Edz and I went down to Forbidden Island with a group of people yesterday morning. We checked out the Forbidden Grotto, swam in the swimming hole, and a few of us climbed to the top of the island. It was the first time going there for almost everybody we were with, including Edz.
When I first got to Saipan three years ago I went to the beach several times per week. Then you get so caught up living life that you forget that you live next to one of the most spectacular places on the planet.
Later in the evening we took both dogs to the Taste of the Marianas. Snow White managed about 15 minutes of walking before Edz carried her for the rest of the evening.
Last night was the final Taste of the Marianas of 2009. It is one of my favorite events on Saipan and I look forward to it every year. Still, there are some changes I would make if I were King of the Universe.
First of all, is it really necessary to use so much packaging for every single item when you only have to transport your food from the vendor booth to a nearby picnic table? A typical item comes served on a styrofoam plate, wrapped in plastic, then placed in a plastic bag with a plastic fork and spoon, chopsticks, and napkins. Is it because of government mandated food handling regulations? Whatever the reason, I can't imagine how much solid waste is generated from this one event. It would be refreshing to see someone challenge MVA to have a "zero-waste" Taste of the Marianas next year and every year after that.
Secondly, and this kind of goes along with my first criticism, I wish the portions weren't so large. The name is the Taste of the Marianas, not the Gorge Yourself Silly of the Marianas. Again, if I were King of the Universe, I would require the vendors to sell bite-sized food items for a lower price, perhaps $2-$3 per item. That would allow people to try a larger variety of items, giving them a better taste of the food of the Marianas rather than going out and purchasing the standard five items for five dollars that is available at the Street Market every Thursday.
Finally, and maybe this is too sophisticated for the Saipan palate, I would like to see drinks matched with food. It could be beer or wine, but I would like to be told that roast wild boar goes great with a pinot noir...and that a particularly well paired pinot noir is available by the glass for $7.