What it means to live in St Barth... by Pati
Posted on August 12 2016
Living without keys, leaving the door open.
Being friends with a builder, a fisherman, a banker.
Going to see a movie under the stars in Lorient. And if it rains, using your chair upside-down as an umbrella.
On All Saints’ Day, paying homage to departed friends and ancestors. Covering their tombs with flowers by candlelight.
Losing all inhibition at Carnival time.
At Easter, meeting friends on the beach and spending the night in a hammock. And in August, blessing the sea.
Getting up early, to the sound of doves cooing, the neighbor’s rooster crowing, waves breaking, a sudden morning rain shower. The air is tinged with pink and delightfully cool, as the ever-ravenous cat rubs against your legs.
Bananaquits swoop in to steal the sugar laid out for coffee, while a tortoise makes off with a piece of fruit.
People here drive with one hand, leaving the other free to wave at friends.
Everyone knows everyone. The routes are narrow and winding, climbing and dropping back down as you pass joggers, parents taking their children to school, construction workers getting their equipment in order... The sun rises higher, warming the roofs of the cottages and houses, and the people who are out and about. In late afternoon, the children leave the school by the beach, strewing their book bags on the white sand. “Watch out! Your lunchbox will get washed out to sea!”
Night falls quickly, announced by a chorus of hundreds of tiny frogs. People dine early, often on tuna, bream, wahoo, sweet potatoes or plantains.
When the moon shines as bright as daylight, it’s hard to fall asleep.
That’s when the fishermen head out in their saintoises, to net the next day’s catch.
Text excerpt from the book "Le Saint Barth de Pati", by Pati Guyot
Credit photos: Fabrice Pernisco