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Do many people fail to make the move?

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lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member

Found this thread again while searching for something else, and I thought I would bump it up to the top again, even though it's almost five years old. The thoughts here, especially from EE and Islander, are valuable for any potential USVI transplant.

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Posted : January 8, 2009 2:52 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

As I was reading this thread (again) I was struck by how respectful the posters were of the "differences" between native VI'ers and transplants, while still getting their point out about how challenging some of those differences can be. I think most of us who have stuck it out for a while, and really adopted this as home, realize that's just the way it is and will be. Period. The key is to realize that's OK.

I did have a chuckle about a misunderstanding at MacDonalds in Frenchtown, a couple of years ago. I went in the morning and asked for a cup of coffee. I was told "no coffee". Of course I asked "When will it be ready?", and I was told again...no coffee...we don't have coffee. So now I'm thinking they didn't get their shipment or something like that. I noticed at the other end of the counter a person walking away with what looked like coffee. So...I mustered up the courage and asked again and the same conversation started all over. When I asked what the other person had been served....I was told....Nescafe! For those who don't know, Nescafe is simply instant coffee, but I didn't ask for Nescafe, I asked for coffee.

Just yesterday, in Kmart, as we approached the check out, my husband asked one of the check out ladies if she was open (her light was not on, but she was at the register). She said no, so we got into the next line and a couple of people right behind us. Folks, I SWEAR...30 seconds later she flipped on her light and said.. next in line...., but we had not asked if she was getting ready to open. We had asked if she WAS open.

Information is seldom volunteered. Little "quirks" like this that you just have to laugh at.

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Posted : January 8, 2009 5:20 pm
islandlola
(@islandlola)
Trusted Member

I chuckled in response to Juanita's anecdotes. I think that frequenting STT (and the BVI) for the past decades has taught me to ask, with a smile, questions like "can you suggest another hot beverage that would be good?" in response to "no coffee" (I've sometimes ended up with bush tea in response to a question like that but it *was* good). Re the cashier, it's not whether she is open or will open, but "would you take me?" even if the cashier's light is out and she really *is* closed.

I would venture to say that some VIslanders are more rule-bound and literal than some statesiders, but at the same time they are more gracious and accommodating to individual requests than some statesiders. As a result, I almost never assume that the apparently prevailing general rule or situation necessarily limits my access to what I may need or want--it's all about individual relationships and exceptions to the general case. When you come to think of it, that's the way it works most places.

Best,

Islandlola

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Posted : January 8, 2009 10:33 pm
stxdreamer
(@stxdreamer)
Advanced Member

Wow, I just read all the posts listed in this segment, I don't think I could have said
it better. I too see the leaves of autum turning and am looking for a place for the
sun to set . I guess many people view the move in many different ways. I guess
if I were in my twentys I would look at it entirely different, HOWEVER I am not twenty
anymore, and not even close! Life IS short ... do it today!!!

JB

JB is right on target. It is fast becoming autum for me as well, and as I contemplate the next season of my life, my motivations are entirely different from what someone at a different stage of life might consider. I will turn 59 years old this month. I retired in 2004 from a government job (where else could I retire at 54?) intending to make this move at that time. However, things happened, and I was offered a position that runs through 2010 (two years to go) that paid a gob of $. I took it, because the gob of $ was too much for me to turn down. I sacrificed my dream for $. A mistake? perhaps, but for sure I will not make it again, unless the gob of $ is truly unbelievable.

Life is short--too short to let the world around you dictate how you live. The careers I have had have dealt with the worst possible problems of life, and some of the worst people as well. The problems of island living, well documented on this incredible forum, simply don't bother me. I've already had to deal with this stuff for over 30 years. In one period of my life, I lived at 11 different addresses in several different states/countries during a 10 year period. I can easily pickup and move without ever looking back.

Bottom line (imho) is that if you think you want to do it, then DO IT! The worst that can happen is you'll leave after awhile, but you will benefit from the experience, whether you perceive it as positive or not. Sorry for the preaching from someone not on island, but I can speak from the perspective of someone who has had a lot of water flow under my bridge.

Steve

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Posted : January 8, 2009 11:15 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Well, I stand by my previous statements. Is there something specific?

