Jo Mon, how’ya all do’ing? You have got to learn to speak like that or the locals don’t understand you. And a lot of the time I have no clue what they are saying. Sometimes I actually think they are speaking a foreign language and then I catch an English word and realize they are talking English.
Helen was awake at about 5am this morning (given she went to sleep at 7:45pm that was a pretty impressive sleep). She then tried to get onto the internet and manage to wake me up with all the clicking and fiddling. I then tried to get the internet working for about 30 minutes until we eventually phoned reception and found out that the whole Island’s internet connection was down. Somebody probably rode over the cable with their jet ski or speed boat. I already feel technology deprived in that neither Helen nor my SA cellphone’s work here. Fortunately I have a UK cellphone and that works at least. They did restore the internet at about 8am again (fortunately!).
We had breakfast at about 6:45am. For Josie, the breakfast spread was massive. Fruit (melons of various varieties and pineapple), cereals, porridge, pastries and pancakes, waffles, eggs, bacon, hash-brown, what looked like fried asparagus, some Mexican breakfast thing. You name it they had it for breakfast. At R225 each we had to make sure we ate our monies worth but I think neither of us was successful. By 9am we were ready to get out. It was a clear blue sky day and we decided to go with Paul & Tina into the downtown area. It is about a 15 minute taxi drive from the hotel along the seafront.
We started in the local ‘Straw’ market where I practiced my negotiation skills training. They are quite amusing because they tell you the price (say $30) but then immediately say (without you even asking) that they have reduced the price for us to $25. I generally countered that with an offer of $20 and the deal was done. Only once did we get into a second lowering of the price when we ended up buying two of the same thing (matching pink shirts for the boys). Prices were quite reasonable or even cheap in places especially when you consider how much we pay for everything else here. They are consummate sales people. Always trying to get you interested, offering you a special deal, telling you you’re the first customer, best customer, most pleasant customer etc etc.
We ambled around the town for about 3 hours sticking our heads into most of the stores. The most interesting shop was the supermarket. It is fascinating seeing the local brands, what is available , what different things they have etc. Helen’s favourite was the Five Roses Flour (for the international followers Five Roses in a tea brand in SA). We had drinks at a roof top place called the Iguana. No balustrades in places. Clearly no health and safety regulations here (and also no children under 5 because they all plummet to their death at places like this). Nice pineapple juice though. Lunch at another outdoor cafe while watching the cruise ship (American) tourists disembark. Comment of the day went to Paul when he said “There must be a minimum weight limit to be allowed on these cruise ships). Most of the people didn’t get far from the pier.
I had to get back to the hotel for a 2pm meeting. I am actually working here (believe it or not). Paul had been to the meeting previously and had not given me much hope it would be interesting. I went armed with my Ipad and Iphone so that I could catch up on work emails. As it turned out it was not too bad a meeting even though the one gentlemen next to me was clearly bored after about 30 minutes and got up and walked out. By the tea break they had pretty much covered the agenda. Meanwhile Helen was sunbathing on the beach and next to the pool.
This evening we headed to ‘Fish Fry’ for dinner. We had thought it was a restaurant but we learnt in the taxi that it is actually a series of restaurants where they do fried fish. It is very colourful and noisy. In Nassau there is always Caribbean music playing – from the shops, from the cars, from the restaurants. They give you the impression that they are very chilled and enjoy life. Our taxi driver on the way to dinner tried to sell us on one particular place to go but the 4 of us have a rebellious streak so when we got there we went for a walk instead and chose another place altogether called “Frankie goes bananas”.
We all tried Conch – pronounced with a silent ‘h’. If you haven’t gotten that yet, then say ‘conk’ to rhyme with ‘honk’ and you would have it correct. Not that it honks at all. Conch is a big sea shell – the type you hold to your ear and listen to the sea (or you can blow to make a noise). We had Conch fritters to start and Paul also had fried Conch. Helen, Tina and Paul also had Conch Chowder. You would swear that give how much Conch they ate we all loved it. It was ok but nothing really spectacular. I had a whole Snapper (and I mean whole). Much healthier as it wasn’t fried in batter. The ladies also tried the local cocktails. As a result Helen has been asleep already for almost an hour (and it is now 9:45pm). It was a nice evening sitting outside and just enjoying the atmosphere and chilling. And the price was not as extortionate as some of the other places we could have gone to.
1. There is a touch of Cuban culture in here as well
2. The wind never stops blowing
3. The temperature doesn’t vary much even when the sun drops. Low today was 70F and high was 77F.
4. The locals are incredibly friendly. Not surprising when 50% of their GDP comes from tourism.
5. The taxi drivers here might have learnt to drive in SA. They drive similar minivans and they drive as aggressively (maybe even more so). I am still amazed that the one guy didn’t have an accident at least 3 times on the way back from the the town center.
Now I am feeling my eyelids getting heavy so I am also going to head to bed. Until tomorrow, peace mon.