2.17.2007

Arubagirl's Lost in Smallness

Reading weblogs from person in other countries gives you a perspective about the place, people and events that you'd never find in traditional media or even from an American-type visit to the country.

Personal weblogs offer an intimate view of the lives, views and activities of individuals as expressed through their comments and photographs.

You can travel the world without leaving your home--or computer.

Lost in Smallness is a neat weblog by a writer that goes by Arubagirl and describes herself as folows:

Hey, what's up? Thanks for stopping by, it's a real treat to have you here. So I was born in 1980 in the Netherlands, but my parents decided 3 1/2 years later to move to their native country of Aruba. Best thing they ever did. I tend to write about my country a lot. It's mostly in English, but don't be shocked to find the occasional post written in Dutch or Papiamento. I like to read, write, take photos with my Nikon D50 and dig out my family tree. I hate mean comments. Consider yourselves warned.
Here's an entry titled Buh-Bye, Ritz Carlton. It stands out because all most Americans know about Aruba are its tourist hotels--and that's a shame.

In November 2005 I blogged about the possibility of Ritz Carlton establishing itself in Aruba. According to today's Diario, the hotel chain passed on this.

I see the tourism numbers and I see that I should be sad, but I can't muster up any other feelings than relief. We have enough hotels, really. Let's fill up the ones that we do have before we let another hotel block another beach and need more immigrants.

Actually, in general, I don't think that we need more hotels. We have plenty, and we should not be too greedy. I seriously doubt that tourists come here to find another concrete jungle of hotels. I think that cozy little beaches are actually more charming without a bigass hotel in front of them. I mean, Roger's Beach and Baby Beach don't seem to lack for visitors. I understand that Aruba is dependent on tourism, but let's try to keep the tourists we do have as happy as possible.
Here's an excerpt from a very interesting post on the issue of race in Aruba titled Fame, Empathy and Color.

Can I just say something about racism in Aruba. It's going to be quick, and not do the subject the justice it deserves, but here goes. Yes, there is racism on the island. However, it's against both black and white. Black (from other islands), white, if you're from Holland. Don't tell me that there isn't against Dutch people, because I've experienced it. I'm not saying that either sort of racism is at Jim Crow levels, but it's there.

Another thing is that if you're a tourist, we don't care much about your color. You're just a tourist. That's what defines you here, above all else, including color of skin.
Seriously, just reading some of Arubagirl's posts in Lost in Smallness has taught me much more about Aruba than all of the endless television coverage of the tragic disappearance (and likely murder) of Natalie Holloway.

BTW: For a selection of interesting weblogs from around the world, please visit GlobalVoices.