Do you feel the US mainland influences living in the USVI? Political, etc???
To further explain, do you feel like you are still living in the US or in a foreign country. I'm talking as far as is there the same buracuracy as in the US mainland or do you feel like you are in a foreign country? We lived in Alaska for over 8 years (my spouse for 18 years) and other then having the same government policy, we didn't feel much like we lived in the US, perhaps because we were so far from the mainland. We wondered if the USVI had the same feeling or if you still felt like you were living in Florida or Illinois. Does that help?
"Everything seems so different, now that everything's changed." Nope, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore. Culture is quite different, politics is a whole different level. Expectations are radically lower here. The sun is warmer and the sea is prettier. We have Mocko Jumbies!
Very much so compared with other Caribbean islands (obviously because they are the U.S. Virgin Islands). KMart, McDonald's, AT&T etc, etc
Seems like there are as many Americans there as in Miami - not sure if that says more about the V.I. or Miami? LOL An interesting mix of cultures. However, some of the frustrations of the other islands are also there - don't try to get things done in a hurry, be prepared for power cuts etc
Because we are a territory, not a state, and pretty far geographically from the upper 48, we are often reminded that we are a small speck in the blue sea. Our laws are supposed to be consistent with the Cinstitution, but the way it works practically is often something else. We are different from other Caribbean islands, but they influence us as well. Haitians and the folks from the DR flock here for opportunities they will never have. And it is warmer than Alaska! 😉
The stateside influences evident to me after decades of living here are mostly the normal trappings of 'progress' :
Cable TV - once it became available on a widespread basis it greatly influenced the culture, more than the previous simple exposure to mostly Caribbean radio media.
The ease of owning and maintaining an automobile - we now experience traffic jams and are less neighborhood oriented.
Communication - Computers and telephone - although it was years behind in coming here the pace of modern communication arrived and is now the norm - cellular phones are an expected basic possession.
Food - increased availability of many new products and markets forever changed the cuisine and shopping habits.
Shopping - although nowhere near the 'big box' mentality of the mainland we now have Home Depot, 2 K-marts, and a collection of better stocked stores that certainly have fostered a' have it now 'attitude.
Overall the relative isolation feeling is disappearing and the friendliness and morality previously apparent in a small town way are eroding.
Many mainlanders move here and try to change things to- ' like they do at home ' but there is a fine and respected Caribbean mind set that does slow that effect down but that population is aging and younger generations are more exposed to mainland ideas through travel, internet, and education. Certainly more opportunities are available for personal advancement on island from these changes but it is a lot less materialistic overall then the mainland. Many people do take the time to smell the sea and flowers and are less judgmental of others ideas and lifestyles. It is a very accepting society and social standing is less important in choice of friends.
This is only my personal observations - like anywhere -- 'the good old days' are in the mind of the aged.
I hope you can respond to this. Can you go into more details about living in a foreign country.
I live in So California, I was interested in moving there.
Here's what's happening all across the U.S. Racial tensions are very high. I am a black female, and it's worse than it was when the republicans first took office.
I am so sure, Sarah Palin, McCain's running mate promised to turn over her medical records. She never did. Tomorrow is election day.
I stress this because, if I wanted a job at Target, I would have to take a tb test, drug test, background check, and in some cases hepatitis. I can see already, that if McCain win this election, it will be more of the same, because they are not following the rules, constitution or anything else. Racial tensions are at the highest I've ever seen in my life.
On the other hand...if you want to work in the food industry here, you need a health card....eeeeewwww!! (chuckles!...you have to poo in a li'l tiny cup and take it to a lab to be tested for worms...eeeewwww!!!) But now IF they have film that day, you get your picture taken like a driver's license and it IS considered a valid form of Gov't I.D....(still eeewww!):-o
thanks for posting. No, I don't use drugs. A drug test wouldn't be a problem. I guess I was venting my frustrations about the Veep getting away with not providing her medical records.
I lived near the beach now, but, as I said, this is getting to be a place no one likes anymore.
