DITL :: 4.2.2020

Good morning! Actually, I had been awake for about half an hour before I took this picture. Made some coffee and tea, knit a bit until it was light enough to read (yes, we’re outside on the porch already).

This is after breakfast and after cleaning the kitchen, making the second pot of coffee for the day. Yes, we drink a lot of coffee.

I did a bit of cleaning (trying to keep up with my daily chores at least) and a load of laundry. It still feels so good to be able to hang it outside each time.

Work, work, work. Editing a novel by an author I’ve been working with before. I was actually looking forward to it, because I like her books, but this is a sad one. Still, it’s work, need to do it. I sent out a few emails and then I listened to the press conference for a while.

I’m finally getting fed up with the news. This morning the first time I checked was 9.30 (!). And I stopped watching the press conference shortly after it was announced that there are no new cases. The rest was a lot of:Ā  “Stay home!” from the government and “Yes, but I have to…” from everyone else. So fed up with that!

We had lunch and I finished the first round of editing on the sad book. It did have a happy ending, so I guess all’s well that ends well.

I needed more tea! (T. drinks lots of coffee, I drink two cups of coffee and two pots of tea).

So on top of things… Got the laundry off the line and put it away immediately. If I don’t, it sits in the basket for weeks.
After that chore, I decided to call it a day. I wanted to finish my book.

Uh, first I had to feed the cat, of course. He makes sure I don’t forget.

Finished! The second half was a bit disappointing. Not that the story wasn’t good, but I hoped for more about that clay Bible. You know, a bit of biblical controversy, some new ideas about how things could have been. But they were nothing but a stage setting for the rest of the story. It actually was a tale about past (WWII) crimes, evil people and revenge. The end was… sad, mostly.

I switched to this book for a while. It’s by a Catholic Priest who lived on Curacao in the late ’60s, early ’70s. He spoke a lot with the locals and wrote down everything they told them, to preserve their culture. No explanations, no thoughts about the backgrounds, he just documented it. His early series of books was reprinted in newer books, sorted into subjects. This one is about religion, superstition and rituals. Very interesting, but I have to read it bit by bit because it’s just too much to read in one sitting.

Uh, yes. My mama told me never to stack glasses. Ahem… One of them broke. And that’s sad since we only had two of these.

Today’s ingredients: minced meat, half a cauliflower, can of green beans, can of red beans, taco seasoning.

It doesn’t look like much, but it tasted very good!

Watering my plants. Today it was exactly one year since we officially registered ourselves as residents on Curacao. These plants are descendants of the plants I had to throw away in The Netherlands. When we arrived here a year ago, I had a few small cuttings in my suitcase.

This is how they looked a year ago.

And this is now. They grew quite well. I’m not going to write about everything else that happened during that year. There was some good stuff (this house!), but also a lot of sadness. But such is life.

Today’s sunset was hard to capture on camera. The sun was red, really deep red. Very special.

Three supermarkets

(random iguana picture)

Yesterday I went grocery shopping. When I (finally!) got home I realised that I visited three supermarket where things were all very different. So now I have something to blog about for Carole’s Three on Thursday šŸ˜‰

1. I started at Van den Tweel. That’s an hour drive for us, over the Juliana bridge, to the other side of town. It’s a supermarket that’s rooted in a Dutch chain and therefor very populair with Dutch people. I go there for bread (they have one type that my body can handle), rice cakes and anti mosquito spray (natural, low DEET that still works). In this supermarket I saw what I expected to see after our Corona measures were issued. Not very busy, people keeping their distance, hand sanitizer at the entrance, cashiers wearing gloves. There was enough food on the shelves, luckily, but they were out of rice cakes.

2. Then I went to Centrum. This is my go-to supermarket and I get the bulk of my stuff there. It’s the one closest to us and they have the best products (for what I need). Shoppers are a mix of local people and Dutch and Americans from the big gated resort close by.
Here, much to my surprise, it was business as usual. I saw some Dutch and American people standing close to each other, talking about how silly it all was. People were not keeping their distance at all. There was hand sanitizer, but nobody used it. Cashiers were wearing cloves, but the boys that help you pack were not. Shelves were filled like normal. They were out off eggs though.

