January 7th, 2003

abstract butterfly

Tropical miniature golf

Today we went to the "International Marketplace" to look at the goods on display. It was an odd combination of "upscale" shopping (things we would never purchase) and "straw market shopping" (the rain stick and the bongoes were tempting, but we are short of true straw need). Freeport's natural scenery certainly trumps its shopping, although its restaurants, particularly the Bahamian cafes, have been a real joy.

We were walking to the hydroponic garden when a woman named Diane joined us, asking for directions to the miniature golf course. Diane was a schoolteacher from Ohio, who had just arrived. We consulted our tourist map, determined it was on the same road as was the hydroponic garden, and we all struck out together. Diane was going to meet friends for golf, but it transpired as the narrative filled in that her intended golf was "real golf", but she had overslept and instead opted for solo "mini golf". She decided to do the hydroponic garden with us, but it proved to be closed. Then we all decided to go play mini golf.

The miniature golf course was lined with flowering bushes; the attendant told us to play through the couple of holes that the recent storms had destroyed, but that we could play both courses by way of compensation. We had great fun, especially as the somewhat imperfect course carpet added new hazards to our play. We all shot relatively routine rounds, and then caught one of those odd little 1 dollar buses back to the hotels.

Ohio, is of course, a mini golf mecca, so I was pleased that Diane had a good time on such a lesser course. Of course, the fact that it was in a gorgeous landscape may have helped.

I suppose in the tropics there are wealthy shoppers, and there are the cool eco-people who seek out the hidden destinations, and then there are the touristy people who play the threadbare mini golf course. I count myself proudly in the third grouping.