Oh, cruise ship days

The Good Life

The Good Life is a column written for the Caymanian Compass by Dave Martins, executive director of Pirates Week.

The tourism industry is a key contributor toward the good life we enjoy in the Cayman Islands, and while there can be a downside to that on the days when there is cruise ship congestion; the upside is the free entertainment these visitors often provide.

To be on the street downtown when the folks come ashore is to see and hear a range of behaviours, some amusing, some outlandish, but all spontaneous.

There may be a book in this some day, but here are some actual incidents, witnessed or reported, with our visitors in starring roles.

At the traffic light at the corner of Shedden Road and Harbour Drive, a couple decides to pose for photos.

With the husband on the sidewalk, the wife steps out onto Shedden Road stopping traffic. The husband gets down on one knee, balancing a shopping bag and a water bottle, and trying to work his digital camera.

He keeps shouting instructions to the wife, who’s doing her best Naomi Campbell imitation, but the wind is blowing her hair and it’s not going well.

Horns start blowing.

The wife doesn’t budge.

In classic New York fashion, she holds her ground, like Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy, waving at the drivers and yelling, ‘Aw shuddup. I’m takin’ a picture here.’ Believe it or not, with her picture taken, she switches places with the husband, and the whole routine is repeated.

Traffic stops.

Horns blare.

America poses.

A Jamaican on the sidewalk says, ‘Dem feisty, sah.’

A very curvaceous young lady in a revealing two-piece is strolling on Harbour Drive.

The guy beside is walking along with a camera on his left shoulder. His right arm is around her waist, but every now and then he lets it drop a bit. Every time it does, the young lady reaches back, gently takes the guy’s arm, and repositions it on her waistline.

After about the third slippage, the young lady stops, stares at her guy and steps around to the left side where he’s carrying the camera. They resume walking. Ten feet on, the guy switches the camera to his right shoulder and….yes, that’s right.

Two American men are strolling on Goring Avenue. One says, ‘Have you noticed the coconut trees down here are shorter than in California?’ The other one says, ‘Sure. Don’t you know why that is?’

‘No’, says the first guy.

Says his friend, ‘The atmospheric pressure down here is greater than in California, so it presses the trees down.’

A mature woman who has obviously had some implant enhancement is standing with her husband in front of Bayshore.

She’s wearing a very skimpy top and her brassiere is under severe strain.

She keeps hitching it up, one side then the other.

Every time she hitches, the husband turns his head and gives her a stare. After about the fifth hitch, he says, ‘Dammit. Why don’t you just get the right size?’

A couple on a corner appears to have lost their bearings. The husband has a map they’re consulting and he keeps turning it around as if he’s trying to figure which direction is which. Opinions are differing.

Finally, the husband loses his patience. He hands his camera to his wife, puts the map flat on the sidewalk, gets on his all fours, and appears to be aligning the map with Harbour Drive. He points to the right triumphantly, straightens up and walks away. The wife follows. The map is left behind.

The next time things start getting a little tense for you in Cayman, take a stroll on Harbour Drive on a busy cruise ship day; it will restore your faith in the good life.

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