Hard advice for peo...
 

Hard advice for people considering moving here  

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JahRustyFerrari
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March 28, 2011 12:13 pm  

This post will offend some people. Sorry, but I call them as I see them. Life is short.

Most people who move here stay for about six months. Ask yourself these questions:

Is your move primarily motivated by financial reasons?
A job is not a good primary reason to move here. There are cultural and societal issues that may overwhelm any perceived financial benefits.

If Caucasian, are you comfortable being among a majority Black population?
Most people will try to downplay racial issues, but they are very important. The Black people here are not like the Black people in the US, and will take offense at, for example you walking into a room full of locals and not saying "good morning". That, of course, is more of a cultural issue, and will be perceived as an insult. The "locals" will also notice things like your reluctance to asociate with them in social settings, your propensity to disregard them as potential friends while seeking out people of your own kind, etc...it's complicated.

Do you need 24 hour a day, hot and cold running conveniences and entertainment?
If you have been spoiled by living Stateside, you will most likely hate it here after the initial glow has worn off. We do not have big box stores on every corner, our grocery prices are double what you're paying, and our utility costs are sky high. We do not have proper broadband service, though that is changing. We do not have Taco Bell, Olive Garden, Chili's, TGIF, etc...most locals like to cook at home. Fast food places, with the exception of McD's, never last long here. If you have to have all of that, you will hate it here.

Do you have close friends and family Stateside?
They will not come to visit you. You will miss them terribly, and, again, if you are Caucasian you may be reluctant to engage locals as potential friends, unless you really belong here. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but it has been the experience of many of us. If you do not have close family ties and you are somewhat of an independent person who makes new friends quickly regardless of their culture or color you will have an advantage.

Do you like to watch the seasons change?
A lot of people move here in winter, to escape the cold....bad reason for moving here. We cannot compete with the bewildering amount of entertainment available to the average mainlander during the summer months..Fourth of July outings, March Madness, Thanksgiving Day Parades, water parks, roller coasters, Disneyland, etc etc etc...and people miss those things when the weather gets warm again, which it always does. People also get teary eyed talking about the beautiful Fall season, and the golden leaves falling, and the flowers coming out in Spring, and even the stark beauty of a Winter day, when you can cuddle inside next to a roaring fire...you wll miss all of that, and it may make you bitter and you may start to complain about every little thing.

What is your age?
Young people hate it here...most of our local youth never come back once they leave and get seduced by the same places you're trying to escape from. If you are in the "wealth-building, family-raising" stage, like some posters here, this is probably not the place to move to. You will miss your friends and family, you might be reluctant to make new friends among the locals, and you may feel like this place is inadequate for raising your precious children. Older people of independent means who want to live an unhurried life and can afford to purchase homes in really nice neighborhoods and afford to fly off island whenever they feel like it are usually very content here.

I cold go on, but I'd be writing a book.

So who can actually move here and like it?

IMHO, someone who wants to live like they were born here. Someone who can enjoy an evening without electricity (because we have them often) and simply go outside and look at the stars, while cursing WAPA under their breath.

OK, I'm off my soapbox, and you may flame me at will. 😀


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speee1dy
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March 28, 2011 12:16 pm  

don't forget, do you like to dust, sweep and mop all of the time


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noOne
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March 28, 2011 12:40 pm  

This post will offend some people. Sorry, but I call them as I see them. Life is short.

I agree with everything you wrote.

Edit: haha I like what you said about food. Yeah, in the 80s Burger King didn't last long, and I only went in once, just to buy one thing: a Coors Light, so I could say I bought a beer at Burger King. I wasn't too happy either, I think they charged $3 (high for the islands at the time) and just handed me the can.


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pamela
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March 28, 2011 12:50 pm  

And do you like various critters in your house?

Fair winds and following seas.
Pamela


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noOne
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March 28, 2011 12:57 pm  

And do you like various critters in your house?

Except for things like scorpions, banana spiders and fire ants (cause they hurt when they bite) I really had no problems with the bugs and critters. There was only one time that I was really startled, and that was waking up to a gungalo crawling up my leg one morning. I levitated out of bed, heh.


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chefnoah
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March 28, 2011 1:15 pm  

Pretty good rundown.

You certainly need to be able to roll with the punches and absorb things you'd never experience stateside.

Example: I was paying a parking ticket and my government worker bribed me without solicitation. He adjusted my fine, while requesting a $20 cut. I laughed, but his face was straight. Maybe he needed the $20 to buy more golden crosses and biblical verses to hang in his cubicle??

It's been amazing but I'm moving back to the states after nearly 4 years. I flourished here but I think I've ran my course. I'm aching to see family again and I really do miss the conveniences and cheaper living.

speee1dy is right, either keep your place air tight and run a/c all the time, or perpetually corral dust bunnies.

