It was Christmas Day, and I had no money
Well, I had money, just not in any usable form. I had failed to change a traveler’s cheque the day before. I figured that I would change a few US dollars in to East Carribbean dollars with the proprietor of the hotel, but he had not put in an appearance by the time I left for the beach. I wasn’t quite sure what I’d do for lunch - maybe a miracle would happen and I wouldn’t get hungry. At any rate, there was sunshine waiting, and I’d figure something out later.
Christmas Day on Grand Anse beach was quite pleasant. Mali, the Rasta beach chair guy, gave me a speech about the spiritual meaning of Christmas and a good deal on a lounge chair. The sun was hot, the sky was blue, and all was right with the world.
Predictably, around noon I began to feel a bit peckish. All I had in my beach bag was a bottle of water and EC$4 and change. It was a long, uphill, walk back to my apartment.
At one end of Grand Anse beach is a vendors’ market, included in which are a couple of food stalls. I wandered in that direction, not expecting much. It was Christmas, after all, and I only had about EC$4.50, about US$1.75.
There was only one food stall open, and it was here that I made the acquaintance of
Janice, proprietor of Janice Shady Heaven Bar. You can’t actually enter Janice’s, it’s much too small. Her place is about 5 feet wide, and 10 feet deep, and it’s crammed with all manner of stuff, from beer to soap to cookies to cigarettes to crisps to toilet paper. She also fries chicken here, and serves hot lunches.
I did what any normal hungry person would do, I threw myself on her mercy. "I have
EC$4," I said. "What will that get me?"
Maybe because it was Christmas, maybe I just looked pitiful. I expected to get a small package of cookies, maybe some crisps. Instead, I was offered two big, meaty chicken
wings, and a fresh roll. I was in heaven.
Most of the food vendors on Grand Anse beach provide the same meals and snacks, but
nobody does it with the joy and enthusiasm of Janice and her daughter. If you stop by, try the muffins. They’re excellent!
Footnote: US$1.00 = EC$2.67