initially, as always, I was bypassed by young and old, but the longer we walked, the stronger I got, while those who had previously passed me fell aside. Maybe it is my lack of competetive spirit that allows me to be overtaken by elderly people. However, in the end, it remains that while I am not fast, I do keep on trucking, which gets me there.

Oh - I didn't mention - it's hard work, and while climbing up the hills in 87F with very high humidity, my calves are trembling, not in anticipation, but in pain, and are in dire need of carbohydrates, and my face is bathed in sweat. Nevertheless, I can only recommend hashing; it's a great way to see the island.

I have been told Hash houses are everywhere across the world. Join one and find out that the afterparty is not to be missed. It's liming time all over again!

Yours Truly,

Doobie Doobie DOO Kittitian Style

They (the press) say Franky, that's Sinatra knew about the doobie doo.

Last weekend on the way back from the beach, I was first offered a cab drive, and then to have a couple of doobies in my car.

It took me a few moments to grasp the meaning, as I only know the term "doobie doobie do" from Franky's "Strangers in the Night." I smiled and declined; however, on my way home, I contemplated how many people probably agree to a sing-a-long with the "Stranger in the Night."

"Do dody doby do
do doo de la
da da da da ya..... "

Since my encounter, I have been finding a few empty tiny ziploc bags on the beaches. It appears that "Strangers in the Night" is a solid hit on St.Kitts.

Yours Truly,