Iguanas can be found all over Bonaire. These wild beasts are the rogues of the lizard world. They walk with swagger. They hang from trees with arrogance. They stare at me with an “up yours” glint in their unblinking eyes. I actually like these ugly looking animals, but not in the same way that iguana fanatics like them.
I did a quick check on the Web and found a UK site called Iguana Answers, another by Henry Lizard Lover, and a third by an iguana with his own Web page appropriately named Napoleon The Iguana’s Home Page. A quick read of these sites informs me that iguanas are much more than common lizards. They are reptiles of vast intelligence capable of coherent reasoning. I’m not buying it. Perhaps island iguanas were severed from the iguana inteligencia long ago. Ours here seem quite basic. I’m convinced iguanas know no logic.
But I’m not singling out Bonaire iguanas for their deficient reasoning powers. It appears the lack of logic applies to other island residents as well. Take for instance our new Thai restaurant. The owners call it Blue Mekong, but it is painted in flaming flamingo pink. They have since gone out of business—bad food and a lack of color coordination.
Or how about T.I.S., The Island Supplier. This is a giant warehouse of a store where I buy Grolsch beer with its elaborate swing-top bottle known as a beugelfles in Dutch. This is usually an expensive beer on island, but for some unknown reason, T.I.S. is charging an incredibly low $1.12 for a 45 cl. bottle these days. A 33 cl. can of Heineken will cost you $1.35 here, so this is a real deal. But every time I buy the beer, I’m charged a different price. Twice I paid only 64 cents a bottle. Today it was 91 cents. I’ve never paid more than the advertised $1.12. The price of Grolsch at T.I.S. fluctuates more than the Chicago commodities market. Go figure.
Need more illogical endeavors? How about boat registration? Every six months I have to go down to the harbormaster at Kralendijk harbor and renew my sailboat’s registration. It doesn’t cost anything. The harbormaster writes down the same information that he did six months ago. The only thing that changes is the new duplicate form he uses. Signatures are made. Official stamps are thumped repeatedly on both copies. The harbormaster bids me farewell with a reminder to return in another half year and do the same thing. And so it goes.
But boat registration has suddenly become more complicated since the Dutch have a greater role in island operations, starting last year. I’ve been told that new rules are now in place for sailors to pay for the right to have a boat. This is too much. It is not the down way of life island. Where has all the love gone? I head to Washikemba, one of my favorite remote beaches, to contemplate these irrational behaviors of man and beast. I am sitting shoreside on a washed-up log, Grolsch beer in hand. This frosty bottle had the unbelievably low TIS price of only 84 cents. While I take a swig of the ice-cold amber fluid, I spot an electric green iguana out of the corner of my eye. The day is hot. The sun is directly overhead. The lizard looks at the iced Grolsch and then directly back at me. This time there is no “up yours” stare, but rather one of sympathetic request. The beast is begging. The lizard then licks his lips with its black, serpent-like tongue. Damn. Perhaps iguanas do know logic. I pour a tad of the cold brew into a conch shell, turn my back to the scaley one, and leave immediately. I want to keep the lizard mystique alive. Some things are best left unknown. Plus, that way I can continue my mantra, iguanas know no logic.