Relocating to VI from the States
I am new to the board but feel it is my responsibility to let people know the facts. I have been on St Thomas for six months. I read all of the advice and comments on this great board and many others. The fact is - it is an awful place to live.
If you want a third world, dangerous adventure - this is the place. If you want to be treated like an unwanted guest - this is the place.
My wife and I are both professionals with a great deal to offer yet the people of this island are primarily backwards violent and unpleasant.
Living here is very expensive. At least $5000 per month for two if you want to live well in a "Northern" safe beach area.
Corruption is like inner city Detroit without the good roads. Police with guns that can not spell their own names let alone direct traffic- Government officials stealing funds and laughing about it.
Where but South America can you see an entry level Government employee with a $1000000 house. Do not let your wife go out alone. Do not commit the ultimate sin of DWW.
I realize this sounds bad but please listen. I have lived from coast to coast stateside, and from North to South. I have never worried as much about my families safety as in the USVI. At the very least - visit for a month. Drive around. Watch the drunks and human waste that cover this island interact. Then decide if it is worth the risk.
While some of this 1st time posters comments strike a chord of truth - many of them are untrue and misleading.
First off the fact is -- this is NOT a terrible place to live. Many, many people are very happy in the USVI. It is not a dangerous adventure living here and the people who do live here are NOT primarily backward and violent.
There are certainly examples of violent and backward behavior here as well as anywhere.
Living here is expensive but $5,000 a month would surely be in the top 1 or 2% of examples.
The DWW mentioned is, 'driving while white' for those who wouldn't have thought of such a crude acronym, and the use of it in this way may well be very representative of this posters attitude the last 6 months here. It is not easy to live here if you feel any elements of racism in your thoughts and actions, for sure. You might even feel unwanted.
Many Govt. officials here do serve for 'public service' - they may well come from families who can afford a very nice house without stealing from the Govt. - there is corruption in our Governments from the local to the National level.
To consider the island covered with drunks and human waste is wrong and not the case.
Take this original post to be a sad true life tale for one person but not the intrinsic truth of island life.
I have lived here over 30+ years, raised a family and consider it a friendly and welcoming home.
I am having deja vu about this thread. Didn't we just have this discussion? I will only disagree with one of his statements:
"The fact is - it is an awful place to live."
It is not a fact, but someguy's opinion. One that is shared by some- not all. I am glad you posted, someguy. Sorry you are having such a tough time. At least you'll be able to tell tales once you get back home.;)
Wow Someguy, I hope things get better for you.
While I have never been to St. Thomas and look forward to my pre-move vacation and relocation, first of all, I would like to say that it seems that you went in with the wrong attitude. From my research and from the many blogs and comments I've viewed, its comprised of a community that's not focused on your accomplishments, education and status. The goal is to let life happen naturally and not try to control it. It seems as if you're bringing your stateside mentailty into your island paradise.
Having lived in Detroit, Atlanta and visited major US cities from LA to New York, I can tell you that a majority of their roads are not well paved, and Detroit has never been known for its good streets. While in some places more than others, corruption and crime are all over the world. And your use of the term "DWW", which is the opposite of the original term "DWB" only shows your own prejudices and discomfort for the majority of the VI community. It's obvious that you're not even accustomed to US inner (urban) cities because of your disregard for mankind as you refer to them as "drunks and human waste". Every US state has an area that is prone to the homeless, mentally ill, and disadvantaged, and its mostly the downtown/inncer city areas, and while USVI is different than any US city, it should not come as a shock to come upon these situations.
And the VIs can correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems as if USVI does not have an exclusive posh area of town with enough distance from commoners as someguy would like!
With all of your education and everything you have to offer, you're lack TWO of the most important skills of them all-PEOPLE SKILLS & CULTURAL DIVERSITY!
I have only been here 3 months, but I do not find live so unbearable or so different. Things are a little slower and laid back ( like old time south, which I'm familiar with), the young people at the grocery stores are more in tuned to ther lives and friends than customer service, and ALL politics are corrupt. I have never felt unsafe, but do not go out honky tonkin at night. My daughter did a semester in Limerick University when the town was the murder capital of Ireland, a friend of her's told me "if you want to find trouble you can" that applies everywhere.
Like my mother always said "Nothing good ever happens after midnight".....If you are dumb enough to walk down a dark alley in the middle of the night or ask someone for drugs or hang out at the banana split with your bush-cheney t-shirt, then guess what? I got no sympathy for what happens to you. people come down here expecting paradise but just like anywhere else, once you move there and have to make a living it becomes a reality. i'm sorry if you've run into some unpleasantries, but that's life. I have been here 2 months (don't kill me message board gods) but I have found that this island lives by the rule of karma. you get back what you give. treat others with respect and it will be returned (maybe not right away..but in the end..hey that's how karma works) also, the others are right, this island isn't for everyone.
The one time post from "someguy" is actually very important. I hope that he is able to post again and give a more detailed account of his situation on St Thomas. I am assuming it is St Thomas by a few of his references.
I can see how difficult life might be if you are on the wrong side of the VI police. Someguy has painted a very accurate picture of our police department. Despite a real effort to improve, they should in my opinion be disbanded and replaced by competent well trained officers from the states. I think most of us agree that the police are a major problem.
