Friday, January 25

When in Rome

The old english proverb "When in Rome, do as the Romans do", dates back to at least 390AD.  We believe in this little saying and are teaching the kids the same.  We feel we are sensitive and considerate of the customs and cultures demonstrated in each country we visit.  But when we stepped foot in Deshaies, Guadeloupe, we were not only greeted with a language we didn't know, we were not greeted at all.  Deshaies is a very small and quiet french town.  When I say french, I mean VERY french.  In our defense, let me point out that we did try to speak french as best we could, pieced together from memory and a translation app.  We would have been ok if they had laughed at us for our pathetic attempt at speaking bad french.  Heck, we would have been thrilled.  We only came across a couple of people that even considered speaking english to us.  For which we were grateful, by the way.

The lowest moment came one late afternoon when we were all very hungry, looking for something to eat.  How can you fault us for wanting to try out the local cuisine.  Most of the restaurants were closed for the afternoon - afternoon siesta you know.  We had our hearts set on crepes after reading rave reviews in our cruising guide.  Come to find out, after trying to speak half french and half english, we found out it was closed too.  Finally, we dragged ourselves to the end of the road, again, to find the only place open.  We'll just ignore the tiny little fact that we could have gone back to the boat and cooked!  We were rudely turned away because we did not speak french.  However, the woman at the door knew enough english to explain this to us.  Go figure.  And then she stepped outside to make sure we walked away from her restaurant.  I guess the business people of Guadeloupe get enough French subsidies that they are okay with turning away 10 paying customers doing there best to be polite.  To make a long story short, we ended up buying some bread and cheese at the market and sitting on a retaining wall in front of someone's house (someone french of course).  Sure enough, an elderly lady came out and started waving her hands and talking in french, fast as if we could understand.  We concluded that she did not want us there, so we gathered ourselves and walked back to the dinghy feeling very un-welcome.

Since we didn't get to really celebrate New Year's Eve because we were on passage and the weather was too rough, we celebrated with the Conway's on New Year's Day in the quiet harbor of Deshaies, Guadeloupe!  Chilled sparkling cider for the crew

Chilled Prosecco for the officers and first mates

Deshaies - It is beautiful even if they only speak french

Rocky beach view

"A rooster crosses the road to the a new answer to the age old question, "why did the chicken cross the road."

Anything Goes resting at anchor

Walking on street 2 of 2 looking for an open restaurant

Checking out the Euro's from the cash machine

French flag and the flag of Europe

Breadfruit tree - similar to a potato. 

View of the anchorage and Deshaies from our boat

Sunset view of the boat behind us

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