Because I have been travelling quite a bit recently between Barbados and London, I hadn’t been keeping up to date with local news as much as I should have.
I had of course heard that a couple of female Canadian tourists had been mugged and beaten on Long Beach on the 28th of February. In fact the woman were severely beaten with a piece of wood and left unconscious.
One of the women Terry Schwarzfeld suffered serious brain injuries and never regained consciousness. A friend of the family confirmed that Schwarzfeld died at the Ottawa Hospital’s Civic campus Wednesday March the 18th.
The police thanks to a $20,00BDS reward have supposedly caught the killer, who is a 24-year-old local man. But that one wont be answered until he has been proven guilty in a court of law! What surprises me is that they never rounded up a few Guyanese and blamed them!
Is Barbados really a paradise like Caribbean Island, well sometimes it looks like one and feels like one, but at other times for me it has a dark and dangerous underbelly just like most other places in the world.
I have personally walked along Long beach numerous times and what I liked about it is was the solitude of the place and peacefulness, but what you always find at these quiet beaches in Barbados is that there is always somebody lurking in the bushes or in the trees that makes you feel a little bit uneasy and keeps you guard. I normally have my Staffordshire Bull Terrier with me and she seems to scare the hell out of the Scum and for very good reason, they aint as dumb as they look. But I have to admit my bite has been known to be as bad as my Staffies!
If David Thomson, the Police or anybody else in Barbados can answer me, why is it that every time I go out my door, I have somebody trying to sell me cocaine, weed, girls or are begging money off me, “any bad habits”. Does that sound like paradise to you, it doesn’t feel like paradise to me.
I will give it to you straight I have never had so many offers of people openly coming up to me in broad daylight and offering to sell me illegal things in my life and that includes places like Glasgow, London, New York, Paris. The druggies and vermin in these places are discreet because they don’t want to be caught by the cops and sent to jail.
It makes me wonder about the police force and for that matter the politicians in Barbados are they just totally useless or are they getting a cut of the drug dealer’s money? I for one am not too sure about the answer to this, but nothing in Barbados would surprise me.
I know for a fact that the tourist industry is taking a big, big, big hit in Barbados this year, and anybody that can read can go online and see the amount of complaints that tourists are making about feeling uneasy and in danger when on holiday in Barbados.
The only time you seem to see a lot of cops out and about in Barbados is on a Friday night down at Oistins and I personally feel that is because they must get a some free food and drink. I will go as far saying that the politicians and the Police haven’t got a clue about preventing, dealing with or even understanding crime on Barbados and I don’t just mean crime committed on tourists but on local people as well.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, whether you are on holiday in paradise, or in your local neighbourhood, wherever that may be in the world, there are dangerous and crazy people waiting in the shadows to create devastation on innocent people without any regards to the consequences.
All I can say is keep your eyes wide open and be prepared to react in whatever manner possible to protect your own life and the life’s of your family members. My own personal philosophy is to always stay alert and be prepared to do what ever it takes to take out the perpetrator, before they get you. So whether you are in Barbados, South Africa, Ireland or England stay on your guard!
I read with utter disbelief in the Monday addition of the Nation Newspaper, when the General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union said that he felt that a weekly wage of $200BDS (yes $200) is a totally unacceptable wage for shop assistants here in Barbados, I wish someone could explain to me why the past Governments have allowed this travesty to happen, I can only guess that all the politicians have been more concerned with lining their own pockets with their ill gotten gains rather than making sure that the people of Barbados do not get exploited by greedy employers.
I for one find it amazing that in this day and age people are being expected to work for a pittance of $200 a week in a country such as Barbados, where everything costs so much. Lets face it, I could understand such a weekly wage if it was a cheap country to live, i.e. it was cheap to buy food and that utilities were cheap, but as anybody lives here knows that is far from the case.
The only thing that seems to be cheap in Barbados is the Rum and now I can see why there are so many rum shops and people who frequent them on a regular basis, it is cheaper to drink liqueur than it is to eat!
