Guam…."Where America's Day Begins"….
Yep, Guam is, geographically, where America's day begins but it is also where the American Dream ends
Guam is an island territory roughly 30 miles long and 9 miles wide, encompassing a population of about 160,000 people. It sits at about 13 degrees north latitude, smack in the middle of the typhoon belt. While it has some of the most beautiful hard corals on the planet, it also has some of the worst behavior by the locals. Guamanians have embraced the worst of what American culture has to offer and refuse to let it slip from their pudgy little hands.
Right: "Partners In Crime"
To Wit:Some of the most littered beaches we have ever seen - a day does not pass on Guam without seeing disposable pampers thrown on the ground, and yes, often on the most beautiful beaches.
More fighting cocks per capita than anywhere on the planet. Our downstairs neighbor allegedly had over 200 in cages next to the building, and yes, they crowed all night long.
More stray "boonie dogs" per capita than fighting cocks, and yes, they still have their balls.
More government workers (by far) per capita than any other state, commonwealth, territory, or district of the United States. Something over 40% of Guam's jobs are furnished by the government. Some people have two government jobs with two government paychecks and two government pensions, really. Many of these same people go home during the day to care for their fighting cocks and then stop in at work at 5 o'clock to punch out - that is if they don't want any "overtime" that week" We witnessed this first hand and the perpetrators were totally unashamed.
At our local supermarket, roughly 50% of the transactions we witnessed were paid for with good ole US government food stamps. The buyer would then saunter out to a shiny new vehicle and drive off.
Yes, this little welfare state of mind is subsidized by American tax dollars. GovGuam receives about $250 Million annually from Uncle Sam and pays nothing into the federal government - not one dime.
The most unfortunate aspect of Guam is the attitude of the locals. They are satisfied with their laid-back, littered, graffitoed isle and really couldn't care less whether or not it continues down the road to ruin.
Left: Note the sign's fine print. This dreamhouse is known to be in a flood plain and will need to come down in the next ten years - REALLY!
The apathy on Guam is amazing. After having our car windows smashed and items in the trunk stolen, the downtown cop's statement was "Welcome to Guam" and "It happens all the time right here at the main cathedral during Sunday mass." One would think that if cars were being vandalized during mass a couple of blocks from the police station someone would give a shit.
Right: Here's the world famous revolving pope statue. Lawmakers couldn't decide which way it ought to face so they motorized its base - REALLY! Unfortunately, the motor no longer works. Perhaps it was rotated so that the car vandals could be monitored by someone who CARED!!
Amazingly, these cops were more interested to prod us for good tips on the stock market (something for nothing) than they were on discussing methods to track down vandals.
The shame about Guam is that it is an island that has been blessed with some of the finest natural beauty to be found in the Pacific. The reefs are spectacular. The hiking is also very good, that is, when your car is not being vandalized. It is amazing to consider that an island of only 160,ooo people has turned into something reminiscent of south central Los Angeles. Graffiti is rampant. Buildings damaged by typhoon Paka nearly two years ago still sit in disrepair downtown.
Since we wish to avoid being negative, the best thing we could do for Guam was abandon it. We just couldn't see ourselves trying to change the attitude of so many who don't care to change.
Good Luck Guam…….you're gonna need it.
On to The Lion's Pride - A Parable