#WednesdayWalk 🚶‍♂️ Paramaribo, Suriname 🦜

in Urban Exploration5 months ago (edited)

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This is my first #wednesdaywalk, long overdue because we walk everywhere in Paramaribo, mostly due to economic reasons.

I wouldn't say walking is something we enjoy anymore, especially with heavy grocery bags, but for #wednesdaywalk we have a purpose.


Walk, Walk, Walk

   The word "walk" is the first word that comes to mind when I think of our new lives in Suriname. Other than cooking and purchasing commodities, walking is the main thing we do on a daily basis, albeit not by choice.

our first sight coming out of our landlord's gate - @sreypov always takes a flower

Intersection

   We always pass Somariastraat, where there is small and convenient Chinese shop, but very overpriced. If we need more than one item, we always continue the walk.

our first intersection - Bechaniestraat and Somariastraat

Slow Down

   We always pass the drempel sign, one of the first Dutch words I learned from daily life in Suriname. Placed right next to speedbumps, a dictionary is not needed to learn this word.

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watch out for the drempels, a.k.a. speedbumps

Follow The Signs

   We pass the SPI Instituut and Sporthal nearly everyday. @tattoodjay says to look around and up for inspiration, and when I look up all I see are signs. Sometimes we all need a sign.

   The one below reads "SPI, the institute for competent, decisive and dynamic teachers." I hope my students think I am competent, decisive and dynamic.

good to know there are still some competent teachers around

The Signs Say Illuminati

   This masonic lodge is a familiar sight on our daily walks, always a quiet and abandonded looking place. However, we have seen some masonic activity there on occasion, so we know who is running things.

the Illuminati is everywhere, even the Amazon

Don't Gamble It

   You can't walk more than 5 minutes in Paramaribo without being tempted to gamble in some form. I don't know which one is a bigger gamble, the drogist or the lotto. Either way you're playing with your life.

drugs or lotto? which one will you play with?

Where We Used To Gamble

   Some of you that follow my blog know that Suriname is undergoing an economic collapse. The ATMs are intermittent at best, and only dispense local Suriname Dollars at an exchange rate of 8 SRD to 1 USD, although the street value and exchange rate is anywhere from 12 to 16 SRD to 1 USD.

   This cambio used to exchange our US dollars for 8 to 1 back when that was the street value of a Suriname dollar. Now that the real value is way less, we exclusively exchange money illegally at unnamed Chinese corner shops for much better rates, although some risk is involved.

once upon a good economic time, we exchanged money here pre-collapse

Finally Some Cash

   A recently imposed new law now carries a minimum three-year prison sentence for exchanging money on the street or for its real street value. We haven't had access to our US dollars for months, but Western Union recently re-opened, and is now dispensing small amounts of US Dollars.

   Unfortunately HIVE is not accepted tinder anywhere in Suriname, so luckily Western Union recently began dispensing US dollars again, so fiat to the rescue.

Western Union for a discombobulated S. America

Ready, Roopram Roti

   If you're from Suriname or the Netherlands, chances are you've eaten at a Roopram Roti at least once. This is the Suriname take on Indian food, and I have to say it is absolutely barely edible.

   Before arriving in Suriname, we had high hopes for the Indian and Indonesian food. Unfortunately, those dreams were dashed after our first meal in Suriname.

   Surinamese Indian and Indonesian cuisine are simpler and less flavorful versions of their overseas counterparts. Luckily we're both chefs, but we still roll the dice on Roopram once or twice a month.

Roopram Roti is only for lazy days, barely edible

Can't Stay Here

   Since this post has gone sign crazy, here is another sign that we pass several times a week on our usual route. "N P" is for "niet parkeren," so don't block this homeowner's driveway.

don't block this driveway anytime

Sorry Patty, Wednesday Walk

   On the way back home from Roopram, we pass Patty's Taxi, where they only have drivers when you don't need to go anywhere and have nobody there when you need a lift.

   Even though fairly expensive, taxi is the only way to travel longer distances due to COVID-19 knocking out the public bus routes.

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Patty, get your act together, your drivers are never to be found

The New Way Of Shopping

   This is the new way of shopping in Suriname, through the iron bars just like in Jamaica. The problem is here in Suriname, the stores are designed to allow the customer inside.

   Because we can't go inside, if we can't say it in Dutch or Mandarin, then can't get it.

the new norm is through the bars

So Many Signs

   We pass the translation place and Duo Duo Supermarket often, because two duos is better than one, right? Either way, keep breathing ozon and smile.

Home Again, Home Again

   As we finish our walk, we round the corner to enter Bechaniestraat, and the homestretch is near. Hope you enjoyed this #wednesdaywalk around our neighborhood in Paramaribo. There isn't much to see, but many signs, a strange paradox.

Thanks @tattoodjay for the #wednesdaywalk initiative.


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