Blue Monkey, Paramaribo
Stay: 19-20 August 2017 (1 night)
Facilities: 2 bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, AC, large-screen smart TV, free Wi-Fi, free private parking
Rate: SRD 170 (± $ 22.50), ex 8% VAT
Available at: Booking.com
Sometimes, it so happens that unexpected events cause disturbance in the house.
Last Friday, late evening, I was startled by people screaming outside, drowning out the tornado-like buzz of my noisy fan. Frightened, I jumped up from behind my desk to turn off the fan and check what was going on. It sure sounded like some guys fighting. Or, perhaps the security guards of our gated community had caught someone trespassing?
Fortunately, it was nothing violent. What it was, was that my neighbors – the only neighbors that I actually have – were having a small get-together in their yard with a couple of friends. I heard Latin music playing, at totally acceptable sound levels. Loud voices, however, were all over the place and filled the quiet air. This went on until way after midnight. With my bedroom window at about 20 feet from the party, I tried to avoid going to bed by keeping myself busy for as long as I could. Finally, in the wee hours, I decided to leave my noisy fan on during what was left of the night and catch some sleep.
The next morning, to my surprise, the party people were still there. They seemed to have stayed up all night and were now hanging in their chairs, legs up. I just went about my business, but in the afternoon, I started noticing increased activity in the neighbor’s yard when unfamiliar sounds caught my attention: Latin music playing at totally acceptable volume levels. Loud voices, however…
I took a peek outside, and lo and behold: they now had tables and chairs lined up and guests coming over! In a split second, it struck me that last night was just a dress rehearsal, and that the party was now seriously about to take off! It did not take long before I realized that I do not have the option to sleep in another part of the house right now and I knew that I was not going to put up with another night of disturbed sleep! What to do?
I wondered if it would not be great to grab the opportunity to go somewhere, enjoy a short break and forget about the turmoil in the backyard! So, I considered driving down to Moengo, my birthplace – towards the eastern border – or, to Nickerie – all the way to the western border. It was already mid-afternoon, though, and I prefer to head in those directions a bit earlier. For now, I just needed a place at a short drive, with a nice bed and air-conditioning – in
a quiet neighborhood! I went to Booking.com, typed Paramaribo and got
a flood of hits to choose from.
After checking out the pictures of colonial style houses or luxurious hotels with lush gardens, and comparing the online customer reviews, the facilities and the different rates,
I picked Blue Monkey apartment. I did! I made reservations for the night, got my reservation number, packed up my laptop, threw some clothes and toiletries in a bag, grabbed a couple of snacks and something to drink, and took off. A little after 5 pm I was on the road, free as a bird!
Veldhuizenlaan is situated in the outskirts of town, in a quiet, upscale residential area. It is near major roads, such as Johannes Mungrastraat, Tweede Rijweg, and Gemenelandsweg. There are convenience stores nearby, some restaurants and it is actually quite centrally located: downtown, Hermitage Mall (including TBL movie theater) and the Kwattaweg vegetable market for example, are all at about a 10-15 minutes’ drive.
On my way to Blue Monkey, I picked up a saoto soup at Java Restaurant of Gemenelandsweg and by 6 pm I was checked in! A friendly employee, originally from Cuba, waved his hand and shouted out a cordial Hola from the front door. I parked my pick-up truck smack in the middle of the driveway, behind the gate, the chivalrous concierge gave me a hand with my bags and he showed me around in Yellow Monkey*: a small bright-colored two-bedroom bungalow!
Yellow Monkey is spacious, it has a huge Samsung smart TV, abstract works of art on the living room walls, modern furniture, a simple bathroom, and a fully equipped kitchen. And… aah yes! The air-conditioner was already on when I got there. Suriname is currently in the dry season, with daily temperatures peeking towards 40 degrees Centigrade (104°F) and my new home does not yet have air-conditioners. So yes, it is so nice and welcoming when the air-conditioning in your
home away from home is set to 23°C!
I instantly settled in, installed the laptop on the glass-top dining table, went for a quick shower, and arrgghh… Yellow Monkey does not offer hot water! Since it had been very hot that day and I got there dirty and sweaty, I held my breath and took a nice cool shower using the coconut scent shower gel provided. Feeling all fresh and new, I enjoyed my dinner and then crashed on the couch in front of the inviting large-screen TV. Well, the couch was beautifully white and nice looking but sadly, it is not the most comfortable couch I have ever come across – it is more or less OK. Yellow Monkey’s beds are great, though – both beds have good matrasses.
The living room is decorated with attention to detail and even if for only 1 night, it is nice to have paintings on the wall, a reading chair and fresh plants around. One thing could do with replacement: the tile floor in one of the bedrooms looks old and shabby. Everything was clean and spotless, though.
Sunday, I was so happy to finally have the peace of mind to read a book! The two pillows from my bed made the couch nice and comfy, and when it was almost time to go, I could not help myself and asked for a late check-out! I got an extra hour, at no cost. All things come to an end, though, and at some point, it is really time to go. Late Sunday afternoon I drove home, rested and relaxed.
I would recommend a break like this to anybody, anytime! Noisy neighbors? Fed up? Looking for inspiration? Go someplace and stay the night! You really do not have to go far to relax and have a great time – Blue Monkey is just 15 minutes away from my home!
Such breaks are good opportunities to get acquainted with some part of town that you do
not yet know. Exploring is not the only option, though – I simply locked the doors, closed the windows, enjoyed the air-conditioning and was in a different world – one night may be short, but it is definitely long enough for a system reset!