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Ever since I began posting here a few months ago about relocateing ive gotten a few good pieces of advice. However Ive gotten a strange string of what varies from warnings to threats about moving to stx. ive been told things like every beach is covered with garbage, I wont be able to shop because the locals will refuse to serve me, works impossible to find because once again locals will refuse to hire me , homeless are everywhere begging for money liquor etc, and power goes off and on every day. I have to believe most of this is false or at least blown out of proportion. please help.

Topic starter Posted : March 4, 2010 1:50 am
Trusted Member

You're getting PMs or you've just been reading the threads and coming to conclusions? If you are getting directly harassed - is it by one person? have you contacted the board/page?
In response to your concerns... Beaches are generally cleaner here than most other places I've been - we go to the beach much more often here than we did living in So. California.
Shopping is not a problem - Cash is widely accepted. Mastercard and visa too - less so on the AMX + Discover.
Finding a job stinks - The economy here is still in the hole, and people say we are about a year behind the mainland in getting back to normal.
If you are willing to try different lines of work, be honest, show up on time, and work hard - you will quickly build a reputation as a good worker and be hired.
There is a good amount of homeless and low income people on the islands - it goes back to the economy and many many other issues.
if you've ever been to a big city, you've probably been asked for change by a pan-handler? Same thing - but our city's not so big.
Power? We've been here a few months and its gone off a few times - sometimes we've had warning that they were working on the lines, sometimes not. It has not been out overnight (knock on wood), usually just an hour or so. I heard that with the last hurricane ( a couple of years ago) the East end of STX was out of power for 9 days.
Businesses (read: restaurants) often have generators... and they like you to spend your cash in their place... this seems like a circular conversation.

Posted : March 4, 2010 2:26 am
Active Member

Ive recieved about 2 dozen pms since joining and 8 were just complete horror stories and warnings that i shouldnt move my wife puts it down to people being dramatic but were planning our move in june/july so i needed to ask

Topic starter Posted : March 4, 2010 2:33 am
Trusted Member

Although STX is not heaven, it is certainly not as bad as you've been told. Please take this with a grain of salt, as it's based on my 1-week and 1-month PMVs rather than years of experience. I'll be moving in July, too.

There are plenty of gorgeous beaches with no garbage, although there are some that could use some TLC. It appears that there are groups who do go out and do beach clean-ups, which is awesome.

I have never had any difficulty being helped by anyone while shopping. That comes up a lot, and I don't know if it's just that I haven't run into the right disgruntled shop worker yet, or if it's that I was really well prepared by this board. I do think it helps to remember to say "Good morning/afternoon/night," to smile, to be extra polite, and to be extra patient. I see people here in Phoenix shout to a store employee from down the aisle, "Restroom?" (meaning where is it), and that would never fly on STX. (And if you're wondering, no, I don't blend in or look like a local. I think it was quite obvious that I wasn't from there.)

There are homeless people, but they are generally harmless, and they're not "everywhere." As CAtoSTX said, it's like any big city... and I would say it's not even that bad. And it's definitely not like Grenada, where I had one friendly but annoying guy attach himself to me as my "tour guide," and I finally had to walk by the police station and threaten to go in if he didn't leave me alone.

During my one-month PMV, the power went out 2 or 3 times, and never for long enough that it was much of an inconvenience. We never worried about the food in the fridge going bad, for example. That used to happen all the time when I was growing up in Virginia.

My guess is that your suspicions about the validity of those PMs are correct. I would give more weight to comments that people are willing to post out in the open. If you're still concerned, go check it out, at least for a week, just to see for yourself. Don't feed the trolls. Good luck with your move!!

Posted : March 4, 2010 2:56 am
Linda J

If you are willing to list the names of those who sent you PMs, we could better evaluate the advice.

We are a couple in their early 60s who moved here almost 7 years ago. We found jobs, rent a nice house and generally have a pretty good life. Perfect? Certainly not. But we like it.

You say in an earlier post that you cannot afford a pre-move visit. Have you ever visited the USVI? If not, moving sight unseen is a risky business. But all you have to lose is time and money. I would get round trip tickets, just in case.

