This is going to go in the new “making my own entertainment” category. One of my girlfriend’s parents sent her over some very expensive fancy clay. This led to a Craft evening being put on that week’s social calendar. The four lovely ladies and I decided to make keepsake bracelets. We each had the task of picking an object and then making 5 of them so we could put one of each of our bracelets, alongside our initial. I chose a cupcake while the other ladies made a pizza, an octopus, an iguana and a Mickey Mouse. Our little objects were put in the oven to cook, then we threaded wire through them to make these totally hip and wearable bracelets. We were specifically told that the clay cost a lot of money and was not to be wasted so I obviously made a little bit pair of breasts, with a letter B, so it looked like the word Boo. I am gifted at crafts and satire. We had a Prettiest Hand Contest and some wine and cake. I mainly went along for the option to stroke a mentally ill cat. It was a fun night and I always like a party where I get to keep something.
One major life event happened to me on Little Cayman: I lived alone for the very first time. I have lived with family, in dorms, in hotels, on boats, with girls and boys, but I have never truly lived alone. On LC I have a little studio apartment that is all mine. I pay for the rent, the bills and I am the only one with a key. It is modest but to me it is perfect. I live in a block of 5 apartments in the shadow of the church. The beach is a few steps away from my front door. I have a big kitchen and lots of storage. I am convinced I have the best air conditioning on the island. The A/C unit is a metre from my bed and when I turn it on it blasts cold air right into my face. Because my apartment is so small it cools down in a few minutes, great news when it is over 100 degrees outside and the electricity here is made by unionized elves whose wages are so high that my electricity bill costs more than Belgium’s.
When I first moved in I hated being alone. I would be home only when I was sleeping, and even then I would try to have someone stay over. I don’t have a TV, so if I didn’t have company and couldn’t force anyone to Skype with me I would either have something playing on my laptop, or I would listen to the Pocahontas soundtrack. It was really lonely at first. There is no one to come home to and tell about your day, or do a skit for, or watch a movie with or share a pizza.
I’m not sure when the change occurred, but it wasn’t long before I started to like having my own space. I would leave the apartment (now known at The B Pad by just me) clean and tidy, no dishes in the sink and I would come home to find it exactly the same as the way I left it. If I cooked, which I never have, the food would be at home waiting for me. For the first time in years of living overseas I unpacked. Clothes hanging up, cases under the bed, properly unpacked. I could decide how I wanted to decorate and my 100 Forever 21 dresses could take up all the closet space guilt free. I could watch whatever I wanted to watch. I could listen to whatever I wanted. I could put my jammies on at 4.00pm, or keep them on until 4.00pm. Impromptu High School Musical Dance Party? No roomies, no problem.
Then I became a little, dare I say, domesticated. My bathroom is always clean. My drawers and wardrobe are organized like The Gap. My ice cube trays are quickly replenished. Scented candles burn in the evening. I drink wine from my one wine glass. I learnt how to make egg mayonnaise from watching a video on YouTube. I learnt how to unblock a toilet, also from a video on YouTube. Listen up to this nifty life tip, if the plunger isn’t doing the trick, put hot water and washing up liquid in the bowl for an hour. Works like a charm! I have a minor cockroach problem. Any which do not starve from lack of food in my apartment, are gently shooed out the door. Same with little lizards or any other creepy crawly. A magazine, a wine glass and a lot of patience usually get the wildlife back outside. I can deal with iguana poop without flinching. I have an organized weekly laundry schedule. When my shower curtain fell down, I put it back up. Without other people to rely on I find I am much more useful as a human being.
I am also the very proud owner of my first Adult bike. It is the biggest, baddest bike on the island. I call him Geyonce and I feel like a bad ass when I ride him around the island. Groups of boys will gather around it coo-ing at how cool it looks. OK, that happened once, but it there was more people here I am fairly sure it would happen on a regular basis.
With my own apartment and wheels I feel quite the independent woman around town. I went from hating being alone to not being able to imagine not living by myself. It has been an unexpected bonus of moving to Little Cayman. I have always been very independent but now I feel properly so. I think … I might just have become a grown up.
“You can never cross the ocean unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore”
I took a trip away from my usual sandy, tranquil beach to watch the waves at the East End of the island. Looking at the waves crashing on the rocks reminded me of just how strong and relentless the ocean is. I have plenty of reasons to fear the ocean. Childhood memories of floating out to sea on an inflatable duck. Being pulled under by a massive wave in Florida and being spun so much I didn’t know which way the surface was. Last year I found myself stuck in such a strong current, I could not move out of knee-high water, a bizarre yet terrifying ordeal. Learning to dive taught me not to be frightened of the sea, but to have respect for it.
Living on a little island I think it is natural to become obsessed with the water. The ocean to me represents freedom and possibilities. I have been gazing out at the Caribbean Sea everyday for 2 years . Every time I see a World full of adventures and opportunities just waiting to be explored.