When you think of a paradise you think of a place where everyone is happy.
Well, when you land on San Martin, or Sint Maarten as you prefer, there’s one thing which is certain: you maybe are going to be happy, but is the people living here experiencing the same?
I’ve travelled enough to recognize a tourism centered place. There’s nothing more depressing than a place that lives on tourism. Yes, the 5% of the land, the beaches, and some places on the inner part of the island are actually quite amazing, but than you see the people and you can recognize behind those eyes, spirits caged in a life where you are their meet, their, fish, their bread (no well, actually they have plenty of wonderful fish and meat, especially those wonderful goats, but you know what I mean right?)
When you go to a country with it’s industry, it’s diversified economy and with a culture from past, present and sometimes aiming to a future, you can be a tourist, be part of the enourmous weel of massified vacation migrations, but still you can find a bar, a club, a cultural center which is not completely absorbed by the commercial idea of selling you your holiday time.
The feeling you have here is to become a part of the cattle creating only by himself the entire island economy, so everything costs too much, people is friendly, but because you’re the cow that, if scared, will give bad meat when they butch it. And at the contrary, as we are all the same, we’re all the same humans, there are still a lot of places where a normal life is possible, the ones of the locals, but in SXM these places are protected and you can’t really get there without a direct invitation.
Well of course you can get in, but at your own risk. You can get there but at the price of feeling the eyes of the people piercing through your skin as you’re invading their territory.
Actually this is a normal psychological defense system and you can see it for instance when you accept a big renting company like Booking.com taking advantage of a bug of their system just because you’re in the middle of nothing and if you loose that unjust accomodation you’ll loose money and be left on the street (I will talk about it the next days).
We’re the unjust Booking.com for the locals, we are their only source of income, but still, we’re using their territories (sometimes not even respectfully), we’re using their life space, their private space to relax and have all the luxury that many of them won’t ever live in their lives.
So yes, that’s why going to a really local place, why accepting the “friendly island” hospitality is so difficult if you’re thinking of finding a paradise where everyone is happy.
You’re happy, they’re not happy. And in the end your happiness is going to be wiped out soon because even in a system where economy depends on you spending, the new low cost culture diminuishing and killing your life-price value (how much a human life is worth) will change the way the system will feed on you. So maybe one day they were offering you a real luxury that you would have paid a lot more than in your country. But today where envious people live only because “they have right to”, where you can go everywhere spending so little by accepting the implicit that you’re going where you’re told through social media piloting and internet addicting you, today they will sell you the worse, sometimes not even wrapped in golden sheets and they’ll cover you with taxes and giga-prices.
Remember that when you envy someone or something, that’s one of the worse way to destroy your same reality.
Of course new generations, and I’m only 34, won’t even understand what they’re losing as they have never tried what was the world before the low cost plague. But that won’t change the fact that in my older years I’ll see the human life-price value lowered at least another couple times. Of course if we don’t destroy each other first.
So please, when you go to a place for a holiday, enjoy it. Because you could be probably one of the last with the chance of experiencing a good way to travel. And if you can spare a few more seconds, please think of all of the poeple offering you these experience, the locals that are probably sacrificing their entire life to make you feel special, to make you feel envied.