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Saturday, June 22, 2013

June 23, 2013-Curaçao

wingssail images-fredrick roswold

There are a few sunburned and wizened old single handers here, mostly Dutch.

"The bus driver doesn't like us." Dick said.

"Why?" I asked. We were hanging out on his boat, a catamaran with barnacles creeping up the side. He's been here for nine years.

"Because we're Dutch." His buddy Haus nodded.

"I don't get it, doesn't Holland put heaps of money into this country?"

"Yeah, but we were the slave owners 200 years ago." he answered.

So that's the story of Curaçao:

The Dutch built this place, brought in slaves, and now, 200 years later, there is still resentment over that fact.

Understandable, I guess.

The truth is that the Dutch own this island, support it, and in the background, hold it standing upright, but the coloreds simmer.

They always will.

We've been here only a few days, but the underlying tensions are evident. Never mind that, what about from our perspective?

Well, Curaçao is old, and beautiful. And we love it.

Discovered by the Spanish in 1502, Curaçao had a great harbor, one of the best in the world, still does, and it was a natural hub for shipping trade in the southern Caribbean. The island was occupied by the Dutch in 1634 and the Dutch West India Company made Curaçao a centre for the Atlantic slave trade in 1662. That and piracy flourished here for a few hundred years bringing wealth to Curaçao and Holland. The capitol city of Willemstad, with its attractive Dutch and Latin American architecture, still stands, as does the legacy of Dutch rule over the larger black population.

And that is what Dick was alluding to when we told me that the blacks resent the Dutch.

What we noticed while travelling around Curaçao is that while the Dutch own the place, the blacks and, equally, the Venezuelans, run the place. They give it the feel on the streets and in the shops, and it is they whom you will be dealing with as you travel around the island.

And that part we are OK with. In fact we love the Latin American feel of Curaçao.

We just don't like the sullenness we experience sometimes.

But I guess we can't blame them.

Click here for more photos of Curaçao.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Curaçao

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Blogger lil sis said...

It's always something isn't it?
I don't understand why it can't be perfect. Well I guess not perfect cause then we wouldn't appreciate the times and people that are so great.
No. Perfection would be imperfect. But Curacao sounds like a beautiful woman until she turns around and passes a REALLY stinky fart.
All is going here. Our days are delightful, filled with gems like physical therapy and x-rays and doctor's appointmens. Oh and an occasional trip to the pharmacia. Ahhhhhh life is good.
Reality aside, it's 107 today. Predicting 119 on Saturday in palm springs, which means 122 or so in Indio. Whew! But like I said, if it was perfect we wouldn't appreciate the 85 or 90.
Meds are good though never enough, I'm smiling...well sometimes. Howard is hanging in there. Hugs n stuff
lil sis

27 June, 2013 22:14  

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