My PMV Journal
Day 1. My flight from Tbilisi to Istanbul was delayed 9 hours. I missed the flight to JFK and the flight to STT, with a one-day delay in the itinerary. Everyone along the way - with one exception - helped make adjustments.
I was amazed at how good the service was: Turkish Airlines, the people in Turkey, American Airlines at JFK, and, in STT, both Budget Rental, and the Green Iguana Hotel.
In the JFK departure lounge, one person was trashing STT Budget. I found the people at Budget to be exceptionally friendly, helpful, and professional. They gave me a brand new Yaris in perfect condition.
Thanks to this board, since arrival, I've made sure to greet everyone with a "Good afternoon" and a pause. I have been overwhelmed by the smiles and pleasant return of greetings.
Driving on the left posed no problem for me, especially as the driver's seat is on the left, but I suppose it caused a few heads to shake when I tended twice to find myself on the right side of the road! There really are lots of cars in Charlotte Amalie.
Oh, the exception? Comfort Inn JFK. But I'm not going to dwell on the one exception.
It's good to be back!
The Green Iguana is an excellent little hotel. Sue, the proprietress, made my arrival a very positive re-introduction to VI. We're on Blackbeard's Hill, with a beautiful view of the water, hills, and valley. Wi-fi in my room is fast. (Not sure of who the ISP is.)
The people I've encountered - at shops, Post Office, banks, KFC, Domino's, FedEx, car rental, etc. - have been lovely. I always greet properly, with a "Good morning," a smile, and a pause, and the greeting is reciprocated. Sometimes, I am greeted first.
Found The Fruit Bowl in the Wheatley Center (presumably named in memory of "The Mother of African American Literature," Phillis Wheatley). I was delighted by the beauty and variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. The prices seemed reasonable. A bakery is next door.
Mary and Lois at 1st Bank helped me to open an account. I have not seen such dedicated customer service in many years.
Weather has been perfect - warm but not oppressively hot.
There were three cruise ships in town. Passengers struck up conversations with me as I strolled alone. Very friendly.
All in all, it is everything I had hoped for.
Another exquisite day in St Thomas!
Three days in America's Paradise, and I haven't yet been in the water! Business before pleasure.
Today, my real estate agent and I visited 12 condos on the East End. The first was perfect. The second was better. We'll look at a few more this weekend.
Saving on restaurant costs, I've had to find food markets, and I found two more today: Food Center on the west side of Red Hook and Pueblo here in town.
I keep the car radio tuned to 91.3 FM from Puerto Rico. All classical music.
So far, so good.
Another exquisite day in St Thomas!
I know your happy to be here and all but all of your posts are so over the top happy I can't help to wonder if you are seeing everything through rose colored glasses. Nothing wrong with being happy, I'm glad you like it. But no place is 100% wonderful so it just kinda seems odd. Everything in life has challenges, nothing is perfect. It'll help people more who are thinking of relocating if you post both sides. 🙂 Best of luck.
When I first moved to St. Croix all my post were over the top happy. You would have thought I was in heaven. I still feel that way and we have had quite a few misfortunes. It isn't what happens in life it is how you deal with it. Some people see good most of the time and some dwell on the negative. I am not saying either is bad. It is just a difference in personalities.
I understand not dwelling on the negative but not mentioning them at all to someone who's thinking of moving here seems more then unfair. You wouldn't buy a house or car without checking it out and inspecting it and know what the pros and cons are. After living here a year you know the pros and cons for you at least. You wouldn't say there are no cons, just that the pros in your case far out way the cons.
Well Betty the OP is posting HIS experiences and started this thread titled, My PMV Journal. You posted that his comments were over the top happy and perhaps he had on rose colored glasses then you went on to say that it would be beneficial to others considering a move to the VI if he posted BAD things. Maybe this happy person should just be allowed to post his experiences they way he wants too. You can always start your own thread to warn all people considering a move to the VI how scary, bad, awful, dangerous, slow, and inefficient life is in the VI. In fact, when I talk to people who want to move here and they ask questions about the BAD things in the VI, I always refer them to this message board and tell them to read all your posts for the real facts.
