Thursday, 22 November 2007

It's Saba maaahhhhnnnnn

Saba is truly a unique place. And many weird things happen here. Many! On a daily basis. So (spoken with the typical Jamaica-like Caribbean accent) "it's Saba man" is one of the comments you'll hear very frequently here. That's the excuse, explanation and justification for practically everything.

For instance the rubbish situation. Rubbish is collected 6 days a week to avoid smells, rats etc. A couple of weeks ago, the rubbish stayed in the bins for 5 days! It started smelling badly (cause it is rather warm here) and finally, finally, the rubbish lorry passed by again and everyone was happy. What happened?

Well, the rubbish director (or whatever his title is) had decided that it's dangerous to let drunk people drive around in a huge big lorry on very narrow and steep roads, so he banned alcohol during work hours. The rubbish workers were understandably shocked, since tradition bids that they have their first Heineken around 8 in the morning. So they went on strike!

The director tried hard as he could to get other people to work for him, but with bad work conditions AND no alcohol, nobody was willing to do the job. The workers would not compromise, so the director had to give in.

And once again, peace is restored on Saba. The rubbish lorry just passed by one of my favourite watering holes, Tropic's, where I was having breakfast. And yes, the workers came in to exchange their empty green bottles for full ones. It's Saba man ;)

Now, the attentive reader may ask why I was having breakfast at 9 o'clock on a normal work day.....Thing is, I caught "it": The Saba Flu. It starts as any average flu with high fever and pain everywhere. But thanks to the climate here, it soon turns into a proper bronchitis! Bronchitis and diving don't mix well, so I've been on sick leave for a week and don't expect to be working for several days yet. Unfortunately for Sea Saba, two further colleagues are down with the same (as is approx. half of the population on the rock), so daily logistics are a complete nightmare. Vicious tongues may say they deserve this for treating their employees poorly, but of cause I would never say that.

I'm leaving Saba on 5th December, so I may actually have had my last dive here! At least that was a memorable one: a night dive with nurse sharks and huge jacks following us throughout the dive, swimming between our legs and trying to hunt in our torch light. Add to that 2 octopus in the open, 2 seahorses (one of them a very pregnant male), lobsters and shrimps everywhere and more bio-luminescense than normal - and you have one of my 5 best night dives ever.

I'm not allowed to bring my camera when I work, but on one of my days off I went fun-diving with one of our repeat guests, Paul - a really fantastic guy (why are all great men gay??) and managed to get a couple of ok shots. Here are Paul and Ken (my colleague) on the fine vessel Sea Dragon (my office):

What's with the picture on top of the post, you ask? Well, it features some key things from the past month: my niece, Bodil, who came two weeks with her fiance, Jon as well as a "Karin Special" and the nice view from Tropic's...

Bodil and Jon were great company and we even went diving together. And then I say no more, cause it's the law that whatever happens on Saba, stays on Saba ;)

The only issue was that I wanted to be a good aunt and give the young couple the opportunity to be alone for a while - which means I had to hang out in the bars every night and practically soak myself in alcohol for two weeks. It sounds tough - and it was! But I now have the respect of even the most hard-core drinkers on the island (which means a lot here - it's Saba man). And a drink got named after me: it consists of about 0,4 l of vodka (any brand) and 0,1 l of Ting (lemon-like soda). Ice cubes may be added liberally. The first times you try it, it's not really a pleasant experience, but one does get used to it ;))

Rumours about me have gone wild lately: everyone had Ken and me practically married - or maybe even already divorced (NO, we are just good friends!), but then I went to the wanna-be disco, Bel la Vita, with aforementioned Paul. After an hour of impressive dirty dancing, rumours were that I left Ken for Paul, who turned straight because of me. There are different variations of course, but they all add up to the same.

It's Saba man :D

Take care all you lovely people