Tag Archives: Saipan

Loi Krathong on Saipan

[Text from Wikipedia; Photos from Saipan Nov 17, 2013!]
[wikipedia] Loi Krathong (also written as Loy Krathong or Loy Gratong, Thai: ลอยกระทง, IPA: [lɔːj kràʔ tʰoŋ]) is a festival celebrated annually throughout
Thailand and certain parts of Laos and Burma (in Shan State). The name could be translated “Floating Crown” or “Floating Decoration”,
and comes from the tradition of making buoyant decorations which are then floated on a river.

Full moon over Saipan

[wikipedia] Loi Krathong takes place on the evening of the full moon of the 12th month in the traditional and they do this all evening on the 12th monthThai lunar calendar. In the western calendar this usually falls in November.

Thai girls and guys and friends gather at the fishing dock

Loi Krathong are lit and readied

[wikipedia] Loi means ‘to float’, while krathong refers to the (usually) lotus-shaped container which floats on the water. Krathong has no other meaning in Thai
besides decorative floats, so Loi Krathong is very hard to translate, requiring a word describing what a Krathong looks like such as Floating Crown, Floating Boat, Floating Decoration.

Jamaican joins the ceremony

A prayer before launch, while the candles from other Loi Krathong shimmer on the water

[wikipedia] A small coin is sometimes included as an offering to the river spirits. On the night of the full moon, Thais launch their krathong on a river, canal or a pond, making a wish as they do so. The festival may originate from an ancient ritual paying respect to the water spirits.

For more about Loi Krathong in Thailand, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loi_Krathong

Return to Saipan 2013

In our previous episode, we left Jamaican on Saipan, Walt Goodridge, on a layover in Hong Kong. Following a four hour flight to Guam and another 4 hour layover, we resume our adventure with the final leg of the Escape from America reprise: The Return to Saipan…2013!

A few highlights of the past 4 days:

On the tarmac toward the last plane to Saipan.
On the tarmac toward the last plane to Saipan.

Saipan from the sky!middle of the Pacific! Just a few seconds more!!!
Saipan from the sky! a secret little rock in the middle of the Pacific! Just a few seconds more!!!

RECAP: I left my apartment in New York at 7:15am Saturday NY time. Fly from New York to Hong Kong to Manila to Guam to Saipan. I arrive 8:05am on Monday Saipan time. Saipan is 14 hours ahead of NY. Hmmm…now with the 14 hour time difference …. carry the 2….that makes exactly 35 hours from door to door! Whew! I know, I know, but it feels sooooo good when you land!

Based on the above, here’s my idea for a new tourism marketing campaign:
“Welcome to Saipan. You can’t get here by accident!”
What do you think?

attorney Joe Hill, Saipan at the restaurant formerly known as Bobby Cadillac's
Catching up with friends. Me and attorney Joe Hill, Saipan at
the restaurant formerly known as Bobby Cadillac’s

attorney Joe Hill, Saipan at the restaurant formerly known as Bobby Cadillac's
Joe is the reason my initial transition to Saipan living back in 2006 was so smooth! Thanks, Joe!

Picking Malunggay (Moringa) growing fresh, raw and wild
Picking Malunggay (Moringa) growing fresh, raw and wild a short walk from my apartment.
Wonder how much this would cost back in the states?
Will chop and sprinkle raw with the evening meal.

Noni just an arm's length away from on my bedroom balcony.
Noni grows on Saipan
Noni just an arm’s length away from on my bedroom balcony.

Returning to my favorite contemplation and cooking spot.
Returning to my favorite contemplation and cooking spot on Saipan
Just as I left it

contemplation on saipan

Cooking on saipan

COOKING???? Yep. Ahem. Let me explain:
An easy-to-follow recipe for Jamaican Turnover
Take one medium-sized Jamaican (recently refrigerated)
Peel outer covering
Place on hot rocks in oppressive heat
Let bake for approximately half hour.
Turn. Repeat.
Remove when rejuvenated.
Serve hot and enjoy at leisure!

