The Rocks In the Basement; The Solar/Aquatic Society of Curacao

When living in Curacao without the possibility of a work visa, a group of expatriate women went snorkeling every Wednesday morning. Despite 6 of the 7 of us having children--or maybe because, it was a child-free group. The chance for an uninterrupted, complete sentence conversation with a group of adult women was just too good an opportunity to miss.

Solar/Aquatic Society

Maybe it was the heat of the day or just the what-the-hell boring repetition of life on an island, but en route to the new beach we agreed that today would be Nude Snorkeling Day. Arriving we scampered down the steep cliff to the rock beach below. Off went our one piece suits, after all hadn't we agreed to get an "all over tan, with no strap marks"?

It was out of character for us and for where we lived. Curacao wasn't some  sexy, topless French island, but a staid, former Dutch colony where the government let the unions on the island block a building request by Club Med. Too distracting for the workers, said the unions.

Into the cooling waters we went with our swimsuits tightly gripped in one hand, and our fins, masks and snorkels firmly in place. Before me floated bare butts in vanilla, pink and iced coffee colors as we snorkeled to watch the aquatic world below. Then alarm bells went off as someone shouted that a boat had come around the headland heading for us.

It turns out that the idea of putting on a swimsuit over rubber-finned feet is a lot easier imagined than executed. Sharon unsuccessfully tried various angles to get her finned feet through the leg holes of her swimsuit, gasping as she bobbed in the ocean.

"Sharon! It's on backwards!" one helpful friend shouted when Sharon finally got her swimsuit on. Looking down at her chest, the now practiced Sharon whipped off her swimsuit and yanked it up over her pink bobbing breasts.

Back to the shore we went, more exhausted by the work to put on a swimsuit while treading water than the exercise of snorkeling. Exiting the sea we found our path blocked by a city of black, thorny sea urchins. All of us stopped dead. Stepping on those would not only hurt like hell, but continue to do so for quite some days later. The one time I'd accidentally stepped on one of these required a fair amount Dr. Johnny Walker pain medicine.

As we debated and discussed how to get around this landmine, Sarah's face got impatiently redder. Nothing pissed Sarah off like dithering, blabbering women.

"Oh shit, all you have to do is--just go--through them," she snapped as she stomped her way barefoot through the sea urchins missing every single painful spine. The rest of us followed her lead.

Alone again on the rocky beach, we whipped off our swimsuits again to let the cooling ocean wash over us. As the experienced nudist and longest lived on the island, Sarah offered advice to the vanilla skinned amongst us.

Time came to leave as most of us had young kids to pick up at nursery schools. It truly had been--though never repeated--a most memorable day. Later that night it was an unforgettable lesson in the hazards of too much sun and sea as we slipped our over roasted bodies beneath the sheets.

When the sun rose the next morning, Sarah heard the street bell ring outside her modest home. Now who the hell would that be? As her maid ran out of the kitchen door, she couldn't intercept the intruders who'd already disturbed the Mevrouw (Madam).

"This had better be good" barked Sarah at her sheepish visitors Sharon and Kelli.

"It is," said the rarely serious Sharon, nodding to the clearly distraught Kelli.

Sitting in the shuttered early morning light of Sarah's living room, Kelli's pale face belied her sun worshipping yesterday. Coffee was brought into the room and as the first jolt of caffeine kicked in, Sarah's awakened. "So?"

Kelli began, "Well, I don't know about you guys, but last night I was dead tired. I mean after the morning at the beach and then running all over the island in the afternoon with the kids to piano and--"

"Stop. Just tell me why the hell you're here at the crack of dawn?"

Sharon and Kelli looked at each other. It was 8:00 A.M., but for the purposely childless Sarah that was the crack of dawn. Everybody knew that.

Kelli began again. "Okay. Well, last night, after I went to bed...and well..uh. Well you know John, once he begins, he never know, once he begins, to, ah, you know---?"

"Have sex?" offered Sarah.

"Uh-huh," nodded a clearly relieved Kelli. "Well last night I wasn't really into it, but you know how it is, you just go along. And so there we were and all of a sudden he stops, rolls away from me and said I should go--and douche. Dang, I didn't even know he knew the word!!" she sputtered. "So I did, go to the bathroom to douche and you know what happened? Rocks... came out of....ah, down there," she gesticulated to her genitals. "Well I mean all of these large pebbles came pouring out of me into the bidet!!"

Sarah snickered silently into the her coffee cup. "Rocks in the basement? Didn't I tell you guys about that, about the effect of waves splashing against us on the shore?"

Kelli and Sharon were dumbfounded.

"Did you?" they mumbled at the bemused Sarah.



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    Candace Drimmer

    TIMELINE June 1972 to June 1973---Candace moves to Lima (Peru)----- June 1973 to May 1974---Candace and The Husband live in Glendale AZ----- May 1974 to August 1974---Living in Toronto, Ontario (Canada)----- September 1974 to May 1975---Living in Aberdeen SD----- May 1975 to July 1979---Living in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada)----- July 1979 to June 1980---Living in Asuncion (Paraguay)----- June 1980 to September 1980---Living in NYC----- September 1980 to November 1982---Living in Connecticut----- November 1982 to January 1983---Living in Ponce, Puerto Rico (USA)----- February 1983 to July 1986---Living in Willemstad, Curacao (Netherlands Antilles)----- July 1986 to July 1989---Living in Guayaquil (Ecuador)----- July 1989 to July 1995---Living in Connecticut (yes, again)----- July 1995 to August 2001---Living in Mexico City (Mexico)----- August 2001---Return to Gringolandia (a.k.a. United States of America)----- I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew I met a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, fell in love and moved to Peru in the 1970s. WHAT an adventure it's been!! NOTE: I gave up Facebook, so apologies that I cannot answer any comments since it is only set up via FB.

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