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2:03pm on Sunday, 19th February, 2012:

Places I'm not all that Fussed about Visiting #9


Continuing the occasional series...

The Caribbean.

In many respects, the Caribbean is an idyllic part of the world. Lots of sunshine, lots of beaches, a laid-back lifestyle... Obviously it's not quite like that if your island is hit by an earthquake, made of volcano or in the direct path of a hurricane, but most of the time it isn't.

So why am I not all that fussed about visiting the area?

Well, I just don't find its attractions attractive. I grew up on the coast so beaches hold no special fascination for me. I regard activities such as swimming as things you need to be able to do to avoid drowning, rather than enjoyable activities. I swiftly get bored when forced to sit in the sun for any length of time. I don't drink alcohol so exotic rum cocktails are unlikely to appeal. I don't mind laid back, but I can lie back at home.

I've played (and designed) games set in the Caribbean, so that would normally act in the area's favour. Unusually, though, nothing I've read up on about the region has really grabbed my attention. I'd be interested in going to some of the mainland cities that border the Caribbean Sea — Cartagena, Maracaibo — but the only actual Caribbean city thatgames have given me a yen to visit is Port Royal. Unfortunately, Port Royal was all but destroyed by an earthquake in 1692, with what little survived being destroyed by another earthquake in 1907.

It's not that I'm averse to the idea of going to the Caribbean, it's just that judging by the tourism industry's publicity I could take it or leave it. I wouldn't try to get out of going there if I had a reason to, it's just that for me "going to the Caribbean" isn't in and of itself a reason to visit.

That said, twelve million people a year (two thirds of whom are on cruise ships) disagree with me.

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Copyright © 2012 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).