Note: works just as well for other flavors of travelers and nomads

What's cookin' inside? Chopping locally-grown pumpkin
What’s cookin’ inside? Chopping locally-grown pumpkin, curried cabbage, boiled green bananas

Hafa Adai Shopping center in Garapan
Hafa Adai Shopping center in Garapan

The world famous Thursday Night Street Market at its new location on Beach Road
The world famous Thursday Night Street Market at its new location on Beach Road

Canton Restaurant's stall at the Street Market, Saipan
Canton Restaurant’s stall at the Street Market, Saipan

While walking through the Street Market, the event emcee, and all-around nice guy, Gordon Marciano, spotted me in the crowd and gave me an on-mic shout out and welcome back! Pretty cool, except that my cover of anonymity and secrecy is now blown!

Yep! This is what I like. A slow, simple life with friendly faces, warm weather, beautiful “distractions” where everybody knows your name. It feels great to be back!

NOTE: To receive future emails and follow this continuing nomadpreneur adventure and experience Walt’s unique experience of a lifestyle you can create by following your passion, join the mailing list at www.Jamaicaninchina.com!

[QUESTION: “Walt. Are you going to continue referring to yourself in the third person as if we don’t know you’re the one writing this?”
ANSWER: Yes, he will]

Saipan day tour for visiting cruise line passengers! Let’s do it again in 2013!

It’s been in the works since July of last year when the first cruise ship customer contacted me! It’s true! The Jamaican in China will be returning to Saipan once again to conduct a special tour for visitors from a major cruise line! The last once we did was a raging success! This one will be better!

If you’re one of the passengers scheduled to arrive on Saipan, CLICK HERE to arrange your day tour of Saipan! I can arrange a special World War II tour, and private tours for even a single person, so there’s no excuse!

Saturday on Saipan!

Riza Oledan-Ramos is a children's book author living on Saipan. A while back, she attended one of my "saipanpreneur" workshops and expressed to me her desire to publish her first book. She became my client, and a few months later, after a few coaching sessions, she launched her website and published her first book, The Boy Who Dreamed to Be With His Parents on Saipan,  a unique based-on-real-life children's story that even adults have found compelling and emotional.

The book is available in paperback from her site, as well as on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as in Bestseller Bookstore on Saipan.

Last week, Riza, now a published author with her book on Amazon, and in two languages, made her book signing debut at the public library on Saipan! And, while I'm sorry I couldn't be there to share the moment with her, here are a few photos of the event she sent me! Enjoy, then pick up a copy to support a new author! http://www.rizaramosbooks.com


If you're going to do an outdoor book signing, there's no nicer place than a tropical island!

"Sign my copy, please!"

Greeting the public!

Sharing the book's original art by Rodante Guardia! Great idea, Riza!


We also translated it into Spanish!


Celebrity smile!

The kid's arrive!

Sharing the spotlight with other authors: Seated: L-R- Riza Ramos, Honora Tenorio, Jose Sanchez; Standing L-R- Joanna Aquino, Lino Olopai, Catherine Perry, Kurt Barnes (names and spellings not verified)


Photos by Riza’s coworker, Lilia! Thanks for capturing the moment!


Meanwhile, back on the island of Saipan

bilocation: Bilocation, or sometimes multilocation, is a term used to describe the ability/instances in which an individual or object is said to be, or appears to be, located in two distinct places at the same instant in time. 

With that said, if you, too, happen to be on the island of Saipan at this very moment, you can head over to the Commonwealth Health Center–Saipan’s single hospital–and pick up a copy of a very touching book entitled The Boy Who Dreamed to Be With His Parents on Saipan by Riza Oledan-Ramos. Riza is a nurse on Saipan who I helped publish her first book. It gives a little peak inside a reality that many people never experience. It’s a true story inspired by Riza’s son, and, as people are discovering, is more than a children’s book. It’s akin to a letter written from the perspective of a young mind grappling to understand the world, his place in it, and the emptiness and longing that often comes with having parents who are seeking a better life for the family.  

Emmanuel Ramos misses his mom and dad. They are on the island of Saipan working. He is in Manila, Philippines, with his aunt, cousins and grandparents. Will his parents ever come back for him? Will he ever see them again? Will Emmanuel’s big dream to be with his parents on Saipan ever come true?  