I would honestly say that food is a hell of lot cheaper in the UK and we have a far better choice of produce to choose from. I know it is the same in the USA and Canada; they are also even cheaper than the UK.
I wish someone could explain to me how you are meant to survive on $200 a week in Barbados, I find it amazing that there is people out there having to suffer like that. For example I went into the shop today and bought some bottles of juice and few bits and pieces, which cost me $40 and they wont even last the day. When I was in the shop I overheard a mother saying to her child what you would like for her dinner and she ended up getting a tin of tuna and packet of biscuits, I thought to myself what a way to have to live.
To me there seems to be lot of good people that are struggling and who work hard to make ends meet in Barbados. I personally wonder if the Government really cares, I suppose they should. I would like to think that the David Thomson administration will take their hands out of the cookie jar long enough to try and make sure every worker in Barbados earns a decent wage.
As I read this article I’m looking in the Auto Guide of the local news paper and see an add for a 2000 E320 Mercedes-Benz and they are asking $45,000BDS. I have a friend back in the UK who sold the exact same car in immaculate condition 80,000km on the clock for $12,000BDS. Only a slight difference in price! The amount of duty that they charge for vehicles to come into Barbados they should have the best roads in the world, not the worst ones!
I now can see why so many of the shop assistants in Barbados couldn’t give a crap about their job or the customers, quite frankly would you if you were having to work and survive on such a pittance?
Picture this image of Christmas shopping in Barbados and you will think that the Grinch stole Christmas here. In fact I’m certain he has!
I was doing a bit of Christmas shopping yesterday for the kid and wife as you do at this time of the year. For anybody that has a wife and kid they will know the complexities of buying presents for them!
I was in a fairly good mood wandering around the centre of Bridgetown searching for the perfect Christmas presents, which is of course all part of the fun of Christmas.
I had just been saved by the Snow Cone Man, The Snow Cone Man Saved My Life and was back in the land of the living and was back in the game. I was back on a roll and the search for whatever I was looking for was going strong.
I found the toy shop that I was looking for and they had the toy that the kid had asked Santa for, oh how I wish I had bought it in the UK, I could have bought 2 for the price of 1! I suppose that isn’t too bad for Barbados!
I would love to give the two girls at the till a special mention, one girl serving and one girl putting the stuff in a bag. I can’t understand why it takes two girls to do this job.
I watched a guy put well over $1000BDS worth of toys down on the counter and the girl serving and the girl packing never spoke to the man once during the entire transaction. I think they were kind of upset because the man dared to interrupt their conversation.
I made a point of going to the same counter and you guessed it, the same scenario. I also made a point of being as polite as possible, Hello how are you, are you having a good day and thank you very much when I left. Would you believe I never received one word back from both of the girls?
I have never came across such bad service and ignorance at this level in any country in the world. Even in countries where they can’t speak English they make an effort.
I don’t know what the problem is in Barbados, but what I do know is that something serious has to be done to resolve the problem. It surely doesn’t take a lot to train people to have a little bit of manners and be polite. If I had staff that couldn’t manage the basics of good customer service, I would sack the FU***RS.
From the feedback I have received on this blog and from Bajans I personally know living in the UK and USA it is something that irritates a lot of people. What a way to treat customers whether they are locals, tourists or aliens from outer space, it is a disgrace.
As far as I can see, the Grinch has somehow stolen more than just Christmas here in Barbados; it seems to be an all year round problem. I can understand why so many people in Barbados go to Miami and New York to do their Christmas shopping, I know where I wish I went!
As I have documented in the past how I feel the roads in Barbados are a crazy and dangerous place, due to how certain individuals chose to driver their vehicles. I wrote an article not so long ago where I gave a few pointers as to how things can be improved, Another Driving Lesson For the Good Folks Of Barbados.
Even I was amazed a day last week when I witnessed not one, but the aftermath of four crashes during the morning and afternoon school runs. The good lord must have been looking after me that day because I only got held up badly by one of them, I however felt sorry for the drivers on the other sides of the roads who weren’t going anywhere fast!
