Monday, 2 August 2010

La Dolce Far Niente

The sweetness of doing nothing. No matter how much I try to emulate this famous Italian saying, I'm just not hard wired for it. Here we are in a gorgeous hotel located on a stunningly lovely bay on a tropical island, surrounded by beauty, and I'm mentally tapping my feet. Despite the heat which gently (or not so gently) urges you to slow down, I want to be up and doing. The Caribbean culture in general, and Martinique in particular, do not really support anything but a leisurely approach to life!

Perhaps that is why I have been unable to settle down to blog any earlier on this trip, which started on the even less touristed island of Guadeloupe. No matter how hard you concentrate, you just can't do a lot of things here. For one thing, everything closes down between 12:00 or 12:30 and 3:00, no matter what the printed tourist information tells you. On Saturday, we took a taxi to the sugar plantation where Josephine Napolean was born and spent the first sixteen years of her life. Posted as opening after the mid-day siesta at 2:00, it actually opened at 3:00. For another, it's simply time-consuming getting from place to place. Traffic is difficult and the roads are slow. Despite our best efforts, we are spending a lot of time spending time.

Now, it is not a tragedy to be forced to watch the rain blow the palms around or to enjoy a leisurely sunset with a cold drink in my hand. This is not a complaining blog--or not too much of one--but it is a self-enlightening one. Not for me the South Pacific atoll or the Caribbean paradise, unless I'm strenuously hunting for a life bird or performing some other Type A activity. For me, la dolceza sta farcendo qualcosa. The sweetness is doing something.

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