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Strange things about living in the VI

East Ender
November 29, 2016 08:48AM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 4,859

People on this board are always telling potential newcomers that life in the VI is different. It is different in big ways and small. For example, I was reading an obituary this morning on The Source. It was a picture of the young man and then several paragraphs listing every single family member and friend. There is not a word about his life; where did he go to school, what did he do for a living, what was he like...After 20 years here, I still find this cultural convention odd.

Just wondering if anyone else had strange things that tweek you about living here.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

speee1dy
November 29, 2016 10:18AM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,281

I LIKE WHEN I HEAR THE obituaries on the radio, they do mention practically everyone the person has ever known. right down to the neighbors dog.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

watruw8ing4
November 29, 2016 10:32AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 849

I've found the obits unusual too.

For me, it's the businesses, usually bars, and an occasional tour group, that advertise positions on Facebook (and I don't know where else) that are clearly discriminatory. Not that they do it, as much as nobody calls them on it. One place looking to hire an "attractive female bartender" is the most recent example. Only one person jokingly told him it was discriminatory. Reminds me of the 70's, when I was turned down for a sales job because, I was told outright, tall males were better at sales, and I was a short female. (I had 5 great years in a sales position elsewhere, often beating out those tall guys, right after that, btw).

Not saying discrimination doesn't happen on the mainland. But at least they are more subtle about it because people raise a major stink if they put it in writing.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

Alana33
November 29, 2016 11:31AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,607

Lack of sidewalks.
Everyone walking on the road.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI
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CruzanIron
November 29, 2016 11:42AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 2,383

A person coming to a party, filling up 3 plates of food, and then leaving with it.

People thinking it is OK to eat a bag of grapes of other food when shopping.

Not using crosswalks.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

speee1dy
November 29, 2016 12:40PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 8,281

i usually do taste 1 grape to see how tart they are.

people while driving stopping in the middle of the road to talk to someone.

listening to how racist the people who are on the talk show at da vybe are, and they dont even realize it. and yes, i do like that show for some odd reason. and most of the conversations amongst themselves are pretty much each other agreeing with each other about how horrible republicans are.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

stjohnjulie
November 29, 2016 02:16PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 608

Quote
CruzanIron
A person coming to a party, filling up 3 plates of food, and then leaving with it.
I remember the first year I went to Thanksgiving at my husbands house (his great aunt was the first born US Virgin Islander born) and completely not understanding this practice. I remember going on and on about it after we left to see if this is something that is normal, accepted. I hate parties, but i like food, thought it would be nice if someday I might be able to do that myself (tongue in cheek, a little bit anyhow).

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

stjohnjulie
November 29, 2016 02:19PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 608

One thing that took me a long time to get used to is the 'play' reaming out that really just shows you are so close to someone you can call them out loudly in a public place and go on for a good while and in the end all parties laugh their butts off. I'm so happy to report that I have several people whom I do that with now. I always loved a fellow sarcastic. I usually can find one every time I go to either the Post Office, Bank, DMV, grocery store, or near the taxi stand in Cruz Bay.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

Afriend
November 29, 2016 02:24PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 418

Quote
CruzanIron
A person coming to a party, filling up 3 plates of food, and then leaving with it.

I can relate to that and along that same line - how about a couple who never seem to want to leave the party even though it's long after all the other guests departed and all the while they keep piling food on to their plates and eating.

We must have been gluttons for punishment since we invited them again to our next party with the same result. Learned our lesson quickly and have never invited them over again. I'm guessing though that this kind of inappropriate behavior is not limited to the islands.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

Alana33
November 29, 2016 02:29PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,607

People not picking up their trash after beach parties and throwing garbage along the roadsides.

