Tuesday, February 12, 2008
It seems that this humble scribbler has been tagged by a colleague blogger with an assignment of sorts. To wit: If ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ had an inexhaustible supply of financial resources, and time, where would he spend: One Week, One Month, One Year and Half of his Life? Answering such questions, though academic and more than a bit fanciful, tends to reveal the life experience of the respondent as well as his/her/its philosophical outlook.
Firstly, the answers to these questions will vary widely when asked of individuals of varying ages; for example, Leonidas has had the good fortune just prior to the onset of midlife to be able to embark on a lifelong dream of sailing away aboard a smallish sail boat to experience a somewhat self sufficient and at times adventurous lifestyle visiting a surfeit of exotic and out-of-the-way places not available to the average tourist. Interspersed between these exotic locales were the expected instances of joy, awe and terror such as riding out hurricanes, being jailed as a spy by a revolutionary communist government, trading skin magazines with local fishermen for buckets of lobster and shrimp as well as being offered a huge stalk of bananas in exchange for the ship's cat in an anchorage on the north coast of Haiti. That particular Haitian averring that: "There's lots of good meat on that cat." The ordinary Haitian diet is lacking in protein. Needless to say the offer was declined and Caloosa T. Katt retained his position as the chief mate in charge of varmint suppression aboard the good sloop Leonidas.
As is inevitable, all of life's adventures must be surrendered with the passage of time and the concomitant onset of boredom and diminishing capabilities, the most influential of which is the "been there, done that" attitude. This, even though the aforementioned adventures were interspersed with 3 transcontinental motorcycle trips as well as ranching in the northwest US and surviving a gunfight with a dope grower. Anyway you get the drift.
In view of the above, it is safe therefore, in this instance to dismiss the first 3 questions posed in the first paragraph of this posting and focus on the 4th and final one: "Where would Leonidas spend his remaining and allotted time on this planet. My colleague Wollf answers this question by referring not to a geographical location but to an ideal relationship. He is wise to focus on such a choice but Leonidas happily arrived at that nirvana some score of years ago and will address the geographical issue.
There exists in the northeastern Caribbean a remarkable volcanic island of scant 5 square miles extent which rises to an altitude of about 3000ft. The island is steep to and has no beaches or harbors for large vessels. It is thus mercifully free of the ubiquitous cruise ships and their accompanying gawking throngs that have been the bane of many an erstwhile pristine tropical island paradise. Visiting the island by small vessel is problematic as there exist no safe all weather anchorages and changes in the wind direction of only a few degrees can make the existing anchorages untenable. Additionally, the absence of level ground precludes a long airstrip necessary for aircraft capable of carrying large numbers of tourists.
In spite of all of the above "drawbacks", the Island of Saba administrated by the Netherlands boasts a friendly and resourceful population as well as the modern amenities including long distance communications taken for granted in western societies.
In view of the electoral choices available here in the US come next November, Leonidas would seriously consider becoming a US ex-pat resident of Saba were the issues of family logistics to be overcome by an accretion of financial resources. Any contributions?