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Top 10 list: It's hard living in the Vi Because:

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Cheeseheads
(@Cheeseheads)
Advanced Member

Hi all,

Think the tittle says it all.

I'm asking for the top reasons VI living is hard, form those in the know. For the sake of those of us who are really considering the move, please think about your answers before posting and decide if something is just a general annoyance, or if it is something that really is harder, or really different compared to your life in the states (assuming, and very possibly incorrectly) that most of you are transplants.
What might we not have considered or planned for?

As always thanks much for sharing your experience, and your candor!

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Topic starter Posted : June 6, 2009 6:36 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

travel back to the states to visit family is more expensive then if you lived in the states
cost of food is crazy, quality of fresh produce sucks unless you can find a farmers market and know that the produce is actually home grown and not store bought and being sold as home grown which does happen on some road side stands.
you cant just drive off
a lot of rude people, lack of customer service. (there was a post awhile back about good customer service because its so hard to come by, i am surprised when it happens)
stupid drivers
cops
politics
racism
the new constitution if the president okays it

just a note, not all people are bad but as they say one bad apple spoils the whole bunch.

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Posted : June 6, 2009 10:54 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

p.s. trash every where, so much litter

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Posted : June 6, 2009 10:55 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

p. p. s. all of the dust and dirt that gets into your house, so hard to keep on top of it

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Posted : June 6, 2009 10:58 am
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

Most of these are things you get used to but it's a lot of little stuff that over the years piles up & gets a bit tiresome but aren't HUGE reasons to not live here:

1. Having to haul trash to a dumpster instead of at the curb.
2. No garbage disposals.
3. For many, no mail delivered to your door.
4. Not being able to get all you need at one grocery store. It gets tiresome when the whole island is out of something really basic.
5. Endless waiting in line & when it's your turn, being told you'll have to come back the next day.
6. Getting used to the idea that things aren't done the way they are on the mainland & just because it's done that way "back home" doesn't mean that brilliant idea will fly down here & locals really, really get tired of hearing it.
7. The testing period you will get here, especially in many work places.
8. You'll be waving bye-bye to many friends the longer you stay here.
9. Low water pressure & constantly having to be so careful with it as well as running out of it at the worst possible time.

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Posted : June 6, 2009 11:15 am
Bombi
(@Bombi)
Trusted Member

For me it's the rising cost of traveling, family in New England and a son and his family on Oahu. We stay in touch but my heart longs to see my little grandson on Oahu, get to know him and be his papo. Hopefully this summer.

Call me crazy ,but for the most part I don't mind the inconveniences, it's part of the trip. I feel a sense of community and a similar " we're all in this together" vibe.

Ok, I miss Maine lobster, steamed clams, fresh corn, blueberries and apples and the lack of resonably priced organic and natural foods.

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Posted : June 6, 2009 12:34 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Oh, Tray-ed! 🙂 I have a garbage disposal... ;);)

But Trade is right. In general, it is a bunch of little things that are so completely different from anything most stateside folk experience..

Pedestrians meandering slowly across a road, not even looking to see if traffic is coming.
Taxi drivers throwing their chicken bones and trash on the ground, and when you point it out, they say, "That's the way its done here."
No home delivery of newspaper and no Sunday paper or comics. (On St Thomas and St John- I believe the Avis has a Sunday edition.)
VLT parlors.(td)
Hurricanes, especially the aftermath. (Okay, that's not a little one.)

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Posted : June 6, 2009 12:52 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

1. The high cost of living here. Food and energy prices are crazy. I believe you can lower food cost by changing the way you eat. Eat more like locals do. That has been hard for me. Energy cost can be lowered if you can live without air conditioning, hanging out your clothes, using less hot water and using propane for cooking.

2. Lack of water. This was hard for me because I love to garden. Where I lived in the states water was plentiful and cheap. I had to break the bad habit of wasting water. I use dish water and sons bath water to water my plants. A grey water system also helps alot.

3. Lack of fresh veggies and fruits. This really surprised me. I thought the island would have tons of fresh items because there is so much land on St. Croix to farm. I live on the east end and there is not much here but I have heard people say there are more fresh fruits and veggies available on the west end. I garden and that helps but it has taken me 3 years of learning what is the best things to grow. Also you have to learn how to protect your plants from rodents, lizards and insects.

