BAHAMI – BAHAMAS

Zgrada Vlade i spomenik Kolumbu nakon uragana Frances-The Government House and the statue of Columbus after Hurricane Frances

Zgrada Vlade i spomenik Kolumbu nakon uragana Frances-The Government House and the statue of Columbus after Hurricane Frances

Ruzicasta arhitektura glavnog grada-Pink architecture of the capital

Ruzicasta arhitektura glavnog grada-Pink architecture of the capital

Veliki kruzer u maloj luci-A big cruiser in the small port

Veliki kruzer u maloj luci-A big cruiser in the small port

Tropska lepota Bahama-Tropical beauty of Bahamas

Tropska lepota Bahama-Tropical beauty of Bahamas

The pool with sharks at the Atlantis Hotel

The pool with sharks at the Atlantis Hotel

Pogled na Nasau-A view of Nassau

Pogled na Nasau-A view of Nassau

Poznati hotelski kompleks Atlantis-The famous Atlantis Hotel

Poznati hotelski kompleks Atlantis-The famous Atlantis Hotel

The famous Atlantis Hotel

The famous Atlantis Hotel

Pirate areas from the past

Pirate areas from the past

Pijaca suvenira-The souvenir market

Pijaca suvenira-The souvenir market

Parlament Bahama-The Bahamian Parliament

Parlament Bahama-The Bahamian Parliament

Naziv ovog arhipelaga uvek zvuči kao simbol bogatog letovanja. Da li možda
zbog toga što sam tamo došao posle snažnog uragana, koji je 2004. godine
unesrećio više karipskih ostrva, u svakom slučaju, ovo mi se mesto nije
učinilo tako mondenskim. Jadne palme su ostale bez svojih listova i samo su
stabla sa ponekom raščupanom grančicom na vrhu ostala kao tužni svedoci
prohujale katastrofe. Veoma su stradale i krhke drvene karipske kućice, čije
su daske još ostale nemarno razbacane po ulicama. Glavni gradić Nasau, čiji
mi je naziv uvek imao neki tehno-prizvuk, verovatno asocirajući na NASA-u,
delovao je ne samo opustošeno, već kao mali i običan, više sličan “karipskoj
provinciji” nego ekskluzivnom letovalištu.
Ogromni brodovi krstaši, takozvani kruzeri ili ploveće nemani, koji nekoliko
puta nadmašuju visinu gradskih kuća, izbacuju lenjo iz svoje unutrašnjosti
milione američkih turista u šarenim košuljama. Tada u gradiću zavlada
nepotrebna živost koja ga, u potrazi za ponekim dolarom od posetilaca,
izbaci iz lenjog polusna. Oni ih, opet, nerado daju jer imaju sve na brodu,
osim za pivo i poneki obojeni koktel. U smiraj dana, kad su već primetno
opušteniji, turisti se konačno vraćaju u sigurnost utrobe broda, koji već
sutradan polazi ka novoj destinaciji. Karipska ostrva se uglavnom obilaze na
takav način, a ja sam posebno srećan što nikada nisam ušao u njih, već
prošao Karibima na jedan drugi i, prema mom mišljenju, humaniji način.
Posvetio sam svakoj ostrvskoj zemlji bar malo potrebne pažnje, iako bih
želeo da sam mogao i više.
I, kad sam pomislio da ni u ovom gradiću nema neke značajnije građevine,
preda mnom se ukazao hotelski kompleks Atlantis koji kao da je izašao iz
Diznijevih filmova. Ličio je na ogromnu palatu nekog kralja iz bajke, u koju
se može stići i malim letilicama koje bi sletele na neki od tornjeva. Nikada
nisam video takav hotel koji je, ipak, moderno zdanje, sa uređenim plažama i
ogromnim akvarijumima sa ajkulama, na čijem se dnu nalaze veštački ostaci iz
grčko-rimskog perioda. Sa oboda kula izviruju ogromne skulpture morskih
konjića, a sa druge strane, nalaze se egipatska božanstva. Možda ovakav
hotel više priliči Las Vegasu nego mirnim Karibima, ali bi i on trebalo da
fascinira one koje dolaze sa severa, navikli na grandioznost. Jedan vrt
uživanja sa očerupanim palmama. Možda je za futurizam, ali na nekom drugom
mestu.
Ja ipak priželjkujem Karibe pedesetih, kojih više nema, osluškujući da li će
se negde iza ugla, možda, pojaviti Hari Belafonte.

Septembar 2004.
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The name of this archipelago always evokes the thought of very expensive
holidays. I arrived in 2004 after a catastrophic hurricane had just
devastated several Caribbean islands. Maybe that was why this place did not
seem so upmarket to me. Pitiable palm trees were rendered leafless and their
bare tree trunks, with an occasional twig on top, stood there as sad relics
of a catastrophe gone by. Fragile, wooden Caribbean houses were heavily
damaged, with woodwork still carelessly strewn along the streets. The
capital Nassau, which to me sounds like NASA, appeared not only devastated,
but really small and plain, more like a provincial Caribbean place, than an
exclusive holiday resort.
Gigantic cruising ships, or cruise liners, the height of a couple of city
buildings combined, slowly spew out millions of American tourists in their
multicoloured shirts. Lazy and half asleep, the city is then awoken
unnecessarily, by ensuing upheaval, all because of the visitors’ dollars
beckoning to be taken. On the other hand, the visitors have a difficulty
parting with their dollars, because they have everything they need aboard;
they may give in only to a local beer or a colourful cocktail. At sunset,
visibly relaxed, the tourists eventually return to the secure comfort of the
ship’s belly, the following morning already on their way to another
destination. The Caribbean islands are seen by majority of visitors via
cruise liners and I am particularly happy that I did not resort to this
means. I have visited the Caribbean properly, to my mind, giving each
country its due attention, even though I wish I could spend even more time
on each of them.
Just as I thought that there was nothing outstanding to see in this little
city, I ran into The Atlantis Hotel Resort, looking like it had come
straight from a Disney movie. It struck me as a gigantic, fairy tale like,
majestic palace that could be reached via air as well, by landing on one of
its many towers. I have never seen a hotel like this. After all it was still
a modern building, with pretty beaches and huge aquariums sporting sharks;
however, at the bottom of each aquarium you could see Greek and Roman
lookalike ruins. Looking back at the towers, you could see that the edge of
each tower was adorned by huge statues of sea horses while the other side
boasted Egyptian gods’ statues. Perhaps, this hotel fitted in more with Las
Vegas than with the peaceful Caribbean, but it was probably meant to impress
the visitors from the North, so used to grandeur.
The Garden of Eden of sorts, with sad, broken palms. This futuristic vista
surely belongs to another place.
I, however, yearn for the long gone Caribbean of the 1950s, hoping that,
just around the corner, the voice of Harry Belafonte will greet me.

September 2004

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