On sale on Saipan! Congrats, Riza!

READ MORE AND ORDER NOW Also available on Amazon.com!

How much does it cost to live on Saipan? Saipan Apartments?

I get that question quite often from many people who discover SaipanLiving.com website, and are interested in visiting or relocating. So, today, as public service to the world, I shall answer it based on my own lifestyle.

Today is Saturday. At about 6:30am, I typically head out to the Sabalu Market in Susupe to buy my produce from local farmers.

Then, I might stop at the local supermarket to pick up a few more items. Here is a photo of me and today’s take.

Here’s the itemization. This also includes images and prices of items I purchased on different occasions.

Click on image to see larger version. The numbers correspond with the items below


1. Joy 12.6oz Ultra dish detergent
(they’ve run out of Dishmate Earth-Friendly liquid)
2. Mason Jar (32oz)
(for making my own kimchee/culturedveggies)
3. Kitchen sink trap $1.57
4. Food For Life Gluten Free tortillas (specially orderedjust for the fringe dwellers)
5. Health Valley Cereal $5.59
6. Wholesoy Soy Yogurt $2.65
7. Red Kidney beans 160z
(to make Jamaican style rice & peas!)
8. Baking soda
for brushing my teeth)


9. Cherries (50c each tray) $1.00
10.Grated coconut
also for Jamaican style rice & peas!)
11. coconut oil 8oz $4.00
12. dry coconut $1.00
13. bananas bunch of 14 $0.50
14. lemons $1.00
15. plantains (3) $2.00
16. Papaya $1.00
17. 3 sweetsop (ati) $1.00
18. 6 large nessberry (chico) $2.50


19. Toaster $14.99
20. Juicer (purchased on Guam) $
21. Coffee bean grinder
(No, I don’t drink coffee. Remind me to tell you about coffee enemas,if that’s not too much information)
22. duplicate house key $2.00
23. Bottled Spring water (2.5gal) $3.65

The stainless steel pots in the photo (aluminum pots leach aluminum which causes Alzheimers and the coating of non-stick pots are toxic) were purchased in New York and brought to Saipan. (Caused some raised eyebrows when the TSA agent at the airport saw them in my carry-on luggage–see Jamaican on Saipan, the book)

I’ll add another post about apartment living on Saipan. Meanwhile, If you’re looking for a one-bedroom on Saipan for a stay of 1 month or more,
, to view more, and email mefor more details.

For more about living on Saipan, visit: www.Saipanliving.com.

One-bedroom apartment sublet for one month or more? Limited availability. For this and other accommodations, visit www.destinationsaipan.com



Saipan Living! The Book!
: A comprehensive guide for moving, finding and working a job, living or vacationing in the Northern Mariana Islands
including the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota

ORDER For Kindle

…not to impress you, but to impress upon you….the importance of dreaming big!

Here are some recent happenings with two of my books:


Chun Yu Wang on Saipan
Chicken Feathers and Garlic Skin: Diary of a Chinese Garment Factory Girl on Saipan (which I co-authored with Chinese national, Chun Yu Wang), is being used as a suggested text for a Women’s Studies course at California State University in Fullerton, CA. This is the third such use I am aware of. The first was for a Denison University Women’s Studies program, the second was for a French textbook company. There may be others, since there’ve been other large quantity orders through my wholesaler, and through Amazon which may also have been for educational purposes, or maybe even book clubs–no way to tell for sure.)

Arthur Wylie Only the Crazy and Fearless Win Big
An excerpt from my book, Turn Your Passion Into Profit, is being used in a new book by Arthur Wylie (with Brian Nicol) entitled Only the Crazy and Fearless Win Big! I’ve read the chapter on passion, and it’s pretty inspiring. According to the preview: In Only the Crazy and Fearless Win BIG!, he shares a little secret that few books discuss — to win big you have to be fearless and, sometimes, even a little crazy. Wylie outlines real-world examples from some of history and present-day’s most well-known names and everyday entrepreneurs in every industry, profession, and segment of the economy. Only the Crazy and Fearless Win BIG! shows how their decisions raised eyebrows, dropped jaws, and met resistance— yet proved to be right.”