Noah
Signature user since right now


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Robob
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March 28, 2011 1:15 pm  

I know I'll be sorry I asked, but what is a "gungalo". ...and I'm glad to know its not just my apartment that is dusty ALL the time.

BTW April 1st is my 6 month anniversary on island. No intentions of leaving.


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chefnoah
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March 28, 2011 1:25 pm  

Definition: local name for millipedes (not to be confused with fast-moving centipedes which have a nasty bite, millipedes are the slow-moving rounded creatures that look like snippets of coaxial cable).
Source: Page 80, Say it in Crucian!

Definition: "noun; a black millipede with eighty-two legs, it does not sting. Dem gu'l fraid a gongalo bad; I goin' go fin' one to race dem wid now."
Source: Page 72, A Brief Description and Dictionary of the Language Used in the Virgin Islands.

Noah
Signature user since right now


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Juanita
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March 28, 2011 2:04 pm  

JRF,
I don't think anyone would "flame" you for that post. Sounds right on the money to me!

NOAH!!! I just realized what you said. :-(...but wish you all the best.

Juanita


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chefnoah
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March 28, 2011 2:14 pm  

Thanks Juanita, glad you enjoyed my food and it was a pleasure to meet you!
All the best is waiting for me in Colorado! 😀

Noah
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beachy
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March 28, 2011 2:19 pm  

Noah, where in colorado...just for future reference...cooking?


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chefnoah
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March 28, 2011 2:23 pm  

No longer cooking. I switched to restaurant/hotel distribution sales on island and will continue that path in Denver.
I get to cook for fun now 😉

Noah
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guice
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March 28, 2011 2:29 pm  

Moving from no winter to no summer. Interesting. I was in CO for 13yrs before I moved down to TX (and now coming down to STT). CO is an awesome state. But too bloody cold! Good luck in Denver. It's a great city, great atmosphere. Buy plenty of winter clothes! 😀


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chefnoah
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March 28, 2011 2:51 pm  

I lived there for 7 years before coming to St.Croix. I absolutely love snowboarding, the city, and the mountains. Turns out, I'm happy in any temperature zone.

No summer? In Denver?? It's hot as hell into the 90's for weeks at a time. Buying winter clothes is something I DO need to do. My wardrobe is ready for summer, not so much winter! The timing of my move will allow me to slowly slip into the winter time

Noah
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JahRustyFerrari
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March 28, 2011 3:21 pm  

And do you like various critters in your house?

Except for things like scorpions, banana spiders and fire ants (cause they hurt when they bite) I really had no problems with the bugs and critters. There was only one time that I was really startled, and that was waking up to a gungalo crawling up my leg one morning. I levitated out of bed, heh.

😀 I had some friends visiting one time from Stateside. We were sitting on the patio chatting, when suddenly this huge, muscle-bound centipede comes strolling across the floor like he owns the place. 😮 My friends were so freaked out they never came back here.

I must say, though, that I was terrified of scorpions while I was Stateside. Centipedes are pretty shy creatures normally, and will usually run away from you...usually, hehehehe

Best centipede killer is Raid in the RED can, BTW.


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JahRustyFerrari
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March 28, 2011 3:26 pm  

I lived there for 7 years before coming to St.Croix. I absolutely love snowboarding, the city, and the mountains. Turns out, I'm happy in any temperature zone.

No summer? In Denver?? It's hot as hell into the 90's for weeks at a time. Buying winter clothes is something I DO need to do. My wardrobe is ready for summer, not so much winter! The timing of my move will allow me to slowly slip into the winter time

Good luck in Colorado!! Beautiful place, I lived in Colorado Springs for a few years and loved it. The winters were very snowy, but, surprisingly, not unusually cold. Huge snowdrifts, though. Great skiing...you'll love it.


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guice
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March 28, 2011 5:18 pm  

Scorpions in STT? This'll be interesting. Guess I'll need to brush up on scorpion stings. cent/millipedes don't bother me. Come to think of it, I hadn't seen a centipede since I left the springs. I don't think either of them are even here in Dallas, or they've been very well wiped out by the local gecko population.

<-- Colorado Springs brat. Not really native, moved there in '90 when my father got stationed to Peterson AFB. We moved from Wiesbaden, Germany, to Colo. Spgs. Lived there for 10 years before moving up to Denver, then to Dallas and finally, soon, down to STT. My step-mother's side of the family is Colo. Spgs. native.


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Iris Tramm
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March 28, 2011 5:53 pm  

cent/millipedes don't bother me. Come to think of it, I hadn't seen a centipede since I left the springs.

The millipedes are harmless (except they ooze when you step on them and they start to stick after awhile if dead ones pile up), but centipedes are serious business. I've killed/seen dozens of them on STX, ranging in size from 6" to one foot in length. They bite. Hard. Most people keep Benadryl on hand just in case.

