Well, actually, yes.
So much information on the Caribbean in general, and the Turks and Caicos Islands specifically, is tourism folderol. It’s heavy on photos of pretty people on beautiful beaches and stuffed with opportunities for sellers of all-inclusive vacations, condos, high-end restaurant food, cruises and frozen drinks. It homogenizes the island experience, blending Jamaica, Barbados, Hawaii and the South Pacific into one dream culture wrapped around a few icons: a palm tree, a hammock, an umbrella drink, a pair of flip-flops. This paradise has only a marginal connection to real islands where real people have been carving out a life for centuries.
There are some bloggers who share the opposite side: what it’s like to actually live in a place that’s beautiful, but where basic services are sketchy, the weather can be harsh and fickle, and getting things done requires wading through lots of b- … well, let’s just say “bureaucracy.” Do we need another such blogger? I’m going to take the risk and say yes, because I still see the cluelessness that brings people to my beloved North Caicos expecting the fantasy of Margaritaville.
I have written about island life before within the previous versions of my website blog. Originally, the blog’s aim was to boost the message (and sales) of my novel. Then it was a series of personal observations (in both my island and city locations). Finally, I tried to limit it to a writing blog. Now I am going to resurrect the blog as “Beyond the Parrot Paradise,” which will target a narrower audience (although my audience all along has been even thinner than I want to be physically!). Some people (that’s you, Patti and David) have encouraged me to do this. So let’s give it a try.
I plan to write a piece once a week, as I know that deadlines motivate me. This blog will focus on North Caicos and the Turks and Caicos Islands, with info for foreign residents, tourists, and sometimes even the “belongers” who have knowledge far beyond mine. Sometimes, I may reprise one of my previous blogs. I will try to avoid being a know-it-all, although I can’t promise that I won’t take to task those who continue to market the TCI as a perfect paradise. And I will create a new Facebook page as a place to post the blog as well as its home on my website.
Okay? Let’s go.
My website is www.jodyrathgeb.com