ParrotHead left fairly quickly. Linda J is still here. HipCrip- what ever happened to her? I miss her. Don't know about some of the other unregistered folks.

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Posted : January 9, 2009 12:21 pm
DL
 DL
(@DL)
Advanced Member

Yeh, ParrotHead left quite bitterly too.. LOL.

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Posted : January 9, 2009 1:11 pm
brooking34
(@brooking34)
Advanced Member

After reading this thread it is obvious to me that it is just a different culture, which I welcome. I love to travel and have experienced many different cultures and they all have positives and negatives. Mostly positives as I am not a negative person. I have only visited STT and can't wait to get there. It just seems to me that a lot of people expect it to be more like the states since it is the United States VI. Then they become dissapointed because it is not like home. Just a thought from someone who has not yet spent more than a week on island.

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Posted : January 9, 2009 1:31 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

I think some people do come here expecting stateside service and amenities and just can't, or won't adjust. Others come knowing better, and think they can adjust, but find out they can't. It is said over and over on this board "It's not for everyone!"

I also think a lot of people who have not visited for a PMV, or even a vacation have a total misconception, in the other direction. Seems some of the posters here are looking for a TV version of a tropical paradise and once they get here find we are indeed "just like the states", in that we drive big SUV's, have real jobs, traffic jams, big stores (some), we don't all know each other. It's just like living in a small city. You can certainly enjoy the beaches and warm weather, but it's the same kind of life you have back home.

Does it sound like I'm contradicting myself? Maybe, but an earlier poster made some reference to Detroit. You can't compare us to Detroit. You can compare us to any number of cities with a population of 50-60,000, in a warm climate. Obviously we won't be identical, not even close in a lot of things, but my point is some days you can go about your day to day business of living and not even realize you are on an island in the Caribbean. Most days are like that for me because I seldom go to the beach. I do enjoy my view !

Where's Anita? This is the type of thread in which she would probably have profound input!

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Posted : January 9, 2009 2:25 pm
lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member

Well, I stand by my previous statements. Is there something specific?

Not at all; just hadn't seen this kind of depth of insight lately. Island-based posters on this forum can invest only so much time into saying the same things over and over and over.... but that doesn't make the wisdom any less wise. So I thought it would be nice to revisit for the current crowd.

Stories like these are one of the things I found really valuable years ago when trying to get a sense of what it would be like to move. By the time I did, I was about as well-prepared as any person could be for USVI culture.

HipCrip- what ever happened to her? I miss her.

I remember her! Didn't she leave after her health problems grew worse? I miss her too.

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Posted : January 9, 2009 2:46 pm
Sabrina
(@Sabrina)
Advanced Member

Juanita, you hit the nail on the head for me.

"Seems some of the posters here are looking for a TV version of a tropical paradise and once they get here find we are indeed "just like the states", in that we drive big SUV's, have real jobs, traffic jams, big stores (some), we don't all know each other. It's just like living in a small city. You can certainly enjoy the beaches and warm weather, but it's the same kind of life you have back home."

That is why I am somewhat ambivalent about the USVI. In some ways it is great because you have so much more available than on the other islands - but the price that you pay is that much of the beauty of "island life" is also lost. In the end it is just down to personal taste.

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Posted : January 9, 2009 4:01 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

I believe HipCrip is still on STX, just not posting anymore. We last saw her in the airport in September 2007. She was headed to PR for the day to see doctors. Penny, if you still read the board, we think about you often.

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Posted : January 9, 2009 4:30 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

" it is just a different culture"

When you think of what the word "culture" really means- the sum of the values, behaviors and beliefs of a group of people- it is hard to put *just* in that sentence...

Here is a tiny example: I was raised to think of how my actions affect other people. So, to me, honking your car horn when you see someone you know is annoying because it affects the others who are not being tooted. However, in this culture, you toot your horn. I don't know if people think about the others who are affected, and it doesn't matter, because that is the way it is done. I am not going to change that. I am not going to participate, but I am not going to change it. As a wise friend of mine said: There is no why, it just is...

