We are learning a lot about the intricacies of this place...and here is a list of what we have learned so far:
1. They drive on the left here. So don't be alarmed when a car sneaks up behind you while you are trying to cross the street. On the subject of street crossing...
2. Cross the street at your own risk!! Although there are plenty of traffic lights, there are no crosswalks. Also many of the intersections merge into traffic circles and/or are places where many roads converge. It's best to cross the street before you get to the intersection! Jaywalking is the only way!
3. Pedestrians...there are lots of them...the sidewalks however, are not the wide thoroughfares we were used to in Brooklyn. It is sometimes necessary to walk on what looks like the curb of the road or someone's yard...it is in fact the "sidewalk" or the "path".
4. Remember to close the sliding glass door once the sun begins to set or you will be chasing croaking lizards and mosquitoes out of your house in the morning!
5. Turn the hot water heater on while making dinner or it's a cold bath for everyone before bed!
6. Turn the hot water heater off before going to bed or your electric bill will be through the roof!
7. While in the kitchen turning off the hot water heater, remember to disconnect the cooking gas so as not to have a "flare-up" in the morning when putting the kettle on for tea.
8. Speaking of tea, now is a good time to explain that it is any hot beverage including coffee, cocoa (brown tea), actual tea and even soup! For example: fish soup is fish tea.
9. Be sure to wipe down the dining table with soap and water after dinner or you will be eating breakfast with the ants in the morning.
10. Despite the beach/reggae/rasta culture, people are surprisingly formal here and titles are always used be it Mr., Mrs., Miss, Dr., Colonel, Admiral or Mas (short for Master). Ms. hasn't quite entered the vernacular and it is quite unusual for a married woman not to take her husband's last name. (Although more and more women are hyphenating.)
11. A machete is needed to open a coconut. Not even your best kitchen hatchet will crack that nut!
12. Mango eating the "natural" way, meaning straight off the tree, washed with pipe water and bitten in to, is messy business. And it is sure to leave you picking strands of mango from your teeth for at least 2 days!
We will be adding to the list as we learn more of course...
Peace and Wellness