The book is due out in January.Check out Arthur’s site at www.arthurwylie.com, where you can pre-order.

So, why do I share this with you? Well, not to impress you, but to impress upon you what’s possible when you follow your passion, and what’s possible when you dream big. These frequent  acknowledgements and validation (and the money from sales!) I receive, are the reward for finding my purpose as a “guru,” following my passion as a writer, creating products that are expressions of that passion, and marketing them for profit and prosperity…all while helping others achieve their dreams as well. As a result, I get the personal sense of fulfillment that comes from seeing my work appreciated and shared with others, and I enjoy the freedom to escape my previous life and live true to my self in a way and in a location that makes me happy. Anyone can do it, but it all starts with daring to dream something different–something bigger–for yourself. Finding it difficult? Well, perhaps all you need is permission.


As I wrote in an email just a few days ago to a coaching client, and special person in my life who was finding it challenging to reconcile her dreaming  with what she felt she was entitled to:

” ‘Reba’,
You have MY permission to dream and dream big. Go ahead, It’s okay. I want to know what your big dreams look, feel and taste like. Do it for me. I’m very curious. You deserve to share in all the abundance that the universe has to offer.  There are no other requirements to fulfill. You already qualify. As a child of the divine, of the universe, of God, if you will, there is nothing that  exists that you cannot have access to.  There is no definition and identity that you cannot adopt. It’s all yours by birthright. You are entitled to it because of your existence separate and apart from your learned identity and limitations hereon the planet. All of that is just a construct we need to practice stepping outside of.”

“There are no limits, no practical considerations, there is just desire and imagination. What would you attempt, if you knew you could not fail? What would you create, if everything you needed for its creation would be guaranteed you? What would you desire if “how” was not a part of the equation? What would your ideal life look like? You are not being asked to build. You are only being asked to envision and design. The truth is, “how” is none of your business. The universe always provides the “how” as you’ve already discovered for yourself. Your task is simply to dream. Animals don’t shy away from the food they need to survive and thrive. They seek it out. Plants don’t shy away from the sun, nor their roots from the water they need to grow and expand. They seek it out. The dreams of who you are are like the seeking of the food, sunlight and water you need for your fullest expression. Go for it. Do it.” [end of email]


Yes, sometimes you have to be fearless and crazy, but life rewards those who dare to dream of something more.

Encyclopedia Goodridge presents Unfinished Business: Harvey The Rat returns with a vengeance!

If you recall from page 74 of Jamaican on Saipan, I had a little run-in with a rat while I was living in Chalan Kiya. I thought that that sordid episode had ended. Well it seems that “Harvey” didn’t think so. He’s back……and he’s pissed. But let me start at the beginning.

A few nights ago, I returned from a night out at the Liberation Day festivities here on Saipan to find this:

A hole in the bottom of the screen door to my bedroom balcony with a paper towel sticking out. (Crime scene recreated for the benefit of the investigation.)

I know why it happened. Without getting into too much detail, I use coconut oil for massages. (For more, see I want to date a Jamaican in China (“Don’t speculate! Ja-Make-A-Date!”)

In any event, while I was out that night, I had left a little measuring cup of coconut oil and an oil-soaked sheet of paper towel on the floor by the bed. (Neatness has never been my strong suit).

Harvey must have caught the aroma of sweet oil as he was making his nightly rounds, and decided to take a souvenir home with him. My measuring cup was gone and the paper towel, as I mentioned, was stuck halfway through a hole in the mesh at the bottom of the sliding screen door. It’s the sort of mesh screen that keeps out mosquitoes, but was never designed for determined, committed, goal-oriented rats.

So, just so we’re clear: “Yes, officer, a rat broke into my apartment from the balcony, stole my plastic measuring cup, came back, and was halfway through his second incident of breaking and entering and first degree theft, when my return scared him away.”

The next morning, I measured my screen door, then went to Ace Hardware and got some higher/stronger gauge screen, some screws, bolts and washers to construct a rodent barrier!

