Everything is just a little louder the morning after a particularly intense rainstorm. The crow of the roosters, the singing of the birds, the chirping of the frogs—the outside world feels as if someone turned up the volume dial just a little bit, and the result is a glorious cacophony of nature sounds, arranged into a haphazard but soothing symphony.
The bus rattles loudly as it comes to a stop, the window sounding like it may fall off any second now. The locals do not bat an eye at the noise; this is the sound of public transit on the island.
The secret at the Mount Gay visitors centre is to get the signature tasting. For an extra $10, you get a private tasting of the premium rums (five of them!) after the five you have already tasted.
The experience is definitely not small-craft like that at St. Nicholas Abbey, but it is impressive nonetheless. We learn so much about distillation and blending; we learn even more about our respective tolerances and tastes.
“Two with cheese and a Coke Light.” I order like I know what I'm doing, as if I've been here dozens of times before, but in reality I have been listening to those that were in the queue before me and echoing what I learned through observation. The cutters are excellent and live up to their reputation: Cuz's Fish Shack makes an incredibly delicious marlin sandwich.
We enjoy our fish on the beach, staring at the almost-white sand and emerald green sea. We are full, hot, happy.
In general, I don't care much for pottery, especially the handmade sort. The bowls at Earthworks, however, are unique and beautiful; even I will admit that handily.
In truth, we don't buy the pottery because of the beauty, but because of how happy it makes her to peruse the aisles, of how her face lights up when she thinks of multiple uses for the bowl. She is my sunshine, and if this makes her days brighter, there could be no better way to spend the afternoon.
I didn't know what to expect when the band was setting up as I ate my macaroni pie, but I was pleasantly surprised. The band—drums, keys, bass, steel pans—played jazz standards and light pop as we had dinner; it reminded me how much I miss going to jazz clubs back home, how much our new home city needs a place with a house jazz band, serviceable menu, and staff that know your name.
We left after a few songs, and I whistled on my way home as we stared up at the sky, the stars more vivid than I have ever seen, so bright they felt like they were just beyond reach, not millions of miles away. We spotted constellations and planets, and we marveled at the quiet, the stillness, the darkness.