3. I really needed eggs, so my next stop was Esperamos. Not my favorite supermarket, but also not too far from Centrum, so the best option to find eggs without driving all over the island. I had to park my car at the edge of the parking lot. I had to wait for my turn at the hand sanitizer. And the lines at the checkout were crazy!
I actually checked my phone to see if there was some disturbing news, but this was before the press conference*. There was still a lot of food on the shelves, but they were also almost out of eggs. Weird, since eggs are local. And why would you stockpile eggs? You can’t keep them that long. Anyway. I got my normal amount of eggs (I always shop for two weeks at a time), but they were all in boxes of 6, so I couldn’t get the fast lane, because I had too many items (I also bought a few rolls of rice cakes). So I waited and observed.
Lots of full carts. That’s not normal, because locals tend to shop for smaller amounts at supermarkets and get the big stuff at Costuless and Goisco (comparable to Costco I think). I saw a couple that had two carts and there were two overflowing carts standing in the middle without an owner. I guess he or she was filling up the third one.
Since I had a lot of time to think I realised that it was probably also busy because restaurants are closed and lots people are home from work. They tend to eat out a lot and get their food on their way to work/home or in their breaks. There is still take-out, but I guess more people are cooking their own food now.
Even though people were sanitizing there hands, nobody was keeping their distance, except one man who was constantly telling people to back off. Nobody talked about Corona, but I think it was on everybody’s mind. I just wish they would be more careful about protecting themselves.
It felt like an alternative reality. So strange. I was glad to go home where things were quite normal. We are used to being home and work from the porch most of the time anyway.

* Since the first case was reported on Friday we have press conferences daily at 11.30. On this day they started out by reporting there still were only three cases and the first one was still in IC, but stable. After a few minutes though, word came in that he died.

A smile and a tear

Last week I was driving around town to get groceries. It wasn’t my most lucky day, I might add. I wanted to get home as fast as possible because I left a sick husband (flu) there and I wasn’t fully up and running myself.
But somehow I kept running into delays. I had to drive to a supermarket far away to get something we really needed and I spent ten minutes waiting for a traffic light that decided that my lane wasn’t going anywhere and then five minutes to get out of that lane without getting into an accident and take a detour.
And then the road was blocked, just before I arrived at the supermarket and again when I tried to get off the parking lot with my car full of food.
But… My goodness. That last delay…
It’s Carnaval here, you know. They love their parties and holidays here, but Carnaval is the most important. It’s part of the quest for a culture of their own, started fifty years ago. The parades we still have were actually initiated by Dutch people (I read a book about the CuraƧao Carnaval a few weeks ago), but they shaped it into something really special and authentic. It’s a real community party, out on the streets, where everyone can join in. They save up for it all year and there are several parades spread over two weeks. (I blogged about it before: here and here)
This one was very special though. The local nursing home decided to have it’s own parade (I don’t know if they do this every year), with their own truck. Loud music on a truck is essential for a good parade, they say (in the big parade, every group has its own truck). I guess they could never do the big parades since that would mean spending hours and hours in the hot afternoon sun. But they still didn’t want to miss out. So there they went, wheelchairs and all. At the end of the parade, I even spied a bed and there was a bus following with people that I assume weren’t able to be out there. But there they were, celebrating their own Carnaval party.
I parked my car and just enjoyed the view and those happy, happy faces.
It brought a smile on my face too. And maybe a bit of a tear in my eyes.

Beach party

Last Saturday we spent an afternoon on the beach with friends. We had a bbq, drinks and lots of fun. I know I sound like a broken record, but this is what makes life here on the island so great.

I love the fact that this whole thing was “planned” only a week in advance (which was actually rather early, usually it’s just a few days). One couple brought up the idea and the location (San Juan beach – we’d never been there before) and asked who was coming, we made a bbq in the sand and everyone brought (way too much) food and drinks.

In Holland, it used to be so hard to plan a gathering with friends or family. You’d have to set a date weeks or even months in advance and it still would be hard to get everyone together in the same spot on the same date. It was often stressful to decide who to change the date for or not. Also, gathering inside most of the time, or in a (small – in The Netherlands we don’t have that much room) garden, means you have to be careful about how many people are actually coming.

Here, gathering with friends is so simple and relaxed. And that makes it so much (more) fun!

Postcards from Klein CuraƧao

Klein (Dutch for little) CuraƧao is a tiny island east of CuraƧao. It’s symbolized by the smaller star in the flag.
Even though people always say going on a boat trip there is one of the things one should do when on CuraƧao, we never did it. Until a few weeks ago. We took D. there and we had a wonderful day. We spent most of that day on the beach, just relaxing.
You know what was one of the best things about being on a small island? I couldn’t get off when I was done sitting and doing nothing, so I had to continue relaxing until it was time to go home. šŸ˜‰

A gray day

I took my camera to the beach that is closest to us (a 7-minute walk), to show you the blueness of the water. and the sky But I guess I jinxed the weather because when we walked down the clouds came in and both the sea and the sky turned gray(ish).
But this is CuraƧao, so there was still a lot of colors to be found…

Three things

When I’m too busy to write real blog posts, it’s always a good time to focus on the little things that make me happy. So that’s what you get today.

