Sunday, April 10, 2011
Saturday, July 03, 2010
This is fast becoming my favourite beach to hang out at. And you can see why - there's not a soul! In fact very few people visit this beach up in Boddentown, and I like it. Not only is it quiet, there's PLENTY of coconut trees to provide you with ample shade, and this is the rock formation creates a perfect large spot to snorkel, if you're a beginner. This is Beach Bay - and I love it.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Everyone's got mango fever here in Cayman and rightly so. If you've lived in a tropical land, you know the hot summer is the time for mangoes. And there's so many of them. Perhaps it is that this year has been unusually hot, which is not giving rise to a good Hurricane season forecast, but hey, at least we've got a good crop of mangoes going around. I've even seen purple mangoes and am going to make the effort to go back to that tree and take a picture for you all to see. I just be able to pluck one off the tree too, I am curious about its taste. Mangoes are not the only fruit that grow abundantly here in Cayman depending on the season. There are so many more, and this is another one of the things I love about this island.
Sunday, May 09, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Why is it that every time I go out snorkeling, it inadvertently turns cloudy. Is someone trying to tell me something? No matter. Here are some shots I managed to get during my first snorkel at Smith's Cove. I can't believe it took me THIS long to snorkel at this spot. I will definitely be going back there next weekend, hoping for a cloudless sky! Oh, did I mention that there was a mega size cloud that kept chasing the sun and it seemed to concentrate on the Smith Cove area? Someone is definitely trying to tell me something. If I can just figure out what it is...
OCEAN SURGEON FISH & A STOP LIGHT PARROT FISH
STOP LIGHT PARROT FISH, SPOT FIN BUTTERFLY FISH, A SLIPPERY DICK
A YELLOWTAIL BLUE DAMSELFISH
I have never seen one with these spots before!
Monday, March 29, 2010
We were in Havana, Cuba this past weekend, such is the advantage of living in Cayman - quick weekend getaway trips, with direct flights to boot. Havana is historically beautiful, albeit rundown in certain areas, more like every other building yet they all still manage to exude charm that is hard to ignore or go unappreciated.
Being in Havana, makes me so thankful that I have never had to abide by communist rules or should I say a socialist regime in all five of the countries I've lived in. Watching Cubans trying to make a living, earning the same no matter what their occupation, it seems the best industry to be in is Tourism, where gratuities can be the only from of savings Cubans can put away for a really rainy day. That is if the government doesn't get to it first, as recounted by many resort employees during our 2004 Cayo Coco, Cuba vacation.
But the other aspect of it is, with that much pollution, smog and vehicle exhaust from vintage American cars still in use from the pre revolution era and where no one seems to drive with their a/cs on & their windows rolled up, it's a breath of fresh air to finally be back in Cayman. It's amazing how much we can take for granted something as little as fresh air. Or uncontaminated water.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
The 21st Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada has come to an end and even though Caymanian Dow Travers didn't win a medal, I am sure it was a proud moment to have him be a part of the Winter Olympics. So, I reckon no one questioned whether he is born Caymanian or paper Caymanian for this event. I certianly didn't hear any rumblings of any sort. I guess a fuss wasn't made, unlike during last year's Miss Cayman pageant. It's just some food for thought.
Monday, February 22, 2010
When I was about 10, we took a weekend trip to a fabulously deliciously cool place a few hours away from Bombay. This was Nasik, and it was here by the beach that I found a beautiful shell, about half the size of my thumb. I pocketed it and after a day or so, took it out to inspect it. It looked like there was something peeking out of it, so being 10, I yanked it out. What I did find startled and scared me, that I threw both the inhabitant and the shell as far as I could. At the time, I had no idea what that was. The passing of time has taught me that that was a Hermit Crab.
It's been years since I have encountered another one of these and this one is far bigger, and it's inhabitants much more so. There will be no displacing of any kind here. It also goes by a different name - the Soldier Crab and are no bigger than your palm. Some people eat them, but hey, whatever floats their boat. This was taken at Cayman Brac, during our first trip to the sister island in late January. Taken with my new Olympus Stylus Tough 6000 Underwater Camera, because I busted up the previous model.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
This is what happens when you throw a chunk of bread into the ocean.
Word spreads and big ones the length of your arm, begin to surround you, hoping you'll throw out more chunks.
But you're all out.
And then you start to panic.
This would be a good time to make your exit.
Which is EXACTLY what I did!
Am I being a tad dramatic? Maybe? I just don't like being circled by more than one big fish, especially when I'm snorkeling all by myself.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
There's nothing like a few tremors to bring out the terror in people. That being said, we were fortunate that we were nowhere near the 5.8 earthquake on Tuesday or nowhere close to suffering the wrath that took over Haiti. Other than this big gaping hole left in South Sound, there was no other reported damage here on Grand Cayman. I got this picture from Ms. Stop Your Noise, my former Bermuda landlady. Looking at this picture, you have to remind yourself that Cayman is mostly either rocky or swamp land, and these types of holes can occur occasionally, especially if not enough earth was compacted during construction. I'm just guessing!
