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I hope I don't sound negative....

(@Eddie Buck)
Posts: 20
Eminent Member
Topic starter

...but my year-long "sentence" to the VI will be over in two weeks. I am so excited to be moving back to Pennsylvania. At this point, I'll embrace all the crappy weather. I'll be happy to "settle" for the Jersey Shore.

Don't get me wrong, this is definitely an experience I'll remember forever. But I would never want to do it again. I'm tired of the arrogant millionaires who think that the world revolves around them. I'm tired of all the dirtballs who look like they just rolled out of a bar. I'm tired of the high prices for EVERYTHING. I'm tired of no trash pick-up, no mail delivery, and having to drag my laundry to the bottom of the hill every time I need to wash clothes. I'm tired of First Bank losing all my deposits. I'm tired of the police never responding to any of my requests. I'm tired of never having seasons. I'm tired of no one wanting to do their jobs. I'm tired of buying moldy bread at the Pueblo. I'm tired of my cistern leaking. I'm tired of power outages. I'm tired of alien-looking bugs crawling around the house. I'm tired...well, you get the point.

Posted : May 12, 2006 2:04 pm
Linda from Michigan
Posts: 550
Honorable Member

I just sent a friend back stateside who came to work for season. He called it his "hellhole of a rock". When I left him at the airport, I told him that if nothing else, he has seen what else there is in this world - that even though there are the parts of it that he couldn't tolerate - at least he got out of his comfort zone (which is more than most people do) and saw a beautiful part of this world in which we live (scenery-wise) and had the opportunity to realize that life is not perfect even when you live on a tropical island.

All the best,


Posted : May 12, 2006 4:59 pm
(@Eddie Buck)
Posts: 20
Eminent Member
Topic starter

thanks, Linda. I'm glad to know that I'm not alone in my feelings. Island life is definitely not for everyone.

Take care!!

Posted : May 12, 2006 5:09 pm
Posts: 5404
Illustrious Member

Eddie: I do not think that your experience is all that unusual. Do you mind if I ask for a bit more about why you came for your 12 month sentence and what kind of work you did? I think it is important to others to hear the good and the bad.

I contend that a majority of people who come here, leave in 6 months to a year.

Posted : May 12, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 393
Reputable Member

It has been said on this board a gazillion times, island life ain't for everybody. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your experience
here. I hope your posting will help others understand that living on the island and vacationing on the island are very different. Good luck in PA.


Posted : May 13, 2006 2:10 am
Posts: 193
Estimable Member

I've heard a lot of long-time island folks say the same thing EE said. In fact, people told me, semi-jokingly, that they wouldn't learn my last name until I was here for a year! 😉

I wonder how many people leave the islands, frustrated like Eddie, and then have a different memory of the VI when they've been back for a while? I've heard of quite a few people leaving and then coming back. It's odd- I thought you either loved it or hated it here, but have heard of many people going back up to the States, then missing the VI.

Good luck "back home", Eddie, and thanks for sharing your experience.



Posted : May 13, 2006 3:15 pm
Posts: 463
Reputable Member

Hi Eddie,

As a newbie, I found your post to be an interesting read and appreciated your candor regarding your experience here.

Good luck on your move back home and best wishes for your future endeavors :)!

If you are willing to share more about your experience, it might be helpful for we newbies and for others considering making the "big move."

Some background that might be helpful:

Did you live in a home and neighborhood that you enjoyed?

Were you transferred here by an employer? Our did you find employment after you arrived?

Did you enjoy the work that you were doing?

What island were you living on?

Did you make a pre-move visit?

Posted : May 13, 2006 5:58 pm
Posts: 503
Honorable Member

Hello there. It's odd how people find where they are really home by experiencing different things. I imagine that any drawbacks in Penn. will be tampered by your experience here.

As I get closer to the end of my first year, I am glad that I had the opportunity to read of the good, the bad and everything inbetween. For me, this is home. When I arrived and settled in, it felt like the first time I had been home in many years.

Of course, I am no more in love with a few of the bugs than anybody else, but for me that is a small price to pay for all of the wonders and simplicity I do have.

I came with an agenda, of course, much of it pertaining to a physical need for heat. That I got. For others, it would be hell.

I think in some ways you have supported the need for people to actually 'be here' for a time, or a few times during different times of the year before they make 'the jump'.

I did that, read this board carefully, and knew that for at least this one person, I could see the cup as half full during most of my waking moments. I suppose there are people who are difficult, but I honestly haven't met them. People are people everywhere. Maybe the differences stand out more here as we are by island living rather forced into a small type of community life.

For me it works and very well. For others, I hope they really read the essence of what was written about the one year sentance, and will move here not expecting perfection, just expecting life on a tropical island.

Best wishes for a safe trip home, and I do hope there are some memories that over time you will remember and come to cherish,



Posted : May 13, 2006 6:11 pm
Posts: 31
Eminent Member

One man's candy is another man's poison.

