Sunday, 29 May 2011


There are some subtle and not so subtle differences between the Caymans and the UAE. The first and most noticeable is the pace of life, particularly the pace of driving. There are speed limits, no speed cameras but policeman who actually pull up cars who are speeding. I've seen one or two already, mufti cars with flashing lights. I smile my virtuous smile as I drive past, whew. I'm used to driving slowly so can now be judgmental. Well, I've slowed down heaps here partly because I have a 1100cc 4wd so it doesn't like going too fast and I'm not ever in too much of a hurry anyway.

I began writing this the other night, got tired and sloped off to bed. Now I resume on a Saturday night, a peaceful Saturday night as I wait for the kids to come online so we can skype. It's wonderful having the internet again. So back to the differences.

Sundays are certainly different. I have the day off, so do most of the people here. Most places are shut. Places like home ware stores and supermarkets, clothes shops and bottle stores. So one must be organised and get everything that's needed on Saturday. Needless to say the supermarkets are busy then, although not if you go at dinner time as I've discovered. Trouble is I do end up spending more then.

Sunday is a day of rest, a day families and friends get together at the beach or at home to enjoy a break. First of all they go to church, a big part of the island culture. Some one told me that there are more churches here per head of population that anywhere else in the world, I don't doubt that. The amount of places of worship astounded me when I drove around the island, small places and large places and, as it was Sunday, places that people in their Sunday best were attending in droves.

That's another difference here, different from most places in the world I suspect. The sense of community, everyone knowing everyone else and enjoying that. Take last Sunday. I was invited by one of my lovely colleagues, and I never refuse a social invitation, to go boating on Sunday afternoon. What a treat, a boat load of lovely local women plus a couple of men,  well someone had to drive. They packed on board enough food and drink to feed and water the multitudes.

And multitudes there were. It was one of those, I wish I had my camera moments! I'm sure my description will not do it all justice. There were about 40 boats of all shapes and sizes just off Rum Point in the shallows, all anchored near each other. The people from the boats all got into the water which was between waist and chest deep and off they went catching up with each other, glasses and food in hand. It was fantastic, a regular Caymanian event that I felt privileged to attend.

I had a great time, meeting lots of new people and enjoying the heat and the water. There were stingrays swimming amongst the people. They took no notice, I'm afraid I did take notice much to the amusement of those around me. As I squealed a little and raised my feet in panic they laughed. I wanted to climbed up on the tallest person there but luckily resisted that urge. The advice was to keep my feet on the ground, stay calm even if they rub up against you and don't be holding squid or have the smell of squid on your person. That's when they will chase you, nope think I may just be able to avoid that state of affairs.

I had a fantastic day out, returning home a bit sunburnt and very tired. Not sure why, I'd done pretty much nothing all day. This weekend has more treats in store and I'll write about them soon. I need to download the few photos I've taken so I can add some here. My camera has been very quiet as I'm spending heaps of time at work, a necessity as I get to grips with my new job and some of the outings I've had have not been camera friendly.

Oh, another big difference. Everyone here speaks English. And the Caymanian dialect that I haven't got to grips with yet and many speak Spanish. English is the language most communicate in. That makes a huge difference. Take getting the internet on. A nice young man called me, yes I can come home in 5 minutes. He chatted away to me telling me all about his daughter and his love of travel as he not only activated the phone line and therefore the internet but also gave me an adapter so I can use both the net and a phone. Useful in hurricane season apparently.

Hurricane season, that's a whole other story. One thing that's not so different is the wonderful welcome I've had from the people here, expat and local. I've been made to feel very at home and have some good friends already. Another other story.


teamcoulton said...

Pleased you are back online - i have been missing your regular stories! Would love to know a bit more about your new job too
Love Lyn

Jule's Short Story said...

Hi there. It's fantastic to be back online, I've so missed the net and writing although I've been really busy too. Will try you on skype xx