Friday, 17 September 2010

A few things I've learnt about life in TCI...

I'm pretty sure every day we're here I learn something new about living on this Island! It is different from the U.K in many respects and I thought it would be funny to share a few of the things I have observed:

  • Most children don't use car seats at you don't find any crazy rules here about being 8 years old and having to sit in a car seat.  In fact my employer's little 1 year old is just free to roam in the front seat of the car, and her 3 year old examines the seat belt with great caution every morning when we strap him in because I'm pretty sure he's never used one before!
  • They don't seem to have a direct debit option for any of the bills you want to pay.  We bought a mobile phone at the beginning of the month and set up a contract, and they just told us that sometime next month we have to come down to the shop and pay our monthly fee (no specific date in particular, just anytime we're passing by!)
  • No-one really has an address here.  They have just recently started trying to give the roads names, because before then there were no road names anywhere! So you can basically put Gem Braithwaite, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos and that post would reach me! Although they don't have postmen or anything like that, you basically have to drive by the post office every once in a while...wander in and ask if they have any post for you! 
  • Yesterday I went to observe one of our children from our program in his day care which he attends in the morning.  He was in a class for 2-3 year olds and there were 19 children in the class with only 2 adults supervising.  I'm pretty sure that's illegal in the U.K! It was crazily chaotic to say the least! 
  • People walk the streets with machetes...seriously! It's sort of scary to begin with, until you see them everywhere and it starts to become normal! (Byron wants me to clarify here that it is because they're gardeners...and they're not just roaming around for their next victim)
  • The school where I work has Fun day Friday! The kids and staff dress down, they have hot dogs for lunch, and then they line up for ice cream cones afterwards..and they play all morning and then School finishes early and at midday they go home! 
  • When you look through the job section of the paper, the average rate for jobs is $5 per hour, which is approx £3.20.  Even the advertisements where they expect loads of experience offer crazy low salaries, like a sous chef advert I saw.  They requested you had at least 5 years experience working as a sous chef and the applicant must have training in Modern Caribbean Fusion, European cookery, French, Mediterranean and Pan Asian.  They should be a proficient saucier and have honed pastry skills so as to prepare and present eye catching desserts.  They must be willing to work all public holidays and weekends and the salary was just under £1000 per month!!!! Seriously?! and it's not only that but since the cost of living is so ridiculously high on this Island that those kind of ads just make me laugh! 
  • They have completely random public holidays.  Next Friday we have a day off due to 'National Youth Day' whatever that involves! I'm not questioning it...a long weekend sounds good to me! I also find it amusing that they have a public holiday on June 11th for the Queen's birthday when we don't even do that in England!  We also have two more coming up in October...Columbus Day on the 11th and International Human Rights Day on the 24th! 
  • The beaches are pretty much always deserted, we hardly ever pass anyone on our evening strolls and I have yet to see a Belonger on the beach.  A Belonger is the term for a native Turks Islander. The funny thing is that someone told me recently that most Belongers can't actually swim, so they live on this amazingly beautiful Island and don't get to enjoy the beaches it offers! 

1 comment:

  1. Some crazy trivia Gems. Maybe they know something about the water you don't. Da na da na da na da na daaaa!