Cruise Day Six
Today was a tour of St. Johns, Antigua. For the past three months, I've been pronouncing it [AN-TEEG-WA] but the taxi driver who gave us our tour today (and everyone else on the island) pronounced it [ANTIGUH].
AntigaAntigaAntiga. Got it.
A Note for Nessa: I had a sneaking suspicion, after asking our driver about Trunk Bay Beach and noticing the confused look on his face, that it wasn't the same St. John's island that Nessa got married on. St. John's is the capital of Antigua. Antigua being the island. That bummed me out for a bit. Then I got to Darkwood Beach and all was well.
As I said before, there is no shortage of taxi drivers who are dying to take you around the island. Dad and I planned on doing another guided tour, but only after we had a look around the shops at port. That way, when we returned, we could go straight to the stores we knew we wanted to check out. I don't think we got a half a kilometer from the ship before we were bombarded by no less than ten drivers and one lady, Shawna, who wanted to braid my hair into dreads. “Maybe when I'm done shopping.” I told her. All of them were very persistent. Persistent like Peter Griffin and the forbidden red button. Each one made the next one more difficult to be friendly towards. After nine “We're not ready for a taxi yet.” attempts at staving them off, we caved in to Samyel.
$35 for two, afforded us an air conditioned tour (this was a huge selling point as it was like Hades on the island) by a very knowledgeable local. He would also take us to a beach for a few hours before returning to the ship. If we wanted it to be just the two of us, it would have cost $70, but we're social butterflies who like to save money. We were delighted to share our taxi with Monique (an attorney) and Judea (pharmaceutical sales) who were from Arizona and with a Norwegian lady, Emma, and her friend, Jackie, who was from London.
(That's Jackie below, with the blonde braid.)
Samyel took us to a church that had been there for 150 years.
We stopped at a roadside shopping strip and a beautiful lookout point. We went all around the island and when we got to Darkwood Beach, Emma sternly expressed her extreme displeasure with the tour. “I didn't want to wait two hours and twenty minutes to get to the beach. You told me we would go directly to the beach.” Samyel looked offended and swore to her that he was very clear about giving the tour beforehand. The Norwegian lady insisted that he hadn't indicated towards any tour, "especially not a two hour tour." She had come here for the sun and Samyel had ruined her day. At this, Samyel looked flabbergasted. He was clearly taken aback. The Norwegian lady looked at me and asked if I knew there was going to be an island tour. I said yes. “Yes, of course I knew.” I hated to see her so bent out of shape. She was pleasant to converse with in the taxi but it was clear to me that between both of their broken english and accents, there was a lot of miscommunication. It didn't matter though. She begrudgingly walked two hours back to the ship. Walked. She was that pissed. I couldn't believe it.
Jackie apologized for her friend. She too, was surprised at her reaction and in her English accent she added. “I knew she was getting rattled but I didn't know she was going to turn on him like that.” Monique, Judea, Dad and myself were simply shocked. None of us saw that one coming.
The five of us headed felt bad for the both them, but were totally over it as soon as we were in the crystal blue water.
After three sunkissed and salty-sea hours, we paid Samyel and thanked him for such a lovely day.
As dad and I were heading back towards the ship, Shawna appeared out of thin air, in my face with all but her hands in my hair. “You ready to bread your hair, yet!?” My gawd. I know I'm branded. I'm hard to forget. But damn. That was jarring.
It was a lovely, exhausting day. The sun is an energy drainer. I didn't get a nap before dinner. I'm out.
*Sidenote: While at the Ben & Jerry's counter this evening, i saw Jackie walking by. I waved to her and she came over. She tried to apologize for her friend again and assured me that Emma was doing well at the Blackjack table and her mood was better. "How about your dad! He's brilliant, isn't he? Gettin' in the water like that. Good for him."
Indeed, Jackie. Indeed.