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Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
January 23, 2015 10:55AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Last year, I spent a month on St. Croix. My goal was to see if I like the island, and if the island likes me. I've detailed my experience at some length and detail in this thread, entitled "Living like a Crucian" here:
[www.vimovingcenter.com]

This year, my destination is St John. The goal is the same. I'll be here from Feb 3rd to Feb 24th, 2015.

My chronicles would be posted here. They would be excruciatingly detailed, sometimes offensive, and often digressing from the topic of "Living like a St. Johnian" to seemingly unrelated matters, such as politics, religion, economics, anthropology, music, literature, and sex.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

Alana33
January 23, 2015 01:40PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 11,970

Then you should probably post in the Under the Coconut Tree Forum
or create you own blog for your digressions into those subjects.
One can't live like a Crucian, a St. Johnian or a St. Thomian unless you've actually spent decades here, not a 3 week vacation junket, drinking on a beach. IMO!

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

Rowdy802
January 23, 2015 02:12PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 508

Quote
Alana33
Then you should probably post in the Under the Coconut Tree Forum
or create you own blog for your digressions into those subjects.
One can't live like a Crucian, a St. Johnian or a St. Thomian unless you've actually spent decades here, not a 3 week vacation junket, drinking on a beach. IMO!

thumbs up

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

ms411
January 23, 2015 02:26PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 3,511

Quote
Alana33
Then you should probably post in the Under the Coconut Tree Forum
or create you own blog for your digressions into those subjects.
One can't live like a Crucian, a St. Johnian or a St. Thomian unless you've actually spent decades here, not a 3 week vacation junket, drinking on a beach. IMO!
thumbs up

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
January 23, 2015 02:31PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Day T-12 (12 days before arrival).

I've always thought that the term "U.S. Virgin Islands" came from a pen of some U.S. government bureaucrat in 1917, when the islands became the U.S. property. I thought that the bureaucrat figured that the islands were picturesque, sparsely populated, and unspoiled by civilization, so he named them appropriately.

That assumption turned out to be wrong. The name "virgin islands" actually came into existence when Christopher Columbus discovered these islands in 1492, and named them after the legend about the 11,000 virgins who were slaughtered by Huns.

The legend is reportedly several hundred of pages long, but I'll summarize it in one paragraph.

Once upon a time, there was a princess, and her name was Ursula. She dedicated her life to serving Christ. And then there was this dude Conon, who proposed to her. Ursula's response to Conon was this: "Hell with the Christ. I'll marry you, but first, give me 11,000 virgins of the noblest blood, and I will travel with them for 3 years to see the holy sites". Conon agrees. Ursula and her entourage of 11,000 virgins board the ships and set off to travel to Italy. Upon arrival, they are met with some pagans who were threatened by the spread of Christianity, and all 11,000 virgins were promptly massacred.

So there. It's not the beauty of the nature that gave "The U.S. Virgin Islands" their name, but rather a small scale religious conflict with sexual connotations.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 01/23/2015 02:42PM by wanderer.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
January 23, 2015 03:03PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Day T-12 (continued)

The population of St. John (referred to as "STJ" in all my future posts) is about 4200 people. Among other things, there are about 30 car rental agencies on the island, which comes to approximately 1 car rental business for every 140 residents. I had to call 25 agencies on the island before I could find an available vehicle. The residents themselves do not use rental cars, of course. The car shortage is the result of me competing with PMVers, transplanters, drug transporters, cruise shippers, and 1-day visitors.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
January 23, 2015 03:30PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Day T-12 (continued).

Compared to the other VI islands, STJ appears to be safer. In 2013, 38 people were murdered in U.S. Virgin Islands: 19 on St. Thomas, and 19 on St. Croix, 0 on St. John.

While the residents of STT and STX were exterminating each other at the astonishingly high rate, the St. Johnians were apparently limin' all year long. I figured it has to do with the higher cost of living on STJ. If you feel like killing someone, and then staying on the island for a few days to enjoy the beaches, it would be an expensive proposition to aim for STJ.

Killing people on STT and STX is simply more economical.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

East Ender
January 23, 2015 03:50PM

Registered: 13 years ago
Posts: 4,957

I know you were taken to task for your last report, and to tell you the truth, your flippant "reporting" comes across rather distasteful.

