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Xterra Malaysia 2013 »

Water all around

Quirks from the small island:

A little unsettling, but there are Tsunami Evacuation Route signs on my rides.

The previous Governor was impeached this month. Hinting at a political system that is able to heal itself when ill. It is a US territory, but with it’s own Governor – still trying to figure that out!?

Local tradition to have a beach braai the day after the Xterra.

Best lookout on the island is from Suicide Cliff. Biked up there twice, it’s a magic spot. Japanese soldiers were determined to avoid US capture and torture.

There is an old vintage looking satellite dish which was build by the Reagan administration as part of a SDI programme. Better known through media as ‘Star Wars’. Something about Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). Terms that trouble my human soul at night. Glad it’s abandoned me thinks.

Star Wars Tower, Saipan

Land ownership is only for the islanders, the Chamorro and Carolinian people. If you want to build, you secure a 55year lease agreement.

Electricity is 6times more expensive here than mainland US. Often the beverages in stores are packed into fridges, but not chilled…

Across the bay I can see Tinian. An even tinier island where five gigantic airstrips were built during WW2. From one of which the B-29 Bomber departed to Hiroshima. Sad history.

There are 50 000 inhabitants on Saipan. Most of whom earn tourism related income. Tourism centered on Japanese clients. After the 1997 economic collapse in Japan, the island has slowed. Will be hoping for its restoration. The natural resources and it’s people have much to offer.

Another tradition for ‘Xterra week’ is a the Hash Run. Superbly random. But what can one do, when in Rome.


One Response to "Water all around"

  1. David says: March 14, 2013 at 9:05 am

    Thanks for sharing some of the history!

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