As anybody that lives in Barbados will be fully aware of, is how badly the roads slow down here when there has been an accident. It is pure madness and I would rather visit the dentist that be forced to sit in a Bajan traffic jam, that has been caused by someone crashing into another vehicle because they don’t understand the concept of keeping an adequate distance from the car in front.
My personal favourite out of the four crashes had to be at the Emancipation Statue roundabout where a bus had went into the back of a lorry. All these stupid crashes must take up so much of the police forces time, there were two police vehicles dealing with the situation.
I was glad to read in the newspaper last week that the police hierarchy in Barbados are starting to take heed of how bad some people drive on the island. However I was surprised that there was no mention of the poor state of the roads, a stretch of the ABC Highway beside where I live has got some unbelievable pots holes in it and I feel they could quite easily cause an accident. This is meant to be a major road and that is used by thousands of vehicles every day.
I use to moan on about the state of the roads back home in Scotland but they are like bowling greens compared to here. I will tell you something else for free, if my car was damaged due to an excessively big pot hole anywhere in the UK, I would be within my rights to go and claim the cost of repairs from the council responsible for the road in question. The government in Barbados would be bankrupted if they were to pay for all the damage caused to vehicles due to the poor state of the roads!
I was at Rockley Beach yesterday afternoon relaxing in the water enjoying my favourite pastime, which is of course taking things real easy at the beach. I fear I may becoming a beach bum, but only a part time one!
Out of the blue a young American girl appeared from somewhere and started talking to me, she asked me if I was the Wandering Scotsman from The Barbados Blog, I was a wee bit shocked that anybody read it! Yet alone somebody recognised me from it.
My first thoughts were oh no! it was a hairy girl coming to seek some revenge for my opinion on hairy girls, The Hairy Legged Woman of Barbados and Hairy Woman At Carlisle Bay, Ban Them All!, I was trying to look at her legs to see if they were hairy, but they were covered by the water. What could I do, but say I was the one!
Fortunately she was a fan of The Barbados Blog and was enjoying my words of wisdom about life in Barbados and that one day she hoped to visit Scotland as her great grandma was originally from the Inverness area, I know it well.
She told me that she had only recently discovered my blog and was now hooked on it now that she had found it. I would like to thank the Barbados Free Press for the kind words they wrote about me, As Others See Us – A Scotsman Documents Barbados, which has helped people like American Girl to find my blog.
For me the Barbados Free Press dares to tread where the local press seems for some reason scared to go here in Barbados. I have personally been reading the Barbados Free Press for a number of years and what I truly like about them, is that they say it the way it is and that they don’t let the mainstream press, the government or powerful individuals stop them from dealing with subjects that others would rather were not printed.
I better get use to dealing with my wee bit of fame, because The Barbados blog is on the way to becoming a major force in the Blogging world. I think I need to get a better picture put on my About page, because it just doesn’t make me look my best.
An unusual past time that I never even new existed until I came to live in Barbados known as fogging is something that can only be bad for your health. For those that have never experienced the unusual site of a lorry slowly driving down the road with a thick cloud of black smoke with a real bad stench pouring out of it, you would wonder what the hell was going on.
I remember the first time I experienced the foggers coming down my road a few months ago, I thought it was the end of the world, Yesterday I Thought It Was the End of World, Thankfully I Was Mistaken! For those of you that have never heard of fogging, you may be wondering what the purpose of it is, well put simply the chemicals in the smoke kill’s the mosquitoes, I Squashed the Little F**ker Last Night.
A car came along our road the day before the event, letting everyone know that the next day the fogging lorry would be coming down our road at a particular time and for every one to have their doors and windows open to let the smoke into your house. Now I don’t know about you, but why would I want to breath in smoke that is laced with chemicals that are obviously some sort of pesticide, how can that be good for your health.
As my neighbour said when I asked him if he thought it was a good idea to leave all doors and windows open to let the smoke in, he said, “You would have to be f***king nuts, make sure all your doors and windows are shut, that stuff could kill you”.
