WanderingDan’s Weblog

August 26th-29th…Answers
August 30, 2011, 3:30 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Several questions have occupied my mind before and during this trip: would I forsee a successful practice here? could I adjust to the pecularities of island life? would I be able to create solid friendships?  I’ve been so spoiled by so many great friendships these past few years, the bar for friend-making-potential has been lifted high for wherever I next roam. The people I’ve met here thus far, except the few rude and shisty taxis & safari bus drivers, have been of high caliber…big hearts, extremely generous, and of great friend potential. Joe is all heart, and hanging out with his crew showed me how tight friendships here can be…but they are more in the established professional stage of life, and I don’t know how well I would fit into that group. Hannah & Saerah are both totally awesome, but am unsure how many layers deep of friendship are possible…besides the fact I decided St. Croix was not the place I would be able to successfully practice, nor be truly happy living. As I fly back to St. Thomas, a day early, this one question plagues my mind more than any other…will I fit in here socially? I mean, I will always be uniquely weird…this I accept…but are there enough like-minded weirdos here with which to meaningfully connect? The other two questions have already been internally answered to my satisfaction…referring to practice success and island life. A slight melancholy has crept over me the past couple days…has this trip shown me I will not be as happy here as I originally anticipated? Was I naively and ignorantly pushing an agenda not meant to be? Well…we’ll see how these last few days go. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that the bank hasn’t cleared my paycheck, and I’m nursing my last few dollars to see how much stretch they will give me. Once off the plane, I spend a few minutes repacking my bag, and set out for the 1/2 mile or so walk to catch the safari bus. My next, and last couch-surfing hosts are a couple of guys in their late 20’s, Eric and Nate. They have been on island for about 6 months. I feel very fortunate right now, because it was only a couple hours ago Eric and I solidified couch-surfing plans…prior to which I figured I would just be sleeping on one of the public beaches, or in some jungle clearing near a beach…either I could have done…but am grateful I don’t have to. Eric is working tonight, so I am meeting Nate and Tiffany (who is another couch-surfer staying with them) at where the two guys work, a sushi restaurant on the east end called Coco Blue. It takes a while to get there on the safari bus…and I feel much more racial tension on the bus now than I did last week when riding…ofcourse I’m the only gringo on the bus. The driver is pissed at me when I get off after riding from one end of the island to the other, and pay him the dollar fare…apparently the unwritten rule is that you pay more if you go farther…and I went about as far as you can go. He starts yelling at me…so much anger…trying to get me to pay him another 3 dollars. I’m a little pissed off, because if it was a West-Indian in the same situation, I bet he wouldn’t have said a goddamn thing…but I keep my cool. Staying calm, I just let him rant for a minute. Apparently the general thought pattern is…the less brown in your skin, the more green in your pocket. Definitely not the case with me here today! I smile to myself at his expression when I only hand him one more dollar, shrug my shoulders, and say “that’s the best I can do”. Ofcourse it’s a lie, but I’m not going to give him the satisfaction. My annoyance at the situation quickly alleviates when I meet up with Tiffany and Nate. Instantly I feel an energy in them that screams familiarity, and my melancholy evaporates. Fast-forward two days…I have friends here, and renewed confidence about my intentions. Inspiring talks, heart-touching generosity, mucho drinking and dancing, laughing a plenty. Flying in from St. Croix Friday night, I secretly wished the plane was going back to L.A…now, as I get ready to fly out for real tomorrow…I am sad to leave, and anxious as hell to return. I look forward to calling St. Thomas ‘home’.


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