Posted : March 4, 2010 8:25 am
Advanced Member

Well, my partner and I have been here four and a half years. We live in the rain forest and we love it here. I *occasionally* get stopped by panhandlers, not often. Our beaches are cleaner than most beaches I have ever seen. I do get irritated by people that come up Creque Dam road to bathe or picnic or wash their cars and leave behind their trash, but it isn't horrific.

I have never been refused service at a shop or a restaurant or anywhere else. I start every conversation with a stranger or a shop keeper or an older person with "good morning, etc" Once you know someone well and they are my age or younger, you can get away with "all right?" 🙂

Work was difficult for both of us, and remains a struggle. We have to budget carefully and are broke more often than not. But we can afford to pay rent, pay the bills, drive cheap cars, get insurance and occasionally go out to eat. We have to scrimp for something special like our upcoming trip to Ohio in July. Beaches are free and it is pretty cheap to bring a cooler and spend the day.

I do recommend a pre-move visit, but to be fair, Tabra and I did not have one. We came here on what would have been a week long pmv and never left. It was a struggle in the first few months, but I wouldn't trade our time here for anything.

Posted : March 4, 2010 9:00 am
Advanced Member

jynxofaos: while I never PM'd you, I think I recognize pieces of some of my posts---not being served at IHop, messy beaches and bums begging for money. I must say that the other posters on this thread are correct. The Ihop thing was, I think, isolated. I have not experienced anything like that. Many beaches are pretty clean, some do need TLC but we go out from time to time and do our bit to clean them up. The power went off twice in the past few days for about an hour, but hadn't gone out in several months before that. As long as you don't get all starry-eyed about living in the Caribbean, come with a realization that here, too, there are problems like everywhere else, you should be really happy here. We, too, did not do one of those PMV's and we've been here for over 3 years so far.

A place, whether it is here or Chicago or Timbuktu is only what you make of it. Just make sure you have enough money to hang on until jobs fall into place, which, as noted in posts above, they will.

I apologize if I gave you the wrong impression. I sometimes rant when what IS rubs up against what COULD be. So.....come on down!

Posted : March 4, 2010 10:19 am
Trusted Member

There is definitely truth to what you have been told. But if they told you in absolutes, well that's exgerrating. Some beaches are used as a dump, you will find appliances, trash, burned up cars, etc. While this is absolutely horrible, its only a few and mostly ones you wouldn't want to swim at even if they were clean. People will often dump trash off on our little "highway", that is one of the reasons you will find more stray dogs living in those intersections. But trash here has become less of an issue since we came here 7 years ago. There have been serveral "campaigns" during this time to clean up the island and it seems to be working to me.

Now shopping can be a problem. You will have to learn how to become island patient. Everyone has a different experience with this. Usually at a grocery store sooner or later someone will cut in front of you and the check out lady may shuck her theet at you. Most of us have experienced this before. Its not a big deal. Just take a book with you and relax. As they get to know you and you them, greet them and try and make friends it always changes for the better. People don't change jobs like they do stateside, they stay in them forever so always make friends at the bank, the grocery store, post office etc... It will make a very big difference. Now downtown shopping. I've done it with girlfirends from here and stateside tourist friends. Some shops are always great some shops are a bit of a pill. But that is life, its a very minor problem. We don't have the same level of customer service at stateside. Remember you're in a different culture and you have to learn their rules, and the biggest one is building relationships. Is there some racism towards statesiders, yes I think there is, but I think it goes both ways and is a minor rather then major problem. Especially compared to some other island.

Homeless and mental health care here is awful. There if very little of both. Our homeless are either drug addicts or mentally unwell or both. We are not over run with them though. After you been here a year you will even know there names, and where they usally hang out etc... Think of this as a small town in the south in the 50s. And yes everyone gossips and kinda knows everyone's business. Always ere on the side of being nice no matter the circumstance and you will be rewarded in the long run, because everyone kinda knows everyone, or is only seperated from knowing them by a friend or two.

