Friday, June 23, 2017

Welcome to America's Paradise!


The proper greeting.

In the hustle and bustle of State side life, it's easy for proper greetings to be over looked or even considered unnecessary. Things move a bit slower here, and this idle chit chat is part of island culture. When striking up a conversation with a local, always start with "Good morning," "Good afternoon," or "Good night". My parents made this dreadful mistake the first time they came to visit. They walked up to the groundskeeper at their resort and asked where the restrooms where. The local groundskeeper, being offended, simply walked away. Remember to start each conversation with one of these greetings, depending on what time of day it is, and you could even throw in a "How are you today" for extra measure. Locals here are very rooted in the their culture, yet at the same time very eager to help, so a little niceness goes a long way. 

Don't ask for a weather forecast. Just don't do it. 

Now I understand that in most places on our beautiful planet you can turn on the television and watch the weather report and get a pretty good idea of what the weather is going to be like for the next few days. Well, that doesn't happen around here. Tropical conditions are unstable and you never know what's going to happen next, so get used to it. Add our steep mountains into the mix and the weather on a day to day basis becomes a bit of a roller coaster. It could start out as a warm sunny day, then the island gets smacked with a rainstorm, but don't panic wait five minutes and it will be over. A leisure drive around the island could take you to elevations that are far above sea level, and can definitely be felt in the temperature. Just step off the plane with a "You never know" attitude and you should be just fine.

Be prepared for a simpler way of life. 

We have no Wal Marts. We have no major shopping malls. We don't even have any interstates, highways or bridges. (Expect for one bridge - the Bridge to Nowhere. Ask a local the story behind that one. It's good for a laugh.) But that's quite okay with us. You'd be surprised what you don't even miss that you don't have. What we do have here are are mix of interesting people form all over the planet (and a few that claim they are from a different planet, but that's another story). open air markets with fresh fruits and veggies, cheap rum (because it's made here), miles and miles of pristine beaches and sunsets so inspiring that they end up on post cards. 

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