Should I even bother moving to the VI?
I currently live in Los Angeles and after spending quite a bit of time in St. Lucia, I decided to try island life full time in the VI. I registered on this site today and after reading the postings, it "don't" look good. Lack of supplies, bugs, incompetent government, white people feeling prejudiced against (that's a first) , annoying rastas and no customer service. Ouch! Is it a good place to meet other single people? Where are you guys finding people to be friends with?
Having lived in orange county for a while I can say CA govt is better, but not that much better.
If you grew up in LA then you are used to a cultural mix up ethinity, but I grew in a border town and though I'm of mixed race, I look white and am used to prejudice, it rolls right off me. Its not a first for me. Some people are going to hate you because they think your shirt is ugly , some for the color of your skin. Doesnt really matter. And as far as the caribbean goes its not that bad here.
Lack of supplies? Lack of chain restaurants maybe, but I don't really consider that a loss, its not why I wanted to live here. Most things are more expensive here, but you have no sales tax and no state tax, so for some its a wash.
Bugs are bad, but they are in ANY tropical humid hot enviroment. If you want a lush paradise, its part of the price. LA may have perfect weather or no weather but its all concrete and traffic.
Never met an annoying rasta, you cant lump a whole group of people together like that.
Customer service overall is pretty bad. But its a different culture and they simply didnt grow up with it like we did stateside. You adjust after a couple of years.
I feel bad for my single friends on stx, but stt seems to be a different story.
Tons of people to be friends with, what is harder is losing them after a year or two.
There is always a price for paradise. Things are far from perfect on any of the islands, but no where is. The question is, is it a good fit for you?. Its a different culture and is ofter a hard transition for newcomers (after the honeymoons over) and on top of it all its not cheap. I don't think you can really compare st lucia and the usvi. Come for a pmv and see what you think for yourself.
Thank you so much for a speedy response. I have a phone job interview tomorrow. What in the world is a PMV? Keep seeing that everywhere. I'm a Criminal Defense Attorney. Are there courts on all the islands (I would assume so)?
PMV = Pre Move Visit
Many people recommend that you visit the island of choice and become familiar with what life would be like as a non-tourist... i.e. grocery shop, go to the post office, locate the drug store, look for housing and furnishings for housing... locate clothing stores where you would be comfortable purchasing ... etc...
I would add that a phone interview is fine, but I wouldn't uproot and move here on that basis. You really do need to come and scope things out for yourself.
Excellent screenname Norman!
Thanks Cory 😉
I don't know much about the details of the legal system here, but I would expect there to be a lot of opportunities for a criminal defense lawyer. We certainly have our share of criminals...
That said, I honestly don't know how successful you might be down here professionally representing many of our accused criminals with many of the preconceived notions you stated in your post? It seems like you might already have a prejudice against Rastafarians because you tend to lump them all in a group together (as Betty pointed out) and have flippantly, un-professionally described them as "annoying". Personally I would not want my lawyer (especially a defense lawyer) to be so quick to categorize, stereotype and offend (your statement is offensive to a Rastafarian, BTW). If you do it with one group of people, who knows what other groups you might also do so with...?
What happens if you have to represent a Rastafari? Or just someone with dreads who you might be quick to dismiss as an "annoying rasta" given that you seem to have no understanding of Rastafarian culture? Granted I don't know much about the law, but it seems to me (again, especially with defense attorneys) that you have to have a certain amount of empathy, understanding, or even respect for your clients....We have lots of crime (violent and non-violent) here and many of the criminals come from that culture you already are feeling uncomfortable with...if you cannot deal with that culture, or are going to have intrinsic problems with it from the outset, how can you effectively represent that client?
Come , make a PMV, see the legal system here, read the Daily News, talk to quite a few other attorneys, ask a lot of questions, if you have spent a lot of time in St Lucia it shouldn't be that big a change except, here it is US law.
The OP wrote what they said gathered from what they read on here. I don't believe you should condemn them for saying 'annoying rastas' if that is what they gathered was stated right here on this forum.
You might PM Onika. She's a lawyer, has lived in California, and is practicing on STT.
I went back and did a search of past messages containing the words "rasta" and "rastafarian" and no posts have stated they are "annoying." Please correct me if I am wrong... A couple posts from very long ago were actually quite offensive (unjustifiably) towards rasta's...but most posts were simple, un-offensive comments like the "the Rasta restaurant is quite good" or "what is the rasta culture like in the VI" blah blah blah...So I suspected, therefore, the OP came to that summary/conclusion of the "annoyance" themselves...They read something and made their own conclusions. Such conclusions do not come from nowhere.
