Friday, January 30, 2009

Biz

Read this and it made me laugh:

You know u'z a Caymanian when everybody knows your business before you do!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hurray, Hurray, it's a holi-holi holiday...

A long weekend is loved and welcomed by many. Who doesn't love a long weekend, right? It also brings on a shorter work week. Here in Cayman it seems like we have quite a few and when you add it all up, Cayman has an extra statutory (public) holiday than Bermuda and Canada does. The downside is that from the months of August to October, Cayman does not have a long weekend scheduled in at all. But everything in moderation, right? This year we also get an extra day in May for Election Day! And this Monday Cayman will be celebrating National Heroes Day. Seems like a parade will be in order and you can bet I will be around for that. So, stay tuned.

Go HERE for a list of Cayman's Public Holidays for 2009.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dissing the dispatch

You're in Bermuda living around the corner from the hospital and find yourself requiring emergency medical attention, only the ambulance doesn't arrive until much later. Until it's too late. Apparently the emergency dispatch service is not upto par with standards that it should be at, considering just how much of an affluent island Bermuda is. Frankly, this does not surprise me because one can easily chalk this down to LAZINESS, something that is much too apparent in Bermuda. I'm sorry to say, but it's true and I can say this because I've lived through it over there.

Taxi dispatch services display this same blatant disregard for customer service, especially when they don't bother to call you back to inform you that there aren't any cabs available for a ride to the airport, which is just the case on a Sunday. In Bermuda, it pays to ask the cabbie to arrive at your door a full half hour before you actually plan to leave.

And in a case where medical attention is needed, it pays to drive yourself to the hospital, or get a loved one to. You'll arrive much quicker and probably will be alive to see another day in the process. This unfortunate gentleman was not so lucky and it is an absolute disgrace. I hope his family is suing the Hospital or whoever is responsible for all they've got.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama on the brain

One of my FaceBook contact's status read as follows: "...is glad that today marks the end of an error." Cleverly said.

And I have rightly stolen today's post's title from one of my favourite blogs to read about a precocious four year old boy with PDD-NOS and his adorable sister. And here's one reason why - a post from a couple of weeks ago.

Nik's mom: “Hey kids…mommy has to go to a party tonight so Michelle is going to come over to babysit you two, okay?”

Nik, after thinking for a while: “Barack Obama’s wife?”

Monday, January 19, 2009

On the eve

While people back home in Toronto and various sub freezing parts of the US were ringing in the New Year with -20 deg Celsius temperatures, braving the cold waiting for the ball to drop, New Years' here in Cayman was celebrated 'island style' – of course. Sure there were plenty of parties to be had but our first New Years' was celebrated at the beach, with champagne & fireworks. And that is New Years' Eve, island style. Plenty of all three were available for us to appease our senses. The sand was inordinately cool and it felt so good, of course I daren't go in the water at that time of night. Not only would it be cold but who knows what might be lurking beneath the surface. Just kidding, there's nothing beneath the surface but sand and maybe a few corals and rocks embedded here and there, but who'd want to swim in the pitch dark anyway. What was nice about the New Year's in Cayman was that, unlike Bermuda, people brought their own fireworks to share and set off randomly while we awaited the big bang. I pestered Hubby to get some fireworks, seeing as it's been ages since I've set off any of those. But no dice. Hubby was not too inclined to do so and neither was anyone else. Would have been fun! Perhaps next New Years' Eve.

video

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sing a song of Sixpence

I stumbled upon this on the net:

The nursery rhyme, 'Sing a Song of Sixpence', orginated as a coded message used for recruiting pirates.

Well, I'll be damned! Nice bit to bring up at this year's Pirate's Week.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Vacay

Ms. Cute Pants has been so busy vacation planning, that she has not had time to blog. And now that she is finally getting down to it, all thoughts of topics that were previously bombarding her, have now left her. Typical!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Customising

The Cayman Islands Postal Service is urging residents to give out and use the right postal code for the right PO Boxes that they have been assigned. Unlike Bermuda, mail here is NOT delivered to one's house, rather to PO Boxes. And since there are quite a few different locations with possible the same numbered PO Boxes, using the right postal code is key. Using the incorrect code will only delay one's mail as it will make the rounds to each location before the rightful owner gets it. And since it's apparently it's illegal for the CIPS to throw away any mail, and that it HAS to be delivered to a PO Box, you're guaranteed to get it in your box, even if it's not yours.

But here's the kicker: The reason for the above notice was due to the fact that residents were actually making up their own codes.

Seriously? Do people NOT want to get their mail. Own postal codes indeed. How does one even make up their own postal code? I want to know!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Turtle take two

I will never tire of taking Turtle videos and can't ever resist it either. Here's one of my best taken over the holidays. I could have easily taken one home with me.

video

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Mini nut

A miniature Cayman coconut, that fell off the tree much sooner than it should have, that also reminds me of my childhood. There'd be umpteen amounts of these in our backyard in Bombay. Our neighbours had rows of coconut trees in their backyard which unrestricted, also faced ours.

