Nei Caraibi (In the Caribbeans)

410-nei-caraibi-in-the-caribbeansMost probably you relate the Caribbean basin mainly to the Pirates of the Caribbean film series about Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and his dangerous adventures. But do you know where the Caribbean is situated and what it’s all about exactly? Yes, I know you do. The Caribbean is a very exotic region in the Caribbean Sea and in the outskirts of the North Atlantic Ocean. It consists of some 2000 islands, islets, cays and reefs between the Gulf of Mexico and the mainland of North America on the one hand, and eastern parts of Central America and north South America, on the other hand.

The name of the region and the homonymous sea derives from the name of an indigenous people known as the Kalinago or Caribs that lived there in the pre-Columbian era. Unfortunately, “original Caribs” don’t exist anymore in present times but the whole region has kept the original name up to now. Moreover, one of the flagship beers there is called Carib and its ads are really very attractive and entertaining.

Speaking about beers in the Caribbean basin, we could say that almost every country and island there has its own beer typical for this place. Principally, it bears the name of the place where you are and it’s an insult for locals if your mistake and order a beer typical for the nearby island or country. So, before making an order you should have a look at your passport and check the place you’re visiting. This will remind you what beer to order without offending locals.

Plenty of ethnic groups live in the Caribbean and each of them has its own feasts that they observe. Consequently, there’re about 28 official holidays a month in the region and locals are very “party people” there. It’s inevitable not to celebrate any of them because otherwise it would be an insult.

Local cuisine is Creole but in effects, it combines the national cuisines of other peoples from all over the world. What do I mean? Just imagine a huge pot in which you throw and stir various and diverse national dishes. They are carefully mixed up until Creole dish with an exotic taste is ready.

The languages in the Caribbeans are like their cuisine. Due to the great number of ethnic groups there plus the various ex-conquerors and invaders on the Caribbean islands and coasts, various languages like Dutch, Spanish, French, English are spoken but for sure, Creole is always dominant.

This paradise has wild and beautiful nature. Fauna is presented mainly by crocodiles. The latter are not such fans of sea (salt) water. For instance, Cuban Crocodile is only in the swamps of Cuba. After the revolution in the Country of Freedom and Revolution, il Comandante flew over the Cuban swamps and saw those creatures underneath. He asked what they were and he was explained that they were Cuba endemic aquatic reptiles. Hearing that, he ordered that people keep an eye on them and since then Cubanos (i.e. the Cubans) have been taking care of these endemic crocodile species extremely carefully.

The other species of crocodiles includes American Crocodile which is more accustomed to salt water. They could be found even on white sand beaches while sunbathing under the sun. If you’re too impressed with the surrounding beauty of the Caribbeans, the crystal clear water, palms and exotic views, and if you happen to step on a crocodile accidentally while walking along the beach, no worries …. you will have two possibilities. You will either be eaten up by a crocodile in this heaven or this poor creature will get surprised with you and will run away (it might prefer the shelter of nearby bushes or it might dive into the salt water).

There is another species that includes “screwed up crocodiles”.  Why “screwed up”? Because these crocodiles have a great intolerance to salt water but they are forced to live this way. Actually, there is a place on one of the Caribbean islands which has got transformed into a saltwater lagoon from which crocodiles couldn’t escape in the past. Since then their destiny has been to live in saltwater which hasn’t been to their taste. Fortunately, there is one certain place with fresh-water in this lagoon where these crocodiles go to “get refreshed” and to feel good even for a while.

Apart from crocodiles the Caribbeans are full of pink flamingos with highly developed skills in teleportation. Moreover, these   gracious and elegant creatures dance while walking. This way they puddle the water around them and all smaller “beings” get onto the surface and become a delicious lunch or dinner for flamingos.

There is one very interesting fish with four eyes in the Caribbeans. As a matter of fact, it has two eyes, each being divided into two. The lower eyes help it see under the seawater while the upper ones – above it.

This part of the world is very seismic and volcanoes and earthquakes, heavy rains, big waves and typhoons are very characteristic and typical for it. For example, there is a volcano somewhere there which is very popular among tourists. It’s greatly advertised but sometimes people are confused and even disappointed when they see only two hills constituting it instead of Etna or Vesuvius style. One of it is a dormant, i.e. “sleeping” volcano, while the second one is an active one. The latter “murmurs” from time to time. Tourist hear it saying “phew, phew” and after this expression of deep relief of the volcano, it “throws” lava.

As to heavy rains, they’re really very common in the Caribbean basin. Dangerous typhoons occur as a result of them. By the way, it’s a general notion that usually people get depressed when it rains. But “Caribbean depression” is different. The difference is that when it rains heavily Caribbean people drink and smoke something Habanos style and are always in a “party mood” while other people, from other parts of the world are really depressed and try to suppress their bad mood with tea or coffee.

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