I'm not sure how this fits in with people who live here or who want to live here.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
January 23, 2015 04:01PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Quote
East Ender
I know you were taken to task for your last report, and to tell you the truth, your flippant "reporting" comes across rather distasteful.
I'm not sure how this fits in with people who live here or who want to live here.

Thank you for your feedback, EE.

Regarding the flippant reporting, well yes, 11 months in Babylon made me somewhat bitter. That would be liquefied in 85 degrees Fahrenheit pretty quickly, I hope.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

OldTart
January 23, 2015 05:02PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

Quote
East Ender
I know you were taken to task for your last report, and to tell you the truth, your flippant "reporting" comes across rather distasteful.

I'm not sure how this fits in with people who live here or who want to live here.

Beats me too. It's really a self-indulgent blog replete with many factual errors.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
January 23, 2015 05:11PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Quote
OldTart
Beats me too. It's really a self-indulgent blog replete with many factual errors.

Haha. How is that a bad thing?

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

tedc
January 23, 2015 05:48PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 70

I'll actually enjoy reading wanderer's thoughts, as I did with his thoughts on STX (and the cosmos and whatever else crossed his mind).

Anyone who doesn't want to see another perspective is free to not read on.

It may be worth mentioning, however, that wanderer's STX thread got 22k+ views... yet some of the other more popular threads about Tibbar, Sea World and "Is Anyone Staying" are still in the 4k-6k range. Sure, some people just came back again and again to complain about not wanting to see it... but others surely enjoyed the thread's content.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

ChrisMI
January 23, 2015 05:54PM

Registered: 5 years ago
Posts: 213

He's baaaaack! Looking forward to it wanderer, your earlier thread/blog last year was highly entertaining in my opinion. The people who didn't care for it can simply not click on it; it's just that easy in a forum. You did a nice job last year just ignoring some of the unsavory stuff that was directed at you and just moving on.

Some people don't get that dramatic style sometimes sacrifices factual details for the sake of making interesting reading, but I and a number of others that don't ruffle so easily like it.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

OldTart
January 23, 2015 06:03PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

Quote
ChrisMI
Some people don't get that dramatic style sometimes sacrifices factual details for the sake of making interesting reading, but I and a number of others that don't ruffle so easily like it.

No, the point is that this is a relocation forum not a travel blog. As long as one understands that some of the factual details contained in this exercise are scrambled and aren't "factual" then all is well. But people read this forum for opinions and facts on living and working in the USVI.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

janeinstx
January 23, 2015 06:10PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 656

I enjoyed his stuff last year.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
January 23, 2015 06:49PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

So many familiar voices in here. I miss you, virgin islanders, I really do!

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

Gumbo
January 23, 2015 08:57PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 489

Can't wait. I learned so much last year .Better enjoy it, only two more islands!!! Then Jamaica Maybe?

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
January 23, 2015 09:06PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Quote
Gumbo
Can't wait. I learned so much last year .Better enjoy it, only two more islands!!! Then Jamaica Maybe?

Haha, thanks Gumbo. I've already been to Jamaica. Eyeing Belize as the next place.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

Ca. Dreamers
January 24, 2015 08:33AM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 379

Quote
wanderer
So many familiar voices in here. I miss you, virgin islanders, I really do!

Maybe I'll come up with a group of my friends and flash my white speedo on some STJ beach for your disapproval.

CD

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
January 24, 2015 11:03AM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Quote
Ca. Dreamers
Maybe I'll come up with a group of my friends and flash my white speedo on some STJ beach for your disapproval.
CD

Haha. Good morning, CA! How's my beloved Sand Castle beach club?

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
January 24, 2015 12:04PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Day T-11 (11 days before arrival)

The Sand Castle beach club in Frederiksted, in the west part of St. Croix, is a good spot to lime and to watch people. The patrons of this establishment are predominantly white, upper-middle class, 40 to 60 years old. The on-site restaurant offers good quality food, and operates with a continental-like efficiency, rather than observing the "the island time".

The Sand Castle club is one of the few places on STX where you can hear the Calypso music. It's one of those paradoxes in VI: white residents like to listen to Afro-Caribbean music, and black residents like to listen to country music, which is a decidedly "white" thing to do. The white residents listen to Afro-Caribbean music to suppress what's known as their "white guilt". The Afro-Caribbean immigrants from St Lucia like to listen to country music because, despite the origin, it appeals to their senses: it's all about horses, chickens, and cheesy love stories.

