Saturday, May 13, 2006

St. Thomas post 4 -- Different life here

  1. Lunch is definitely an half hour longer than you want. Takes forever to get your food. It's island time baby.
  2. Cell phones can only be used in the car with a headset. You cannot dial while driving. Brian talked himself out of a ticket with the nice lady police officer yesterday on the way back to the condo. It's a $50.00 ticket for first offence. He knew he wasn't allowed but did it right in front of the cop so we got pulled over. He played dumb tourist. It worked.
  3. There are these things called "safari taxis". They sort of remind me of the taxis in Kenya that were white multi passenger vans and they drove around, picked people up and dropped them off, sort of like a bus route. It's similar here. A "safari taxi" will cost you $2 a real taxi ~ $15 per person for door to door service and $5 per person if you're locals. Surcharge for a tourist, imagine that. These are not buses though, they are Ford F350's with a flat bed on the back that has a bunch of seats on it with a fancy canopy. Big friggin' things.
  4. Internet connectivity goes down, island wide, a couple times a day. Very irritating.
  5. They drive on the left side of the road. I drove to/from site and lunch today. A little weird but not as bad as England. Here the steering wheel is on the US side. In England you're driving a stick that is in your Left hand, the steering wheel is on the RHSide of the car and you're driving on the Left. Here, it's steering wheel on LHside & drive on LH side. Why do they do this you ask? Perhaps its because they were owned by the Danes? Well that would be a logical explanation but the Danes sold the V.I. to the US for $21 million in 1917. There probably was only 2 cars on the island then. By the way, did you know why England drives on the LH side of the road? It comes from the knights and they wanted their sword hand free, the right, for approaching horsemen on the road. Thus, they rode on the Left.
  6. The USVI residents (all 110,000 of them) are US Citizens but cannot vote. They have one delegate in congress but he/she can't vote either. Seems like they are treated like 2nd class citizens. I can see why Puerto Rico is upset too.
  7. Everything rusts here. Drives me crazy.

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