Edward, just post what's going on & your impressions. Your experiences and opinions are valid & you seem to be going about things in a great way - not just sunbathing & taking a vacation and calling it a pre-move visit. Looking forward to more of your posts on this thread. Thanks for starting it.
There are so many negative things that happen, it's nice to hear the positive. 🙂
It's been 3 days & so far so good - yeah!
Betty, give him time to experience the joys of WAPA & other customer service challenged aspects of island life...his post may sour. But then again he could make lemon aide from the lemons! STT is different than STX, and I personally have had the honor to enjoy both islands. STT is more modern, friendly & a mini NYC smack dab in the Caribbean. STX is laid back, reserved and has a lot of maturing to do, especially in the form of "any service". I'm not wanting to pick on you, you have a wealth of experience and information....and from bits and pieces of your posts, you've seen about everything! Maybe we can start a post called ......."the good, bad & ugly side of island life" & you can share in depth more 😉
Tammy I can always count on you to overact. You read my posts with a very sour voice in your head. I did not pick a fight with him or even say anything mean. I even used smileys faces for gods sake. You are also not the moderator so I don't know why you keep trying to tell me where I can and can not post.
I tried to respond to you with logic, explaining why I had posted what I had posted. And for some reason that made you go off the deep end. I have no idea why talking about pros and cons of island life threw you in the deep end. I'm a very even tempered person, I am not the emotional type at all. I again would ask to reread my post with a open mind.
My first swim. Magen's Bay. One of the most beautiful beaches in the world. See the webcam at http://www.gotostthomas.com/live/magens.html
Magen's Bay is one of only two beaches that charge a fee. $4 for a non-resident plus $2/car. Very clean. Changing rooms. Park a few meters from the beach - you can keep an eye on the car.
Speaking of clean - been here 4 days and have yet to see a bit of litter. Fine of up to $1,000 for littering.
Driving has not been a problem - except for one ill-advised ascent on narrow streets above Charlotte Amalie. Got to the top - dead end. Had to back down steep slope 100 meters. Fortunately, my car had no love taps with any of the parked cars, poles, etc.
Have never worn sandals. Bought my first pair. Not $250 from Zora. $25 from Payless. Gotta have sandals here.
Little ants. Have never seen such tiny formicidae. Quick little guys.
Found Office Max at Tutu Mall. Bought some envelopes to send out copies of my w book.
Actually, I was looking for an alternate return to the city from Red Hook; Route 30 was backed up at least 5 km.
Still have not found any rudeness. Drivers are the most courteous I've seen on 5 continents. I've asked for help many times and have gotten help every time. "Good morning!" was the best pre-visit advice I'd received.
BTW, I've been in 3 wars and survived 2 terrorist attacks. Maybe my positive attitude helped me to get through the tough times. Thanks for all the posts. They are all helpful to the participants of this Board.
Day 5 - Saturday
Today, my real estate agent and I visited the last two condos on our list. At least 10 meet all my criteria: A few at Bolongo, others at Sapphire.
Yesterday, I had a chance to drive back to the areas on my own. Without heavy traffic, they're only about 15-20 minutes from town.
Two driving issues: (1) There are a few hilltops where you can hardly see the road over the hood. (2) Some drivers seem to have trouble with the center-line going around tight curves. Defensive driving is a must.
Yesterday, there were no cruise ships. Today 2 or 3. Fortunately, cruise pax don't drive. They walk...and walk.
STT Post Office is readily accessible, but today it was jammed. Wait to park. 15-20 customers in queue, 2 clerks.
Payless sandals working well. No blisters.
BTW, am I an optimist? For the past 3 years, I've been giving a lecture called "The Decline and Fall of the American Economic Empire." Two-three years ago, people were calling me a pessimist.
I too am enjoying your posts. About the 15-20 minute drive....that is NOT normal. Don't be deceived by that one time drive. Do it on a Monday morning, Bolongo to town...brutal, or on a Friday afternoon, town to anywhere east...double brutal. (not just Mondays and Fridays, either)
The hilltops and center line driving, you get used to. Just stay defensive.
Your post office experience was about norm. Some people use the private mail services because of the faster service.
If you stay long enough, you will probably spring for the Zora's. Well worth it, and it kinda makes you a "local".
Keep enjoying, and keep us updated!
All the best,