Haphazard zoning.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

Rowdy802
November 29, 2016 06:19PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 508

Some businesses operating hours
The additional holidays.
The high number of post office boxes, thanks to the sometimes-impossible addresses.
The short horn beeping that goes back and forth to say "thank you" and "you are welcome" when in traffic.
Brand X gas stations, and they all have the same price (STX)...
Vehicles in good shape and operating conditions
A “very good condition used car” that really follows said description
Some drivers' inabilities to know how to use the low-hi beam switch
Chickens all over
A repairman showing up on time and on the date agreed
Priority and Express Mail packages that actually do get here quickly, and a package that you got on time, is actually one that did get delivered.
Sometimes, finding all the basic consumables in one place.
Driving cars on the LH side when they are actually designed for the RH side
Roadways with drainage (if any)
What in the name of all that is holy is a “protectorate”?
Painted road lines
a light post that does turn on
Produce that lasts longer than one day
Five Corners (STX)
Traffic flowing much faster at the Sion Farm intersection when the stoplight is not working (STX)
Getting in and out quickly of a fast food drive through. Well, a "Fast Food Restaurant" with fast service for that matter
Finding an auto mechanic, heck, finding a “good auto mechanic”.
A gas station where you can actually pay with a card at the pump.
An actual NEWLY elected first term government official
Product and waste recycling
Places to go ride a bicycle and mountain bike trails
Consistent and reliable “fast” internet
"island time"
Sahara Desert Dust? Aren't we in the Caribbean?
A kitchen free of ants
The "Jump-Up"
Affordable utilities and continuous electricity service for more than two weeks
De vocabulary
a good mosquito repellent IS your best friend
On STX, the row of clouds that forms and usually remains from mid-island and towards the west.

To sum it up, logic and laws of physics somehow seem not to apply here.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI
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Bombi
November 29, 2016 07:27PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 2,093

Indicator lights

Good night

Finished

Walk with it

My own

My baby mothers kids

Next week Wednesday

True dat... for real?

Gone Bush

Day Drinker

Ratta

Backy man

optimist with low expectations on STX

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

Alana33
November 30, 2016 09:08AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,607

Putting everything you buy from grocery store that come in boxes in zip lock bags. Bought a container of Morton's salt. Usually transfer into an empty Adobo plastic container. Forgot to do it right away and a week later,
unusable as completely soggy and hadn't been opened. Using bay leaves to keep weevils at bay. Keeping cereal in a Ziploc in the refrigerator after opening. Keeping all my large containers of spices, either in the refrigerator or freezer.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

AandA2VI
November 30, 2016 10:40AM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 2,102

Bahn here locals complete and utter disrespect of the beaches and roads (litter) yet are super prideful about "their island".

West indian whisper talking - I was recently told this is a "thing". Never had it happen to me in STT but in STX I watch a conversation from afar at a normal talking level (usually at the bar when I am working) and then they come to order and whisper it. I can't hear them and I have like amazing hearing. Then I ask them to repeat it several times and I get an attitude. They go back to their convo with friends and I can hear then from across the bar. Totally baffled by this.

Other than that really nothing surprises me... the gnats on my ceiling are an odd one too but I have that figured out, just a lot of cleaning the ceilings.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

daveb722
November 30, 2016 10:58AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 442

No it was just in the news, I forget where, but a female was arrested because her boyfriend told her earlier in the day if the guests don't leave after being asked 3 times, to go get the gun in the bedroom and start shooting. She did and hit one in the leg.

Quote
Afriend
Quote
CruzanIron
A person coming to a party, filling up 3 plates of food, and then leaving with it.

I can relate to that and along that same line - how about a couple who never seem to want to leave the party even though it's long after all the other guests departed and all the while they keep piling food on to their plates and eating.

We must have been gluttons for punishment since we invited them again to our next party with the same result. Learned our lesson quickly and have never invited them over again. I'm guessing though that this kind of inappropriate behavior is not limited to the islands.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

stxsailor
December 01, 2016 08:30AM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 427

One thing that baffles me to no end is guys walking or biking down a busy highway at night dressed in all black with nothing reflective. I've almost hit people a few times

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

Alana33
December 01, 2016 12:15PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,607

Giving your trash a scenic tour of the island before you can dispose of it.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI
avatar

Exit Zero
December 01, 2016 12:32PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 2,209

The traditional way of announcing your presence at someones home:

Inside -- INSIDE!!

