Words & Images, Spring 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

One Island - Two Countries

I could not believe my eyes! I see people in proximity of a handshake, right outside of the window!  Should I even mention that I am on an airplane, still in the air? We are landing at the Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten Island. I am speechless. The beauty of this heart shaped island is overwhelming.

“The signs — they say “Danger” in bright red letters and depict a man getting blown off his feet by a landing jet — could not be clearer. Yet that doesn’t seem to deter people from lining up on the beach at the foot of the runway at Princess Juliana International Airport to jump up as if they could touch the approaching aircraft with their fingertips. This spectacle poses several confounding questions: Don’t they realize they can’t jump high enough to reach the planes? And don’t they realize what would happen to them if they did?” – Jeremy Peters.

First time I visited this lovely part of the world, was about eight years ago while taking a cruise. We docked about 7AM, and half-hour later we were let free to explore the island. Some passengers disappeared at lightning speed, rushing to make sure they get the best pieces of jewelry before anyone else.  I was more impatient to discover what was so distinctive about this island.

One of the most attractive features of this island, besides its picturesque beaches, is that it hosts two countries. Half of the island is French and the other half is Dutch. You can clearly notice the difference right away. Cuisine, people, prices, architecture, and much more. Also, the Dutch part of the island operates significantly faster than the French side, what a surprise!

I would definitely suggest to anyone visit St. Maarten and explore its unique beauty and culture, and trust me you will not regret!

You can find full article by Jeremy Peters here.  

1 comment:

  1. Interesting article. Some people believe danger signs are merely suggestions. In their minds they think that if it was that dangerous, the airport would have fenced off the airport or assigned a guard shoo them off.

    If I go, I think I will heed the authors advice and chill out from a distance.