A trip to BarbadosIt is one of those torrid, gray days when, seated at the tables of the Fisherman’s Pub, we involuntarily witness the s.o.s. launched on national TV by Clement Armstrong, who for forty years has been passionately running perhaps the most pleasant establishment in town. Cut off from organized tourism circuits, Speightstown has fallen into a deep recession and several small businesses have had to close; the risk is that the historic town will gradually depopulate. And to say that we like it so much the way it is. A couple of miles to the north work is being done at the Port Ferdinand shipyards, a new marina, perhaps who knows … We walk past the counter to order food; there is a different Bajan buffet every day at Fisherman’s pub. The choice falls on chicken with cou-cou and fried plantains but first and foremost fishcakes, the Barbadian version of the crispy salt cod puffs that in the French Antilles and Trinidad they call accra, in Jamaica stamp’n go, in Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo bacalaitos. It is the Caribbean appetizer, to accompany the aperitif. And like good tourists, we also indulge in a rum punch. Clement approaches the table: Wednesday night steel band live, are you coming? He always wears dark glasses and moves a little jerkily, like Ray Charles. Too bad, we’ll be 10,000 meters over the Atlantic by then, on our way back. Next time?
written by Elisabetta Balestrieri © 2012