Posted : May 13, 2006 6:39 pm
Posts: 532
Honorable Member

We managed 5 years until we realized that we would be a lot happier elsewhere. The ever-present poverty, the lack of treatment for the mentally ill, the almost systemic animal cruelty, the litter, the corruption, the trash, the sewage, the teeth sucking, the dryness, the lack of rivers and streams and the everpresent - 'island hassle' when trying to accomplish tasks, the prices, the poor service, the heat, the isolation, the lack of choices overcame the beauty of the island - FOR US!!!!
Those of you who are comfortable there - should be living there. Those of us who are not - should be living elsewhere! It is that simple - human diversity. No need to get angry - no criticism of your choices from me - just a simple acknowledgement that the VI is not for me.

Posted : May 15, 2006 2:54 pm
(@Eddie Buck)
Posts: 20
Eminent Member
Topic starter

Sorry...I guess I should have been more specific about my experiences. The reason I moved here is because my wife had been vacationing here for the past 15 years (before we were married). She always intended to live down here eventually, so I knew that I would be "going along for the ride". But moving here was definitely her idea & not mine. OUr original plan was to move to St John, but due to the high cost of housing, we decided to move to St Thomas. I found a two-bedroom apartment on Raphune Hill (near Estate Thomas). It was a nice apartment, with a beautiful view overlooking Charlotte Amalie Harbor. The cost was $875/month. THe apartment itself had its advantages & disadvantages. It was kind of private, and up on the hill, so I didn't have a lot of people bothering me. But with that advantage comes the disadvantage of having to travel to do just about everything. And I don't have a car. So I had to walk a couple blocks down the hill to use the trash dumpster. I had to rent a PO Box downtown because we don't get mail delivery. I had to load all my laundry onto the safari taxi everytime I needed to do the wash. It was a real pain in the neck. I really wish my apartment had had a laundry facility. As I mentioned, my living area was pretty peaceful...except for the three yappy dogs next door...who barked til three in the morning. But, I really could have used an air-conditioned apartment during the brutal summer. But, to answer your question: my wife made LOTS of pre-move visits and I made one. As far as work, my wife and I were lucky to both have jobs within a week. And both our jobs were literally a five-minute walk from our apartment. My wife worked at a restaurant & I worked at an insurance company. That was the scariest part about leaving Pennsylvania in the first place. We didn't have jobs lined up & I was worried that I would never find one. But, as I said, I found one in an insurance company..even though I had no insurance experience when I arrived. For me, I was very happy to have a job so close-by...and with benefits. But it became obvious to me, very early on, that I was treated differently because I was the only non-West Indian working at the company. I would be held up to much stricter standards than anyone else, and punished more harshly whenever I made a mistake. I had no problem with the actual job itself, but it was the people who made work so unbearable. On the contrary, my wife really liked her job, mostly all the people she's worked with, and will be leaving the island with a completely different experience. Lucky for me that she wants to go back to school fulltime in Pennsylvania...and then move to Seattle. So we were able to make a compromise where I could get off this rock...and keep my sanity. Hope this helps!!

Posted : May 15, 2006 7:13 pm
Posts: 3919
Famed Member

Unfortunately, this is classic!! Often this kind of disagreement is actually cause for couples to split up.

And since you weren't happy in the first place, not having a car only added to your feeling of discontent and isolation.

I'm glad you've worked out a compromise that is satisfactory to you both. Good luck.

Posted : May 15, 2006 9:15 pm
Posts: 5404
Illustrious Member

Eddie: I thank you for sharing that info and wish you all the best back in PA. I have to agree with Linda J that disagreements between couples is a big cause for both return to the states, or more frequently, for ONE of them to return! I am glad your marriage is intact and maybe you all understand something new about each other! "That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger!"

To others: The old "Settlers Book" (circa 1993 or so) used to talk about a "settling-in period." This is the period after you move when you are confronted with the various differences in life in the islands. The settling in has to do with finding a way to deal with the differences, learning to live with them.

Posted : May 15, 2006 9:59 pm
Posts: 436
Reputable Member

Puleeeeeze, nice try Jewel

Posted : May 16, 2006 1:30 pm
Posts: 0
New Member

ya jewel, thats a pretty bold statement....

Posted : May 16, 2006 1:56 pm
Posts: 4
New Member

May I call you Ed.

Right now am in Manhattan NYC, sitting in the Parsons school of design lab and all I could think of is, "I wish I had an ok paying job and the ability to sit on Cane bay's shore everyday after work".

I can smell its raw salt and hear the sound of the soft waves that is distinctive only to Cane Bay, St. Croix, USvI.

hmmm....ok am back to reality, hey before you leave, do you know anyone who is hiring?

On a serious note - Sorry it didn't work-out:( and I wish you all the best in PA...........

Posted : May 16, 2006 7:11 pm
(@Eddie Buck)
Posts: 20
Eminent Member

Hello Trinismiles,
yes, you may call me "Ed" if you'd like. Eddie Buck is just a nickname anyways. Are you being serious about a job? or do you think you'll stick around NYC for awhile. I totally miss being up North. Right now, I'm sitting here closing my eyes imagining myself at the Parsons School of Design lab. 😉
So, how long did you live in St Croix? and how long have you been back to the States? And what brought you back to NYC anyway?

Posted : May 17, 2006 12:23 pm
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