What we did experience today was the after shock of that 5.8 earthquake. For where I was located, the building began to vibrate, like jello! Two tremors, each a couple of seconds spaced a second apart. And after our initial shock wore off, it was business as usual. Work had to get done but that was not without any humour. We kept joking that this earthquake was a warning to 'someone' and that they better shape up. We still don't know who that someone is. Hey, it could be you!
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Did anyone feel that minor earthquake this morning? Anyone?
FROM RADIO CAYMAN
Cayman Hit by 5.8 Magnitude Earthquake
At 9.23 am the USGS reported a moderate earthquake of magnitude 5.8 occurred 32 miles ESE of Bodden Town, 40 miles ESE of George Town, 45 ESE of West Bay.
The earthquake occurred at a depth of 6.2 miles.
There have been no reports of damage or injuries received by 911.
There is no threat of a tsunami from this event.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Because I have never seen a pelican up close, especially not at such close proximity, and because just looking at the thumbnail of the second picture makes you want to enlarge it just so you can figure exactly what that pelican is doing...
....which is attempting to scratch its head or something close to it.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Here's a Bermuda street sign. Many of them are like this, 'conveniently' placed at the bottom of a wall. It would make sense to place a sign high above the average height of a person, so, given that, how on earth is one supposed to spot this????
Monday, January 11, 2010
I have neglected ye long enough and I am sorry. So, here's to a Happy, Healthy, Safe & Blessed New Year. And yes, I'm here and made it through 2009 into January 2010, which is not what I can say for some folks. What is it about the New Year that sends people careening to their deaths? Truth be told, I hate this time of year - this month of January. There's always bad news looming and try as I might to not give into this stereotype, that I seem to have created in my head, the New Year never fails to fall short of the fact that it's never going to get off to a good start. Do I sound cynical? Don't be all doom and gloom, you may say. Well, I don't mean to be. Perhaps realistic is a better word. The past decade has taught me different, so I reckon I do have a right to be like so. But isn't it better to start the New Year keeping your fingers crossed and bracing yourself for something a little less than disastrous (or more), rather than be gobsmacked of all of one's enthusiasm simply because of the thinking that a change in date somehow resets us into a new era of new beginnings? Who on earth gave us THAT idea? Are we that untouchable? Is it better to be realistic and somewhat mentally and emotionally prepared, or blissfully unaware of what's about to hit you...or the fan?
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Shaking off my writer's block, laziness and the cold I left behind in Toronto a little over a week ago, just to let you know that this blog is still alive and kicking. Alive, at least. Stay tuned...
Monday, November 02, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
How do you avoid being laid off from the work force? "Work hard, come in early and stay late." This is what Bermuda's Royal Gazette has been preaching. The harder you work, the less likely you are going to laid off.
Layoffs are now a thing of the present and neither Cayman nor Bermuda has been a stranger to this situation. I've heard of many being laid off here in Cayman and companies are not mincing words about it. Regardless of where you are, if you've always been a slacker then consider yourself lucky to have been employed for this long, but not anymore. Companies are changing the way they operate and it doesn't matter if you are a local or an expat. If your performance hasn't been improving, then expect a pink slip sometime soon. This is the one thing that has become glaringly obvious when it comes to layoffs - those that aren't cutting it are getting the axe.
The article goes on to say: "Some Bermudians have a sense of entitlement and I would like to not only discourage that but completely wipe it out." This sense of entitlement is not just prevalent in Bermuda, but also in Cayman and I am sure, in many other countries with a strong expat population. That's not to say that expats don't slack off either, but the main emphasis on the article was how locals should now be willing to compromise when it comes to job offers and such. Why? Because much like the renter's market, it is an employer's market and there are dozens other waiting in line to snap up that job and keep it.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Pirate's Week is almost here, and before you know Christmas will be soon to follow in what will herald another New Year. Bet you're asking yourself this: WHERE HAS 2009 gone to? To the dogs, I say! What say you?
