So, I'm starting to feel like more of a local than a visiting tourist. For example, I didn't just go grocery shopping on any convenient day this week, I waited until Thursday. Why? The boats of fresh vegetables from elsewhere come in on Thursday, so that's the day to go shopping for the best produce you're going to get a store. It may have taken me months to figure this out, but I'm good now. Also, I had to do my first on-island buying trip. Usually, I've been able to get whatever stuff I need in the states and just bring it back with me in my suitcase. However, I didn't really plan on having to go somewhere nice. I got invited to a party on a boat where the dress code was “leisure suit,” whatever that means. I have some reasonable clothes, but my only non-sneakers or work shoes are flip flops, and my younger pair is 9 years old. I spent Friday afternoon scouting the limited shopping selection for nice shoes to wear. There are a bunch of little shops that carry a pair or two, but there are really 2 places to go for some selection. One is Karibhana's and the other is Polo Company, both by the circus.
As I have double-narrow feet, I struggle to get shoes in the US, and it was no easier in St. Kitts. I ran into some girls from work who helped me pick out shoes. They ultimately decided on a pair of black plastic sandals because they were nicer than the faux-leather black sandals. I completely disagree as the ones I got were made of a material that reminded me of the jellies I had as a kid, but I trust their judgement in terms of what would be perceived as “nicer” in St. Kitts.
I wore my new shoes to a party Saturday night on the Freewinds, a boat that was docked in town. I arrived on time, thinking we were going on a dinner cruise. Nope. We were just using the boat as a ballroom. The food was ok, although they didn't share the menu until after we were done eating and when I went up to the buffet, I could never find a staff member to tell me what was what, so I didn't eat that much. The boat itself is rather nice. It is well-kept. The evening was some sort of gala for the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, so food was followed by several speeches. One of the speeches was given by the Prime Minister. I think that if I had known that I was having dinner with the Prime Minister, I may have made an effort to go talk to him, but I didn't know until after. Oh well. There was also an interesting speech about what the Caricom zone can learn from what's going on right now in the Euro zone. Floowing the speeches, they had a band play and a local singer sing. They were good and I expected people to start to get up and dance (as it was fancy party dance-style music), but everybody just sat there watching. I was hungry and was finding it difficult to sit still in my seat, so I rolled. By the time I left, it was around 10pm, which is not an ideal time to go food hunting in St. Kitts. I called up a friend and he took me to some out-of-the-way podunk stand where some lady still had a few veggie patties and fish left. She also had passionfruit juice which was delicious. I'm not sure I could find that place again. I truly feel blessed to be shown these types of places as they are not places tourists get to see, and I bet that most of the expats here don't every get to any place like this either. I'm not really sure how you'd even go about stumbling upon it unless you were intentionally trying to and looking for an adventure.