biggest surprise up...
 

biggest surprise upon moving  

Page 1 / 3
  RSS

fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1243
December 20, 2012 5:20 pm  

Someone asked me this question the other day -- what was the biggest surprise after you moved?

It's been a while now, but on reflection, I would have to say the biggest surprise was the degree of active alcoholism that goes on here and is accepted as normal. On St John, a not insignificant (for the size of our population) number of people die every year from alcohol-related complications, some of them quite young, many of them "well respected". There is one longtime local resident who introduces herself to me at every single party I see her at, because she's consistently too sloshed to ever remember that she's met me before -- this has gone on for years. Drinking and driving is a regular occurrence, not something to be rigorously avoided. And I have seen lots of people move down here, get sucked into the party lifestyle, and lose all ambition to ever do anything else with their lives. I don't judge anyone who cares to live that way, but the personality changes I have watched happen are rarely positive. The ugly side of alcoholism floats just below the surface of the happy island vacation lifestyle, and it's sad to see so many people get trapped in the current. I know this happens in the states, too, but here it's very, very prevalent.


Quote
susan56
(@susan56)
Advanced Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 147
December 20, 2012 6:26 pm  

When rum is cheaper than water that is what happens!

NYSue


ReplyQuote
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1243
December 20, 2012 6:38 pm  

Rum is not literally cheaper than water, even here. But it is cheaper than some the drink mixers!


ReplyQuote
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1243
December 20, 2012 6:49 pm  

And no, cheap rum doesn't cause alcoholism, any more than permissive gun laws cause violence. Many of the people I see diving to the bottom of a bottle have no problem affording the price of admission.


ReplyQuote
sheiba
(@sheiba)
Advanced Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 483
December 20, 2012 7:55 pm  

When in Rome....


ReplyQuote
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 3920
December 20, 2012 9:40 pm  

Another possible reason: on STX, very little entertaining is done in homes. Most people gather in bars. I know we developed the habit of going to OFF the Wall every Friday for dinner. Either our friends joined us or we made friends of other Friday regulars. In addition, we played Trivia once or twice a week, dinner and drinks included. In the states, if I have 2 drinks a month, its been a big party month. On STX, 5 or 6 drinks a week was usual. Now, while that doesn't sound like much, it is indicative of the island culture. Anyone who already drinks more than I do, or maybe is lonely or... whatever, is very susceptible to alcohol-induced problems.


ReplyQuote
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 2104
December 20, 2012 11:04 pm  

Rum is a gift from the most high which in relative moderation remains a gift. I acknowledge the OP's observation. Excess generally isn't pretty.

optimist with low expectations on STX


ReplyQuote
AJ
 AJ
(@AJ)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 22
December 20, 2012 11:09 pm  

Linda J I agree and disagree with you. My parents and their friends entertained a lot at home. But like in the US people go out much more than they did in the 60's and 70's. But at the same time people can have too much to drink at friend's homes as easily as they do at restaurants and bars. Its cheaper. But the VI is a bad place for someone with a drinking problem! I have no idea if alcoholism is more or less prevalent than elsewhere, however.


ReplyQuote
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 842
December 21, 2012 12:24 am  

The Vi seems to draw alot of acholholic transplants. People wishing to "escape" thier problems often don't understand that they are the source of thier problems. This applies to drink and mental illness.


ReplyQuote
St X
 St X
(@St_X)
Advanced Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 133
December 21, 2012 2:27 am  

I think the biggest surprise for me was the unwillingness for many people to bother to get to know us. We were written off as newcomers who may or may not be on island for very long, and as such were not worth the effort.
Now that I've been here a few years and have had to say goodbye to some very dear friends, I'm beginning to understand.


ReplyQuote
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Trusted Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 2353
December 21, 2012 11:36 am  

St. Croix...the home for all of Santa's broken toys.


ReplyQuote
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 8707
December 21, 2012 12:15 pm  

the biggest surprise for me is the amount of diabetics and the complications they have as a result of not taking care of the illness. i know a lot of people who have diabetes and do nothing to watch what they eat, they figure the insulin or whatever they take will be good enough to "fix" them.


