Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Join the joyride

This article talks about how Bermuda Bus Drivers should be praised for the following reasons:
Consider the size of our everyday 36ft Bermuda bus that on the average weighs in between nine and 12 tons (18,000 to 24,000 pounds) curb weight - without passengers. When you add 60 to 80 sitting and standing adults of many sizes with a cumulative 16,000 pounds, the total weight load is a monstrous 36,000 pounds."

All fine and good. And then the article goes on to say: "
Driving at a slow average of 30 miles per hour, these pink and blue cruisers cannot stop on a dime. "

HOLD THE PHONE! Because that just about cracked me up. EVERY bus I have been on has gone way above the 30 miles per hour. Like for instance, there was this one time (do I sound like that girl from Band Camp in American Pie?), anyway I once was on the bus heading up to Somerset and along for the ride with me were a number of older (retired) women, a large group of them vacationing. As we made our way through the narrow roads and even narrower the closer we got to Somerset, this particular bus driver made no attempt to slow down as he made those sharp turns. And could he ever manouver those curves. The ladies were enjoying this roller coaster effect (because really it was) so much that they began to throw their hands up in the air and exclaim a series of OOOOOs and Ahhhhhhs during this unexpected joyride. I remember laughing not so much at them, but with them because it was so unexpected an experience.

So, I have no idea what this reporter is talking about because
'driving at a slow average of 30 miles per hour', is what the bus drivers don't do here in Bermuda, no matter where, no matter when. Ask any island resident, and they will attest to this fact.

And yes Bermuda's buses are pink (a reflection of the island's pink sand). Besides what other colour would it be.

Friday, May 23, 2008

One proud single mother

I've been told that a family has a better chance of staying strong & being successful if the mother is a strong person of character. I truly believe that, both from personal experiences and observations. I've also been told that a family that prays together stays together. And when you read a story like this you realize how true both these statements are and you just have to stop and give this woman, Ms. Bernella Williams some much deserved props, for single handedly raising EIGHT successful sons all on her own.

Please take a moment to read her story. Mother of the Year? I definitely think so.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

8,000 strong

Is it possible to become jaded after a few years on the island? Many tell me that after a few years, they either end up hating their stint or still continue to love it just as much as when they first arrived here. But everyone agrees that the weather, the sun, the sand, the beaches are things that one never tires of. But then there's work - or at least office politics that no one likes to deal with, unless you're all about the drama (which some are). Office politics are one thing, and then there's this:

TUESDAY, MAY 21: Beyonce, Alicia Keys and UB40 will headline the Bermuda Music Festival in October.Other acts lined-up to appear include The Whispers, Collie Buddz, comedians Bill Bellamy and Dick Gregory, Solange Knowles (Beyonce's sister), soul and R & B singer Aaron Neville and comedian, actor and radio personality, Steve Harvey."This event will garner for Bermuda more worldwide attention than anything that has ever happened here," BMF producer Rock Newman of Gibraltar Promotions told the Bermuda Sun. "Folks around the world are going to say 'Bermuda has got it going on!'"

There are 22,000 tickets available and Bermudians can buy them online tomorrow at
www.bermudamusicfestival.com. They go on sale on Thursday for non-Bermudians.

So, should I be offended? As an expat, are you? We've all heard of price discrimination, but this just takes the cake. I've never heard of this happening anywhere else and while there are a couple of snarky comments I can make, I shall refrain. For now. But I can make a few observations:

What do they mean when they say Bermudians? Are they including 'Spouses of Bermudians' as well? In recent events there has been much talk of how restrictions should be placed on property purchasing rights for Spouses of Bermudians, where previously there were none. These restrictions came about because of the fear that more land will fall into foreign hands (never mind that that foreigner is married to a Bermudian). Of course, this created tension and resentment among locals, that did not exist before. So, if Bermuda treats its citizen's spouses this way, what hope is there for expats?

