Caribbean Rum, Words, and Relaxation

December 14, 2011

Ready, set, relax!

Cruzan island rum with limes and mango – cheers!

As the white dots of cyber snow float across my wordpress screen, I realize that it’s telling me that its winter. Unlike real snow however, it does not accumulate lest it make it impossible to write the text necessary to post this blog. So rather, it dissipates as it cycles – nice. But it does conjure up cold and that’s when I long for the warmth of southern climes.
What says vacation…relaxation – some might say iced tea and a hammock -sounds awfully nice. As a foodie and partier I like the booze and food of the local environment to accompany my activities. The context of it all – like “when in Rome”…it’s blue agave tequila in Mexico and it’s sugar cane RUM in the islands and in this case, the US Virgin Islands. Rum punch or, for me, just rum and water – with a squeeze of lime if available…it’s much of the history of the Caribbean. Here our very own St. Croix “Cruzan” rum – along with that lime and a couple of ripe juicy mangoes on the side – just for good measure- and it certainly makes a gorgeously colorful photo op!
And BTW, that’s CARIB-BEEEEEAN – stressing the EEEEEEE! Yes, the Carib (Care-ib) Indians…have you read about them? Try Mitchner – a lengthy beach read. It was not a British affectation to start the Carib (accent on the rib)ean falling off the end. Actually, even in the BVI, back in the day, everyone clearly said Carib-beeean with that lovely accent.
No, at some point, it was decided by some to make the change. In the case of the Caribbean, was it Carnival Cruise Line and/or some marketing upstart behind some “new” pronunciation campaign to design the “new” image of the islands? Hmmm…thought it sounded British?! ”You say tomato and I say tomatto” as the song goes!
When you listen to Bob – Marley, that is – need I say? He sang and his recordings still sing today “In the heart of the Caribbeeeeean. ” He sang it loudly and clearly with his magnificent, melodic and authentic Jamaican accent – old pirates! Weren’t they listening?
So you go to the sun…feel the balmy breeze – “Christmas wind” – greet you as you climb into a cab at the airport and the question that has been puzzling you for some time in advance of this trip comes out…and you ask the driver “Down here do you say Ca-RIB -ean or do you say Caribbeeean”? To which he answers “We say West Indies.” Ha – what a great answer – to keep above the fray!
Perhaps you’ll put on some music and relax with your mind adrift – just design your holiday getaway around what is fun for you. Cheers!

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