We’ve been hanging around the beautiful island of Barbados for nearly two weeks, and there are some things that we’ve noticed. Some make you go huh, others eek, and sometimes even gasp. But overall it’s been a lovely place to hang out. Caribbean blue water, friendly folks, and even some good surfing!!
Getting gas is full serve and quick. Backing into parking stalls is the thing to do. Chefette (cross between McDonalds and KFC) has some pretty awesome pizza, and tasty great ice cream for the price and size. Their servers are friendly, wear neato outfits and the drive thru goes the wrong way.They recycle and encourage this on their garbage bins. The neighbourhood mini-marts seem to be attached to a drinking establishment and are packed full of neat goodies like wabisco crackers, homemade goodies, and banks beer. Posted hours do not necessarily mean anything. Sometimes it says open and its closed, other times it says its open and they are preparing to close so you can’t come in, and other times they just don’t say. They speak english, at least I think thats what you call it…They say good night (as in hello, at night) and yes please when agreeing with you, and have some wild sounding island slang. You CAN drink the tap water here all the time and not get the runs! Who needs street lights?
Eating at a dine in restaurant, especially near the sea, can cost you more than $20 per plate just for a burger. Everyone is super friendly in traffic, letting people in all over the place, which is generous but leaves a lot of room for error and confusion. The beach near us has washed up some crazy sea trash, which we used their plastic shopping bags to pick up. Three bags full, and mostly plastic water bottles, goggles, and flip flops. They have some wickedly tall rasta hats and awesome long dreads! Their little minibuses stop and go whenever and wherever they please, and usually whenever you don’t expect it. Cars park in the middle of the road in the residential area and you just go around them. Construction on the main road is halted for an unknown period of time while using two barrels to block the road so that people know they just have to go around them and each direction can somehow work things out to take turns, even in rush hour. There’s more round a bouts here than stray animals, so if you think driving on the wrong side was a challenge, you better figure out the traffic circle! What sidewalk? What shoulder? There aren’t any in the south, especially in the residential areas.
GASP (both good and bad):
The water is the nicest turquoise blue even with the cloudiest, darkest gloomy clouds and pouring rain. Surfing in the pouring rain and strong winds watching the turtles poking their heads up around you is amazingly relaxing. They often serve dolphin as a special on the menu. Pedestrians (dark skin & dark clothing) are overly trusting of cars passing them while they meander along the edge of the road (even in pitch black with rain). Suicide chickens run across the road right in front of the car. Cats have 64 lives here, not 9. We saw our first firefly! Old disabled tourists think they are safe pushing and riding in a wheelchair down the main busy street!!! Cockroaches, saw one last night and took care if him with soapy water and cruel thoughts!