dharma monkey

embrace the monkey

Sunny and bright


I woke up this morning to find the brightest sun I’ve seen in two days, along with a gorgeous view of Saba out the windows and off the porch of the cottage. It’s a tad overcast, but the sun is breaking through!

The weather says a 30 percent chance of rain today (yesterday’s was 40 percent, and it rained almost the entire day), so I’m going to focus on the 70 percent chance that it will remain clear and dry.

Last night we had dinner up the hill at Scout’s Place, whose owner, Wolfgang, we met two days ago during our first attempt to get to Saba. He’s German, but has lived here for 8 years to run the hotel and its dive center.

Several people told us that Wolfgang’s place was the Saba hot-spot on Friday nights, and now we know why. He holds a weekly Saba Idol karaoke competition, now in its fourth year. And it was serious business.

The first year’s winner, generally acknowledged to be the Karaoke King of Saba, sang several songs before the actual contest, while the competitors took turns with their warms up, which were mostly country songs from the U.S. Just as the competition started at 10 p.m., about 20 students arrived from Saba’s medical school, so the small bar quickly took the vibe of a rowdy music hall.

The Saba Idol contest was intense – Claire and Jennifer, both of whom hold country music in very high regard, are currently battling for first place, but there may be an opening for two other contestants to run away with the contest: the hotel chef, whose sultry Dutch voice is great for slow ballads, and one of the dive instructors, whose British accent works great for Elton John tunes.

Our dinner guests, the two women who live in Virginia (one of whom is renovating a house here with her partner, who couldn’t make the trip), tried to get Shawn and I to take a stab during the open mike portion of the night, but there just wasn’t enough Carib beer on the island to make me do it, although Shawn kept pointing out to them that I sang in high school and college. When I told them my college experience was limited to singing in Latin, a couple minutes later, one of the women produced the karaoke listing for Latin songs (think Ricky Martin or Gloria Estefan). We all had a hearty laugh.

Such is life on a Friday night on Saba, the place where everyone knows your name (and your life story). When we arrived at the Fort Bay Harbor yesterday morning, the taxi driver, who didn’t know we were coming over, said something like, “You must be Shawn and Sean. We figured you would eventually make it over, and I’ve been keeping an eye out for you.”

It’s a small-town island, my kind of place. We’ve got 77 inches of water in our cistern, and everything we need. Life is good.

Author: Sean

I am Sean, a writer/PR guy originally from the Rural South who grew up and settled down in Washington, D.C. My interests include local politics, Eastern philosophy, languages and reality television.

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