CHAOTIC IMBALANCE OF RIDICULOUSNESS. Love that phrase. It was not coined by me. It was put together by one of my entertaining readers. And it comes in handy. The other evening, to counteract daytime rich food and drink I took a stroll along the boardwalk from Moomba Beach to the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino, and back. Then it got dark, and I went home having walked about 6,000 steps, a bit over half of my required daily quota. What I saw was overwhelming. Every single portion of the beach cluttered with signs, banners, posters, billboards in every size, and short and tall sign posts, advertising water sports and activities, and stacking great numbers of towable riders, tubes, aqua glides, water hitchhikers, one-, two-, three- and four-seat joy riders, and banana boats. Don’t be impressed. I checked on the internet to find out how to call these monstrous rubber toys, and now we all know what to call them. Then there were mountains of never-wiped-clean lounge chairs, and imperfect umbrellas, tired rafts and nicked foam mats. There was crap all over, less than 3 meters from the hotels, crowding walkways to the beach, not to mention ongoing loading and off-loading of boaters from the piers. It was super busy, and I would love to see everybody’s sign-permits and company registrations. That’s all I want to see. I want to lay eyes on their paperwork, authorizing them to junk up our #1 treasure, our amazingly patient and tolerant beaches. MY WISH FOR THE NEW YEAR: May we succeed in claiming the beaches back from all the cowboys using and abusing them right now! And that includes the souvenir table on the Hyatt Regency property that became a super store, as the one original table gave birth to many more including a booth. This is what one of my friends wrote: The beach policy and any plan to combat crime on Palm Beach is completely dead in the water. Worn-out MinJust and asleep-at-the-wheel DIP have other priorities. Regulating the use of the beach is not on their radar screen, for now. BUT they built multi-million dollar MFA facilities around the island, installed parking meters, and equipped an army of parking enforcers with cars, clamps, and uniforms. I HAVE A SUGGESTION: Send the entire AruParking gang to the beaches, they are badly needed there to help crack down on the free for all. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, because this has been an issue for more than a decade and still nothing happened. Is there anything fishy here? Yes, I imagine all these watersports operators are the cousins or loyal voters of government ministers and thus untouchable.
ARASHI AND BOCA CATALINA NV. Apparently, a hefe grandi, whose name I couldn’t get, but his agents reported to me that he has many businesses, and that he sits in an office managing many things, took Arashi Beach and Boca Catalina under his wing and he is now operating the concession, renting chairs AND palapas to tourists. No, you cannot sit under the palapa, you have to rent it WITH a chair from the agents of the hefe grandi! Locals with a little spunk, thank you Lilly Does, manage to avoid renting anything, but timid visitors pay through the nose, $5 a chair at Boca Catalina and $7 a chair at Arashi. How does it work, Anthony who works for the hefe grandi at Boca Catalina sets up his beaten up chairs under the palapas, and anyone wishing to sit in the shade, must dish out cash. He is a nice enough guy. He earns about $40 a day, the rest goes to hefe grandi. While Boca Catalina is a small operation, Arashi Beach is a gold mine, and hefe grandi has Pops in charge. His real name is Hilton, as in the hotel chain, and he has two other deluxe helpers at his disposal, a woman with a rag whose job is to wipe, and another guy in faded shorts and teeshirt who moves the chairs. Pops, a corpulent guy, in an old yellowing wife-beater, with a man-purse strung across his chest, oversees the action on both Boca Catalina and Arashi Beach. Who can investigate that?? It has been ongoing for a while. Whose job is it to supervise and control squatters?? Or maybe it’s true that hefe grandi is the legal concessioner. Why him, why not me? I would put my agents in cute little beach uniforms, and they would have to smile, and shave, and look adorable having successfully graduated the government sponsored certification Mi Compromiso cu Aruba. Why do we do so much here, except combat lawlessness on our most important tourism assets.