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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bermuda Remembered

I'm sitting here looking around the web and watching as powerful hurricane Igor approaches the tiny island of Bermuda. I wouldn't like to be on a small island in the path of a storm like this but from first hand experience, the people of Bermuda seem to take these things in stride.

A few years ago, sweet Wifey and I visited Bermuda. Bermuda is out in the Atlantic Ocean. The closest major land is North Carolina, about 650 miles away. It is a small place, according to the World Factbook, only about a third the size of Washington DC.

Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory, ruled by Queen Elizabeth through the efforts of a governor. There have been efforts toward independence, but so far folks there have chosen to remain under the crown.

Bermuda is a beautiful place. We were there in August and the weather was warm. They told us that in winter the temps can drop into the 50's but usually no lower. Bermuda is actually not tropical and is at the same latitude as South Carolina.

The people were friendly and kinda laid back which is always up my alley. They conduct bidness in shorts and knee socks, completely appropriate attire.

One neat thing were the houses. Just about every house in Bermuda has a roof designed to catch rainwater. Under each house is a cistern where the water is collected and stored. They do have a desalination plant, but that is used as a backup.

Like most island nations, everything there is very expensive, food especially. In the evening we could not find a place where you could just get a sammich. You had to go out to dinner, and no matter where we went, dinner for the two of us ran about 70 dollars. There was a SINGLE fast food place, a KFC. The story goes that the gubment allowed this KFC to open up as an experiment. We were told that due to littering from the establishment, no more fast food restaurants would be allowed, no McDonalds, no Burger King, none of that stuff. I wondered how much of this was really due to littering or due to collusion by the other restaurant owners.

There are no guns in Bermuda. We were instructed to leave all weapons at home.

Families in Bermuda are allowed to have one automobile only. This was probably not a bad deal since gasoline was 4 dollars per liter. You could have extra Moped's though and many tourists rented these to get around. I was told that Moped accidents were a serious problem there.

Our tour guide/cab driver, Sam was a wealth of information. He told us that there was no such thing as unemployment in Bermuda. Everyone worked! Imagine that! There was no welfare. Sam said that in times of slow tourist trade that he would have to take a job working construction. People who absolutely could not work were taken care of by their families who worked.

Sam also told us that there was a multi-tiered health care system. The gubment would provide BASIC health insurance. You could BUY a deluxe policy that would cover more exotic stuff like operations which were done, guess where, in the UNITED STATES, or you could pay for the extras out of pocket.

Education in Bermuda was also basic and Sam let us know that if anyone was interested in higher education they generally went to Great Britain or the US.

Sam explained that over the years there had been talks of independence. Apparently there was sentiment among the locals that given the choice, they would rather be US citizens than British subjects. I could imagine how things there would change under the US system as unemployment and welfare were introduced.

Coming back from Bermuda was interesting. We first went to Boston Logan, then to St. Louis, and then a commuter flight to Memphis. Of course they lost our luggage which was thankfully delivered the next day.

Bermuda is a nice place. It has its up's and down's. I don't think I'd want to live there but it was a nice visit. As hurricane Igor approaches, I'm really not worried about those folks very much. Sam told us they had been through hurricanes before. They were always prepared and afterward they just cleaned up the mess and got back to their daily lives. No big deal.

Click HERE to see all our Bermuda pictures.

2 comments:

  1. That was a great vacation and I really enjoyed it. I love going warm places. We did a lot of walking, which was good. I remember it being pretty warm while we were there. We finally found some sandwiches for lunch one day, and they were SOOOOOOOOO delicious after eating full meals every day. What a nice trip sweet hubby.

    Of course we have had some other really nice trips. I enjoyed Key West very much, especially the little sandwich shop we ate at a couple of days for lunch, and of course Flagler's bread sticks and butter, yum yum.

    Our trip through the U.S. and across Canada was also a great trip. So many different things to see and no cooking, ha.

    I also enjoyed our Virgin Island trip in spit of the injured ankle, ouch. The Bahama trip was a little different. Big storm, rough seas, but I'm still glad we went. A very different island than the Virgin Islands or Bermuda.

    Bermuda might be better off staying just the way they are. The United States would ruin them.

    Thanks for the memories.

    Debbie
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

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  2. The best part of the trip was that YOU were there, sweet one.

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