What I've learned in St Thomas
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1. I thought I knew what the phrase "really sharp turn" meant; I didn't.
2. The company with the speed bump contract made a lot of money.
3. Since the street signage isn't great, everyone uses land marks to give directions. This is difficult when the landmark isn't there any more.
4. Speed limits are similar to rules like "you should floss every day". A nice thought but rarely followed.
5. That car isn't blowing its horn AT you, it's blowing its horn FOR you.
6. Just because a cop is waving you to turn up a road, don't assume the road isn't a one way street, and the cop is signaling you to go the wrong way.
7. Googlemaps will show you where you are, but not necessarily where you are going.
8. Googlemaps thinks staircases are roads.
9. Blackbeard's Castle isn't Bluebeard's Castle.
10. No, you can't park there.
11. You can't park there either.
12. Americans are more likely to drive on the wrong side of the road in St John than in St Thomas. Especially in parking lots.
13. If you find a parking space in Cruz Bay, take it, even if you have to walk a mile to where you are going.
I'm having a blast.
"Go up a ways and then make the left by the flamboyant, then left where the old truck sit. When you reach close the end, take a right at the house with the blue tarp and then go on down the hill and you be there."
I've avoided using excessive local vernacular in order not to confuse but there remains confusion because:
1. The flamboyant tree was cut down 8 years ago (but everyone knows where it used to be).
2. The old truck which was a landmark for a couple of decades was finally removed two years ago (but everyone knows where it used to be).
3. "Close the end" actually entails a drive down only partially paved road involving a series of switchbacks which takes about 20 minutes, a little hair-raising in sections.
4. The blue tarp on the house was a remnant of FEMA's help after hurricane Marilyn in 1995. Ten years ago the house's roof was finally replaced permanently so it looks like all the other houses in that area (but everyone knows where it used to be).
Have a great vacation!
Thought some or all of you might get a laugh out of this site and learn something new about island language!
The site would not allow me to cut and paste the vocabulary list but here is the link:
Hope you enjoy.
During my second trip to STT, 9 years ago, we had a VI Now get together at a restaurant on the North Side. The directions given to me were something like "turn right at the mango tree, then left just after the yellow mailbox and after you pass the house with the fence go down about 100 yards and stop, you're there". Amazingly I found the place. Of course, my first question was "what does a mango tree look like?"
I tend to be a bit lacking in the greeting area in general. When we were in the USVI on a cruise a few years ago. I asked someone directions. He gave them to me, and asked if I had heard anyone "suck their teeth" at me. I hadn't really thought about it, but I had, and he explained the greeting thing to me.
When planning the trip we just took, I asked everyone I spoke to at work to ensure that I had said hello before I launched into business. It was funny, but it worked, so by the time I got to STT, I was ready, and it really is amazing how much nicer people are when you greet first.
I'm working on making it part of my routine. Social graces are invaluable. And I'm looking forward to going back to STT in Nov, but it will be on a cruise this time. Sigh.
It's funny but we grew up here and one always was taught to be polite say good morning, afternoon or evening, say please, thank you, you're welcome, may 1 and address people as Mr, Mrs, or Ms so and so unless told otherwise. Didn't realize it was an island custom. I thought having manners was a universal one.