4. Expensive clothing. I combat this by visiting the states at the end of the summer and buying summer clothes on sale. Also on line shopping.

5. Power outages especially after a hurricane. A good generator is a must here unless you just love camping out with no amenities in the tropics. It often takes weeks if not months to get the island up and running after a hurricane.

6. Everything closes early. If you forgot to get milk or stuff for kids school lunches and it is 9:30 pm forget it. You learn quickly to prepare ahead of time.

7. Huge maintenance on everything. Something is always broken, worn out or rotten. Just when you think you have everything fixed something else goes wrong especially with vehicles. Dust and dirt everywhere. It is terrible at my house because I have a dirt road in front and on the side. My house is much dirtier here and after 3 years I just don't care. I dust when I feel like it.

8. Fleas and ticks on your animals. Nothing seems to work for very long. You have to treat the house, yard and animals at the same time. Some parts of the island are worse than others.

9. Educating children. Private schools are expensive. If you bring your children here young public school are probably fine. I put my child in private school because of the conditions of public schools. Keep in mind I have not checked out the schools for myself but I hear that there are mold and upkeep issues. My son has asthma so that was not acceptable for me.

10. Networking. You MUST network. The first 2 years I lived here I was mostly in the house. I did not get out and meet people because I had a disabled mother living with me and I was terrified to leave her alone. When I had problems I didn't know where to go or who to ask for help. The group of statesiders that I had met did not like living here and were very negative about the island. For the most part people are very friendly here and will go out of their way to offer assistance but you must ask. Let people know that you need help or a good mechanic.

11. Cost of going to the states. This has been most difficult for me. We had 4 huge family emergencies since last October. We also have a stateside business. Our traveling expenses have been huge. I think St. Croix is the worst island to get off of in a hurry and the most expensive for air travel. If I could change anything it would be that. We greatly need more direct and cheaper flights.

12. Last but not least the hardest thing for me to get used to on this island was centipedes and mosquitoes. I am terrified of centipedes. It was an overwhelming fear and it was difficult for me to sleep. It took several months of having our house treated before I quit seeing them everyday. At one point I was ready to leave the island because of my fear of them. Mosquitoes feasted on our son no matter what we did. Most of the time he had between 20 and 50 bites on him. After 3 years they don't bite him anymore. We spray him twice a day with the highest deet we can find. I hardly ever see a centipede anymore but when I do I kill them. I educated myself about centipedes. There bite is painful but won't kill you. A black widow bite is much more deadly and I came in contact with them often in the states.

These are the issues that are the most difficult for me but I have adjusted for the most part by changing my lifestyle. These difficulties are acceptable for me.

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Posted : June 6, 2009 1:12 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

HERE IS MY LIST

1. THERE ARE 10 TIMES THE NUMBER OF POLITICAL CROOKS THAT THERE NEED TO BE. THIS INCLUDES ALL OF THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS. TOO TOO MANY!

2. THE POLITICAL CROOKS EAT UP AN UNREASONABLE AMOUNT OF THE REVENUE FOR THE PEOPLE

3. THE POOR DRIVERS AND WITHOUT INSURANCE

4. DRIVERS STOPPING ANYWHERE, ANYTIME, ANYPLACE

5. NOTHING IS EASY HERE FROM THE STORES TO THE GOVERNMENT

6. WAPA! WAPA! WAPA! THEY ARE CROOKS JUST HIDDEN UNDER THE VAIL OF A COMPANY

7. NO PLAN TO GET THE ISLAND ON A RECYCLE PROGRAM THAT REALLY WORKS

8. CRIME! CRIME! CRIME! 10 TIMES THE NATIONAL AVERAGE FOR MURDERS AND RAPES

9. INABILITY TO RUN A HOSPITAL

10. TAXI DRIVERS CONTROL THE ISLAND

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Posted : June 6, 2009 1:15 pm
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member

Granted, there are a bunch of things that make it frustrating to live here (all of those listed above) but in my opinion there is really only one thing that makes it hard to live here: separation from family/friends and the travel required to see them. My most difficult time here was when I received a call that my Mother only had 48 hours to live. I got on the first available plane (paid a total $5,000 for my husband and I get to there and back) and was able to spend time with her before she died. The hard part was that it took about 20 hours to get to her. (and it sucked that it cost so much). It is also very hard being away from our grand-kids and only getting to see them in person once a year.
To me the rest of the issues are frustrating/annoying but can be handled or ignored. It does take a certain type of person to be able to adapt to life in the islands. You have to be patient and flexible but the rewards are great!

