Port-au-Prince, Haiti!

Submitted by eagle on Mon, 01/06/2020 - 15:19

First (brief) power outage at this place!

I'm thinking of staying in P au P for a while, maybe a few weeks.

I'm guessing that this city is big enough that I may, at least in some areas, be able to go out without the constant "blanc!"

So far, from the border to the opposite coast, I haven't seen another white person.

I want to go out, but there's no lock on the door!

P au P looks like a big city!

Another action-packed day!

Woke up.

No wifi, no GPS within the hotel. Went out, found the approximate address of the place, so that I could get back later.

Walked down the street. Garbage fires!

Kept walking. Hot coffee out of a giant metal pot, served in a large plastic measuring cup. Also, bread.

Kept walking. Porsche Haiti building!

Drank some fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Went for a run.

Walked through some areas of the city. Port-au-Prince is large, sprawling, somewhat confusing yet easy enough to get around, quite beautiful.

Tons of hills to climb.

Met a few locals. Got lost a few times.

Still haven't seen any other white people in Haiti, and I've now covered both sides of the country, including a solid chunk of the capital and largest city.

Bought tons more tasty food & drink, including stews, cake, sodas, energy drinks. Haitians seem to make energy drinks out of anything: fruit punch, malt beverage, chocolate milkshake, you name it.

After a lengthy walk through the western areas outside of the city itself, which contain somewhat nicer parts of town, turned around to go back to the hotel.

A somewhat scary area, near the giant garbage dump.

Got back into populated areas!

As I made my way back, it got dark. I was later than expected.

Still over an hour away walking, and through difficult to navigate areas, I decided to take a motorcycle taxi.

The driver's taxi didn't start. So I found another nearby motorcycle taxi. This one worked, and the driver offered me a lower price than the first driver had too!

Went on a scary yet fun ride. Over hills, through winding streets.

Arrived nearby!

I went back to the bus station. "L'onm blan" (the white guy), said a guard, indicating a storage room. Another worker went and brought back my bike!

I walked the rest of the way to the hotel by memory, without looking at the map!

Ate and drank some more, then went to sleep.

Woke up super tired.

So far, Haiti has often seemed better than the better end of my expectation range before arriving.

The hotel here just told me that they charge per day or night, so that if I want to stay until the morning it costs double what I thought (twenty US dollars instead of ten).

A staff woman washing laundry by hand outside my door gestured to me for eating. I think she was asking for food money in the hotel?

(She was. I gave her some money.)

I think that much of travel (and other activities too) requires adapting. Things don't go per plan.

The travel advice I heard and read for Haiti surrounds safety.

The people here seem more about work and fun than crime. Regular travel advice would cover much of it.

There are definitely cultural differences, and dangerous areas.

The food & drink are among my favorite in the Caribbean, and I like Caribbean food.

I hadn't heard Haitian pop music before, but I like it.

Maybe most of all here, I like being in a far different place. It's a refreshing break after spending a while in much more resembling societies.

I feel like I'm learning more here, and maybe contributing more here, compared to other places.

I think that's because there's a far larger distance from me to Haiti, than from me to other countries I've been in.

A Carnot culture engine.

Each day feels like a big surprise.

Still unsure how long I'll stay in Haiti.

Maybe another week or two? Or three?

I also have a few different routes, such as busing back to RD then flying to Turks & Caicos or USVI. Or ride around this part of Haiti. Or fly from Haiti.

Much to decide!