CARIBBEAN CLINCHER

DestinAsian - - LETTERS & CONTRIBUTORS - ROB PISANI

factly, so we as­sumed this sort of thing was rou­tine. None of us re­al­ized how se­ri­ous it was un­til the sun had set— we were too busy snap­ping pho­tos of the scenery. Then we were told that the road couldn’t be cleared un­til the next morn­ing. Of course, we started to worry about what we would do for din­ner, drink­ing wa­ter, and stay­ing warm, but we needn’t have. Be­fore we knew it, some happy-look­ing men had made a “tent” of our vans by drap­ing a sheet of can­vas be­tween them, and this be­came a bivouac for us and other stranded trav­el­ers. They col­lected rain­wa­ter and lit a fire, and then a bas­ket of pota­toes ap­peared, along with some chilies. Can you imag­ine? The Bhutanese didn’t seem put out at all, and laughed and joked as they cooked. They of­fered us the first batch of baked pota­toes. Hold­ing a hot and fra­grant spud in my hands, I felt so touched. And at that mo­ment, I un­der­stood what Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness meant. The next morn­ing, af­ter a fit­ful night’s sleep, we all con­tin­ued on our way. I was happy to be mov­ing again, but thank­ful for such a mag­i­cal end to our jour­ney. – CRYS­TAL LI, Hong Kong Ku­dos to DestinAsian for a ter­rific ar­ti­cle on St. Maarten/Martin [“The Two Sides of St. Martin”] in your re­cent Is­lands Is­sue. As a res­i­dent of the U.S. East Coast, I spend a fair amount of leisure time in the Caribbean, but I have been on the fence about vis­it­ing this par­tic­u­lar is­land. Baz Dreisinger’s story clinched the deal for me as she did a great job de­pict­ing the di­chotomy be­tween the cos­mopoli­tan and lo­cal fla­vor of this unique half-Dutch, half-French par­adise. I pri­mar­ily sub­scribe to DestinAsian be­cause of my fre­quent busi­ness trips to Asia, and in that re­gard I’ve en­joyed its stel­lar con­tent for sev­eral years. A tip of the hat though to the ed­i­to­rial de­ci­sion to step out­side the box and fea­ture western hemi­sphere lo­ca­tions from time to time. I imag­ine I’m not the only reader who finds this lag­niappe (that’s a Louisiana-French ex­pres­sion for “a lit­tle ex­tra”) an­other plus for your won­der­ful pub­li­ca­tion. – , Ar­ling­ton, VA

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