Next time you come across one, pick it up and peel off those layers. You'll feel the smoothest surface you've felt yet. Smells quite nice too. They're also great for when you want to pop someone on the back of the head with.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

While on hold

Christmas celebrations in the Middle East can vary depending on where in the mid east you are. Some are, believe it or not, a little liberal than most. Saudi Arabia for instance, does not tolerate any other religions. My uncle, TigerBeer often watches Christian services on TV and will on seperate occasions also sneak in some liquor to celebrate the holidays or just any weekend. Alchohol is not permitted in the Kingdom.

But like I said, not all Muslim countries are that conservative. Growing up, most malls in Dubai had Christmas trees, lights and Christmas décor. We were not allowed, however, to put up any stars. In India, having a lit up paper made star hanging off the balcony outside one's home is an integral part of Christmas décor. These Christmas stars really are beautiful, one more elaborate than the next, some even depicting the Nativity scene. This was something I missed during all those Christmases in Dubai. The reason it was taboo was not because it was Christian but because of the fact that the star also represents the Star of David. The Star is to the Jewish people, what the cross is to Christians.

Back in those days my mother worked for a government institution. Every time we'd call her at work, and were put on hold, a lovely little tune played, probably preselected by one of their phone tech guys. It's a tune that has been ingrained in our brains, because that's how often we'd call Mom while she was at work – and that's how often we were put on hold, especially when we kids were misbehaving. Time out was a tune we had to listen to. Of course, back in the day we didn't know the name of the tune, nor the words.

Fast forward to many years later and much older, and rifling through a hymn book at Church where I turn to the required tune and as we begin to sing it, it hits me. THIS IS THE NAMELESS TUNE!!!! Oh! I looked over at my mother with eyes wide open with recognition, then delight and finally satisfaction and began talking.

This nameless tune now had a name and the lyrics went like this:
What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Oh satisfaction indeed. Dubai is not the kind of place where it's completely anti-Christian, there are many churches, schools that have been named after Christian godheads and saints. And I believe that all places should be tolerant of all religions no matter where. And not being allowed to put up a Christmas star took something away from me all those years. But while I'd imagine many many Arabs would call in for Customer Service related queries all the while being oblivious to the fact that they were listening to a Christian Carol about Christ the King while on hold – now that's giving me something back.

I wonder if that tune is still played while people are put on hold...

Monday, January 05, 2009

First Stop Lights

As promised, here are more Christmas Lights from the first house we went to off of North Sound Road. This is BODDEN HOUSE and these lights were just as good as the ones at Crighton House. So, enjoy!











Saturday, January 03, 2009

An Old Cayman Christmas

The Christmas season is not over yet, not until the 6th anyway, and until then I intend on posting more of my first Caymanian Christmas. We all know the Christmases of now but at times I wonder how was Christmas celebrated yesteryear, way before my time. At the Crighton House Annual Christmas Display, I got a glimpse of how Christmas was celebrated in the old days here in Cayman. This was easily my favourite display in the massive array of glittering lights and many other little Christmas vignettes. The Old Cayman Christmas vignette features an old style beach house complete with a Grandma sitting in her rocking chair knitting some festive gear. Country Christmas music and a voice over accompanied the display with an explanation of the props that made up this display and of those that did not.

Back in the day Caymanians would decorate their front yards with borders made up of Conch shells. I'd imagine that Christmas ornaments were not easy to come by back then and for obvious reasons, neither were lights, so shells were probably the natural thing to use. Quite pretty actually. They really do lend to that rustic beachy Christmasy feeling.

You will also see an extraordinarily large pickle jar, very reminiscent of the seventies style of crock ware. I especially love this because we had smaller versions of this back in our kitchen, when I was very young. It's comforting to see a such a jar, as it conjures up wonderful memories of moms, grandmas, aunts in the kitchen preparing for feasts surrounded by jars like this. I think we might still have some around.

Placed in front of the pickle jar, you will notice an aluminium pan (pot) which was most likely filled with sand, cow dung, burning wood and the coconut husk you see peeking out of it. This was the old Caymanian remedy for dealing with the then serious mosquito problem on the island.

And I cannot close this post without commenting on the Christmas Tree that peeks through the centre of the home. While it's not your standard imported evergreen tree of today, it is just as close. Besides, isn't a Christmas tree a tree of what you make of it, with your very own ornaments and touches. This is what I'd call a tropical Christmas tree, very much like the one I grew up with.

I am sure there's more, and if you have been privy to an Old Cayman Christmas then please feel free to share.

Friday, January 02, 2009

And around we go...


Christmas season.
Cayman roundabouts.
Such a distraction while driving at nighttime.

Here's why..

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Oh Nine

I was hoping to have another couple of posts before NYE but have been so busy with family visiting. But We still have five more days before the Christmas season ends, so I have do have time to post the rest of those fabulous Christmas lights pics. In the mean time..

Here's wishing everyone a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year!

This year more than any I have noticed many marking this New Year's Day as a day that will bring change, almost making it seem like the whole process is somehow magical. It's good to hope, I guess. For me New Year's Day comes with the realisation that another year has ended, which leaves me wondering where the heck it went. No seriously, where did 2008 go?