Hard advice for peo...
 
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Hard advice for people considering moving here

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socalkid
(@socalkid)
Active Member

I like to hear that the problems aren't racial! I hate that crap... and it sucks cause I'm white so people automatically assume that I'm racist... but whatever! as long as its a local thing I can deal with that a lot easier.

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Posted : March 28, 2011 8:13 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

In my experience, the "majority-minority-race thing" depends a lot on what you do for a living, where you live on the island, and what kind of person you are yourself. I have "local" friends and its no big deal.

I do not agree that "most young people hate it here." Everywhere I've lived, a lot of the young people wanted to go somewhere else. My own young people love it here, but have their own dreams that probably don't include living here forever.

re: people not staying/moving away... I have met very few people here who have come and quickly gone. People move around in the states too because of jobs, family and not liking certain areas. "Moving happens." (Aside: For some reason, this board and the island in general is a little too sensitive about "people who leave".)

It helps to get connected with a group... an activity ...a church.

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Posted : March 28, 2011 8:32 pm
jay
 jay
(@jay)
Advanced Member

I don't miss the cold. I don't miss the seasons changing. I have plenty of family and friends who do come visit and who are planning to again.

The racial thing is a bunch of nonsense. Show me one place in the world with a hundred percent racial harmony.........I have had no problerms to speak of with race. Someone mentioned earlier in this post its more of a local/outsider thing......Possibly, but I just think many people take something as simple as a lack of eye contact with a local person as some kind of racial issue.....Get over it.

Power does go out.........Get a generator....Get a battery back up for your computer or tv. Get a candle and read a book.... It (at least on my part of the island) doesnt go out often and when it does its not usually for more than 15 or 20 minutes. There are plenty of things to do when it does....

Food is expensive here, but heat is expensive there............No equivelant of state income tax.......No excise tax.......Extremely low property taxes........As far as cost of living, there are soooooooooo many offsets.

I guess I am just saying that when an adult makes a decision to move anywhere and doesn't do their research prior to the move.......Don't go negative on the place you selected.

I used to complain that the police refuse to enforce traffic laws.....Then I learned to use it to my advantage.....Now if I am running late, I just say screw the lights!! (Sad but true) .....

Bottom line is no matter where you are its all about your ability to adapt to what ever life throws your way.......Just sayin'

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Posted : March 28, 2011 11:16 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Jay, I totally understand where you're coming from, but this board is EXACTLY the place to go negative, if you want. If a person didn't research enough, or didn't believe what they were told, he/she is certainly still entitled to voice their experiences and concerns. There are those who have no problems assimilating and those who just can't fit in. Both sides are important to someone researching the move.

Any adult can take it all in, filter it, and spit it out if they don't like the sound of it. Most of the posters here are anonymous, and therefore can, and do, say pretty much anything they want with abandon. Reminds me about years ago when you could actually hear people say something was definitely true because they read it on the Internet.

Don't get me wrong...lots of good info from people who really know what they are talking about, offering their local knowledge respectfully and generously, but let's face it...some who just like to stir it up, and that's OK, too. Not talking about anyone in particular. Put any group of people on a message forum from the VI, NY, TX, CA or Kansas, and give it long enough and watch the sparks fly over just about any topic. Read it, take what you find helpful, and don't take the rest too seriously. (I need a peace symbol emoticon..... V...LOL)

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Posted : March 29, 2011 3:24 am
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member

Unfortunately, I do find this board to lean toward the negative side.

If you are not happy here, not adjusting, move back home or to another town/city that you have in mind.

I realized many that moved to the islands did not research it well enough and after the honeymoon faze is over, they are highly disappointed. They don't know enough about the cultural differences and how the island works. (Read as much as you can on this board. There is a wealth of info. Regarding living on the island, which ever one you pick).

One mistake I made was not shipping my car down in the first place. I read the advice here, not to and to buy here. That backfired and I ended up shipping my car down. I know my car and it was worth it.
All other items were shipped via USPS and packed in luggage.

You can make friends with just about anybody if you want to. Just put yourself out there. With locals and transplants.

"Patience is a virtue"

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Posted : March 29, 2011 4:40 am
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

I don't use A/C or my water heater(the water is warm enough to bathe... )

Even today, twenty years after living on the islands, I still take short showers, turn off the water when I am brushing my teeth, only flush for number two, etc.

...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.

Absolutely.

Do not uproot your children, unless it absolutely necessary.

Yeah this is a big thing for me. My father asked my brother and I, one wintry day in New England driving to school in 1980, after visiting the islands every year since 1973, "Do you two want to move to St. Thomas?"

I really don't think that was a fair question, considering the circumstances, for an eleven year old and an eight year old.

