Sometimes I have to laugh silently

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Flag of Saint Martin  ,
Tuesday, May 22, 2012



Sometimes I have to laugh silently.

For those of you who have been keeping up with our blog, you will know that we have a French
Bakery right next door to where we live. And very often I go to get a fresh baguette in the morning for breakfast. So it happens that there is sometimes a short queue,(which they call a line over here...... very American!) So there I was standing in line, waiting my turn; and one of the ladies working behind the counter (her name is Luce; and she's really a lovely lady), brought out a most fantastic birthday cake to box up for some customer. So anything for a
laugh, I said, "That’s very nice of you to do this?  Is this for me?  She looked at me not quite knowing what to say. Our eyes met. I smiled; looking straight back into hers. Again she blinked, still not knowing what to say. After about five seconds ..... “Is it your birthday?"......  she asked
trepidly. Totally unsure of what was happening. The queue just behind me also quite mesmerised with what was going on. Obviously waiting to see what the outcome was going to be.  So looking straight back into her eyes I smiled as I said, “Could be.” Well, that was all
the tourists standing in line needed to hear. And as if on cue, standing on the front of the stage at a Royal Variety Concert, they all; and I mean all started singing Happy Birthday to me. And now I had to along with the situation. What a great silent laugh. And only in St Maarten.

It’s that time of the year again.
In Europe it usually happens in February. In Brazil, it’s also the same month. But here in St Maarten it’s always a good time for a CARNIVAL. Great excitement all around as the revellers prepare their lorries and the fantastic costumes. Then they all converge on a 'Carnival Village’ where miraculously, out of disorganised chaos emerges simple chaos. And I have to tell you there is quite a big difference between the two. Please don’t ask me what, but I know there is a
difference. The two biggest things about this, and I presume the Rio Carnival is that the dancers have to give it as much sex as they can! And then there is the music. Let me describe how they go about it. Firstly they get the largest lorry that can fit through Front Street. It’s what we in England would call a large forty foot long articulated vehicle. Then they get a hoist or crane to
lift the power generator onto the back. These generators could power a small block in New York. However... specially for this occasion, its sole purpose is to power the massive amplifiers which drive the mountains of speakers strapped down with thick webbing  onto the
front.... with another mountain also facing the back. Just so the dancers can ‘hear’ the musical beat. Well I have to tell you, you’d have to be on another planet not to hear this enormous cacophony of sound. And then just when you’d think it couldn’t get any louder.......... someone manages to get another squillion watts out of their speakers.
Fortunately we’d seen it last year.... and knew what to expect. So we armed ourselves with
earplugs. And a jolly good thing we did, because even with these on it was fantastically loud. Anyway, I hope you like the sort video  clips, and there will be much more in the next couple of weeks, because Dyana & I are off travelling, an you never know what may happen!
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