Day Four – She’s Carib·BEING
I had an entirely different post I had started earlier yesterday, but when my day went left, the focus of the Day Four blog shifted. It’s all fun and games until it’s not. I’ll say more about this in a minute, but first let’s talk about the fun.
Today was beach day. I was headed back to Philisburg so I can get my fav lip gloss I left at home but decided against it after yesterday’s ordeal. Yeah, it was just best for me to lay low today. If you don’t know about yesterday’s shenanigans, read the blog post, “We Out Here.”
I was ready for the beach day relaxation the way I see others doing it. They take naps out there, just lounge, relax and play in the water. When I attempted to do the same I realized I DO NOT know how to relax. Every time I went to lay back I jumped up to do something – take a video or picture shot, put on sunscreen, lip gloss, check my phone, pick the book up then put it back down without reading. I kept this charade up for quite awhile.
I managed to get semi-relaxed, and out of nowhere a dog or two or three ran through the rows of beach chairs. Now let me let you know I am terrified of dogs. You would have thought that I have been attacked before. I even grew up with dogs, but somewhere down the line I started being scared of them. I think it’s the fact that they’re unpredictable. They can attack or bite you out of the blue.
What was interesting is that no one really paid them much attention. They were not startled like I was. Those stray dogs were treated like their own. Several people petted and befriended them. One even got reprimanded when it jumped up on a woman’s beach chair like an owner would do if he/she was training it. The dogs responded and listened. It was so odd to me because you know at home we are not trying to go anywhere near stray dogs!
I said to myself, “Relax Monique. Relax. Be unbothered like the other people are.”
BUT, not only were the dogs interfering with my zen, I kept having Janet Jackson moments and not in a good way, so I did what any other respectable Black woman with ghetto survival techniques would do. I jimmy rigged that sucka! I found a clip and a bobby pin in my fanny and tied that thing up in the back.
Enough was enough. I decided I would go play in the water, and this is when it happened for me. Being in that Caribbean Sea, the sea of the Atlantic Ocean gave me life. That clear bright blue water was invigorating. What rest under my feet was something I have never felt before. There were small pebbles sparsely set among what looked to be like sea shells that had been broken down into a million pieces.
I submerged myself in that sea – feet to the land, water fully covering my body, and the sun shining down on me. I can’t explain it the way I felt it. Everything inside of me lit up, a smile came to my face and my chin flew up in the direction of the heavens, as if the universe was trying to get my attention. It was surreal. It felt like home.
Now I’m not the one that has what I’m just going to call Motherland experiences, but on that beach in Grand Case, I did. I instantly felt like I was home, became more relaxed, and laid around for a little longer before deciding to head home after being there for nearly three hours.
Back to what I said earlier, “It’s all fun and games until it’s NOT.” I should’ve gone straight back to the apartment, but I decided to go do the grocery shopping I hadn’t done yet. The $70 bill I had just paid at the beach told me I needed to start cooking at the house instead of eating out daily. That and the protrusion of my belly. SMH
I stopped by the Super U with no real game plan. I was going to grab the essentials and the things I cook at home. I realized I was in trouble when all the packaging was in French. At one point I grabbed what I thought was tuna, but after looking at it realized it was cat food! I tried to Google, but was worried about using up my gigs, so I eventually just started asking people for help. A few spoke a little English – enough to confirm the garlic powder, onion powder, and sugar among other things.
I started to get proud of myself for not giving up because Lord knows I was overwhelmed and wanted to run out of there. After shopping for about 40 minutes or so I realized I didn’t have my keys. When I came into the store they were on my finger. Now they were missing.
I’ll give you a condensed version: I ended my night sitting on the curb waiting for the rental car company because the store “politely” nudged me out the door upon closing. The keys from the apartment were hanging around my neck because that’s where the Airbnb host hung them when she came to give me her spares. I waited for a little over an hour for the rental car company to come, giving me a new car and a heightened sense of anxiety after telling me I’d have to pay for the tow and to get the locks changed.
I drove back to the apartment feeling defeated, overwhelmed, and embarrassed. I have never done this before.
I think the adrenaline and thrill has officially worn off. In this moment I realize I am far away from home and alone. If something were to go awry like it did today, how do I fix it? I don’t know where to go. I can’t even read what’s around me because I don’t speak French and barely know how to work WhatsApp (the way of communication here). If I ask someone for help, who can I trust? I’m not at a resort where they go out of their way to make sure you’re good and help you navigate. Losing my key there is a simple as going to the front desk. They may have even called a car service for me.
Well not this time, I’m on my own. This is scary y’all.
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