The weekend before last I went to Soraida. Upon arrival, I am amazed at the large number of cars parked on their doorstep. A convoy appears to be forming. Right at the front in the first row is a pickup truck with one of the largest loudspeaker systems you can imagine. People wear yellow T-shirts, throw notes into the mailboxes for residents and seem happy. Happy? They are election campaigners for the MEP, whose government recently had to resign due to a corruption scandal. I park the car in front of the house, notice Soraida in the back garden and go to her. She is currently busy turning her bus in the direction of escape. She wants to escape the election campaign. We escape the growing din with my car. It is less noticeable and is already in front of the property. The election campaign in Aruba is loud. Campaigning in Aruba is great fun for those involved. The election campaign that has been raging here for weeks only really annoys me.
With us, it is rather rare that a normal citizen makes his or her political position public - for example through election posters, flags or stickers on their own car. It's almost normal here. The campaign part is fine with me. Information stands in the pedestrian zone are also normal. Then there is the part of the election campaign that is barely bearable. Fortunately, I am now in Varadero with Sissi, it is quiet there. As long as I was still lying in the Renaissance Marina, I could enjoy the car convoys of the party supporters every half hour. Supported by loud music and horns, they drove down the promenade. They probably still do that, but I don't hear it anymore.
Especially on the weekends you have to expect to get caught in a party advertising campaign again and again. That happened to me in Noord, where the AVP probably collected signatures and sold stickers. Out of the blue I am in a traffic jam on the main road, it is only inching ahead. Sometimes it stalls for minutes. The music from the advertising stand drowns out your own car radio by far.
It doesn't always have to be the AVP, the other party can also set up a small “roadblock” at every corner at any time. Sometimes, however, they only drive their convoy in a circle at one of the roundabouts. This inevitably leads to traffic jams.
In addition to the MEP and the AVP, there are a number of smaller parties. They don't have that many followers and are therefore not so present on the streets. And they seem to lack the money to rent the large loudspeaker systems. This small group from the POR doesn't bother me. I am glad that the elections are over this month.
To be able to stand in a traffic jam at all, you need a car. I got myself a Toyota Yaris from so many hands. The car is registered on Soraida, which was even able to pass on its 70% discount on the insurance premium to me. Tomorrow he has an appointment for the general inspection. I'm excited, very excited. The seat cushions are pretty rocked, so I had to put on new seat covers, without which there would probably be no TÜV here. Let's see what the brothers have to say about the rather thin brake discs. According to the locals, no problem. The four different tires are fun too. But the car drives great.
I looked at other vehicles before buying. It is exciting to see how little the people here value a properly functioning engine cooling system. The Nissan Almera I first looked at didn't even have a cooling water tank anymore. That probably only works because short distances are always driven here. The BYD (model unknown) that I was able to test drive also had no cooling water. Remarkable - the Chinese are much younger than the two Japanese, but really rusts on all parts.
Jens left Aruba just a few days after his first vaccination. He flew to Amsterdam on time and the train to Frankfurt was only a few hours late. I am slowly starting the repair work and the preparations for it. We haven't had the best experiences in the past with planning the future, around 100% of our plans have failed. That is why we no longer plan today, in the coming year we will act spontaneously.
I am very curious what the mangoes will taste like that are just ripening in Soraida's garden. With us there are apple trees and cherry trees behind the houses, here it is mango, papaya or banana. Soraida collects the rinse water from the washing machine to water her plants.
I don't care that the papayas season is over. I can't do that much with these fruits. In Aruba, a hot sauce for seasoning is made from papayas, the taste of which I like very much.
The watermelons that were harvested yesterday turned out to be grenades in terms of taste. No comparison with the watery stuff we can buy in our supermarkets, but sugary and delicious. Incidentally, the melons get the condensation from the air conditioning, not the water from the washing machine.
I will soon be writing more regularly again, especially to document the progress in boat building. There's not much to see on board yet.