Sunday 13 April 2014
As a former Dutch colony, Suriname seems to have a few interesting twists up its sleeve. In some ways, it's reminiscent of the Netherlands with the general style of the architecture in the old town of Paramaribo. The influence of the sizeable Javanese population is also interesting: beware the ubiquitous Warung and Nasi Goring culinary options!
But there's some somewhat inexplicable quirks too - like the utter fascination with songbirds in cages. They seem to tote them around everywhere!
The Surinamese may be pretty atrocious drivers, but they certainly seem to have an aptitude for languages. Pretty much all of the people we came across spoke Dutch, French, English and Creole. I suppose it is the product of having English speaking neighbours on your left hand side, French on your right and Dutch from the colonial times. Although there is a lot of Warung and Nasi Goring (we did steer clear of these), there was lots of other excellent food to try. On the first night we arrived we sampled some amazing local soups with brown bread (the first time I had eaten brown bread in months and I can't tell you how happy I was) followed by coconut cake with rum soaked raisins (yum). The following day we had a huge dim sum lunch. It was worth coming to Paramaribo just for the food alone. After months of being on the road you start to get quite tired of white bread, and rice! Suriname really is a fascinating place and I am sure there is much more to explore if you have the time and the patience. Unfortunately for us, we didn't have the time and the weather was not great for us either, so no nice photos of the buildings!