Location: Les Saintes

Despite the fact that we’ve been in the Saints since Friday, today was our first day ashore. Which is an inconvenient coincidence for me, since it means that I’m now responsible for answering the question: ‘What are the Saints like?” This is no small task. For me, its a challenging question because (a) describing any place to someone who has never been is difficult and (b) I have very little information since I spent most of the day doing my taxes. That said, I’d like to share the following two stories that will hopefully help paint you a picture. Early this morning, the science department (ie. yours truly and Beaker) jumped in the dinghy to go on our usual pre-breakfast run. Beaker is quite familiar with the island, so before we got to shore I asked for her advice on which way to head. I mentioned that I preferred the direction which would let me run the farthest and that I wouldn’t mind a road that took me to the beach. Her response:’You cant run too far here in any direction, and every road ends at the beach.” So off I went. It wasn’t long before I was on the top of the nearest hill, running past a fort that is probably older than America and enjoying the sun rise over the Caribbean Sea. But before I got there I had to make my way through the narrow streets of town. It was during this time that I attracted some attention. This isn’t uncommon. I tend to get looks from the locals when running in foreign countries. But normally its because I’m up at far too early an hour, being far too productive, in far too hot a climate. But this morning none of those distinctions held. I passed plenty of people who were up and moving about and the temperature was an inviting 75 degrees. Why then did I feel awkwardly self-conscious? Because I was the only one not carrying a handful of freshly baked baguettes. Following my run, I returned to Argo and spent the rest of the day battling with my Form 1040. So, unfortunately, I have no more personal stories. I did, however, pick up this gem from Dwight Churchill, Ned King and Joe Spanier. Apparently, this afternoon, while eating lunch ashore, the waitress of a particular beach-side dining establishment gave Joe a mouthful when he attempted to order only desert. Never mind that Joe had just finished eating lunch at another restaurant, that he was simply meeting Dwight and Ned, or that he couldn’t translate the expletives coming from this woman’s mouth. No. Apparently, to go into a French restaurant, with the intention of ordering anything less than the chicken filet in coconut cream sauce with a side of squash and fried plantains (that’s what he got) is nothing short of a personal insult. It’s also worth mentioning that even after Joe recovered from his faux pas, the waitress didn’t warm up to them until Dwight ordered the coconut pie with vanilla ice cream (French vanilla, obviously) ‘murdered” in chocolate sauce (Dwight’s quote). But harassment from the waiting staff aside, it was one of the most delicious meals they’ve ever had. Now in the case that you’re envisioning a 5-star decor based on the quality of the meal and the high ordering standards, let me just share the following. First, the restaurant would be more fairly described as a shack with four walls. Second, it didn’t have any doors. And third, the waitress wasn’t wearing shoes. That’s what the Saints are like.