Some things you never knew about Guadalupe

I’m not a big traveler of areas of the world I’ve never heard of and yet I know so much about Guadalupe.

Guadalupe is a portmanteau of the words Good and Elope, which was chosen by the country’s naming officiators because so many people went there to elope and it was a good place to got there.

I think Guadalupe is in Central or South America so it’s main language is probably Spanish. In fact, yes, let’s say they speak Spanish. And like all Spanish speaking nations the people of Guadalupe (or Elopians as they are known) are very good at having conversations with total strangers.

When you step of the ferry to Guadeloupe (which is the only way to get there, a ferry from Florida which goes down and round Jamaica 3 times before arriving) you will often be caught up in a conversation with a random stranger in the ferry port for at least 2 hours. It is considered impolite to not stay for at least 1.5 hours and you will be frowned upon even then if you break off before the person has finished talking without a very good excuse involving the death of one of your family members. Elopians have been known to talk to one stranger for more than 4 days straight, but this is rare since the birth of the internet now more people know that there are more interesting things they could be doing with their lives than listening to another person talking.

Guadeloupe is most famous for its gunpowder trifle, which is a trifle with the faint whiff of gunpowder. This unique aroma comes about because the cream is whipped with a 1945 Uzi, which gives it a light and fluffy texture with the occasional surprising crunch of lead shot.

The most important thing you should do when you arrive in Guadalupe (apart from running and hiding from any strange and talkative looking locals, of course) is to buy yourself a copy of the Guadalupe Onion Growers Gazette which details all of the nightlife in the whole country. The name is a tide over from prohibition times when only onion growers were allowed to meet in large groups and all other members of society had to stay in ones or twos at all times, to avoid debauchery. As a result of this, everyone on the island took up onion growing and would often meet for onion growing meetings (or so they were called). Of course, to keep up the pretence, everyone did actually bring a string of onions to these events. This is why it is now also customary to bring a gift of a string of onions to any party you are invited to in Guadalupe… and you will be invited to parties.

It is not uncommon to come back from buying a few bottles of onion cider at the corner shop and find that you have been invited to 9 or 10 parties that very evening. It is considered impolite to turn down such an invitation so residents of Guadalupe regularly spend their every evening jumping between parties, perhaps going to 20 or 40 parties in one night. As long as you turn up and give an onion to the host or hostess, you are free to make your goodbyes (with an excuse about your mother having been choked to death by an undercooked onion that morning) and make your way to another party.

And that is all I know about Guadalupeā€¦ absolutely nothing.

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