Someone not inclined to stereotype, categorize etc etc in the first place is not likely to do so in an interpretation of other people's writing/posts that do not mention or even imply such stereotyping/categorizations etc etc.
Whatever, maybe I'm just being pedantic and come off too strong...but I found the OP to be offensive/insensitive in his/her statement and too me, that is a trait to be concerned about in a criminal defense lawyer, especially in the VI where we have many different types of people who deserve fair and just representation.
I have found the people to be very friendly. I have only spent 28 weeks there since Dec of 04. but have yet to feel discriminated against. At least not near as much as the three different times we spent a week in the Hawaiian islands. I'm sure that there are some who might discriminate, but I believe that a lot depends on how you treat people when you meet them.
On two different occasions while shopping for groceries, we had West Indian people insist that we go ahead in line as we only had a few items.
The drivers there are the most courteous I have ever encountered, once you get used to driving on the left. 😉
This is why we decided to buy on STX and are planning to split our time there.
I strongly suggest a week or two PMV. It is not for everyone, but having spent time on St Lucia, I would think you would like it.
The biggest problem I think you would have as a defence lawyer, is the language barrier. They speak Cruzan there, and it can be hard to understand. But then I can't understand any foreign languages. Cruzan is a lot like,IMHO and untrained ears, Cajun.
St Lucia and the USVI's are very different from each other. Do a PMV. The good news/bad news is that they are very Americanized and developed. It all depends what you are looking for. Not exactly an exotic getaway, but if you like to see familiar things from back home, then you might prefer it. This is not criticism, I used to live there and liked it. However, my main motivation for travelling around the world is to learn about different cultures, and having lived on other Caribbean islands that had much stronger cultures, there was nothing new for me in the USVI's. (I can only comment on St Croix / St Thomas as I have not spent time in St John)
If you have to ask the question - "should I even bother moving to the VI?" it seems to be you shouldn't bother.
If you are coming down to help the Local or Federal Justice Dept. prosecute the overload of cases please come -- otherwise -- there are plenty of lawyers here already in private practice so maybe the why 'bother' does apply.
I would have to agree with glynnswife on that statement. I have been chomping at the bit and just driving myself crazy waiting for the day I get on the plane to move. Not once have I questioned if this is something I want to do. If you are hesitating then maybe you need to rethink why you are looking at making the move.
I personally don't see anything wrong with caution and playing devil's advocate to any major decision. It needs to be thought through carefully. Why else do we all suggest PMVs? If you're young and don't have any major assets or real career job then its not a big deal to try something new. For the rest of us that are a little more settled or have a family it should require thought and consideration. It may be the US but its a big cultural adjustment for many not to mention an increase cost of living for many as well.
So is racism a big problem?
If you have never been here before then you cannnot judge the island. There are lots of geat things posted on this board. You need to weigh the good against the bad for YOURSELF
Based on your one of voice my suggestion is don't come.
I just happened to pop on to this site again and I was very surprised to see my old posting near the top. I found the site to be very informative, but some postings were pretty harsh towards me. The "annoying" rasta comment came from one of the VI visitor reviews, not from my own vocabulary. The first time I even considered the VI was when my fiance and I could not agree on where to live. He is a RASTA from St. Lucia and had no desire to come to the US. I thought the VI would be a good compromise. So to any who were offended, I apologize.
FYI. I called for my phone interview at the allotted time slot. The person I spoke to stated, "Your name is not on the list." What the hell? I informed her that two days prior, I spoke to HER to confirm my time slot. She placed me on hold, came back and again stated, "Your name is not on the list." The shear lack of professionalism was a huge turn off. I was told my resume would remain on file for the next hiring fiscal year. No thanks. Good luck to all that make the move. Even though I live 5 mins from the beach in LA, I still love the Carib.
When it comes down to the wire and you have to choose a caribbean island to live i always go with Fiscal, Political, Social security and only the US can really guaranteed that as well as the United Kingdom. In regards to living having laws that protect you your money and investment there is no comparison. With the world oil crisis that is looming, independent countries like the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, islands like St Lucia, Granada, St Vincent, St Kits, Antigua etc... they are starting to see civil unrest because people cannot afford to live because of prices hike. Prolong power outages, very very high crime people demanding social political changes and that is when the government starts doing things that do not guaranteed what i previously said. In the case of the VI and Puerto rico there is always going to be the security that the Federal government and their power to preserve the integrity of the economic, Social system is 100% guaranteed.
Your story's not that surprising re the phone interview. Even the government hears from tons of people who never show up & most employers usually will only want to talk to you when you're physically here.