Somehow this week went both quickly and lasted forever. All I can say is that I'm happy the weekend's here. Ok, first up - a couple of business plugs.
Earlier in the week I went to The Craft House just east of Basseterre to see what kinds of local products they sold. Not only is it hard to buy unique things in the Caribbean if you're a tourist, but it's not easy buying gifts for people if you live on island either. I always want to buy things from the locals, if possible, that's why I get so frustrated that the supermarkets don't seem to carry local produce (if they are, they're marking it all as imported so we have to pay VAT on it). Anyway, first I was shocked when I emailed the Craft House and they actually answered back. Twice! Then I went there and was a bit surprised by the showroom, not exactly "crafty," but it was cool to see the artisans working.
There are two or three artsy huts currently being used for pottery making, with the main green building housing the artists and their goods.
They've got nice cases full of leather goods, things made of coconut, dolls, t-shirts, pottery, magnets, key chains, jewelry etc. They seemed to have more on their website, but if you wanted to make sure they had something, you could always call them.
Management is talking about turning the huts into sale's booths and I think that's a good idea. Much more welcoming. Until they do though, you can take a flat, leisurely walk along the sea wall, looking for a green building (and the go upstairs; it's even air conditioned!). I would suggest having lunch at El Fredo's and then walking the final little bit to the Craft House and back to the ship, if you're not doing an island tour or something. Or ask your taxi driver to make a stop. They're open Mon-Fri from 8am to 4pm.
You can also find their products at Only in St. Christopher's (in the Treasury Building in Port Zante), the Brimstone Hill Fortress gift shop, and maybe a few other places here and there.
Next up, the owner of Splash Boutique, located inside the Marriott, wanted me to get the word out that the store is closing and everything has been priced to sell. Get great deals on swimwear, straw hats and bags, colorful Jams World apparel, Teva & Reef sandals, Kipling bags, sunglasses, cool T-shirts, beach wear for men, women and children, as well as Tropical Art clothing for infants and toddlers.
And lastly, we've been hearing friends ranting and raving about a new(ish) Chinese restaurant downtown, Star Chinese (on West "Independemce Spuare" St.; they might want someone to proof their stuff; the brochure for their store says "Yndpendence). We finally found the place and tried it out last night. It was definitely cheaper than our favorite place, Formosa Gardens, they were very friendly, had a lot of vegetarian stuff on the menu, and the take-out was ready very quickly. As far as the taste, I think it was pretty comparable (we really liked the curried vegetable), but some of it (like the spring rolls and fried rice) were a bit dry. We'd continue to get those at Formosa. If you want cheap, Star is the place to go.
Ok, so now we gear up for the Hash Limpics and the Latin Fiesta this weekend. Fun, Fun!