As is sometimes the case , I thought it would be worthwhile to record my somewhat sleep-addled first impressions of Suriname upon arriving here early this morning. In stark contrast to St. Lucia, there were no encouragements to participate in discreet banking or buy expensive condos. Rather, the airport had a very simple advertisement for their local cell phone service and a lot of artwork around. I also saw a couple of posters about the local wildlife. At any rate, I did not get to see too much of the airport, since my stepfather was being wheeled around in a wheelchair due to his limited balance and mobility, although their customs service was quick and friendly and their bathrooms were excellent. All of these things speak highly for a airport, even if there is limited understanding of it.
Once we finally got in our taxi on the way to the resort, by which time it was about 2AM or so, our taxi driver was a bit friendly and my mother and stepfather interested in talking about various spiritual matters. As for me, I was listening and sometimes participating in conversation but also observing the lay of the land around me. Suriname is certainly a lust land full of greenery, and it is striking that their international airport is about an hour away from the capital city, where most of the people in the country live. Although, quite sensibly, the outlying parts of the area were filled with mostly rectangular and solid-looking houses, some of them colorful but most of them white and seemingly constructed for ease of cooling, we could tell when we got close to the city because at that point we heard some dance music and saw some women who appeared like prostitutes to be hanging out on the side of the street. I also learned a new Dutch word, brempel because it appeared every time there was a speeding bump, of which there were many. I pondered what would be an homage to the local wildlife by thinking of people running over a giant snake in the road and then calling out that it was a brempel like all of the speeding bumps that line the roads.
Although the country is roughly evenly divided between Afro-Surinamese and Indo-Surinamese, there were some striking differences in what we saw of each group of people. When in Miami waiting for the flight, the vast majority of the people on our plane to Suriname were Indo-Surinamese. However, once we landed, most of the people we encountered were Afro-Suriname, both in customs as well as among the taxi drivers and among the hotel staff. I had tried to get the internet password before going to sleep, but it did not work and I figured I would mess with it in the morning. Again, these are first impressions and not any sort of deep or profound ones, but the divisions within Suriname society is striking, and it is also notable that the country’s infrastructure is a mixture of fairly basic roads and a strong attempt in its airport to impress tourists with the beauty of the country and its art. There is clearly much more to unravel here.
 See, for example: