Have you ever been accused of “looking like a tourist” while living on your island? I’ve decided there are worse things…
Having just come back to my rock, SXM (St. Maarten), from a superb vacation to St. Lucia, I came across the picture below of me and my bestie Leigh at Jade Mountain. We were celebrating my love’s b-day, though he’s not in the photo because my Dave does not like to be plastered all over the internet. This picture made me think, which is difficult at the best of times especially when it is HOT, HUMID, and LAZY weather. It got me thinking of how I love wide and airy Batik pants, breezy shirts, and long dresses that don’t require you to have anything on underneath them. And I prefer cotton since synthetic clothes irritate my oh-so-sensitive skin.
The problem is, whenever I walk around dressed like this on St. Maarten during these hot, humid, and lazy summer days, I will inevitably receive at least one, but likely many, comments from people I know which go something like this: “Ankie! You look like a tourist!”
Well, guess what my friend – yes, you in the tight jeans with closed shoes and the synthetic shirt that must itch like the clappers… perhaps I do, but boy am I airy and breezy! I find it so funny to see my fellow islanders bending over backwards to dress “normal” (whatever that is these days) so as not to look like a “tourist” (as though that’s such an unfavorable thing to be in the world).
SIDE NOTE: I must give credit where credit is due: if you work at the airport, bank, insurance agency, or the supermarket, I understand that you NEED to dress in pants and a sweater not only due to job requirements but also because these places are beyond cold! At Nagico, the workers even get fleece vests to wear in the office. (Something I can’t figure out is why no one has ever thought about simply turning the temperature down on the air conditioner…)
Beyond the outfit, if I have the audacity to also don my absolutely gorgeous, handmade, Equadorian El Galpon hat, well then I really can expect the comments flying around. The hat breathes, keeps the rays off my face, and looks amazing without having to walk around carrying a black umbrella to ward off the sun like everyone else. And, most importantly, I love it!
I am so grateful to have aged past the time when I gave a shit about what people think of me. As a result, I’m now free to walk around with my very colorful, flamboyant clothes and wear my El Galpon and feel airy, breezy, and simply wonderful. I’ve been an island girl now for over 10 years and don’t feel like a tourist at all. Besides – they really do seem to have it figured out when it comes to cozy tropical attire.
If it makes you, who are hot, bothered, and sweatin’ under your black umbrella feel better to throw comments at me that I “look like a tourist” like it’s some sort of criticism, then please continue to do so while I float on my merry way all airy, breezy, and enjoying being colorful!