Friday, 29 April 2011

New stuff, important stuff

There's plenty to learn when living in a new place. I didn't imagine that I'd need a car so urgently but getting around here is difficult without one. I'm really lucky, I've had lovely people who have helped me and run me about when I've needed it. I have also mastered the bus service, small mini vans that toot at you as you walk along and stop where ever to pick up and drop off passengers. This $2KY or about 9DHS ride has saved me a few times.

Yesterday I decided enough was enough so after looking at apartments, I went to the local car yard. Unlike car yards all over the world, this one didn't seem to have a salesman. Just as well because I probably would have been in jail by now, the proud owner of a sporty little convertible but behind bards. You see one must have insurance and a Cayman license to drive here, a key piece of info. My international, NZ or UAE ones would not do. No insurance is an offense for which one does time. After managing to not be deported in the UAE or Qatar, imagine my humiliation to be deported from here!

Another very important consideration when buying a car is Ivan, pre and post Ivan are terms I've been hearing a lot. Hurricane Ivan hit in 2004 and as you can by the photos in the link, cars who are pre Ivan may not be good buying. Ivan's destruction needs to be taken into account when looking at apartments too. Those pre Ivan are shown to have been hurricane proof, flooded usually but still standing. Those post Ivan should be hurricane strengthened, not yet been tested though. Getting a place on the second floor or above or that has a second story is also important, just in case higher ground is needed in a hurry.

The place I had really liked before I came turned out to be very nice but very isolated and right in the hurricane path, the remains of the house in front a stark reminder. Nope not for me but I did sigh a little as I looked out at the fab view. The one I'm keen on at the moment is for sale so a month by month rental. It's right across from the beach, has a great pool, is light and bright, has an upstairs balcony and is walking distance to the local's local so all good. Suits me to have it month to month as I have some freedom to choose something else at my leisure or stay put for as long as I like until it sells. It's also quite close to work.

My bank account is all organised, just waiting for the set up so I can sign the papers. I needed just one more piece of paper on my first visit, a bit like the UAE I needed a letter from my employer. In the mean time my UAE card is working, long may that continue. My goods arrive next week, inshallah! Most of my work clothes are in the freight so I'm not as well dressed as I might be, not that people here seem to care too much. So things are getting organised, hampered by having two long weekends. I never thought I'd say that! 

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