December 19, 2006
Craig and I took off at the crack of dawn this morning. We managed to get on a minibus right away, then a ferry and another bus to the Corentine River, which borders Guyana and Suriname. We waited in line 45 minutes to buy a ticket for the ferry to cross the river, but that didn't really matter because we sat around for two more hours while they unloaded the ferry from its previous crossing. The ferry took all of fifteen minutes to cross the river, but then we had to go through customs on the Suriname side. That took another hour, and suddenly it was mid afternoon.
We got onto a bus to Nieu Nickery, and once we got into town, we waited another hour while the confused driver figured out where to drop people off. There was nowhere to get anything to eat all day (unlike Latin America, where you're never more than five minutes away from food, even if you're on a bus speeding down a highway) so my patience was wearing thin. Eventually we found a guesthouse at the YWCA (pronounced "why-ca" here, another source of confusion) that was recommended by someone I met in Georgetown.
I can tell already that this is a much nicer place than Georgetown. It's quieter, the houses are nice, there's not piles of garbage on every street, and the people don't shout at you constantly. Dutch is the main language here (it's a former Dutch colony), but everyone seems to understand English. The people are an interesting mix mainly of black, Amerindian, Indonesian, Chinese, and Indian. While looking around, we met Arwen, a Dutch doctor who is staying here a year. We hung out with her and Robert and Rodger, two locals, and learned more about places to go and things to do in Suriname. I think we'll stick around for a couple days now that we're away from the madness of Georgetown.