Power does go off. When we lived in la grande princess about 4 years ago it would go off once or twice weekly. Now it goes off maybe every other month to every 3 months and usually only for a hour. So before you rent ask your landlord. People down here are generally honest and helpful. Unless you're talking to a lawyer or contractor (just kidding guys!). The kind of problems you are going to have here are different. Thats why this board always recommends a long pmv. You might be a mosquito magnet and it will make you life miserable and you'll wanna go back. Or the expensive plane tickets to see family will get old. There are so many things that you may not like and have never thought to ask or there may be only wonderful things that cement your desire to move. Come for at least 2 weeks and try to live like a local and see what you think and talk to everyone while here.

Posted : March 4, 2010 2:10 pm
Ms Information
Advanced Member

I think that Linda J said it best..."all you have to lose is time and money". St Croix is a wonderful place, but it it is probably NOT what your imagination told you to expect. If you do not make a PMV you are more likely to be surprised and possibly disappointed.

I suspect whoever contacted you was a 'do-gooder' who was trying to help you prevent a possible mistake. So if you can afford the 'time and money'...come on down.

Posted : March 4, 2010 2:19 pm
New Member

make note even though the vi has us flag remember that

1. U R IN THE CARIBEAN aka island time
2. yes there is crime, were in this world is there no crime?
3. utilities- yes the power goes off an yes u have cisterns for water an yes u mite not be able to have highest speed internet
4. talk to the locals with respect an honor i.e good mawnin, good afternoon... give thanks.. u get the point
5. the trash on the beach i dont understand this 1 have u ever been to beach in the states? pure scandle bags an plastic bottles
6. have u been to anywhere else in the caribean? ja,dr, trini,haiti well if u have then u know the answer

an at the end of the day yes the vi is a great place to live

Posted : March 4, 2010 2:47 pm

We have yet to experience any problems shopping. In fact we have experienced a couple of times that locals let us cut in front of them because we only had a couple of items.
The drivers are much more polite than we are used to in AZ.
The people seem to be very friendly as a whole.
The beaches we go to seem to be very clean. Cane bay, butler bay, shoy's.
We don't live here but split our time - just to be specific.

Posted : March 6, 2010 10:53 pm
A Davis
Trusted Member

I have never had any difficulty being helped by anyone while shopping. That comes up a lot, and I don't know if it's just that I haven't run into the right disgruntled shop worker yet, or if it's that I was really well prepared by this board. I do think it helps to remember to say "Good morning/afternoon/night," to smile, to be extra polite, and to be extra patient. I see people here in Phoenix shout to a store employee from down the aisle, "Restroom?" (meaning where is it), and that would never fly on STX. (And if you're wondering, no, I don't blend in or look like a local. I think it was quite obvious that I wasn't from there.)

i enjoy when this topic comes up, especially when someone recognizes a cultural difference. if you were to go to maine, the french countryside, or new york, you will discover that people who live in the place where you visit, interact with you as they interact with each other. knowing the "social grease" puts you one step ahead!

my feeling is that as you enter the space of someone else it is considered polite to signify yourself... when i was younger, we'd ask if you did not "speak", and if you did not, you were expected to correct this. also, this asking for things without acknowledging the person there, as in the example, or interrupting a conversation without noting and excusing oneself. there are many virgin islanders who recognize that not everyone was brought up as they were, but for some, it is deeply offensive and boorish behavior, and the result is a sort of coolness.

Posted : March 7, 2010 10:08 am
Advanced Member

If St Croix was as pristine as the brochures, the place would be overrun.

We have our problems, but the climate, friendliness and natural beauty makes it a wonderful place to live, if you can afford to live here, and afford to do without some conveniences.

Posted : March 7, 2010 12:49 pm
Advanced Member

In response to the OP, there are some small but noisy interests who work actively to dissuade new people coming here to St Croix. There is enough information here and elsewhere about St Croix for anyone to form a reasonably clear picture of the island. Private, anonymous and negative correspondence shouldn't be given too much weight.

Posted : March 7, 2010 4:19 pm
Trusted Member

I agree with you 100% on that one:P

Posted : March 7, 2010 6:18 pm
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