IT


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guice
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March 28, 2011 5:59 pm  

Yeah, I've dealt with centipedes in Colorado. There are a lot of bugs to worry about up there, when you're in the mountains. In Dallas, it's just all mosquitoes mostly, and fire ants. In general, not too bad. Scorpions will be the only thing that would worry me, depending on their size.
(time to brush up on my old school boy scout survival skills!)


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Juanita
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March 28, 2011 6:03 pm  

ONE FOOT!? Wouldn't have to bite/sting me....I'd just fall over dead from fright! Oh, and JRF...centipedes are shy? Could'a fooled me. They always seem to come right toward you, don't they?

Never saw either a centipede or a scorpion when we lived on STT, and our apartment was built up against the side of a hill, but when we did some remodeling and pulled paneling off the walls, we found skeletons of both. Have never seen a scorpion on STX (knock wood), but we do see the occassional centipde, usually 3-5 inches long.

Juanita


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pamela
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March 28, 2011 6:56 pm  

So that is what those black things are called. Sat here the other night by candlelight (thank you WAPA) and watch one just crawl across the ceiling!

Pamela

Fair winds and following seas.
Pamela


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chefnoah
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March 28, 2011 7:13 pm  

Video of a 13" centipede in Venezuelan cave

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Noah
Signature user since right now


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BeachcomberStt
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March 28, 2011 7:51 pm  

JRF

You bring up many valid points and I agree with you on them.

I am not rich. I budget my money very good and able to pay my bills on time and for some extra for entertainment, e.g. the movies, a concert, treat myself to a nice dinner, etc. I watch for sales and stock up and do comparison shopping. I don't use A/C or my water heater(the water is warm enough to bathe and wash dishes). I make sure I use my current wisely, so my power bill is not too high. Since I have lived here, my highest bill has been $84.00(estimated). I have many tips to keep your bill down, but some will find them strange, but they work.

I visit the states once a year in the winter for the holidays, bbrrrr, to see the few friends, which still live in the area, and the few family members that are still alive.
I do miss the summer time picnics with all the ethnic foods.

I do not miss the seasons change. I don't have to rake leaves or shovel snow. It doesn't get dark here at 4pm in the day when the time changes in the states.

I know of one bar/restaurant in Red Hook that do not let "locals" have a running bar tab, like they let Caucasians do. I don't know if it is the bartender's rule or the owner's rule. I have heard other bars do it also, unless the bartender knows the "local".
I've been in several conversations with Caucasian newcomers, and even some that have lived here for many years, and their racial attitude leaves me in awe. Very racist. They are not blatant in front of "locals", but the "locals" know they are and feel it. Seems like they only enjoy the Chili Cook-Off, aka, the only "white" event on island during the year. I didn't say it, I was told about it when I first moved here.

Do not uproot your children, unless it absolutely necessary(mandatory job transfer). Some assimilate well, others do no not. Or they tend to gravitate toward their own kind.

The majority of Caucasians do gravitate toward their own kind. I'm an independent type of person and don't mind cultural or color differences at all.

I curse WAPA under my breath when we have a power outage, but I don't go off on a tangent. I don't depend on the internet, big stores, or chain restaurants. I cook often, sometimes get take-out or fast-food.

I get my fill of the stores when I visit the states and extremely great deals on summer clothes. And eat at a few restaurants when friends and family take me out.

My apartment is in very good condition, so I don't have a critter problem and just a minor bug problem. A spider here and there. I clean well, but I'm not obsessive about it. So, I keep dust down to a minimum. Have a pair of slippers for the house only, so you don't track dirt, etc. all over you house.

I love living on STT. Wouldn't change it or try to change it. There are problems here, but the positives outweigh the negatives for me.


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socalkid
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March 28, 2011 7:59 pm  

Soooo... This is what I like to here. Be nice, good food, enjoy nature, suck it up. I liiiiiiike.


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Hiya!
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March 28, 2011 8:01 pm  

I agree generally with your statement but there are always exceptions. Moving down here has been an excellent career move for my husband and I been able to work for myself which is a joy. I'm not Caucasian but I grew up being a minority, it's pretty much the same everywhere. I think that is one of the smallest things transplants should worry about. And it should be transplants not Caucasians. All of my black friends from the states have the same experiences fitting in that I have had. It's not about color as much as belonging and invading. The locals resent us but if you're friendly enough you can win them over. I wish I had less people visiting, I love my friends and family but being tour guide is exhausting. I've had to learn how to say no or at least learn my limits and let them go on their own. The age thing has more to do with local kids then transplants. I have friends in their early twenties up to the fifties and everyone parties together. I would say being single is more of a hardship then young.


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