Saturday, July 16, 2011

Things I learned about Bermuda while in Bermuda

1. If you arrive in the country without yet knowing know where you’ll be staying during your trip and you unwittingly admit this to the customs agents by leaving the “Where are you staying during your trip?” section of your customs form blank, you will not be allowed to leave the Bermuda airport until you can prove that you have procured a hotel reservation. You will be sent to the immigration office, where a very friendly immigration officer will act as your personal travel agent and call around the island to find you a room. He may even give you his cell number and invite you for a drink later, an action that would surely get him fired were he an American immigration official.

2. Relatedly: if you try and book a hotel room at the last minute during high season, you will have a very hard time finding one. The available ones will be exceedingly expensive, even those that are in quaint but ramshackle bed & breakfasts where the floors creak and the bathroom doors don’t fully shut. You’re frugal, you say? You want to stay at a hostel? Too bad. There aren’t any. Want to pitch a tent and camp? Too bad. You’re not allowed.

4. Bermudian money is just like American money, only pretter. Also, they have lots of $2 bills.

Bermuda's public buses:
a) Are blue and pink. Who wouldn’t want to ride on such a festive bus?
b) Seem to have no way of tracking fares. Upon boarding, passengers drop money, tokens, or tickets into a non-computerized cylindrical container while the drivers seem to pay little attention. I think you just could drop your grocery list in there and no one would be the wiser.
c) Are designed for Lilliputians. Squeezing down the aisle is a comedy of errors, even if you are a normal-sized human who should theoretically be able to walk down a bus aisle with ease.

6. In every post office you will find an Internet kiosk that you can use -- for free! Also, you will not find an Internet kiosk anywhere else on the island.

7. There is only one fast-food chain on the island. It is a KFC. At this KFC, you can get a 125-piece barrel of chicken nuggets for $60.75 and an accompanying barrel of coleslaw for $38.95.

8. Barritt’s in a can tastes better than Barritt’s in a bottle.

9. The heat and humidity cause ice melt very fast, making for watered-down dark & stormies. I suggest to local establishments that they use larger chunks of ice for slower melting. Bermudian bars, call me.

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