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Posted : June 6, 2009 1:17 pm
Neil
 Neil
(@Neil)
Trusted Member

I would say it is hard Living in the VI ....IF:

1. You can't afford it. (Or can't afford to live in a style to which you think you are entitled)
2. You don't make friends easily.
3. You are racist and/or can't handle being the target of racist or ignorance.
4. Are trying to get away from something, or have never really felt settled anywhere else you've lived.
5. Are easily annoyed. (Plenty to be annoyed about here, like anywhere)
6. Have a strong need to stay in touch family/kids who don't live on the island, AND you can't afford to see them as much as you want.
7. Don't like the ocean or the heat (surprising how many statesiders I've met who complain about it or don't take advantage of it)
8. You have an alcohol or drug problem.
9. Don't like your job here (job mobility/variety is limited here)
10. Don't like the Caribbean culture, and especially reggae (you hear it loudly everywhere)

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Posted : June 6, 2009 1:19 pm
margaritagirl
(@margaritagirl)
Trusted Member

1. Missing family back in the states.
2. Fresh Milk, for some reason I can rarely find fat free milk. If I do find it, I'd say 5 out of 10 times the milk will be spoiled when I open it. I hate that. I usually find milk at Pueblo that actually is bought in from Florida. Gotta wait until Wed. to get it if they even have it.
3. Fresh bread & rolls that last more than 1 day. Never can find good kaiser rolls.
4. Fresh veggies, & fruit.
5. Racism. (sucking teeth)
6. Trash all over the beaches & sides of streets.
7. WAPA! Crazy electric bills.
8. Centipedes. YUCK! Better than snakes though.
9. Fresh meat & chicken. Most meat is shipped here frozen than they thaw it in the cases.
10. Crime, being a victim and the cops doing nothing about it. You call them and if they show up it usually takes them 1 to 1 1/2 hours to respond. Inexperienced 911 operators.

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Posted : June 6, 2009 3:05 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

billd, I am feeling sorry for you. Do you have to live here? I'm not being sarcastic. It's got to be horrible to live somewhere that you hate. I don't know if you are here because your job requires it or not. Hopefully it is only for a short term. Good luck to you.

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Posted : June 6, 2009 3:16 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
Expert

billd, I sincerely apologise. That sounded very condescending. I don't think you hate it here at all. You were just stating what was hard about living here for you. I think the all capital letters threw me off. Sorry.

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Posted : June 6, 2009 4:18 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

"Oh, Tray-ed! I have a garbage disposal... "

Oh, you big show-off, you. 😛 You may have a garbage disposal but I don't have roosters waking me up at all hours like you foreigners on the East End. :@)

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Posted : June 6, 2009 4:39 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

No particular order

1. Cost of living much higher then wages
2. Public education is horrible, and private is too frickin expensive (which leads us to our crime rate).
3. Crime level is way TOO high based on population, higher then almost anywhere stateside.
4. Police and judicial system are corrupt and inadequate.
5. Its expensive to get off the island, not just for vacation, which I hardly ever take a real one because I want to see my family instead.
6. Missing family and friends stateside.
7. Constantly getting ripped off in some fashion by contractors.
8. Abuse of animals on the islands
9. APATHY
10. Lack of "new/change", quiet calm beach life sounds good coming from stateside, but life can get pretty dull here sometimes and thats when rock fever creeps in.

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Posted : June 6, 2009 5:16 pm
changesinlattitide
(@changesinlattitide)
Advanced Member

It has been over two years and I still have nightmares about the centipedes. I still check the bed, shoes, and never walk around in the dark.
I don't miss spraying myself with DEET 5 or 6 times a day. I had repellent in every room, in the car, and in my purse.

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Posted : June 6, 2009 5:26 pm
Rosea
(@Rosea)
Advanced Member

Changes,

Are you still on Island?

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Posted : June 6, 2009 9:48 pm
DUN
 DUN
(@DUN)
Trusted Member

billd, I sincerely apologise. That sounded very condescending. I don't think you hate it here at all. You were just stating what was hard about living here for you. I think the all capital letters threw me off. Sorry.

