Author & Nomadpreneur Walt F.J. Goodridge is:

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Seeing the Island

Sunday, March 05, 2006

The landscape of Saipan is a lot like my native land of Jamaica. There are mountains in the near distance, coconut, mango trees, hibiscus flowers.

You don't have to go too far to experience the rural. The island is small enough that a single turn off the main road can instantly transport you into a more rustic, rural landscape. Where I'm staying right now is more like a home in the country. Untamed bush, swaying coconut trees, chickens, cows and birds within eye and earshot. If I were in Jamaica, this would be more similar to where I lived with my maternal grandparents in Old Harbor. And yet, less than a mile away is Beach Road, where I can find Louis Vitton, at the Galleria Mall, and tea rooms offering $3,000 bottles of wine.

Every place in Saipan is wired! Every hotel lobby, restaurant, practically every coffee shop, I even got access at one laundromat I visited! Every place you can sit, you can surf! And it's all free! (see sign below) Of course, you might feel a little guilty sitting in a coffee shop using the wireless access without at least purchasing a cup of tea or coffee, so at the very least, your access may cost a few dollars. The ubiquity of wireless internet access is a welcome surprise. It makes doing the nomadpreneur thing so much easier. The sign I'm pointing to says "Wireless Internet Available Here...FREE...Bring Your Laptop!" And you're never more than 5 minutes from the water!

My "tour guide" Joe Hill has taken me around the island.... student performers rehearsing at a local hotel

..introduced me to government officials Rep Cinta Kaipat (left) and Senator Frica Pangelinan

...introduced me to business owners. Irene, beauty salon owner

..and even more business owners Joe Ayuyu (pronounced Azuzu) the owner of the first McDonald's on the island.

... Organized a "Meet Walt" event to introduce me to the area. Giving a preview of things to come

Shown me the history... WWII Japanese Tanks at the Last Command Post

..and beauty of the island A view at the north end of the island

And I've still got time to enjoy the rainbows.... Rainbow from my room window

walk along Beach Road and do some work in the shade of the pavillions along the path.... Me and my Mac

...or simply enjoy my freedom! ahhhhhhhh, yes....

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