Here in California, the tensions are high, not just racial, but also gay & lesbians. There's a ballot measure to reverse same sex marriages, prop 8. I voted against it. Here's why, they were allowed to marry, so why take it away. Besides, most men love to see two women together, but they can't marry? LOL. The mormons was behind this. But, I feel like this religious movement going on here is ridiculous, and fraudulent. They are such hypocrites. Especially, since within the last year, we've had a mega-church minister who had to step down due to same -sex relationship (his secret was out), and a U.S. Senator, having to step down for the same thing. Oh, BTW, I am as straight as they come. It's just, that's none of my business what people do behind closed doors.
I really need a more relaxed atmosphere. This is not it.
Any suggestions about where to try to get a condo. I hope you have good things to say about condo row- I'd like to be close to shopping.
Anjell, a visit to STX would be in your best interest and would provide a base of reality for your dream. We don't have a Target so no worries there. STX has all the same problems as the states in some degree and the merged west Indian culture isn't the easiest to understand. We don't pay a lot of attention to the rest of the world. The culture embraces a lot of values that have been forgotten or not taught in the states, like respect and tolerance. I've never experienced any racial tension and to my limited knowledge the LGBT people aren't harassed or vexed.
You have to come and get the vibe and see if your vibe can sync.Plus STX is an incredibly beautiful Island.
Anjell, you really need to visit. You want to be on Condo Row to be close to shopping?!!! If a trip to KMart is your idea of shopping, then you will be fine. Also, I don't want to disillusion you on the subject of racism, and maybe it is because I have never lived anywhere where the population is particularly racist, but I observed plenty of racism in STX. Not really overt, but plenty of "white people this" and "black people that". Where I worked it was like apartheid, with the white people taking their breaks in one area, and the black people in another.
STX is very beautiful, and there are so many great things to experience there. But I think you would have a much better chance of finding what you want if you are looking for great beaches and scuba diving, than to move there to escape racism and political corruption.
I appreciate everyone's comments and feedback. We've wanted to move from the states for about 10 years now and are finally in a position to do so. We've been to the US and B- VI 4 times now in 1 year time, we love it in the caribbean. We'll be back to the VI's in March 2009. I love the slow pace of life and the laid back atmosphere. Although it quite dampend one of our vacations, I love that if the ferry breaks down, you can't get to the other islands. It's part of the charm. It's mostly all the US politics that we seek to remove ourselves from hense the reason for my initial question. Like I mentioned above, we did live in Alaska and had all these things but it's too cold there! We are now in Texas and it's not the type of culture that we're after, there isn't a culture in Houston!!!
A note to Anjell - On our trip to STT in June I met a (white) woman who said that she feels prejudice from black people. She said that she assumes it's because the white people have invaded their islands. She said at the bank, the post office, everywhere. Anyway, she'd been living there for 8 months or so and wasn't sure she was going to stay, I'm sure there were many other reasons. My point is, it doesn't matter where you move to if you're "running" from someting because as they say "no matter where you live, you will always be there". Maybe now that Barak is our new president, the US for you will change and you'll be happy living on the beach in California.
I do agree wit the others that you should never move anywhere until you've visited, also visit and live like a local so you get the real experience, not the "hotel" experience.
Thanks again to everyone for there feedback.
I love the slow pace of life and the laid back atmosphere
Two sides of a coin. Its great on vacation not so great when your at the bank, grocery store, etc... The thing you love most in your spouse is often what drives you crazy after a while. Maybe you'll like it when you live every day with it maybe you won't.
There is definitely racism here but its not just towards white people (although its worse if your white) but towards any transplant. You stick out like a sore thumb when islands population is only 55000 and everyone know everyone's family for generations. Some people fit in well after a year or so and most go back.
Public schools are awful and crime is bad. Did you guys see the article in the paper about the woman that was left to die in Gallow Bay after they ran over her twice? Its a little like the wild west, you've got to take care of your own. With the economy so bad here its likely to get worse. I would seriously think about bringing any kid here when you can easily go somewhere else.