My brother, Jason, is here visiting from Jackson, Wyoming. He’s between seasons right now, the snow is melting and skiing and snowboarding are finished but the tourists haven’t yet arrived to take over Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. He visited us at Petit Byahaut, and out of brotherly obligation, he agreed to be interviewed.
Me: Do you have one vivid memory of Petit Byahaut?
J: Black. Black people, black sand, just a lot of black.
Me: Ha! Really?
J: Yeah. Black.
(hmm. maybe this wasn’t such a good idea)
Me: Most everyone was picked up at the airport by Robert, but I picked you up at the airport. What do you remember about that?
J: I had been up for 30 hrs because I was in Trinidad with an eight hour layover and I wasn’t going to get a hotel room and you were like, “I’m just gonna run a few errands.” And I had to ride in the back of the truck while you and the kids rode in the front seat.
Me: Well, I remember specifically remember asking if you wanted to ride in the front.
J: No, no I don’t remember it like that.
(we squabble back and forth for a bit about this, like brother and sister)
J: You were speeding around these narrow roads with concrete drainage ditches that were two or three feet deep and you went the wrong way and had to turn around on the road that was barely wide enough, you had to make a five point turn to turn around.
Me: That road clung to a cliffside, didn’t it?
J: Yeah. Then we went to town and we went to the market and this kid had an empty bucket and was going to wash the truck, and I thought, “What’s he going to wash the truck with? It’s an empty five gallon bucket.” And we came back and the truck was clean. It rained for two minutes.
Me: Did we get some groceries in town?
J: Yeah, we got bags for ice, we picked up some fruit and veggies. And I met Sparrow.
Me: In Clare Valley?
J: Yeah, in Clare Valley. He wanted to be really helpful but I didn’t know what to take of this drunk fisherman on the beach. I didn’t know what his intentions were, if he was a friend of yours or not. Brian came over and picked us up at the dock.
Me: He picked us up at the dock rather than the beach? We usually only used the dock if we had the big boat or if the waves were really bad because there were a lot of ropes around the dock, it was hard to get there.
J: I think so. It was pretty neat to see the whole resort when you come around the bend.
Me: When you first approached it from the water?
J: Yeah. There was a lot going on, new surroundings, quite different surroundings, it was fun.
Me: I had probably told you or emailed you about Petit Byahaut before you came. Was it what you were expecting?
J: I had seen some pictures from the first time you traveled there. I think the cottages ended up being nicer than I expected and your house was really nice. I didn’t know what to make of the island. I wasn’t sure what that would be like because I hadn’t ever been to the Caribbean, I didn’t know what to expect.
Me: What else did you do while you were there?
J: We went to Bequia and we saw the Turtle Sanctuary and we had lunch at a restaurant on the beach that was off the beaten path and rode the ferry back. And I did the rainforest tour with a family from England.
Me: Who were staying on a boat?
J: Yeah, that was fun. It rained while we were up there and for some reason it seemed like the coldest day of my life and it took until the boat ride back to the resort before I started warming up. I was so surprised I was that cold and everyone was soaked to the bone, it didn’t matter if you had a rain jacket.
Me: I should look up the altitude there because when I hiked the volcano, it rained and it was freezing at the top, which was so odd because it was never not balmy any other moment.
J: I was in town one day with Brian and the cops were trying to set up a sting operation, a not so subtle sting operation. A guy was trying to sell us pot and a police bike was parked literally right behind the truck and this guy wouldn’t take no for an answer, he tried half a dozen times and when he finally took no for the last time the cop came over and got on his bike and rode away. It was the strangest thing, so obvious.
Me: How do you think it compared to other trips you’ve taken?
J: It was good. I haven’t taken a lot of similar types of trips but it was really good to go do, it’s not somewhere I would have gone on my own. It was cool not to just see the resort side of it but the island life side of it. For me it was a really eye opening experience, to be an “expatriate”, to be in a reverse discrimination situation.
Me: To be a white person in a black society?
Me: It’s a strange feeling at first, isn’t it?
J: It was a little bit, yeah. Not that I was afraid but it was like you had to watch your step a little as an outsider where people coming to this country probably feel they have to watch their step when they come to our country.
Me: Ok. Anything else you want to add?
Me: Alright. Thanks for taking time out of your vacation for an interview, Jason.
J: When do I get my cash?
Me: We’ll talk about that tomorrow.