ReplyQuote
Home_Despot
(@Home_Despot)
Advanced Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 52
December 21, 2012 12:35 pm  

Someone asked me this question the other day -- what was the biggest surprise after you moved?

It's been a while now, but on reflection, I would have to say the biggest surprise was the degree of active alcoholism that goes on here and is accepted as normal. On St John, a not insignificant (for the size of our population) number of people die every year from alcohol-related complications, some of them quite young, many of them "well respected". There is one longtime local resident who introduces herself to me at every single party I see her at, because she's consistently too sloshed to ever remember that she's met me before -- this has gone on for years. Drinking and driving is a regular occurrence, not something to be rigorously avoided. And I have seen lots of people move down here, get sucked into the party lifestyle, and lose all ambition to ever do anything else with their lives. I don't judge anyone who cares to live that way, but the personality changes I have watched happen are rarely positive. The ugly side of alcoholism floats just below the surface of the happy island vacation lifestyle, and it's sad to see so many people get trapped in the current. I know this happens in the states, too, but here it's very, very prevalent.

Was stationed in Germany with the military. Beer is classified as a food. German beer is much stronger than American beer, as a lot of my buddies soon found out. Germans will sit in a gasthaus and drink beer for hours, then get on the autobahn in a BMW or Mercedes or Porsche and do 125 mph

It all depends on how you handle it. We have two rum distilleries on STX, but I'd dare say most of us are not alcoholics...we may enjoy a drink now and again though.

I think a far greater problem/dependency/addiction has been created by the casino...but you hardly hear about bthat because somebody is making money.


ReplyQuote
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1243
December 24, 2012 12:59 am  

I think the biggest surprise for me was the unwillingness for many people to bother to get to know us. We were written off as newcomers who may or may not be on island for very long, and as such were not worth the effort.
Now that I've been here a few years and have had to say goodbye to some very dear friends, I'm beginning to understand.

Oh yes, I remember that, too. I remember feeling very puzzled by what came across as... not quite unfriendliness, but definitely a feeling of being kept at arm's reach. I think this is why many times people who arrive on island at similar times wind up becoming friends -- nobody else will talk to them for a year or two. Not literally, of course, but it can feel that way if you aren't in a job that puts you in service to the community.

And yes, on the other side, having watched many people I care for take off or spend less and less time here... it is hard to go through. But I am a "better to have loved and lost" kind of person.


ReplyQuote
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2289
December 24, 2012 6:54 pm  

I haven't moved yet, 2 weeks out but I'm surprised at the friendliness part. Month long PMV to STX in July and I was surprised that I was met with smiles, great convo with locals, great service, even job offers and the overall awesomeness from islanders. Didn't feel unsafe at all and even had the cab driver lime with us for 2 hours talking island life when we got towed lol.

*** The views and opinions expressed in my posts are soley those of A&A2VI and other like minded islanders. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the majority or any/all contributors to this site. Have a GREAT DAY!


ReplyQuote
St X
 St X
(@St_X)
Advanced Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 133
December 24, 2012 7:24 pm  

Meeting people on a visit and really getting to know people after moving can be very different. fdr is right about people who arrive at similar times tending to become good friends quickly.
And fdr put it very succinctly- "...not quite unfriendliness, but definitely a feeling of being kept at arm's reach."
You'll be fine and will make some lifelong friends here. (then they'll move away 😉 )


ReplyQuote
sallyf
(@sallyf)
Advanced Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 140
December 24, 2012 8:22 pm  

St. Croix...the home for all of Santa's broken toys.

Now THAT's funny right there!!!!!

The amount of social drinking/alcoholism that is present is pretty high - long working lunches and happy hours are pretty well attended. High functioning alcoholics are very common among the transplants on the East End and in town.