Re: Strange things about living in the VI
avatar

CruzanIron
December 01, 2016 12:49PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 2,383

Quote
Exit Zero
The traditional way of announcing your presence at someones home:

Inside -- INSIDE!!

thumbs upthumbs up

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

LiquidFluoride
December 01, 2016 12:58PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 1,938

Flexible "right of way" rules while driving...

Your never sure if the person is going to turn, or wait for you to drive out in front of them and then turn... You have to do a Psychic mind meld to figure it out I think....

Practically legal "drinking and driving" and yet almost no alcohol related accidents. (most accidents seem to be related to the "flexible right of way"wink.

the ABSOLUTE HORROR of going into a parking lot "the wrong way" (against an arrow).

The Dirty looks you get if you don't respond to the greeting of the day (good morning, good afternoon, good night).

Muddaskunt (took me a while to get that one...)

rampant passive-aggressiveness

The "interesting" honor system held by project residents.

Horses almost as common as stray dogs (pound for pound,,, maybe there's more horse?)

Having to dress (AND SIT) specific ways depending on where you are (I was a character witness for one of our volunteers... I not only had to change my cloths but alter the way I sat while in court.. very interesting).

The fact that going off the beach in "beach ware" is so looked down on (for example, me and 3 friends were drinking and walking down the center of a road in F stead near the pier, a cop pulled up behind us and told my friend he had to put a shirt on, then left).

The sun always sets around 6/7..... ALWAYS!!!!!

Endless summer puts you into a bit of a weird time-space...

Driving onto other peoples property is OK, for anyone, unless there is a barrier (but it better be a good barrier, cause if it's not and you can still fit in there, go for it!).

Everyone walks with a stick (for dogs)

Every dog is terrifying (even the tiny ones).

Most animals are unfixed (it's mutilation!)

Every mare is pregnant ( MORE DEM HAUS!)

Every horse is a Thorough Bred, or race horse (in the eyes of the owner).

Wild life is ON the menu.....even the stuff that would surprise you.

Almost everyone is friendly, even if they try to act like they aren't.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

stxsailor
December 01, 2016 01:35PM

Registered: 2 years ago
Posts: 427

"The fact that going off the beach in "beach ware" is so looked down on (for example, me and 3 friends were drinking and walking down the center of a road in F stead near the pier, a cop pulled up behind us and told my friend he had to put a shirt on, then left). "

I get that the beach wear not at the beach thing is not appropriate, but it's funny how that is frowned upon but the women in short skirts just barely covering funland and their boobs hanging out is OK.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

Alana33
December 01, 2016 01:59PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,607

Quote
CruzanIron
Quote
Exit Zero
The traditional way of announcing your presence at someones home:

Inside -- INSIDE!!

thumbs upthumbs up

I still do this!

Good one, btw, Liquidfloride



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/01/2016 02:03PM by Alana33.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

islandjoan
December 01, 2016 02:43PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 1,386

After almost 17 years here, I still can't get used to this one.
It just sounds demanding and unfriendly to me.
Hello? Anyone home? sounds much nicer

Also it still sounds strange to me to say Good Night instead of Good Evening.
Good Night always sounds like I'm going to sleep.


Quote
Exit Zero
The traditional way of announcing your presence at someones home:

Inside -- INSIDE!!

Re: Strange things about living in the VI

Alana33
December 01, 2016 05:01PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 11,607

Obviously whomever you're calling to dictates how you announce yourself.
For instance, while "inside" is a local greeting, I wouldn't use it for anyone
I know to be a statesider. However, amongst locals, people that grew up here, have been here, forever or are friends, they understand that it's neither rude or demanding.

Just a way to keep a little tradition from evaporating, the way so many other things have.

Re: Strange things about living in the VI
avatar

Exit Zero
December 01, 2016 06:23PM

Registered: 9 years ago
Posts: 2,209

I still enjoy the many cultural differences that make life here more interesting and certainly don't characterize many of the things posters have mentioned as strange.

New broom sweep clean but old broom know the corners.
Don hang ya hat so high ya han can reach.
I so vex my head split in tree haves.
Dat man, he gone to come back.

When I hear things like that said in a normal conversation it only re-enforces the wonderful differences from a typical mainland life.
Strange? ---- only if you feel a homogeneous culture is preferable.

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