Aruba Eye Candy
The people on Aruba are truly candy to the eyes. Like chocolates, they come in white, light and dark browns and sometimes a bit nutty. Sometimes these candies are tightly wrapped and other times loose. They can be found in a box, in a can or sharing the same “bag” with another candy. Sometimes the candy blends into the landscape. The individual colors, sounds, shades and shapes are of no consequence, it is the total that counts. It is the luscious fattening feeling of it all. No visual dieting is needed, wanted or accepted during those special moments. You just have to learn to sit back and enjoy the chocolate.
If you drive out to the natural bridge, almost getting there is a place where you come to a fork in the road. One side goes to the right on the long winding ocean-side road to the (now fallen ) natural bridge. The other side (the left turn) goes to the “Gold Smelting” facility that looks like a large and fallen castle in an old movie. If you stop just about 100 meters before getting to that fork and look out to the left, you will notice a series of fallen structures that are in perfect line and lead to the ruins. They seem to be there to have once either supported something or to be used for “Some” reason that is directly related to that ruin. At that spot, with your car facing the ocean, stop and look directly out of the right hand passenger window and you will see a small white Cunucu house. It is about 500 meters off and nestled against the bottom of a small hill.
That hillside is a great place to walk. The wind comes off the ocean laden with salt and a coolness not found anywhere else on Aruba. There is moss on the ocean side of the larger boulders. It is a peaceful place and I like it very much. My son and I walk it often.
The last few times we have stopped to walk and admire this landscape, I looked at the front area of that little home and noticed a dog in front of the house. He was blackish and “rib-counting” thin. His snout was pointed and ears stuck up in two perfect triangles that swiveled in search for any sounds. This animal had perfected stealth. Every time I saw him, he would lie there motionless - curled in knot with only the head and ears protruding. He seemed healthy and very much in control. You could walk a few hundred yards and then notice that he has followed and is watching while curled in his knot. Same posture with different locations
On one of our walks – Junior and I were about half way up the mountainside in the area close to the lonely white Cunucu house when - we heard a loud and sharp whistle. There off to the right of us was a man, his female partner (notice I stopped saying wife?) and a kid about 16 years old. The father was a tall thin Caucasian with the look associated with strength, health and physical power. The mom was Negro and also tall. She shone with the radiance that comes only from the faces of pregnant women. There is something about carrying a life inside you that gives a glow. Their son was taller that either parent and a strong candidate for “Mr. Good-looking- make-them-swoon-get-out-of-my-way-Brad-Pitt. The boy had a color that is best described as ‘Coffee laden with a proper amount of cream’. They walked towards us and there, off to the side, was the skinny “Stealth” dog jumping from boulder to boulder and skimming along rocks as if he was skating on ice. When they stopped he would find a spot and do his knotted curl routine.
After saying hi and introducing ourselves, I mentioned that they had a “neat dog”. The tall father told me that actually it wasn't theirs but that it lived in front of a Cunucu house and then pointed to the one where we had seen him all knotted up in front so many times. This walking family was “Dutch” from Holland and here on vacation. Our conversation was halting and filled with apologies due to my limited “Dutch”. Anyway, their son befriended mine and the two of them walked with the dog a bit further while we adults we sat and chatted. The next day they would be returning home to Holland and wanted to have one last walk along this lovely coastal area - I could hardly blame them.
The afternoon moved along nicely and like all special moments -it came to an end and Junior and I were in the car headed home. I could see he was thinking about something. He was pensive and had a question for me. He was busy formulating it and I started to some anticipating. Would it be the language and how would I explain the concept of “Dutch” Perhaps the racial thing but that is no big deal on this island. Maybe the walking on the coast with some else’s dog and having the dog respond to whistles. Perhaps it would be about the whole family being tall. I more or less prepared myself and hung on until he broke loose with it.
Sitting in the back and looking at my eyes in the rear-view mirror, he asked:
Papi – como se llama el pero? (Dad, what is the dogs name?)
I looked at him, felt like a fool and said – “Yo no se” ( I do not know) Yep. I – your all knowing and well prepared for all the important issues of the world father, do not know. I thought to myself… How poorly we prepare ourselves for the right things and how well we prepare ourselves for the wrong things. It did cross my mind to mention that only the owners and the dog would know that. Sometimes questions like that are best answered by making an "I'M SORRY" face. I tried and he would have none of it. We then talked about the family and his concern was that they would have someone to take them to the airport. Kids!
Sometimes the “people candy” blends into the landscape and a small critter will include itself but only if permitted to wrap itself into a tight knot. The individual colors, sounds, shades and shapes are of no consequence, it is the total that counts. You just have to learn to sit back and enjoy the Aruba chocolate - the eye candy.
And know that candy, especially eye-candy, is in the eyes of the beholder.
Spot on Charles! Hoping to make it back to Aruba next year for a week or more (maybe to even move there someday) to take in more of the eye candy and the environment. I live in a country that is known for being diverse and I manage to blend in with the general population till I start to talk and my pseudo British accent(from watching British television shows) and Upstate NY accent( from attending College in Rochester for 4 1/2 years) gives people the assumption that I'm a tourist, but yet during my visit to Aruba I was at times mistaken for a local. Which I took as a pretty good compliment. Keep up the great writing!