Heart disease, obesity and poorly managed diabetes are a big problem island-wide. Education, access to providers and lifestyle changes would be a great goal for new healthcare providers to work towards.
The unfriendliness is a strange one - on the surface many are slightly too friendly - but is it real friendship or is it being stuck in a common situation? Warning for newbies....gossip is the life blood of the 'Limin' crowd - who is doing who and what is often the topic of conversation at many parties! Boredom, alcohol and "too little to do" for the trustfundarians is a lethal and sometimes cruel mix!
Be smart - find real people who share like interests and hobbies and who are people that you would hang out with at home!!!!! Quilters are cool people wherever you find them. Young mums can band together for support etc.

We were shocked at some of the things that were "OK" with our daughter's friends and their parents - make home visits and keep your ears open before you let them go on sleepovers or Buck Island trips - and we are no prudes!!!! I remember an incident with a high powered speedboat and some kids and beers that scared the beejazus out of us.

It is sad to lose people and the VI is a transient place - especially for Statesiders.


ReplyQuote
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2289
December 24, 2012 8:28 pm  

Sigh... I tried.

*** The views and opinions expressed in my posts are soley those of A&A2VI and other like minded islanders. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the majority or any/all contributors to this site. Have a GREAT DAY!


ReplyQuote
blu4u
(@blu4u)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 842
December 24, 2012 11:16 pm  

We were shocked at some of the things that were "OK" with our daughter's friends and their parents - make home visits and keep your ears open before you let them go on sleepovers or Buck Island trips - and we are no prudes!!!! I remember an incident with a high powered speedboat and some kids and beers that scared the beejazus out of us.

Good advice!!! Get to know the parents!


ReplyQuote
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1243
December 25, 2012 7:25 pm  

Sigh... I tried.

A&A, what is the problem? You posted your experience as a visitor intending to move, and then other people who have actually made the move posted their experience. That's how discussion boards work. There's nothing to sigh about.

We all hope your experience after you move is as wonderful as your visit. It just doesn't always work that way, and a couple of people kindly took the time to share that with you so you won't be surprised if it happens. People come to this board for the wisdom of experience, and then complain when they get it!! smh

sallyf is right about the gossip, too. At first it is charming, even feels flattering, when people you've never met know who you are and what you're doing. Then... it isn't. And, if you're unlucky enough to get on somebody's bad side, it can get nasty. It doesn't even matter if you're nice to everyone; all it takes is one person who doesn't like you for whatever reason and the coconut telegraph switchboard will light up.

"High-functioning alcoholics" -- I have always loved that phrase. Along with "he's not an alcoholic, he just has a bit of a drinking problem."


ReplyQuote
AandA2VI
(@AandA2VI)
Trusted Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 2289
December 25, 2012 11:58 pm  

No problems man! 😀 I guess I was just trying to add SOME BIT of positiveness to the thread. I opened the thread looking for insight other than negative ones (there are PLENTY of those on the boards lol).... maybe something like, "the beauty of the islands was more than expected, my blood pressures down from the scenery alone" or "I cant believe I am living a dream so many wish to do and never get a chance to". Instead the vibe was that the islands full of drunks that don't take care of themselves. Just post about the latest robbery and we will have come full circle. I know I know, flaming is heading my way for talking about something I know nothing about as its been pointed out a few times, and I get it, sorry if I offend. Who knows, maybe we move and after a few months I say HECK NO I'M OUTTA HERE lol. I really hope it doesn't go down that way... maybe you will see me and wanna have a beer, hang out and chat and become friends... maybe you will suck your teeth at me. Who knows what the future holds, right?

In my personal short time here on this amazing planet, no matter where I go, putting out good vibes vs bad vibes seems to make the people around you happier and friendlier. I've made many friends from total strangers and helped random people in time of need, just the way I am. Some may say I'm a dreamer, wishing for a perfect world (admittedly it's not) but its served me well so far and bottom line is that I refuse to walk around with a scowl instead of a smile. Not trying to be Tony Robbins here lol, just would like to see people a bit happier with their place in life and especially on the islands. You have to admit that its pretty sweet to be surrounded by the clear blue, white sand and coconut palms. Merry Christmas everyone 😀

http://www.livestrong.com/article/137643-health-effects-positive-thinking/

*** The views and opinions expressed in my posts are soley those of A&A2VI and other like minded islanders. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the majority or any/all contributors to this site. Have a GREAT DAY!