Neil: the difficulty is coming and going from an island thousands of miles away that is surrounded by ocean that you can't just drive over.

Edit: living on the islands will make you appreciate a long hot shower, almost sexually.

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Posted : March 29, 2011 7:01 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

For me, the biggest negative is the cost of getting anywhere else!

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Posted : March 29, 2011 10:53 am
Molly
(@Molly)
Advanced Member

For me, the biggest negative is the cost of getting anywhere else!

My problem is getting back to the island. We are still on the long term moving plan until the kids finish school and like to head down every summer. Airfare has gone through the roof! Prices are 3X what they were a year ago.

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Posted : March 29, 2011 1:18 pm
stiphy
(@stiphy)
Trusted Member

JRF, awesome post! You hit the nails on the head and reading your post was like seeing in writing some of the thoughts I hadn't been able to verbalize that clearly.

For me there are many postiives to living here. The most important ones are that a) my wife gets to spend more time with the babies here as I am fortunate to have a good job, b) having less distractions means I focus on what's really important: my children and c) I want my kids to be raised in a multi-cultural environment just as I was, I think it's important.

It doesn't mean the items you bring up don't exist or aren't problematic for me, just that I'm willing to live with them in exchange for these and other positive considerations.

Sean

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Posted : March 29, 2011 2:45 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Unfortunately, I do find this board to lean toward the negative side.

If you are not happy here, not adjusting, move back home or to another town/city that you have in mind.

I realized many that moved to the islands did not research it well enough and after the honeymoon faze is over, they are highly disappointed. They don't know enough about the cultural differences and how the island works. (Read as much as you can on this board. There is a wealth of info. Regarding living on the island, which ever one you pick).

You find the board too negative but then tell them to research and find out all the negatives before moving here. The negatives are negative, there's no way to make them sound cheery. The positives are obvious to anyone who has sight.

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Posted : March 29, 2011 2:54 pm
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member

Hiya

I guess I didn't say it the way I should have. There are positives everywhere.
Most new posters keep asking about negative aspects, and it gets redundant.
Read up and way the pros and cons of moving here. (Positives vs. Negatives) & how it will affect you.
You put it in better words than me 🙂

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Posted : March 29, 2011 5:25 pm
Hiya!
(@Hiya!)
Trusted Member

Ahhh....I here u about the redundancy, I rarely even look at a post about cars. It'd be nice if the search feature was a little more promant and easier to use. 🙂

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Posted : March 29, 2011 7:40 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

Alright Beachcomber, I will say some good thing that should be in the other thread.

The islands are remarkably beautiful. You could walk up to some random person in a super market, ask them what they thought of the USVI, and you'd have a better chance of them telling you how wonderful the islands are than your chances of winning $1 on a $5 lottery ticket.

Beaches, sunsets, sunrises, snorkeling, scuba diving, boating, the unbelievable flora and fauna both under the sea and above it, arts and entertainment, the generally friendly natives (if you treat them with respect and try to understand what they are - they don't care what you are, just that you care enough to try to understand them) and the usual new gung-ho transplant people, etc.

I'll pick one phrase for me to define my experience on St. Thomas: Food Fair. It happens just before my birthday and it was nice to get a few days off of school for Carnival.

Heh, should I mention there are essentially three things you can do on the islands?

Go to the beach
Go to the bar
Go to the bar on the beach

//yeah I know that is narrow myopic view

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Posted : March 29, 2011 7:44 pm
BeachcomberStt
(@BeachcomberStt)
Trusted Member

NoOne

Lol about the 3 things you can do on the islands. I am not a bar person or a heavy drinker-social drinker. So, to the beach I go with my water 🙂

The other things you mentioned are positive, just have to open your eyes. And I agree with you.

(Just have to say, I talk to my sibling everyday and updates me about me about crime, drugs busts, and shootings/killings, corruption (some making national news) in the area where I grew up. Today, I was laughed at and said it is now an everyday occurance. It is not like it used to be.)

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Posted : March 29, 2011 9:52 pm
Niuhuskie34
(@Niuhuskie34)
Advanced Member

Edit: living on the islands will make you appreciate a long hot shower, almost sexually.

Mwhaha, lol

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Posted : March 29, 2011 10:16 pm
Niuhuskie34
(@Niuhuskie34)
Advanced Member

p.s. I have no idea how to use the quote button

mwhaha

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Posted : March 29, 2011 10:17 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

Edit: living on the islands will make you appreciate a long hot shower, almost sexually.

Mwhaha, lol

Heh every time I go to Spanish Town on Virgin Gorda, I take full advantage of the showers that are only available then, during a long salty trip. It isn't the same as to soap yourself up in the ocean and then rinse with the cold desalinated water you might have on your boat.

