The creatures and I grabbed cameras and set out on foot to explore the streets of Nassau in hopes of finding the famous straw market. Bernadine, Gary and Mommy caught a cab and we figured we’d eventually meet up. Danny would rather have a root canal with no block than join us in an adventure that might involve shopping, so he stayed at the boat.
We walked over the tall bridge, and from it could see the many vessels motoring back and forth. It was busy like a highway, some charter vessels filled with snorkelers, some delivering goods, some commercial fishing vessels and some private – all with important agendas to fulfill. Some of them were so loaded down with an assortment of things that I was amazed they still floated. A flock of lazy seagulls slept on a rooftop and below them, men on boats overloaded with conch hurried to deliver their fresh harvest.
We walked for about half an hour through an area where beautiful old buildings stood vacant and fading. Streets were quiet and a few cars hurried past en route to some place more lively. The Bahamian really love a particular shade of pink for their buildings.
In the distance we could see 3 massive cruise ships anchored, and as we neared the area, suddenly our surrounding became alive, bright paint and signs covered the walls and people talked and laughed as they mingled in the streets.
The straw market was an interesting place. A large building with booths lined in a grid pattern inside, all with “local” straw bowls and bags, bright backpacks and purses obviously made in Central and South America, wood work mostly made in Africa and China and t-shirts printed in bulk from various places. Each little lady at the neatly stacked booths called you to hers using the same lines of: “I want you to be my first customer of the day, what would you like from my store? A special discount for you. How about this hat. It is usually $25 but I’ll give it to you for $20 but, because you’re so beautiful, how about $15…just for you as my first customer.” The same lines used everywhere – even after an hour of people shopping I was still considered their first customer, just as everyone else was. I smiled as I watched people leave with big bags of goods, huge smiles on their faces as they felt accomplished in purchasing local hand made stuff at amazing discounted prices.
We eventually made our way back to Danny on Tanda Malaika, with exciting things to tell him about our adventure through town. Aidan was definitely the hit of the day, as every man and boy stood watching him in amazement as he rode his skateboard. What a fun place with happy, friendly people.