ReplyQuote
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 8707
December 26, 2012 12:49 am  

as far as the beauty of the island-i knew what to expect. no surprise there. it is a beautiful island with some charming and wonderful people. but you already knew that.


ReplyQuote
VIsnorkeler
(@VIsnorkeler)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 551
December 26, 2012 1:20 am  

Life is not unicorns and rainbows. We all know about the awesomeness that is the Virgin Islands. The topic is SURPRISES, which are not always PLEASANT ones.

Saying that, I have had the most wonderful Christmas of my adult life today. If any of you have the priviledge of being invited to a party thrown by a Saloon employee, you should go because they throw the best parties ever. Thanks to my Island family. I dare say, better than any party I have been to with real family! After everyone had verified they'd called said family, the champagne cork popped and the fun began.


ReplyQuote
sallyf
(@sallyf)
Advanced Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 140
December 26, 2012 5:41 am  

A and A - you asked ....we answered.
I don't buy this "good vibes" stuff - we were all like you once - new to the island!!!
You just ended up by being rude. You imply that our negative experiences have something to do with what we are putting out to the universe!!!!!!

You asked for surprises - the sun and the beach and the island "vibe" are all bleeding obvious!!!!!!
The fact that your new boss is a coke raddled money launderer who has taken an interest in your sweet ass is probably going to be a ...BIG SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The raw sewage spilling over Long Reef used to be a surprise too and the ringworm endemic in some of our quaint little shanty settlements on the North Shore!!!!

There is good and bad in all things and in all places....has it ever entered the eternal sunshine of your little mind that perhaps the VI might just be an awesome Caribbean island that is also pretty full of "drunks that don't take care of themselves" ?
We have lived there for years - you have visited for a fraction of that. Hmmmm...get back to me when you have been there as long as most of the posters on the board.
Does anyone remember Mel - a great cheerleader for how wrong everyone was and that a smile for the locals was all you needed to make the VI paradise??? Wherever did she go?
PS We ALL love the USVI (perhaps in a more mature and realistic way) and help random strangers and give out rainbows - you don't have a monopoly on that!!!!


ReplyQuote
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1243
December 26, 2012 1:04 pm  

No problems man! 😀 I guess I was just trying to add SOME BIT of positiveness to the thread. I opened the thread looking for insight other than negative ones (there are PLENTY of those on the boards lol).... maybe something like, "the beauty of the islands was more than expected, my blood pressures down from the scenery alone" or "I cant believe I am living a dream so many wish to do and never get a chance to". Instead the vibe was that the islands full of drunks that don't take care of themselves.

As others have said, the topic was surprises. Most of us come here with very high expectations for positive change in our lives, so it's only natural that the surprises are to the downside rather than the upside. In my case, many of those hopes and dreams have come to pass, and I have gratitude daily for that. I started this thread because, having made the move and lived here for a few years now, I've been able to take time to reflect on what were some of the biggest shocks that did not match up with my positive expectations. These are things I wish I had known as a newcomer, instead of figuring it out along the way.

There are PLENTY of positive threads on this board, too. If you don't like this one, go read or start another, but don't go around sighing, especially when you say you're all about putting out "good vibes." Your implied criticism of other posters on this board belies that attitude.

You have to admit that its pretty sweet to be surrounded by the clear blue, white sand and coconut palms.

Yes, it is. One of the many reasons this is a great place to call home.


ReplyQuote
Page 1 / 3
Settlers Handbook

Thinking about moving to the Virgin Islands?

The Settler's Handbook is a Indispensable Guide

The current 18th Edition, will help you explore your dream of island living. A solid reference book, it was first published in 1975. That's 40 years of helping people move to the Virgin Islands.

Order Today $17.95
Close Menu
  
Working

Please Login or Register