It’s OK to Travel with a Bathrobe #23: Zouk – The neverending beat – Martinique

Zouk – The neverending beat

As exotic and sexy as it may sound when you first hear it on the taxi from the airport, or when you get pulled by an ebony god to the dance floor, it doesn’t take too long before you hate the zouk. You want to shoot the radio, to scream out loud, you want some action, some passion, some art…something more than that mellow, slow, boring zouk hour after hour, with the same exact cadence and the same male or female prepubescent voice, while you try desperately to hang on in an attempt to keep from falling asleep. Wasn’t it supposed to be all rhythm and heat in the Caribbean? Where did I take the wrong turn?

If you, poor ignorant like me, thought all the Antilles are like the old Spanish colonies and you dreamt of salsa, or merengue or any of those blood boiling dances, you are wrong, wrong, wrong…look at me, who thought I was definitely going to master the tropical moves and shakes in a year, and I hardly ever danced. Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think? It’s like raaaaaain, on your wedding day, la la la…

So, to be able to enjoy it you have to comply with the following criteria:

  1. Be a female tourist
  2. In her first visit to the Caribbean
  3. Who likes the rub, rub, rub rubbing as the only move to the music
  4. Not staying more than a week

Do my requirements sound exaggerated? Try it for yourself, it’s just not a dance. You get the one and only step in the first two minutes because even a green parrot could, and, from there on, it consists in making the same exact move until the song is over, you might as well put a cardboard cutout in your place for all it matters.

The nightlife in Martinique is pretty poor, not to say the poorest I’ve ever came across. People don’t go to the island looking for a party, so the locals (and the temporary residents such as me) have to suffer from it. The radio plays zouk in every single station almost all day long except for some reggae and some R&B that you devour even if you didn’t really like it before, like the peanuts in the plane after a three hour delay. And seriously forget about any other type of music, you could be in MARSinique when it comes to the rest of music styles.

But, hey, nothing to complain about, I wasn’t there for the partying anyway (luckily for me). I really don’t care too much about going out when travelling, since Spain is full of it.

It’s just that Martinique doesn’t correspond to our preconceptions of the Caribbean as a whole, and, for me, it would have been nice to experience more bubbly nights as the one in Caracas. Just a lot of people dancing for the sake of dancing, not just trying to get as sticky as possible over that luuuuve beat so you would melt in irresistible desire for them. All the guys playing the black smooth hot guy, the cliche they find most appealing for European women.

It reminds me sooo much of the male Spaniards from the 60’s that tried to impress the Swedish tourists with the macho-torero style…hee hee hee!!! I must admit it worked wonders for them, therefore, it brings us back to the four requirements…