Interview with Cristina Batista
Sitting on a nice secluded end of a breakwater with a good view of the harbour
J C Steel: There are times I miss sunshine, wind, and palm trees.
Cristina Batista: I didn’t want to move to Europe in my teens, and having seen it, I still don’t want to move there.
JCS: Your family was originally from Spain. Which area?
CB: My father was from Cáceres, in Extremadura. I have no idea where my mother was from, she left after I was born.
JCS: And your father moved you all onto a yacht and sailed for the Caribbean. What was growing up on a yacht like?
CB: …when it’s how you grow up, and you have known nothing different, growing up on a yacht is very normal. I played in the harbour with the children from other boats, when there were any; I learnt to row and sail; I learnt to shop in the open markets, and how to tie up a dinghy so I didn’t end up swimming after it. I explored around the anchorages, I snorkelled. You must have been asked this one often enough.
JCS: Very, very often. Now I’m asking you. How about schooling?
CB: We had a basic set of material from a correspondence course. It wasn’t designed for complex thinkers, but it provided the basics.
JCS: Yeah, amen on the last part. Where did you spend most of your time?
CB: Mostly between Grenada and Martinique. We visited St. Eustatius once.
JCS: Do they still keep an elephant at Pitons?
CB: I think so. I haven’t been there in a few years. Papá liked the less touristy areas. Union Island was one of his favourites.
JCS: Least favourite aspect of living on a yacht?
CB: Water runs. For something that empties so quickly, it takes an amazing number of jerry-cans to fill a water tank.
JCS: Any opinions of living in a house?
CB: I have hardly lived in a house. Let’s say…they don’t move, and if you open the windows there are bugs everywhere.
JCS: You have Spanish citizenship. How do you respond if someone asks you where you come from?
CB: I tell them I spent most of my life in the Caribbean. My nationality is never very relevant to my life until I need to pass Customs.
JCS: Most people don’t believe in vampires. Is that a good thing, or a bad thing, from your perspective?
CB: I find that the facts remain the facts no matter your beliefs. It makes my job a little easier, in some ways. Vampires have a vested interest in human ignorance, so populated areas can provide good cover under the right circumstances.
JCS: Is it true that vampires can be driven away with a cross?
CB: No. Or any other type of religious symbol, either, unless you sharpen it.
JCS: Where do you think that belief originated from?
CB: I’ve noticed that people believe a lot of strange things when it comes to religion. Personally I prefer stakes and fighting knives if I need to kill a vampire.