As far as government and government employees, he is right again. They are often crooked and incompetent. Yes,yes I know that many good people are working to solve that problem, but the fact is.. he is right.
However, despite these problems many of us have found that the VI is a wonderful place to live. Someguy for whatever reason has not. I would like to hear more specifics that motivated him to write such an angry account of his time here.
well said stxer. No place is perfect. And if you don't think that most politician's are crooked then you better open your eyes. In the VI it is at least open. They police have a unique problem, they are related to the crooks one way or the other. But they are trying to make things better. We have an illegal population that is out of control. And nothing good happens after night. This is so true. Try going to the parts of NY after midnight and see how that world is.
One guys opinion does not make it true for others. But it is true for that one guy.
I will say that the image of the VI i paradise. There are many things that prevent it from being paradise. But it is the best thing that I have seen and I love to live here! But that is my view, perhaps not others.
My advise it is best for this guy to MOVE ON to his paradise, if it is not the VI!!!!!!!
A few thoughts:
As my friend says, "STX is Paradise, NOT heaven!"
Unlike most larger cities where you know where the "bad" areas are, and you can go months or longer without driving through them, Any small island you will have to drive through areas that you would rather not, in order to get to somewhere you would like to go.
While it would be nice to bring in a new police force, that is not realistic. The pay is far too low and the cost of living far too high to attract the people we need.
While I have heard stories about discrimination, and I'm sure there is some, both ways, I have yet to experience any. Granted I don't live there full time, but have spent over 67 weeks since Dec of 04. Sure I got a ticket for driving while talking on a cell phone, would he have stopped me if I wasn't white? Who knows! I was in the wrong.
I have found the people, as a whole, to be more friendly than here in AZ. The drivers far more courteous, not better mind you, then in AZ, CA, NV, or any where else I have driven. Maybe STT drivers aren't as courteous as STX drivers, I don't know as I have never driven on STT. I personally didn't feel that the people I ran into on STT were as friendly. I ONLY MET THE ONES IN THE TOURIST AREAS, and I do cut them some slack since they have to deal with sometimes thousands of them daily and many I'm sure are rude.
People sure are curious critters and the VI sure are pretty, aren't they?
The gunshots I heard from home last night were further away this time; I wasn't at Coconuts when the armed thugs robbed the restaurant and customers a coupla weeks ago; and I'm not among the 65 homicides so far this year so...life is good.
I'm really sorry to hear all of your perceptions re the VI. Everything is relative: there is good and bad in every country, city or state. You need only to see the very good thru the bad.
I lived in CA all my life and worked in South Central L.A. for the State. I had to carry a gun to work. Couldn't stop at traffic lights or stop signs (due to car jackings) until I got out of the city. Alot of the folks there were gang bangers: bloods, crips and others. I managed to make friends with those that I didn't agree with nor condone the way they lived or conducted their biz on the streets. Their upbringing was certainly different than mine; however, I gave them respect and they showed it back. They even gave me a level of protection. Nothing ever happened to me or my car.
I was given good advice by a Crip (the security guard at my parking garage): "if you act like a victim, you'll become one." I never forgot that.
I've lived in other foreign countries and traveled to other countries and never felt the fear you describe. Even here in the VI I'm not fearful. I'm elderly and disabled and have been helped by many, caring V Islanders.
Corruption in the PD? I think the VIPD has done a great job in ridding problem people from it's ranks and in trying to combat rising crime. They don't corner the market on that. It happens everywhere. And unemployment with no jobs to go to doesn't help either.
If you want to talk corruption, go back to the US and take a look at the Congress and Senate. That will be a good place to start to fight against corruption. It's rife with it.
someguy sounds angry.
And I have to wonder whether or not they are for real.
Why would someone move here and THEN discover all the things they think are awful? :S
Kindof dumb if you ask me. For his sake, I hope they were transferred here and didn't have a choice in the matter.
My wife, teenager, and I thoroughly enjoy living on STX and have rolled with the inconveniences.
I realize some of my post was harsh but anyone considering relocating to USVI needs to be aware that things are very different then they appear on the surface. A week on vacation here is not what one will experience while living here. Some could say that is the same anywhere, but it is not entirely true. I have been to hundreds, maybe thousands of towns in several dozen countries, including spending extensive time in Puerto Rico and Barbados. This place is in fact as I stated. A Third world country attached to the US postal system.
I am only saying these things so anyone considering moving (researching) will maybe see this and heed my words.
I realize some people like it here, some people like inner city Chicago or Clevelend. To each there own.
To answer some posters. I was not transferred here. I have a good job. I do not drink or hang out at bars and I live in a very desirable location - also - I am in fact a real person. Yet the fact is I was quite surprised by the overall local attitude by some STT residents. I have spent some time in STX and found it much nicer, kinder and safer feeling.
One last example. I moved here from a town of 60,000. We had about 6 murders a year. Look at the stats here 400-500% state side murders and try to defend moving your family here. Well, bye for now. Here are some opinions from others.
"I have been to hundreds, maybe thousands of towns in several dozen countries, including spending extensive time in Puerto Rico and Barbados."
The above quoted statement explains a lot.
Some people are satisfied some of the time, but none of the people are satisfied all of the time.