10 Things I have learned since I moved to the Cayman Islands.... (P.S. These are my own observastions and nobody elses, so don't get offended).
- Everything happens in what’s commonly referred to as “Cayman time”, so be prepared to add anywhere between 2 minutes and up to 37 days to any time scales that you may have been given regardless of if it’s a food order, at a supermarket checkout or just simply asking for the time.
- They say that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The road to Hell in West Bay, as well as many other parts of the island, are paved with the aftermath of road accidents. Giving way, indicating, speed limits, overtaking and roundabouts are just some of the numerous concepts that are utterly alien and occasionally looked upon with a certain amount of curiosity as being mere bed time fables by the Caymanians, ex-pats, holidaymakers and pretty much everyone on the island. It also dosen't help that there's no ban on driving whilst using the phone. Crazy!
- Getting a bank account on the island and actually transferring your own money from the UK into said bank account is a near impossibility. To open a bank account, they want a written essay on why you want to bank with them, multiple references from people that have known you since you were a foetus, the life of your first born child and the sacrificial slaughter of a goat.
P.S. Just kidding about the goat.
- When people talk about free range chickens, they really don’t know the meaning of the word until they come here. More chickens walk the streets of the island than tourists (along with being less obnoxious and less fat than said tourists). There’s also more likelihood of you discovering why chickens actually cross the road, apart from to get to the other side.
- Few native Caymanians appear to actually be happy in their work. Trying to get a smile out of them is like asking them to give way at a roundabout i.e. a vague dream. Getting them to do something for you, like provide you with information or actually liaise with another department or co-worker to provide you with a service is akin to them putting their arm down a toilet U-bend that’s been clogged with cat litter and poo to get it unblocked i.e. thoroughly repulsive but sometimes necessary. However some islanders are the exception to the rule and prove to be very hospitable and downright helpful. Treasure those moments for all they are worth.
- If going out at lunchtime for lunch, walk whenever possible. Everyone seems to go out for lunch or run errands and this is the time when trainee kamikaze pilots take to the roads in their droves to prove their loyalty to the Emperor (or in this case Premier Mckeeva Bush). Pearl Harbour would have been considerably worse had the attack been carried out by Caymanian drivers in their clapped out Honda Accords. Banzai!
- People who can actually afford to buy powerboats on the island don’t actually appear to use them. Much like a diamond studded platinum penis piercing; it’s merely there for show and serves no actual real life purpose that I can determine at this point in time.
- Yes, Americans are still as rude, impatient, arrogant and still incredibly full of their own over blown sense of importance as back on mainland US. As previously mentioned there are exceptions to this rule and some are fantastically helpful. If feeling particularly peeved at a rude America interrupting you in mid-conversation with another person, simply pointing out how they lost the battle of Little Big Horn or Vietnam should make you feel a little better about things.
- Certain everyday things that we take for granted back home are more expensive than you can possibly imagine on the island. PG Tips, Nescafe Gold Blend and proper British bacon will all set you back the price of a small car. However the upside is that proper Dr Pepper and Pepsi with all their illegal additives can be bought on the island along with the something called a Pay Day bar. This is the modern day equivalent of a Nutty bar that they used to sell in newsagents in the 80’s when I was a kid. It’s the simple things. My life is now complete.
- If from Scotland like ourselves, you will constantly be referred to as English and as being from England, even after having repeatedly mentioned Scotland during the entire length of any conversation. There appears to be a small part of the brain that utterly fails to recognise the fact that England does actually have other land-type, non-watery parts attached to it and therefore renders Scotland (and by default Wales and Ireland) utterly invisible in speech and thought to most people on the island.