I would like to take a moment to tell you about the Bahamian folk who we meet around here. The first time I ever really sat and talked to a local was when I was looking at the shops around town and got to talking to the cashier at one of the 3 gift shops in Georgetown. She started talking about how cold the weather was, I was walking around in my short sleeves and shorts because it was 73 degrees outside, and it made me take notice at the attire of all the locals. Just about everyone was wearing hoodies and long pants, and it was freaking 75 degrees outside! It is funny that they think of that as cold, but I suppose for them it is, I mean, it get up to a whopping... 85 degrees in the summer... they are just spoiled.
One notable characteristic of the Bahamians is their unwavering kindness. Every encounter I have had with a local, they have done everything they can to be helpful and pleasant, and it is really refreshing to interact with them, to go through life like that. Everyone says hi to everyone, if you look like you could use some help, there are loads of offers to give it. My uncle and I were just out in the middle of the harbor cleaning fish and lobster, we have to get out away from the anchorage as to keep from attracting sharks, and we sit there drifting with our motor off filleting the fish. While we are sitting there a guy comes out to us, a ¼ mile dinghy trip, which is pretty substantial, and asks if we need help. We decline, show him our fish carcasses, and he goes allll the way back. Then 5 minutes later another boat comes by to ask if we need anything, we show the carcasses, they give the thumbs up and go on their way, we were out there for like 15 minutes and had two people go way out of their way to check on us.
The taxi driver who I always call, his name is Forrester Rolle, is always around town, we always see each other and talk about the Lakers, the Steelers, beer, whatever, and he knows evvvveryone in town. We go to the airport and he gets behind the bar and gives me a beer, cause he is friends with the owner, I randomly see him in the liquor store and he tells the cashier to treat me good, he beeps and waves at like half the cars we pass on the road. I though it was just him for a while, but as I spend more time here I realize, it is everyone, everyone knows everyone, and everyone is that friendly, and it is awesome. Kari and I decided to hitchhike out of town a ways and I didn't stick my thumb up at 3 cars before a guy stops and picks us up, we go a mile and he stops to let the other girl in the car out at a hotel and it turns out she was hitchhiking too, and on our way back again the 3rd or 4th car picked us up and brought us right where we wanted to go.
We go to volleyball beach almost everyday, and the owner of the “Chat and Chill”, which is the little burger shack/bar on the beach, she has a 6 year old boy who just runs around the beach making new friends everyday, and he is an awesome little character, his name is Kenneth, and he lets you know right when he meets you, its Kenneth, not Ken. He has made friends with me and my cousins and all the cruiser kids that hang out on the beach every day, and if they ever ask him for fries or a smoothie or something, he goes and tells his mom he wants one and then comes back and gives it to whoever asked, its pretty funny. Well Kenneth has a babysitter on Saturdays, every other day of the week he just roams free, but this kid, the babysitter, Alex, I think he is a freshman in highschool, I said hi to him a couple weeks ago, chatted for a second, and didn't see him again until today. My cousins and the other kids decided that all the guys and girls were going to get “married” so they all chose husbands and wives and played that game all day. I was sitting there watching the old fogies play volleyball and he said something behind me, I hardly heard him and then he said my name, I turned around and he was watching the other kids play their marriage game he looked back at me and said “Brendon, do they know nothing about love?” The genuine tone in his voice and the look of concern on his face really shocked me coming from a 14 year old kid who had only barely met me once before, but it was amazing, and I think it shows something, one of the few things, that they actually are serious about down here. And it is quite important indeed.
The Bahamian lifestyle is so laid back and carefree, you cant help but get into the mood a little bit yourself when you are here for a while. If you know me, you know that I already operate in that sort of manner, so I am loving it down here. I was always looking to excuse or legitimize my laziness, procrastination, and perhaps some overoptimism, I just never knew the proper way to do so. But now I know. One simple phrase- “Iz da Bahamas Mon!” What does it matter? Get over it! Enjoy your life! Life is good! Wanna have some rum with your coffee in the morning? Worried about what you are going to wear anywhere at any time? Wondering how can that possibly be legal? Waitress short you a dollar in change? Wondering why every car is covered in dents? Getting impatient that your food is taking too long? “IZ DA BAHAMAS MON!” That is their anthem down here, the philosophy by which they live. And live they do.