I’m Baaack!! Tuesday was the beginning of “Life Part III.” “Life Part I” was based in Cleveland (Wickliffe), OH, and Part II was in Boston (Randolph), MA. “Life Part III” is being “Retired in Paradise.”
Throughout our first week back in Barbados I have been told “Welcome Home!”, “Welcome Back!”, “We missed you!” and “Ya back!” many times from friends in various places. People seem as though they are genuinely glad to see that Sandra and me are back in Barbados permanently. It does not seem real that I actually live in Barbados.
One person that gave me a different greeting was the Rasta fruit & nuts man. When I smiled and told him that I was back for good, he said “I ain got nottin for ya mon.” I was somewhat surprised with his response, until it dawned on me. For about 7 months, two or three times a week, I would buy 2 bags of roasted peanuts and 2 bags of seedless grapes (about a pound), the price was $12 and I aways gave him $15. What he meant by his statement was that he did not have any grapes or roasted nuts. Actually it is pretty cool that he remembered what I normally order.
Yesterday I encountered a young man at an outdoor cafe Chillin and Grillin in Oistins while I was ordering a grilled swordfish dinner. I asked him where he was from as I noticed a slight Bajan accent, he told me that he was from Barbados and currently living in Dallas. I told him that I was from Cleveland and I’m currently living right here in Barbados, we both laughed!
We have accomplished a lot in the past few days which is not always the case in the slower paced environment of Barbados. So far we have dealt with Bureau of Foreign Affairs for Sandra to get her Returning National (Networker status) to get most household items duty free. Right now the cargo ship, the Hyundai Mercury, has our container and is somewhere out in the Atlantic Ocean. It is due to arrive this week but with the recent weather patterns in the Atlantic, our belongings may arrive some time next week.
I have also been dealing with Simpson’s Motors to purchase a right-hand drive car as we drive on the left side of the street in Barbados. We had very fortunate timing because Simpson’s just received their latest shipment of cars last week. They only had 2 available of the car I want to buy, the Suzuki Baleno. They had a black one and a red one, and I bet you can guess which one we picked. Until delivery, I will be borrowing Sandra’s cousin’s car to conduct business.
If you visit Barbados, which I suggest you do, and if you are adventurous enough, you can travel anywhere on the island, from Christ Church in the south, to the northern tip of Saint Lucy, on the bus for $1.00 US. If you travel on the bus, don’t be like Sandra’s cousin, Toni; she forgot her bag.
Toni and her daughter are visiting from Canada. They took the bus to visit the Animal Flower Cave in Saint Lucy, but she accidentally left her bag on the bus that contained her $200 dollar shoes, nice sunglasses, bathing suit and a chicken snack box and beef roti from Cheffette. When she realized her mistake, it was too late as the crowded bus turned the corner and drove up the hill back towards Bridgetown. Toni admitted that she shed a few tears of frustration at her loss and the thought of replacing the lost items. Despite their misfortune and their hunger they had a great time at the cave.
Later that evening when they were heading back to their hotel, they let the first bus pass and waited an extra hour just to see if the same bus they took earlier in the morning was still in service. Their patience was rewarded! Not only was the bus in service, the same driver was still working his shift and her bag was in the exact same place where she had left it. It was undisturbed. Her earlier tears of disappointment were turned into tears of joy.
It is good to know that there are some honest Bajans that realized some one would be looking for their bag and left it just the way they found it!
By the way, if you have had a situation where a lost item was returned, please leave a comment. Who knows, I may be able to use it in my book “Retiring in Paradise, Barbados!”