Today we finally reached the shores of the New World and arriving in the port of Philipsbug in St. Maarten, it was my first time back in a Dutchy environment. I was perfectly content though to be greeted with clear sunny skies instead of the grey sky blanket to which I had become accustomed to waking up. I decided to head to Orient Beach for the day and take it easy, going for a leisurely swim.
Today’s the day…
…I went to my first nude beach and did as the nudists do.
Everything you hear about nude beaches, that it is more akin to a retirement home as opposed to a beach party in Cancun, is true. I was by far the youngest person, but could really care less as my main goal for this excursion was to swim naked, not check out the local talent. It also seemed to make sense to me that only old people would be at nudist beaches. I mean why not? You’ve probably been working your tail off for the greater majority of your life and you’ve still made it this far. I’m in the Nick Swardson camp and believe that when you hit a certain age, you’ve earned certain liberties in the “I don’t give a fuck” department. I had to laugh because when I was at my cousin’s house for my going away party, my great aunt announced that she was declaring a nude day for herself. I was wondering if I should then share my nudist experience now or let them read about it later. I decided later since my Mom cannot smack me upside the head all the way in Peru.
I actually did a reconnaissance run before I actually disrobed to make sure this nudist beach was legit. This was due to my fear of having another “Croatian Incident.” When I was in Split, I went to a spa and just assumed that it was naked-people friendly. As I was about to take off my robe, two small children ran past me and I looked up to see a room full of clothed persons. I then very nonchalantly made a dive for the door and headed to the solarium where I would blend in with other robe-wearing people. Still fearing a repeat of that incident I walked up to the beach to make sure that both the nudist beach was real and that none of my new friends from Ship Mickey were hanging around. After deciding that I could roll with the geriatrics, I returned to the beach after lunch for my christening.
In a way, I kind of viewed the whole swimming naked bit as a spiritual cleansing of sorts. Here I was, after having spent three years in Europe, returning to the New World the same way my ancestors had come over and I was also ready to start a new life. As I came out of the water, I felt much calmer about life in general and had a big sense of relief, in no small part due to the fact that some cheeky old man didn’t nab my bathing suit while I was swimming. I do have to note however, this was one of those incidences where I was quite glad to be alone because I’m not quite at the point where I’m comfortable enough to carry a conversation with someone while in my birthday suit – well in public anyway.
And Another “First”
It was until I started walking back to the beach where the rest of my tour group was spending their afternoon that things started to get weird. I had another “first”. I was walking back to the camp, fully clothed at this point I’ll have you know, when I hear a man yell, “Hey, excuse me!” I stopped, turned and he continued with, “Do you speak English?” My first thought, “This is gonna be good,” and I walked over to him. He was American and seemed normal enough sitting next to his girlfriend so I decided to be honest and said, “Indeed I do!” We introduced ourselves and proceeded with the usual small talk. I had a slightly “off” feeling from the get-go, mainly due to their shock and surprise that I was an American in town on the Disney cruise and that I was not a native. This feeling was solidified when they were sad that I wasn’t spending more time in St. Maarten and couldn’t hang out. It finally occurred to me, from the small talk and the body language, that this couple was giving me the preliminary interview for a proposition.
My strategy was keep calm and don’t do anything stupid like embarrass yourself or this nice couple. We continued chatting and I successfully made my exit after receiving an invitation to stay at their house if I’m ever traveling in Nevada. I graciously accepted and made my way back to the family beach. Naturally, a lot of thoughts and questions were running through my mind after this interaction. I wondered mainly if they actually thought I was a prostitute though I couldn’t see why. Anyone who knows me and my affinity for grandma sweaters know that I do not fit the profile of your average street walker. It made me feel a little more tense but honestly, as I walking away my main thought was, “Still got it!” Bless this couple and all other free spirits out there!
Note: For obvious reasons, I have no pictures of St. Maarten to share with you.
The Disney Files