Monday, October 19, 2009
This place! Oh this place! You'd think by now I'd be used to the way a small island operates, especially since Bermuda + Cayman now makes it coming up to five years. But no, putting your foot in your mouth is easier to do here than in any other country. You can't even say, Oh don't I know you from somewhere? because that would mean you may have met that person at a different time in their life, like say when they were with another guy/girl, not the same one they're with now (even as close as to a month ago). But how are you supposed to know that? You only get an inkling when the big eyes come into play, when heads are shook vigorously, conveniently away from their girl/boyfriend's peripheral vision. And somehow you have to recover with the only line you know: Oh, I think I have you confused with someone else. I've had a few close calls, and these were through no fault of my own. So, from now on I'm keeping my mouth shut, even when I do know you, I'm not going to say I know you, unless you say so first. That's the way it's going to be.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I am sure I killed a lot of trees today. It was NOT a good day. Lots to print/photocopy at work, and considering not many places recycle here in Cayman, I cringe every time I hit print. Considering how much more sophisticated Cayman is compared to oh say Bermuda, I wish it housed a proper recycling facility. Paper, glass, aluminium - you can bet there will be a lot less ending up at the dump. I cringe when I think of the dump, all that plastic holding out only to degrade completely a good 100-500 years later, depending on its strength. In fact, I cringe every time I snap up a plastic bag at the grocery store, because what will temporarily hold the groceries for a little while, will inevitably end up at the dump filled with what not. Cayman has got to do better than this. India, a third world country, recycles, for Pete's sake.
Some grocery stores in Toronto will charge you for every plastic bag you need to cart your groceries, about 5 cents a bag, or you're welcome to help yourself to one of the cardbox boxes at the front of the store. On this trip I was told that this was now mandatory at all grocery stores in Toronto but the folks failed to tell me that this applied to ALL stores, clothing included. It was much like them asking me to pick up liquor from the liquor store, but failing to mention that the liquor store had moved!!! Anyway, not wanting to make the mistake of going into a store minus my own bag, I snapped up a bunch of what I think are adorably chic and extremely strong, widely spaced reusable bags from Walmart. I now feel so much better using these instead of having to add one more plastic bag to Cayman's dump. In an effort to encourage Torontonians to participate in a green program such as this, bags are now 5 cents each at all locations. It definitely works. 5 cents can add up to a lot pretty fast, so, get ready because this will soon be coming to a Canadian city or province near you. Such a novel idea and high time for the rest of the world to join in, don't you think???
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Post # 501...oh boy! Let's get cracking. Nothing like talking about money, right?
When I was really young, the term Money Laundering didn't quite make sense to me. Sounded like one's money was scheduled for laundry day or something. Back then there were so many words that didn't quite make sense, but all that's changed now. Money laundering makes total sense.
You may have noticed how Cayman has such a bad rap when it comes to money laundering? Any prime time show out there that involves drug dealers, gangs or bad guys wanting to hide their moolah, will inevitably mention that their money is parked in the Cayman Islands, notorious for its haven for money launders. But times are a changing. Cayman has been trying very hard to rid itself of this image. Regulations and strict compliance measures have been making the rounds for a while and Cayman now makes accountability mandatory to those wanting to park their monetary funds on island. So, how did this bad rap get started...?
You can bet one way was this...I was watching a documentary on how Marijuana was smuggled into San Francisco in epic proportions about 20 years ago. The mastermind behind this admitted that the money (millions every month) made off of trafficking and selling off this pot was easily moved to the Cayman Islands, far from the reach of Uncle Sam. I believe his exact words were: You could walk into Cayman with suitcases loaded with money and they just didn't care.
Tsk tsk Cayman, you sure set yourself up for a big fall. But you're recovering, slowly and surely you are working hard to rid yourself of the image that you are aiding and abiding the bad boys. I've noticed most shows now barely mention Cayman when it comes to money laundering, they've moved on to other offshore jurisdictions, like the Bahamas...or even Belize. They've been doing their research, and eventually this will pay off. It may take a while, but you'll get there.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Here in Cayman, there are so many occurrences that one may hear about through the grapevine, and then only to be surprised when it doesn't make print. You would think journalists would be doing their damnedest to scour material hoping that would make the daily cut, but you're left scratching your head when you can't find what you're looking for in the newspaper or even online. As an older Caymanian co-worker put it rightly, ‘Oh you don’t know how this country of mine works. They are very very good at hiding & covering up things.’ Ironic, considering how small this island really is. We're going to hear about it inadvertently and eventually, so why hide it!
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
A Cayman facts and figures article of various things starts of with...'At the end of 2008 there were 2171 goats in the Cayman Islands'. Goats? Really? The article's only picture was of a goat. I think that's cute! If that doesn't make you laugh, it should at least make you smile. I wonder what the end of 2009 will do for the goat population.
Monday, August 31, 2009
The government has overspent, but that's what governments everywhere do. So in an order to 'replenish' some of this cash, it has been recommended that a slew of taxes be put in place. If they were to implement income tax, let me tell you, we'd be gone...like the wind. Cayman, while not as expensive as Bermuda, is expensive in its own right, something like income taxes that would most definitely affect expats, is not going to want to make them stay. You can bet the financial industry here will be the next to crumble and I hope the politicians are aware of the domino effect this form of taxation will create. But, there is the case of property tax that the government is looking at. Rents are at a all time low here in Cayman, it is a renter's paradise but one has to wonder what effect property taxes would have on the rental market. Hopefully it can't be any worse than Bermuda, as her rental market never seems to follow a downward trend.