Posted on March 18th, 2013
Jan 8th: Aspiring foodie adventurist/traveling hipster doofus Hawksbill “White Raisin In The Sun” Free Turtle wikiconjures a leeward image of the local USVI food culture.
Jan 9th am: Lunch pail list completed:
1.Try conch, fungee, callaloo, and mauby.
2. Eat as much fresh fish as possible
3. Drink each of the following local beverages: pumpkin punch, sorrel, soursop punch, banana punch, peanut punch, bush tea and lemon tea among others.
4. If all else fails, subsist on coffee, painkillers, and Johnnycakes.
Jan 9th pm: Reads friend’s email informing him “Caribbean actually imports most of its seafood!” Notes #2 on list will take some extra panache. Uses the word panache for the first time in his notes. Notes this.
Jan 10th: Mission and homemade raspberry strudel in hand, off Hawksbill sails (flies, JetBlue) to the Danish West Indies. Arrives in St. Thomas’ windswept realm of drunken boobs and sunken booty to light rain showers. First peril or pearl, the infamous Cruzan cry “ Free Rum Shots!” Oh brother, did she say free?!
Jan 11th: Breakfast of coffee, Advil, and breath-chortling ocean views. Plans to color himself Bourdain. Result? Fails to find most anything on list. Revert to #4. Order Painkillers and conch fritters (what little conch was present, they may as well have been Johnnycakes) at beach bar. Wallows in beach chair half in the water, half out, commandeering Vitamin D like an undernourished solar panel.
Later cannot find the “locals” restaurant of which the sun-fried bartender spoke. Settles for obvious tourist trap. Orders the caesar salad, fish option is grouper imported from Brazil, goes with the chicken and another painkiller, can be heard exclaiming, “Great Edward Teach’s Cognomen this is good!” (not the salad)
Jan 12th: Repeat Jan 11th minus conch fritters. Exchanges one perfect beach for the next, adds a few Painkillers. Notes his adventurous vigor has gone the way of a captain-less ship. Wayward and intoxicated stumbles upon pineapple, soursop, and nutmeg at a small family stand on the outskirts of Tutu. Discovers pineapple soursop is local. Rejoices. Buys 3 whole nutmegs to grind into celebratory Painkillers.
Jan 13th: Notes he must take a day off from Painkillers. Travels via aptly named “Tuglife” car ferry out of Red Hook to St.John. Gets told his camera needs to be confiscated due to homeland security regulations at port. Politely informs the “security” officer that there is not a snowball’s chance in the fiery hell that he will relinquish his camera. SO says he is “playing a joke’ and that he “had him going.” Hawksbill notes that he is not amused and is glad he refused to “play” along with officers “prank.”
Jan 13th pm: Directly after lunch of local beer and leftover chicken salad it begins to rain. Takes the early ferry back to St. Thomas. Revels in the pictographic beauty of the islands and laments in his failure to find much in the way local food. Quickly stops lamenting in favor of oh so appropriately named Painkillers.
Jan 14th: Flies back to the great US of A having completed very few of his original tasks. Notes that he is feeling superior and pain free for not having done so.
Jan 15th: Hawksbill retires young and on top of his game from his brief career as a travel writer.