Living in the Caribbean is not the same as being on vacation obviously as this life is not for everyone so, I suggest you visit the caribbean before moving to the Caribbean, and you will understand why after you read the information below.
Every time I say that I live in the Caribbean, I always receive the same response of surprise, admiration and envy. How lucky you are! And the truth is yes. Every time I go for a walk along the kilometer-long beach that I have only two hundred meters from the door of my house/office I tell myself that yes, with the dough that people spend on coming on vacation, I am here to complain.
It is only among friends that I dare to complain about everything that I do not like or that frustrates me about this Caribbean life, because otherwise they would take me for crazy or worse, for dissatisfied.
The truth is that I feel privileged, I have said that many times. Especially when you see in the news the low temperatures when you are in a bathing suit or when your friends tell you in winter that at five o’clock it is already night. I live in paradise, it is true, with its routines and shortcomings, which are not few. And I write it while a little hummingbird is putting on its boots with the flowers in my garden.
Although it is hard to believe, there are those who cannot stand it or do not adapt and return home the same way they came. Others, however, settle down and adapt so quickly that in the blink of an eye they have already started a family.
The Dominican rhythm really exists. Although you work much more than in Europe and not always for a fair salary, stress is relative. The heat is a key factor to understand that many workers hide to take a nap whenever they have an opportunity. It doesn’t slacken throughout the year, so you notice how your energy decreases as the day progresses.
No one is punctual with their appointments, improvisation rules here. So, stay healthy and don’t make too many plans. Follow the flow …. And above all things, understand that everyone lies. If they tell you they’re on their way, they haven’t left their house yet. If they tell you that they arrive in 5 minutes, put an hour. If they tell you that tomorrow they will do the job they promised you, put in a week. Or if they tell you that they are finished, it means that they have not started it yet.
Even your doctor can stand you up without explanation. Best of all, it (almost) never has consequences.
If you were a teetotaler, in the Caribbean you will stop being so and you will spoil yourself. Drinking alcohol is another habit. It is not uncommon to see motorists in their pasolas driving with one hand because in the other they carry their little bottle of rum or their preferred beer.
When you leave work, the meeting point is the corner grocery store. That’s where no one can resist ordering their drink to the sound of music and watching life go by.
There will come a time when you will say that you drink the “normal” when in reality your blood alcohol levels will have skyrocketed.
The Caribbean is not only famous for its sugar plantations, but also for the huge amounts of sugar that they put into everything. Asking for passion fruit juice is drinking four tablespoons of sugar on your face. A piña colada is a crime for my cartridge belts. Asking for a drink without sugar is an insult. You even get used to ordering a margarita without sugar at the risk of the bartender making his free add-on.
Unless you live in a big capital, forget about shopping. Not only because you may not need many clothes, but because if you have the craving, you will not find where to buy. And if you find it, be prepared to leave a kidney. Prices are automatically doubled when crossing customs.
Amazon will be your salvation every time you think you need something or have a monkey to brand new something. Another option is more common than you think; Miami is a true hub for the shopping universe. A weekend trip to go shopping is cheaper than entering a Caribbean mall.
There is a lot of work, much more than in Europe, but every day can be a dream if you do it right. You can start or end the day on the beach if you wish. It doesn’t matter if it’s Monday or Friday, the drinks are always full of people willing to dance and drink. There is no time change, sunsets all year round between 6 and 7 in the afternoon, the perfect time to start your leisure time.
The good weather allows your favorite bars and restaurants to be outdoors or on the beach. There are tourists all year round, so you can feel like you are on an eternal vacation and without the winter depression because you live very close to the equator.
And it’s not a joke. Finding a good doctor or a trustworthy mechanic for your car is a matter of life and death. May God catch us confessed if something happens to us because in the Caribbean there is not much beyond the paradisiacal beaches.
The roads leave much to be desired, salt and rain are not the best friend for your car or for your health. Humidity, tropical rains and lack of hygiene in certain places can end your weekend locked in the bathroom.
If you have ever wondered why people eat rice and beans every day, the answer is easy: supermarkets are only for the rich.
First of all, because of the price of imported products, even a pound of local chicken can also be a luxury. Second, because to find all the foods you want, you may have to spend a whole morning and go through up to five supermarkets (if you are lucky enough to have them in your area). I buy the fruit in one, the bread in another, the chicken in the one over there and the preserves in the one in the next town. Of course, do not go as soon as it opens, because at that time that the doors open, the supermarket shelves are completely empty.
Forget winter clothes, short days and extreme temperatures. Nor will you use phrases such as “Winter is coming”. It is not cold in winter nor is it extremely hot in summer. The seasons are divided into the rainy season -and possible hurricanes- and the dry season.
Of course, the bikini operation also lasts all year and waxing does not allow you to skip the appointment. In return, Christmas cards are pure envy, as well as your tan when you visit your place of origin.
Many times, I am asked why I always post photos of beaches and food. Honestly, there isn’t much else to do.
If you don’t like the beach, it’s difficult for you to live the Caribbean dream, although there are those who come out on top for their love of dancing. If you are a movie buff, forget about watching auteur films. If you appreciate good music, you better get used to bachata or merengue. If you are looking for some cultural entertainment, do not miss the carnivals.
The positive part is that you’ll cultivate new hobbies that you would never have thought of, such as gardening.
The mosquitoes will make your life impossible, so you will be smeared all day with the repellent on duty, which in my case is the most abrasive for my skin but the most lethal for various bugs. That mixed with sunscreen 50 to prevent future skin cancer. Quite a concoction if you add the sweat.
The water is not what you are used to, so considering that you are going to want to shower five times a day, your precious mane ends up being four badly combed hairs.
Face it, if you live in paradise, don’t bother explaining that you work every day like any neighbor’s son to earn your bread. And worse, do not say that you live in paradise because the thousands of Spaniards who live in the Caribbean will come out to remind you that not everyone lives as well as you do, because for some strange reason they believe that everything you have has been given to you.
Hi I’m Alvin Tucker. As a born and bred Scott, and a "has been" tourist businessman since my business went bust, I have a lot to offer my readers in life. So please check out my posts...Click to read on