By now I have ran out of adjectives and adverbs to describe my island habitat. Words like “slow”, “languid”, “calm”, “turquoise”… started to lose their flavor. Novelty was replaced by stagnant lethargy. Paradise or not it really was an island… a really I-kid-you-not small island. There was nothing to do. If I stay here much longer I will certainly go crazy.
We met another American by sundown and walked toward the Split. There was a bar there, its wooden walls twisting and rotting in the tropical heat. “Too many mosquitoes”. The proprietor of the bar was packing up. So we turned around and wandered.
And suddenly there was loud music. Rhythmic Soca music. The street, empty a minute ago, now filled with people. A parade of vehicles materialized from the island darkness, each carried way more people than it should. A golf cart led the way, followed by pick up trucks laden with children and acoustic contraptions spewing loud, head splitting music.
The occasion turned out to be St. George’s Caye Day tomorrow, a holiday commemorating a famous battle off the eponymous island. The parade, which was also held on nearby (noisier) Ambegris Caye, was called the “Firetruck Parade”. As the mysterious name suggested, Caye Caulker’s lone ancient fire truck was dragged out of hibernation, decorated, and driven loudly around the island. Combined with the heat, the humidity, the mosquitoes, we had a perfect concoction for insomnia.
Listless and bored, we sat our sloven selves around the table at Yuma’s, drinking beer. The moonlight lit up the ocean behind us. Someone had the bright idea of going to the “I&I Reggea Bar”, one of the two “night clubs” on Caye Caulker. (Imagine, a nightclub on an island that took 15 minutes to walk from end to end).
4 Americans, 2 Aussies, and a German named Fred walked into a poorly lit tiki bar with a disco ball…