Wow, I was so in agreement W/ build, so it`s great to hear you understand he/she was just stating his/her observations.

I have so many, I`ve been called a racist lately,here on this website.
Someone hit my car,I called the cops, the person that hit me found 3 liar's(um,3 witnesses). That testified my wife was driving(she wasn`t,& it was irrelevant, as we both have VI licences, & we are both insured to use the car).
The officer (I use the term loosely)read me my Miranda rights, & told me he would arrest me, & put me in jail for lying!
I told him the security camera has the whole incident on tape,he went inside, & then came outside & explained to the driver he seen the tape, I was driving, I got in,out & no one changed seats!
The (west Indian) driver said" all Dem look alike,me made a mistake!"
I asked the um officer if he was going to arrest him & his 3 lying friends,& put them in jail(as he said he was to treat me)!
He smiled, told me he was here for a auto collision, & both of us were at fault!
I was hit in the side, my car doesn`t go sideways i said.
he gave me his card, & left.
I`m told this is a classic example of DWC(Driving While Caucasian)!
Sure I`m bitter with west Indians(this just happened 5 weeks ago)&,he had 4 against 2, so I would have been put in jail!

Bottom line, some guy hits me, I call the cops,he gets 3 liars & I would have been in jail,my wife would need to get 10=$15,000 to bail me out BC some a$$hole(um,guy) smashed my car,if it were not for the security tape!

By the way, the drivers insurance co. found HIM at fault & i got a check for the damages he incurred to my property!

Before I have to hear, 'if you don`t like it here, go back to where you came from idiots"
This is a fresh wound,I`ll need time to heal.
In the mean time, I look at many(not all)locals with a twitching eye!
So the answer to the question,is DWC!

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Posted : June 7, 2009 12:12 am
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

dun
that really does suck.
my bf was hit by a driver with a cop as a witness and the owner of the car my bf was driving had to get a lawyer to actually get the money to pay for the damages?? you know with allstate its just so easy. i feel your pain. and anger and rage. we have been feeling like that more and more living here and i wonder if its going to get worse with the new constitution.
my bf went down the wrong way of a one way street and a cop yelled at him for about 10 minutes walked to the back of the vehicle stood there for a couple of minutes and then just gave him a verbal warning. now we all make mistakes once in awhile and it does no good to act like that cop did. i wonder if the obama bumper sticker on the car he was driving was why nothing further was done and he got off with a verbal warning?

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Posted : June 7, 2009 11:40 am
greg@ihpIL
(@greg@ihpIL)
Active Member

After reading all the responses to the Top 10.I am wondering, how all of you have been able to successfully stay.As you all have said "Be prepared to ,not make or shake the boat"There are some real eye openers.Between the trash,which I'm surprised at,since it(the Island's ) is a or suppose to be a pries tine place I would think.Visitors etc.The saying of "No man is a island ,UN to himself"Sounds like STT gets the leftovers. As it seems some or most of the issues are trite,or become so.I still need to in list in a PMV.

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Posted : June 7, 2009 1:33 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

some issues are trite and others are not. it depends on your point of view. but really, unless you live here you can never really know how its like.

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Posted : June 7, 2009 2:21 pm
Betty
(@Betty)
Trusted Member

I know nothing I mentioned was trite. To say some or most, especially when you haven't lived down here is just not your place. I think you should work on not insulting locals before you come down. *-) Many of these are issues that matter to people a great deal and are not trite or banal in any way.

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Posted : June 7, 2009 3:08 pm
greg@ihpIL
(@greg@ihpIL)
Active Member

To Betty,I SINCERELY apologize.I did not mean to insult anyone.I don't want to make enemies b/4 I even arrive.PLEASE ACCEPT MY APOLOGY.I am trying to make friends & not get my foot caught in the door.

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Posted : June 7, 2009 3:27 pm
Rosea
(@Rosea)
Advanced Member

Hey Guys,

If we were to all list the reason we left the Mainland, does the good in the VI outway the bad in Mainland? I can't say, as I am not on island yet. I do not get a vote on that. However, there are pretty good reasons to want to leave the Mainland. South Florida anyway. I have lived in Ohio 17 years,South Florida 18 years Atlanta 4 years, and South Florida again another 5. So, I get a say in why to leave.

No bashing please!

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Posted : June 7, 2009 3:28 pm
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