Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Because we have our sliding glass doors and windows and shutters open 24/7, we hear all of the nature happening right outside. The last couple of weeks we've been regaled with a particular kind of bird-chirping. Boyfriend reminded me the other day that these birds only sing like that at this time of year. Every year I tell him how much I love to hear them--how happy their chirping makes me.

Yet I could never own a bird. First of all, it just seems innately cruel to confine a flying pet to a cage. And if I owned a bird, trust me, it would be caged 24/7. I like birds...as long as they keep at a distance. I think my (sort of) fear of them stems from sitting in my friend Liz's apartment when we were 17 when she'd let her parakeet out of its cage and it would fly across the room and sit on my head. I'd freeze and say through gritted teeth, "Get...it...OFF!" I hated that damn bird. He probably knew that and always picked MY head just to annoy me. I also couldn't take the constant chirping inside the house--that would for sure drive me batty. I took a phone call at work the other day from a woman whose bird was so loud in the background it nearly drowned out her voice over the phone.


Since we're in our last year here, I thought maybe I should make more of an effort to write about tropical life in this space. Having spent my first three years here sending "tropical update" emails to friends and family on the mainland, I got rather burned out on writing about all the quirky eccentricities that come with living here. They can be entertaining...but not necessarily when you're living with them. But I will try to make more of an effort to include some anecdotes about these islands where we live.

Here's one to start: With a new book about Alexander Hamilton out, here's something that's usually not written about that native son of the Caribbean (and maybe you didn't even know that!) He lived on St. Croix from the ages of 9-17, where he worked for his uncle, learning the trading business. Local legend has it that patrons and benefactors on St. Croix were so impressed with him that they got the money together to send him to New York to study. The St. Croix portion of his life is usually left out of his history. (Poor St. Croix...always getting shortchanged...)


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