Wednesday, June 22, 2016

St. Martin

View of the anchorage….
Dutch side 

It's funny how there's a certainty to some intangible things  in life, that bad things, like waves, undeniably come in sets of three.  Shortly upon arriving in St Martin, Frank tweaked his back and was laid up for an entire week.   As if the passing of his dear grandmother wasn't enough, poor guy can't seem to catch a break, injuring himself the 2nd day we get here, forcing him to be stuck in bed in pain, with only his thoughts to haunt him.  This, of course, was followed directly after discovering, back in the BVIs, that our Lavac toilet pump shat the bed, pun intended…   With him being laid up, it was up to me to track down this pump. WIth my fingers crossed and hopeful, armed with the belief that we couldn't be that unlucky, I had my sister call around to both Budget Marine as well as Island Waterworld (the West Marines of the Caribbean) to locate it.  Thankfully both places had it, of course at nearly $100 more than in the states, which I was more than happy to pay as it meant not having to worry about waiting til after dark so no one could see me shit off the side of the boat.  Ahhhhh….the glamourous life of yachting…

So with Frank being out of commission, i spent the first week discovering this charming island on my own.  Of all the beautiful attractions and beaches this place has to offer, my favorite sadly turns out to be the supermarket near Marigot bay.  You think I'm joking, but I'm not.   This market called Super U was really the highlight of the month.  It's like a French Publix, offering a variety of all of my favorite foods at very reasonable prices (comparable to Walmart in the states).  It had a huge produce section with crisp arugula, fresh basil, and cauliflower; a cheese section with balls of fresh mozzarella and Brie; and fresh baked baguettes that cost less than $1, all of which sent my heart racing.  It also had a section dedicated to cured meats, terrines, rillettes, and liver mousses that nearly put me into cardiac arrest.  I was even able to buy beef carpaccio and steak tartare in a package which had me wondering, why can't Americans have sophisticated palettes like the French? The cherry on top of all of this was the wine section, offering French wines for $3 a bottle, which turned out to be far superior in quality than any medium priced wines back in the states.  With its subtle berry notes and soft finish slow dancing on my tongue, it was all I could do to not renounce my citizenship.

All of this was evidently too overwhelming for my deprived gluttonous inner fat kid,  and I found myself chuckling at my frivolous purchases as I unloaded random cans of terrine, tripe, Roasted Chicken flavored potato chips, and cornichons from my backpack the first day.  This subsequently gave me an excuse to go back nearly every day, picking up little things that we actually needed for the boat, and reporting to Frank about how he needed to get better so that he could check this place out.  I was afraid that I was hyping it up too much to him until I saw his wide eyes light up like a kid on Christmas morning, when he finally felt well enough to hobble up to the market with me.  Like me, he was completely overwhelmed, slowly scanning every single aisle, picking up random packages with his mouth agape, repeating "Can you believe this?" It was nice to see him happy, if only for a brief moment, and the shared glee made me secretly relieved to see that I wasn't the only crazy one overly excited for these foreign culinary delights laid out before us.  Its the little things in life…

Tomato, Tomotto
Cheese galore
Did someone say liver, terrine, and blood sausage?
Yup, that says 2.8 Euro...

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