The thought of how wonderful it would be to quit
the rat race someday, somehow, and go off to live on a tropical island occurs to
many of us. To flee, once and for all the hurrying crowds-to live on an island
where it's always warm, the air is fresh, the sky is clear and the pace is
slow-is something we long to try. An impossible dream, we know, but still worth
pondering now and again. Well, some of us have managed to do it. We've chosen an
island in the tropics and we're making a living from those who come to visit our
island paradise on their vacation. We should love these vacationers as they
march through the gift shops, restaurants and bars, leaving a trail of green
dollars, but somehow the intrusion of their numbers and the repetitiveness of
their questions seems to annoy, after a time, ex-patriots in paradise.
So in an effort to help them be better visitors to our
island, I've developed a list-with the help of my expatriate friends
and fellow islanders-of the 10 most annoying questions asked by a tourist, all
in the interest of preserving peace, you understand? Not at all unappreciative
of the hands that feed us.
So when you pull up to a bar
stool or throw your towel on a beach chair with one or more of John Grisham's
books, to discover the person next to you lives here, try your best, hard as it
may be, not to ask:
* Does it get hot in the summertime?
* Will Customs
let me take back a bottle of the turquoise water?
* Isn't the Blue Hole just
a big Blue Hole?
* Do you live here all year long?
* Are there any
* Does it rain a lot in the rainy season?
* Does the water go all
the way around the island?
* Where do the fish sleep at night?
* Is that
the barrier reef?
* Why do they park all the sailboats pointing in the same
docked my boat at the Palapa Bar in Tres Cocos on my way home from work. The bar
was cooking barbecue and serving my favorite libation. Working behind the bar
and slapping ribs down on tables around the palapa, clad in a white chef's apron
was a large-breasted woman, putting up with over ten tourists and answering
their questions with the rapid fire system-
To the tourist
query, "Does the water go all the way around the island?" she would reply,
"number 3," serve their drink and move quickly onto the next tourist who would
ask, "Does it rain a lot in the rainy season?" This brown-skinned voluptuous
woman would respond, "number 3," serve their order and dart quickly to check the
ribs on the grill.
I guessed right away somewhere there
must be a list and began to look around. Big and bold over the bar was my
confirmation. She had it all under control with a unique system- three
concise retorts. I realized the value of this system and decided to pass it
along to you with the hope that harmony will prevail, as the season rolls on, so
we may all operate more efficiently with our service to the tourist.
Here's the list: 1 - No, 2 - It makes you wonder, doesn't it? and 3 -