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Posted : January 9, 2009 7:47 pm
vicaptain
(@vicaptain)
Advanced Member

A recent joke told to me:

A man dies and finds himself at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter remarks, "That's odd. This has never happened before. You're an even tie; its a dead split between you going to heaven or hell. So I'll tell you what I'll do: I will give you a tour of both spots and you can decide for yourself." The man readily agrees and poof! They're instantly on a beautiful mountain ski slope, filled with gorgeous views and abundant lodges. St. Peter explains to the man that, "This is heaven." Quite impressed, the man decides to go take a look at what hell looks like. Poof! Instantly, the man and St. Peter are standing in the warm sand on beautiful St. Thomas. The weather is fine, the scenery sublime, and the vegetation lush. Half beside himself on how wonderful hell is, the man is asked by St. Peter which he would prefer. The man replies, "Well, both heaven and hell are stunning places to spend an afterlife, and I'm already here, I might as well stay." St. Peter says, "As you wish," and poof! Now the man is sitting in a leaking hut filled with cockroaches, bad water, and oppressive heat. A rusted out jeep sits outside next to continuously barking dog. He yells to St. Peter, "Wait! Wait! This isn't what I chose!" St. Peter only says, "Hey, the first time you lived on St. Thomas you were a tourist - now you live here!"

Thought it relevant to the conversation. Hope you enjoyed.

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Posted : January 10, 2009 12:01 am
A Davis
(@A_Davis)
Trusted Member

Where's Anita? This is the type of thread in which she would probably have profound input!

*spotted lurking!*

I am actually enjoying this thread and as I wondered how I had missed it in the first place, I realized that it was very old and became new from time to time, including now. I, like you, thought:

As I was reading this thread (again) I was struck by how respectful the posters were of the "differences" between native VI'ers and transplants, while still getting their point out about how challenging some of those differences can be. I think most of us who have stuck it out for a while, and really adopted this as home, realize that's just the way it is and will be. Period. The key is to realize that's OK.

It's nice to see that bubble up again, and so naturally...!

Now that's what I call a "Happy New Year".

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Posted : January 10, 2009 1:58 am
john l.
(@john_l.)
Active Member

hello all, its great and exciting to read all the new and previous threads. i sit here and read them to my wife as we both go oooooooo. or aaaaaaaah. or wow or woah. we are definitely moving in June with our three children. iam a owner of my own carpentry business which i do work and enjoy it very much. my wife is in school now for massage therapy and graduates in may. that being said we count down the days till we get off the plane and look to the hills and feel the breeze on our faces. we have vacationed on stt and stx many times and kinda know what to suspect as far as greeting people and service of any kind goes . we fell in love with the island life years ago on our honeymoon. yes, when we sat at the divi and looked around the restaurant and said "what the heck is wrong with this place , I've waited over 5 minutes for a glass of water?" well after that and many more occurrences on the island i kinda said whats the rush ?, who cares? and after another visit or two even with the kids i come to love (the life). i brought friends down, my brother and his wife, and even my mother in-law and found humor in watching them go threw there own experiences the way i did on our first trip. ha ha . we wish to move to ST Thomas for reasonable reasons which are to each there own but we want to be very much a part of the community there. we go on line to seek churches to visit which is my utmost concern. god is my life and without his friendship and presence a move like this would not be possible. i read on this site that schools and church are some of the main keys to family socializing. i want to be a part of the community not only to hob nob but to help people in need of compassion and prayer. i find that i am a people person for god . I'm not a bible thump-er i just love what god has done for me and my family and would love to live on one of the most beautiful places he has created. all the people i have encountered were very friendly and for good reason look at how they live, its almost like the local people know how fast paced and unfriendly the states can be. no time for hellos and who cares who you are just get out of my way attitudes drives one who's true in heart back to real life which is to live in peace and harmony with each other. i know not everyone practices this lifestyle but i do know that I've seen it more there than here and even my six year old wakes up in the morning to say'daddy we move to st Thomas today'? he feels what i feel we long for the place where not many would fit or accept. but for the few who do WHAT A LIFE....
we leave in June
there's nothing wrong or odd with people of dignity who would rather be talked with than talked at.

john. goodnight and god bless.

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Posted : January 10, 2009 5:21 am
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