Borta med Bengt

En resa

Spanish Water week 3 english

The third week of my solitude in Spanish Water consisted mainly of domestic duties but I also took care of my infected mosquito bites, went for long sweaty walks and enjoyed the good life of living on Bengt. I too cleaned out some of ‘my’ lockers and took broken stuff to the garbage bins. Unfortunately Curacao does not have recycling of any kind so everything has to be thrown in the same bin. There are big green bins all over the island but its inhabitants seem to prefer to throw their garbage out in nature. The tourist areas are clean and tidy but as soon as you walk the other way there is garbage everywhere, especially plastics.

Curacao is a big island with a population consisting of many different races who have created a true multi-cultural society but most of the inhabitants are of African origin. The common language is Papiamento but most people speak both Dutch, Spanish and English. In the old days Curacao was one of the major slave trade centres in the Caribbean. There is a very nice museum in the former slave market in Willemstad called ‘Kura Hulanda’. Slaves were sold from here to many places but most of them were taken to Brazil. More than 12.000.000 Africans were captured and taken by boat to the slave markets of the Caribbean. I have written before about slavery and its principle, which is simple. Because we all suffer from teomania and megalomania, combined with fear for all things unknown, it is easy for the powers that are (army, police, politicians, the church, mass media, Facebook, your boss, etc) to manipulate us. We humans are not the brightest creatures that walk around on this planet so it is easy to influence our minds. The result is that we create a ‘we’ and a ‘them’ and ‘them’ being for instance Jews, blacks, people with different religions, refugees, etcetera who are seen as non-humans (like the Nazis considered the Jews as ‘unter mensch’) which we have learned to look down upon and can treat any way we like. Politicians like the American president Trump use this principle, for instance, to get a wall build along the Mexican border to keep the ‘animals’, as he called the Mexican people, out of his divine country. Even if it is all been said and done before, and we know it, it’s still easy to be manipulated and fall for this kind of demagogic bullshit.

More than 2.000.000 Africans died during the voyage to the Americas and around 5.000.000 were sold to Brazil. Of the rest 4.000.000 ended up on the Caribbean islands and about 1.000.000 were taken to the USA. Nowadays Curacao is doing well. It lives on tourism, oil refinery (with oil from Venezuela) and trade (the Dutch heritage). The old city centre of Willemstad is now on the World Heritage List.

On my list it says that I have to test run the heaters but that will have to wait until we come to a cooler climate. It’s far too hot here. I have, though, been looking a long time at our stove which has gotten very dirty in between the glass windows of the oven door (most likely by preparing to many pommes frites in it), so I collected my screwdrivers and other tools and took the stove apart.

Our stove, a Techimpex, doesn’t seem to be made for continuous use in the salty climate of a sailing yacht. It is difficult to keep clean and the ‘made of stainless steel’ does not mean very much. Sure, it is nice stainless steel on the outside but the rest of the stove is made in mild steel, even the screws are non-stainless so it is not so strange that the thing started rusting. I had some difficulty getting the screws out but WD-40 helps a lot. After that it was easy to get the glass windows out, they are kept in place with small screws, and clean everything with green soap. Unfortunately I beheaded some screws but I had ‘steel epoxy’ that fixed them all. Hopefully the stove will survive a few more years because the burners have also started to rust as well as the cooking plate.

I had some very nice evenings with Neill and Heidi from ‘Artemis’ who apart from taking care of my infected mosquito bites also served good coffee and wonderful dinners. My wounds are slowly curing so I hope to be able to jump in the water again in a few days. One night Norbert, Dan and I went for dinner at ‘Pops’ on Caracas beach. All Three of us were ‘grass widowers’ with wife’s in their respective home countries. We had a nice evening without ‘home cooked’.

Bengt was cleaned, the washing and shopping done so now I wait for my beloved wife to come home.