Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Bonaire Tidbits

by Shelley

The first indication of a multi-lingual country is the signage which, in Bonaire, is a strange mixture of Dutch, Spanish and English. Many times we saw restaurant servers move from table to table, effortlessly speaking a different language at each one! Pretty impressive! (But don't bother applying for a job dealing with tourists unless you speak at least three languages!)

I got a chuckle out of one of the local kid's t-shirts that said "a pirate ate my homework"!

I think it may have just been the place we were diving with (Carib Inn) but never before have we been with so many experienced divers. Most of them didn't follow the guide but went off in their pairs or even singles. Usually everyone hovers around the guide and things get crowded.  Having said that, Bonaire is a fairly easy place to navigate most dives. Go out along the side of the reef, come back on the top edge of the reef, safety "stop" while you're coming back, and then spot the boat anchor. Andrew and I even did two dives on our own (first time), one of them a night dive.  Both went well!

The other thing we noticed both diving and eating out in the evenings is that we could definitely be considered the youngsters here! I dont think it's a whole lot more expensive to get here and staying and eating is certainly more reasonable than many other places we've been to. It's quiet which is great for us but may not appeal to the young party crowd.

Many people come here year after year. Pretty much all of the other people diving with Carib had been here before. Some of them 10 plus years! And for longer holidays - two guys from Denver were here for four weeks.

The divemasters were also not the young nomadic dive bums you see at a lot of places. Ralf (my instructor for the advanced course) was by far the youngest of the Carib divemasters and I'm guessing he's mid thirty's;  he moved here from Germany 10 years ago and is married with three kids. The other two dive masters we had were women in their 50's, one possibly in her 60's - hard to tell for sure.  They'd both been with Carib for years. I'm sure that's part of the appeal for return visitors; knowing the people and knowing what to expect.

1 comment:

  1. There is no money in being able to speak languages. In Switzerland as well as in your current place (must find it on the map) waiters speak three or four tongues effortlessly. In childhood it comes effortlessly.

    The trick is be able to do something else as well like science, engineering, law or accountancy.

    On restaurants the principle for proprietors is that catering is a branch of entertainment.