Monday, January 9, 2017

St Martin - the wild, wild west

If you have any doubts about whether government is a good or bad thing then come and look at St Martin. Wahoo right? No taxes, so little or no oversight on anything you do. Even if there is a law against it, there is little or no enforcement. Beer is $13 for a slab of 24 cans, and I'm talking about the tall 16oz cans. You can buy rum cheaper than wine. Planes take off and climb steeply right over Simpson and Cole Bay business districts that stops all conversation and you can go to a beach at the start of the runway and be blown right over by them taking off. The laws governing what boats can pump overboard are not enforced so the lagoon I am on is basically a toilet. There is a $450 fine for using your dinghy at night without a light but many race through the lagoon without one.
The roads are shocking and traffic horrendous. Ambulances get stuck in traffic here. Goodness knows how a person in a wheelchair could possibly get around. You take your life in your hands, walking along a street. After dark, private security guards with dogs are everywhere. Island Water World where I am staying was robbed at gun point a few months back.
Despite everything, and having said that, it is a very interesting place and not only have I enjoyed my stay but will most probably be back.

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