Driving in Martinique
I’m riding in the trunk of a car…but no one cares.

Pa ni pwoblem – No problem, mon.

Let’s just say I’m glad I made it home alive. When I left my house on Friday morning, I knew I wouldn’t be returning home until Sunday evening, at the earliest, but most likely Monday morning before work. I didn’t really have firm plans about sleeping or transportation arrangements, but I figured things would work themselves out. No life skills I say.

Dancing the Logobitombo, Martinique
Dancing the Logobitombo

Friday

“Faut faire des choix dans ta vie, mec”

Party in Fort-de-France. A situation getting to this place. I caught a late taxico (taxi collectif – a guy with a van who takes passengers to certain destinations) and didn’t arrive until dark. After an interesting evening chez a homegrown hippie, we meet up with some of his friends and some other assistants. It was quite an eclectic mix of people, the music was decent, the people were drunk, high, happy, and dancing up a storm. Group dances (the Logobitombo) were the norm. We didn’t leave until about 4 in the morning.

Saturday

 “On fait des bracelets d’amitié?”

Beach in Tartane with a Toulousian I met at the taxico stop. Yes, that’s how we roll here–straight up stranger danger. Irregardless, stranger danger and I spent the day flirting… Which on my end meant me cajoling him to keep his shirt off. Win. Stayed a little too late so no more taxico… We hitch hike out to Trinité where a man tells us a story about a time he was carjacked. He let’s us out on the highway. We walk to the gas station where we get a ride with a man who tells us we can make 2000€ a month selling “products”. Yeah, don’t think so buddy. Finally, we arrive in Le Robert at the top of a freakin’ mountain in the middle of nowhere and Toulousian’s family decides they’re not down with me staying there… It was 8PM. There was no hope of getting home. After calling the five people I know in Martinique, an amazingly nice assistant was relatively close by and came to get me.

Guy on the beach in Tartane, Martinique
Enjoying the view 😉

Sunday

“Take nothing but photos, leave nothing but footprints”

This amazing friend who picked me up had the most hilarious car trouble. First, the wheel gets stuck in a ditch and it had to be lifted out. Almost immediately after, his door falls off. Rather than go on the trek to Le Francois, it was decided to go to a local beach in Shoelcher. It was a safe bet after the weekend of total uncertainty and near-death.

Yoga in Schoelcher, Martinique
Time to relax – Anse Madame, Schoelcher

Honestly, after a weekend of being a nomad and having no idea what was going to happen next, I learned some things:

  • Being helped by total strangers is great…but friends, the kind that pass a breathalyzer on the way to pick you up at a McDonalds in bumfuck nowhere on a Friday night, are priceless (+ gas money).
  • Sometimes you just have to laugh at your misfortunes. If you’re not laughing, you’re crying… and nobody likes a teary-eyed hitch hiker.
  • If you think it’s bad now, just know it could get worse. Stay calm and do what you feel is best because things will turn out the way they are supposed to.

Bisoux.

2 thoughts on “Pa Ni Pwoblem – What I’ve Learned in Martinique So Far”

  1. Hi Alyssa,
    I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog, especially because I am about to do TAPIF in Martinique. I was wondering if you have any advice as far as where to live? I’ll be teaching in Le Lamentin, but I really want to live somewhere near hills/mountains, or beaches. Is the South really mostly flat?

    I’d appreciate any advice you have!

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Cool! Working in Lamentin = traffic. You didn’t tell me an important detail — can you drive and will you be buying a car? If not you’ll be pretty limited as far as where you can live. The roads in the south are flat but there are mornes and hills all around. Probably best to shoot me an email if you want to chat more/have more questions!

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