Souvenirs from Sint Maarten
The most popular souvenirs from St. Maarten might just be the luxury items purchased from the duty-free shops, such as crystal, china, fine jewelry, watches and high-end fashion. You can also purchase hand-blown glass, beautifully enameled household items, and the blue and white ceramics called Delftware. Since this is a Dutch controlled territory, you can find Dutch food products, such as cheese and chocolate for sale. Saban lace, batik fabric and colorful hammocks are a few of the local textiles available for sale by local craftsmen, or you may wish to bring back a jar of hot pepper sauce, made from island grown vegetables. Of course, you can't leave the Caribbean without purchasing a bottle of rum. Available mixed with local spices or in a hand painted bottle, this is a signature piece of memorabilia. Other St. Maartener souvenirs include postcards and refrigerator magnets of local landmarks, key chains, posters and caps.
Sint Maarten's Borders
Sint Maarten/ Saint-Martin is divided into Dutch and French territories, making this 87 square kilometer land mass one of the smallest sea islands to be shared between two nations. Located in the northeast Caribbean, approx. 75,000 people live on the island, of which approximately 38,000 are Dutch and 35,000 are French. The island has been divided since 1648, when the Dutch and French planters and merchants agreed to a contest to determine the borders. A Dutchman began walking from one side of the island, after enjoying a generous amount of gin, a Frenchman did likewise, enjoying wine instead. It was decided that wherever the two gentlemen met would be the border, but the Frenchman was able to walk a greater distance than the Dutchman, ending with a 60/40 split. To this day, there is a dispute over whether the Frenchman ran, or that the Dutchman was too drunk to walk very walk.