The expat population in Bermuda is only about 8,000 from a total of 66,000. Surely not all 8,000 of us will be attending the Music Festival & surely not all 58,000 Bermudians will be attending either, especially when you factor in how many of those are children and the elderly. So, what's the big deal? Why the discrimination? Why make the expat community feel like it's a second class one? Why not make us feel equally valued, especially considering International Business is what Bermuda mainly depends on? I know it's only 8,000 of us, but it's a number that drives the economy.

Folks from around the world are actually going to say: "Bermuda clearly does not have it going on."

Oh yeah, clearly, I am offended.

Friday, May 16, 2008

This one's for you, Mom

My mother's birthday falls in and around Mother's Day. This year it fell ON Mother's day. Being away makes it harder because I'm not able to celebrate it with the usual fan fare. Most expats arrange to have their mom's receive flowers and timely prearranged gifts. It makes up for their absence, slightly, if any. For the past three years, I've had to leave that upto my brother and ensure, with reminders, that it's her big day. What is it with men and forgetting birthdays? Ok, not all men but most men. Anyway, we try to make up for the fact that she's got to share her birthday with the other all important day. But mom's not so much of a stickler for things such as these. In her own words 'I'd rather forget my birthday'.

I decided to post this picture up and share it with you (and I'm bold enough to, since you won't recognize me from it). It's one of my favourites - me showing my bro some sisterly love, while my mom looks on. I've purposely cut him out of the picture, only because he insanely private and will probably disown me, should I post his picture up here, not to mention carrying out his threats of posting any and all unflattering pics of me for all to see. The fact that I'm even talking about him is ammunition enough. So, here's my brother, Newt; me, MsCutePants & our mom - from the good old days. This is also one of my mom's favourite picture. She's forever lamenting on how she wishes we had stayed this way forever. I'm sure every mother feels the same about their children.

And I just realized it but, my previous post was my 300th. So Happy 300th to me! Never mind that I failed to mark my 100th and 200th post.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Getting upclose

If you think this is beautiful, you need to actually get down here and look at it in person. The picture does not do the actual colours any justice, whatsoever, no matter how good a camera I may have.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The return of the Bermuda Cahow

Isn't it wonderful when you hear of birds that you thought were extinct for some 400, suddenly making an appearance or should I say a reappearance. It's like we're gaining back a species. The species getting all this attention is the Bermuda Cahow, long thought to have been extinct. With the current state of our planet, the disappearing bees, El Nino, melting glaciers, it's certainly nice to see some of our environmentally friendly efforts paying off. Now if only the Cahows could talk, I'd really like to know where they were for the past 400 years. Perhaps that's where the Dodos are.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Such a player

I once experienced a work hiring practice that I am sure in the expat world pretty much occurs on a fairly frequent basis. Remember how I said privacy is a luxury here on the island? Now imagine this: You're applying for a certain position and as you fire off your resume, you are hoping that that application is held in the strictest of confidences. If it's a small shop you're applying to, then chances are, one or two key employees will be pulled in to be asked about whether they know you or know of you and then based on that what they know of your character, before you've even had a chance to be interviewed. It really depends on who's being asked and how long they've tenured in the industry. If they've been around for a while, chances are they've probably once worked with you and will render their opinion on their past experiences in the work place with you or on what they've heard from others.

While I can't reveal the specifics, I will say that it was quite an interesting way to hone in on the best candidate for the job. It was astounding how many of the candidates were well known in their line of work to these key employees. It was like: What do we know about this applicant? Does the name look familiar? Next! As you can imagine,
getting the inside scoop was the hiring strategy here. Imagine your reputation preceding you at an interview. Well if you've played your cards right, there's not much to worry about, is there? So much in today's world depends on how good of a team player you really are in the workplace and as organizations increasingly place much emphasis on this job requirement, it's amazing how a little team playing can work much wonders for in the professional arena. That and never burning your bridges, of course. Welcome to the expat working world in Bermuda, where word of mouth is everything, where word of mouth can make or break your career path.