Edit: you do know that you can find fresh water on STT, at least, and I am sure on STX because of the rain forest, and probably on STJ? I know of one fresh water spring on the North Side of STT, that is used regularly.

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Posted : March 29, 2011 10:49 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

p.s. I have no idea how to use the quote button

mwhaha

Ya just click it!!

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Posted : March 29, 2011 11:04 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

noOne, there's always something going on if someone is looking for something to do. Music concerts, plays, food festivals, film festivals, sports, enrichment classes, etc. You need to broaden your vision!

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Posted : March 29, 2011 11:38 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

noOne, there's always something going on if someone is looking for something to do. Music concerts, plays, food festivals, film festivals, sports, enrichment classes, etc. You need to broaden your vision!

...arts and entertainment...

I'll pick one phrase for me to define my experience on St. Thomas: Food Fair.

I don't see what you are getting at. One of the most memorable moments I had on STT was at the Reichhold, when the Flying Karamazov Brothers performed. Yes, I have seen shows on Broadway, and there is a big difference between seeing things on TV, or even a movie screen, that is not as special as seeing it in person. I spent every Tuesday night at Tillet's Garden, eating at El Papagayo, where they would automatically bring me the bottom of the barrel hot sauce, and Chico would sit on my shoulder when we came - and that parrot would bite pretty much anyone who came close to him.

I absolutely know what all of those things are on the islands.

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Posted : March 30, 2011 12:07 am
poorthang
(@poorthang)
Advanced Member

Alot is said for the raising your kids in a diverse culture....that is not part of the criteria for choosing the islands as your home. It is the necessity to adapt to this or other cultures you put your kids or yourself in.. I think some people are" saying" they like the culture when in fact they have had to adapt to it for their own sanity and rationalize it's a good thing to satisfy some guilt ...that it may not be..Part of "this" culture is in fact uncomfortable for some .Fear of the police and it's unpredictable behavior is among them....the what if's of anarchy when hurricanes are present send an uneasy feeling to your stomach...Do we dwell on it ....no...but it is there...

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Posted : March 30, 2011 1:45 am
guice
(@guice)
Advanced Member

<-- a kid that did grow up in multiple cultures: guam, japan, german, usa.

I don't have any long term friends (kindergarten friends? I don't even know a soul from 4th grade), but being in all sorts of cultures made me immune to the "culture shock" many people get when moving to a foreign country. Personally, I actually feel more at home in "culture shock" situations. Love talking/hanging out with europeans (aussies, japanese, etc) FAR more than US bread people.

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Posted : March 30, 2011 2:23 am
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

Back to the topic,
mundane tasks take way more time and effort than in the States. A trip to register your car, some business at the bank, finding a specific item that you need or want, obtaining a permit or a licence. In the states, in a town about the same size and population of STX ,I could pay my RE taxes, register to vote, get a hunting licence, register a car or a boat, and get a building permit all from the same person at the same office with one visit, Here there is a maze that must be negotiated. The VI system was not designed as user friendly.
This office does this, that office does that you have to go here then take that there, all busy work to keep people employed by the Government.

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Posted : March 30, 2011 12:35 pm
rdugirl
(@rdugirl)
Advanced Member

First of all, a big THANK YOU, to all the posters! Like Hiya said 'anyone with sight can see the positive". My grandfather always said, 'don't ask the question, if you're not prepared for the answer." How can one be prepared for 'island life' if they don't know the good, the bad, and the ugly. Really, how can you be prepared for life anywhere?

Island life might be 'slow' but maybe it's that mainlanders are just in a hurry? Living on the mainland has turned us into an 'instant gratification' society. We don't take time anymore to stop and say hello to people, we are so busy with what WE have to do, where WE have to go, that we have stopped taking other people into consideration. That is what I can't wait to get away from. So, if I have to wait in line for 20 min at the post office, why not use that time to get to know the person standing in front of me, or behind me?

I look forward to slower, living with less, not seeing fast food joints on every corner, patients in the hospital who don't mind waiting 10 min for me to get to their room vs the patient who thinks that they are the only one, or that their needs are more important than the guy in the next room. I'm sure there are times when I will miss the convenience of the mainland, but I think I will grow to appreciate living with less, not having so much 'stuff'. If I never have to step foot inside Walmart, life will be good!

When I get on island, it will be with my eyes wide open.

See you in line at the post office 😎

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Posted : March 30, 2011 1:56 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

Please post again after you're here for 6 months. We would be interested in your observations.

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Posted : March 30, 2011 2:30 pm
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