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Southside

July 24, 2011

People here and all over the world
Men, women, little boys and girls
Gather ’round by the seaside, Beach party tropic style
Diamond head and palm trees, surf riders on the sea
It’s the place to be, it’s the place to be

One the beach at Waikiki, that’s where you’ll find me
Here on the southside, Beach Boys paradise

-“Duke’s on Sunday”, Jimmy Buffet.

Changing gears again…

To understand Guam, one must leave the military installations of Anderson and Piti, along with the prepackaged, shrink-wrapped tourist trap mirage that is Tumon Bay and head to the Southside.

Terrain becomes mountainous.

Roads become narrower.

The pace slows.

People live in villages – Umatac, Merizo, Inarajan.  An interesting statistic?  300 properties were for sale recently, and only 3 were available on the Southside.  The reason?  These are tightly-knit communities; homes trade hands (albeit rarely) amongst family members.

When one finally arrives at the southside, the pace is governed by organic locomotion.

That’s a Carabao http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carabao while rare, they’re not an uncommon sight on the southside.

Once in the village center, vehicles lose their relevance.

We followed the little fella for a city block before he yielded the crown of the road.

We were in Merizo to catch a ferry to Cocos Island for the day.  When we made it to the dock, we’d missed the earlier ferry and were unable to buy a ticket, as the cash register was broke down.  Broken stuff is part of the landscape on the southside – one accepts this as part of island time.

The Pheebs was hungry, so we asked where we could eat.  The ticket agent jerked a thumb up the street.  “Over there.”

A roadside stand offering hotdogs, hamburgers and Lenten specials.

A double cheesburger with bacon, egg and fries was the king of the hill – and cost less than a tropical cocktail on Tumon Bay.

We placed our order and waited at a plywood table in the shape of Guam.

The vibe was low and slow.  I imagined we were somewhere in Central America, ordering food at a roadside taqueria.

The kitchen was open-air, with screening to keep flies out.  And yes – this was the dining room.

The food, you ask?  Pretty good; the hamburger was tasty enough to go back for seconds at a later date.  The fries had the distinct flavour of the Lenten special, however.  I suppose that’s an acquired taste.

A serene Saturday on the southside.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Len Bloom permalink
    July 25, 2011 6:40 pm

    The back roads look alot like the off-the-beaten-path roads in Hawaii. I suppose it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that Hawaii looks similar to Guam. thanks for the tour.

    • dangerboyandpixie permalink*
      July 26, 2011 1:01 am

      Yes – I think North Shore. To me – this is Guam.

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