Music is a very powerful means of expression. The United States armed forces have an entire department, called Psychological Operations, to exploit people's sensitivity to different types of music, with the purpose of protecting the United States from its enemies. For example, if you happen to be an Islamic terrorist, you may be subjected to certain medieval experiments which involve simulated drowning and listening to offensive music. The top 5 songs used for this purpose are:

1. Bruce Springsteen, "Born in the USA"
2. Christina Aguilera, "Dirrty"
3. Nancy Sinatra, "These boots were made for walking"
4. Barry Manilow, "Anything"
5. Barney the dinosaur, "I love you"

I am an amateur composer. My compositions can be best described as "new age" style. But sometimes I wonder: if the United States government offers me an employment to work as a composer for the Psychological Operations division in the U.S. Armed Forces, how would I structure my compositions? What kind of harmonies would I use? What kind of meter and tempo? Major or minor key? Consonant or dissonant? A standard "verse-hook-bridge-chorus" shape, or perhaps something less predictable?



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/24/2015 12:54PM by wanderer.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
February 04, 2015 02:00PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 2.

It's often stated here, in this discussion board, that all three main VI islands are different. I didn't understand what it meant until I spent a day on St John. I am in the east end of the island. The first thing that grabbed my attention is how white this part of the island is. It's so blindingly white that I have to make an effort to constrict my pupils, so that I can still see. I have not seen such a domination by white people since the last time on the ski base in Vermont. These folks speak accentless English, have distinct upper class manners, and own all of the property (residential and commercial) in this part of the island. Everyone drives exactly the same vehicle: a 2- or 4-door Jeep Wrangler. The Afro-Caribbean spirit has been crushed and flattened to the ground level here.

By contrast, on STX, there are all kinds of characters: the Rastafarians on the horses, the Puerto Ricans in 2-door coupes, the gangsters in trucks carrying 300 watt speakers, the white trash from the states, the poor immigrants from St Lucia and Jamaica, the homeless, the crazies, the drunks, and the junkies. In the west part of STX, they all mix together, giving this part of the island a unique feel of Heaven and Hell engaged in some rough and lazy intercourse motion.

None of this can be observed in the east end of St John. The residents and visitors appear to be homogeneously college educated, well off, sane, sober, and law-abiding. Compared to the west of St Croix, this part of St John is remarkably clean and safe. It feels almost sterile, as if the white settlers brought the cisterns of chlorine with them, and washed the island clean from its Afro-Caribbean character. If I were one of the "bahn ya", I'd be pissed off about it.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/2015 02:15PM by wanderer.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
February 04, 2015 10:25PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 2 (continued)

I stopped for breakfast in some type of "mom and pop" establishment today. There are hundreds of places like these along the East coast of the United States. The menu was typically continental, too: omelets, home fries, bagels, orange juice, coffee. Nothing is out of ordinary. Then I feel that something is off beat. It's the voice of the news anchor coming from the TV behind me. The anchor woman is talking in an unconventional way. I turn around to look. It's the Al Jazeera English channel! One of the employees is watching intently, as if trying not to miss a single word. He looks totally non-Arabic.

I figured that when people leave the states, they want to leave behind everything that is common in the states, including the mainstream news channels.

In my cottage, which is otherwise well appointed and equipped, there is no TV. Maybe it's the way of the island life.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/04/2015 10:26PM by wanderer.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
February 04, 2015 11:01PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 2 (continued).

In west STX, the wild life is dominated by two creatures: roosters and pit bulls. Sure, there are hundreds of other species of birds, fish, mammals, and plants, but it takes a tremendous amount of effort to notice them in the overwhelming presence of roosters and pit bulls.

In east STJ, for every permanent resident, there are about 2 wild goats, 4 wild donkeys, 1 deer, and no pit bulls in sight.

Re: Living like a St. Johnian

wanderer
February 05, 2015 04:08PM

Registered: 4 years ago
Posts: 596

Day 3.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a donkey in my front yard. I called her Eleanor. She is quite docile, minding her own business. When she saw me, she approached, as if asking for food or something. I didn't have any, so instead I scratched behind her big ear.

I think I will try to domesticate Eleanor, and teach her some tricks, like "sit", "down", and "stay". This may take a while, so be patient with my progress.





Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2015 04:36PM by wanderer.

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