I had the mesh cut about two feet high, as the sales rep at the hardware store and I both agreed that the rats wouldn’t climb up the mesh to get to the weaker mesh above. I took my purchase home. (I felt like Wile E. Coyote with a new contraption from ACME, or Elmer Fudd)

I attached the higher gauge screen to the smaller gauge.

I’ll stop you yet, you wascally wodent!

I was so proud of my handiwork

Well it seems the hardware rep and I were wrong. I went to bed thinking that all was right with the world. However, at 4:00am this morning, I was awakened by the sound of some scratching. I opened my eyes and found myself staring at the underbelly, and into the glowing yellow eyes of a rodent, two feet off the ground, perched on the top of the high gauge mesh, still outside, but about to begin his toothy assault on the smaller gauge mesh to gain another entry into my apartment.

Re-enactment featuring professional rat actor paid rodent scale. No animals were harmed in the making of this.

A few milliseconds later, a thought entered my mind: “Excuse me, you’re lying on a bed two feet off the ground and you’re staring at eye level at the furry underbelly of a rat hanging from a mesh screen, suspended in the air two feet above the ground about to gnaw his way into your apartment. Hello?”

At that point I sat up, and my quick movement scared him away.

Ah! yes! I love a battle of wits and will! (even if it’s with a rodent!) Bring it on! I lay in bed staring at the ceiling and spent the next few minutes figuring out my retaliatory (or would that be “defensive”) strategy. Would I have to use high gauge mesh on the entire screen door? Would I have to keep my glass door shut at all times (unacceptable, since I don’t believe in or use air conditioning, and  prefer to have a breeze flowing through my apartment). Think, man! Think!!! Poison? Rat trap? No good. I don’t believe in  killing–not even ants–plus, a dead Harvey the Rat would simply be replaced by another, angrier friend or family member. I’d have to launch what would eventually become known as “The Great Jamaican Rat Massacre of Saipan!” I’d have to sleep with a shotgun. Frankly, I don’t have the resources.

And then, as I stared at the mesh, and the sliding door picturing the rat climbing up, it hit me! I think I found the solution!

Encyclopedia Goodridge and the Mystery of the Bypassed Barricade

I’ll pay homage to Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective, one of my favorite series of children’s books growing up, and ask: “What did Encyclopedia Goodridge realize that could make all the difference in the world to keeping the unwelcome rat outside the apartment?”  If you think you know the answer (or if you simply want to make a suggestion), enter it in the comment box below, and then click the link below for the answer!

CLICK HERE to learn the answer!

Diabolical, don’t you think? Well, I’ll let you know how it works out…..stay tuned!

Moral: If you run away to a tropical island to escape the rat race, beware, the rats might not be too far behind!


Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of perpetual summer on Saipan!

I live a simple, natural life. Nothing fancy. Nothing extravagant. But, I have my freedom. That’s always been the most important thing for me. So, the question I’ve been asked is: with all that freedom, what do I do here on Saipan when I’m not traveling around China?

Well, let’s see…just kinda hangin’ around, I guess….

Hanging out with friends…

shopping at the market…

enjoying the scenery

listening to music in the car (note the coconuts in the back seat)

Helping an occasional tourist

and chasing rainbows

Hey! Is that a pot of gold?

The highlight of Saipan’s Flame Tree Arts Festival…without a doubt

Last Sunday, June 12, marked the final day of Saipan’s annual Flame Tree Festival–now in its thirtieth year!  Each year, artists, sculptors, and artisans of all stripes come to sell their wares to an appreciative public.

There are also food vendors, performers from across Micronesia and the Pacific. This year’s festivities were held at Saipan’s Memorial Park.




Yes, the festival has been proceeding on its own for 30 years. However, I think I can confidently speak for everyone there on Saturday, that the high point of the day for all in attendance came when a certain Jamaican on Saipan took the stage to learn the Haka dance from the visiting New Zealand delegation. Well, at least it was the highlight for me!

Jamaican takes the stage

Jamaican learning the Traditional New Zealand Maori Haka dance