Three things that made me smile this week:

1. Parrots! They fly over our house often, but they hardly ever sit down close enough to take pictures of them. I do love the thought that these are ‘everyday birds’ here.

2. Rainbows. We see a lot of those lately too. Well yes, that also means we have a lot of rain, but hey, we need rain for the garden. And I love seeing rainbows! This was actually a double, but the camera didn’t pick up the fainter one.

3. This cat and his shenanigans. Such a quirky mixture between a domesticated house cat and a wild stray.

Linking up with Carole’s Three on Thursday

Through her eyes

We’ve been very busy. Work, buying a car, looking for a house. But also… having fun with our oldest girl visiting.
It all started as a joke. She posted a picture of the snow in our family group app, T. answered with a picture of the beach. Then she posted: ‘Can I come to stay with you?’ And T. answered: ‘Of course, if you bring an air mattress.’ (we’re still living in a studio apartment and have only one bed).
All in good fun.
But a day later I got a private message, quoting her father. ‘Can I take this seriously? I’d love to come and I can take some days off right now.’ (she works as a freelance make-up artist)
Well, why not? It turned out she didn’t even need to bring a mattress, as our landlord had a third bed the fits perfectly in our ‘living room’. It’s a bit crowded, but we can manage for a week.
The joke started on Wednesday, the private message was on Thursday, she booked on Friday and arrived Monday evening.

So this week we’ve been driving around the island even more than we usually do, showing her all our favorite places, the houses we didn’t buy, the beach and everything else. It’s so much fun to see things through her eyes. I’m still enjoying every palm tree, every sunset and every time we visit the north coast, but for us it’s familiar. For her, it’s all new and exciting.
We’ve still got a few more days ahead of us. She flies home Wednesday evening. I’m constantly trying to fit things in with work deadlines and other stuff that can’t wait. But I so happy she’s here! It makes us feel like we’re really living here now.

A real 'CuraƧao' weekend

Sometimes our weekends here are very boring. Enjoyable, but not much to talk about afterwards. Just relaxing, driving around, not doing much.
Last weekend though… Not boring at all.
We started with our (almost) daily swim at Daaibooi Beach. I remembered to bring my camera this time.

Then we went home to take a shower (and admire some flowers).

We usually go to Mambo beach on Friday evenings (told you, kind of boring) but this time we went to Blue Bay Happy Hour, to meet some friends and to meet some of their friends.
One of them was a dinosaur.

That was such a fun evening! We were invited to join them at the beach the next day. So on Saturday we packed our cooler (with beer for T. and water for me), grabbed some snacks and off we went. To Kas Abou Beach.

Can you guess where some of our new friends come from? Let me zoom in a bit on their floaties.

Yep, that’s an American Eagle. The other one is a Trump floatie. We stayed the whole afternoon. Swimming, talking, snacking. Loved it.

On Sunday we went to a Food Festival, but next time we’ll try it for dinner, not for lunch. It was really hot and not very populated.

The burrito we had (first time we tried one!) was very good though. And the hot dog we had a few hours later wasn’t too bad either.

We drove around the island for a while and then we headed home, but on our way home, we remembered that Kokomo beach has a familystyle Happy Hour on Sundays, with a rock band playing. One of the things we really miss on this island is good music, so we decided to check it out.

The music was great, so we stayed until they stopped playing. And we got to watch a perfect sunset too.

Also, this happened. Found a shop that carried (some) knitting needles and cotton yarn.

So now I’m knitting myself some potholders, because I actually need them. But I guess I’d even knit something I don’t need, just because I’m so happy to be knitting again.

How was your weekend?

Three on Thursday :: it's raining again

Well, actually, not today. But it has been raining a lot. The forecasts don’t talk about ‘minor flooding in the usual places’ anymore. They just say there will be showers. Lots of showers.
Maybe that’s because the flooding isn’t minor anymore (it’s still not really out of the ordinary though).

Also, showers can be very beautiful if they pass you by (an hour later one went straight over our heads).

linking up with Carole Knits’ Three on Thursday