The worst thing is that he isn’t joking, because upon doing a wee bit of research I have discovered that a chemical called Malathion is used in fogging mosquitoes in Barbados and that it is a pesticide that has been banned in some countries because of the risks that is poses to it citizens, surely the Barbados Government wouldn’t put the health of the people living on the island at risk?
The next time I see thick black clouds of smoke and the roar of the fogging lorry in my neighbourhood, I’m going to quickly shut tight all of my doors and windows and drive to the beach for some healthy fresh air.
I see those buses every morning when I go on the School run and they scare the hell out of me. It doesn’t matter if it is the Government owned buses or the privately owned ones, they are rammed full of people.
It surely can’t be legal to have so many people on one bus at a time; they are severely over laden with people. I can only imagine the carnage that would happen if one of these buses were to be in a serious accident, and the way some of them are driven it is something that will happen one of these days.
Just the other day, I watched school kids literally hanging out the bus windows because the bus was so packed. What a way to begin your day of learning at school, it must have a negative effect on many school children’s concentration levels to be crammed in like a sardine before they get to school.
Just as I watched the packed bus in the picture come past, in fact I think this particular bus was going for the world record for the most amount of people that could fit in a bus, to say it was packed would be an understatement. A few minutes later a very comfortable looking private mini bus came past on it’s school pick up run, with the kids whose parents obviously have a bit of money.
I think David Thomson should come out of lllaro House and get driven around Barbados in his Limo and see for himself what is happening in his country, buses packed full of school children, the crazy drivers that obviously shouldn’t have a driving license, the state of the roads. To make things even more fun, PM Thomson you should come out when it is lashing down with rain.
Ravenala Madagascariensis or more commonly known as The Travellers Palm is an exotic and very useful plant that I came across during my recent visit to the wonderful and educational Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. When I finally make enough money to build a new house on my plot of land, this plant is one that I will defiantly be having in my garden.
As it said on the information sign at Graeme Hall, there is an optimistic travellers saying, “If a traveller stands directly in front of a Travellers Palm and makes a wish in good spirit that wish will definitely come true.” I will let you know how long it takes to come true, when it happens!
The Travellers Palm was given it’s nomadic sounding name because a thirsty traveller can drink the water that accumulates in various parts of the plant, such, as the leaf folds, flower bracts and inside each of the hollow leaf bases. Each leaf base may hold a litre of water, which is an interesting fact.
As the sign at Graeme Hall says the Travellers Palm is an exotic looking travellers “wishing well” and drinking-water “fountain”.
During my recent visit to the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary in Barbados, I came across some Bajan Proverbs that are linked to animals and plants, which is fitting because of the type of centre that it is.
The proverbs of Barbados are seemingly short, one-sentence sayings that express a well-known truth or fact and I would be inclined to agree with most of them.
When a bird fly too fast’e does fly past’e nest.
Being overly ambitious or travelling too fast in life is not always wise.
Sometimes de same tamarind rod yuh cut does turn round and cut yuh own ass.
A person can be harmed by situations he or she has created. “The Tamarind Rod” is a branch of the Tamarind tree that makes a strong switch sometimes use on the person who cut it from the tree.
If crab don’ walk ‘bout e’ don’ get fat.
A stay-at-home person accomplishes nothing.
If blackbird fly wide pigeon e’ will get shoot.
Socializing with the wrong people can lead to bad results.
Better fish in de sea dan wha’ ketch
Somewhere there is a better lover than the present lover.
Early bird get de sweetest flower.
The early morning person gets the best reward.
Yesterday I had a few international telephone calls to make and my brain and remembering numbers, especially international dialling codes don’t go too well together.
I had to call the UK, USA and Dubai all on the same day and believe me my head was spinning thinking about all the dialling codes and different time zones. Life in Barbados was feeling kind of confusing, I needed help real bad.
The answer to many of life’s tricky problems is of course Google; it has saved me on so many occasions. All I had to do was type in international dialling codes into the wee search box and all my prayers would be answered. Well it wasn’t quite as easy as I hoped, I tried a couple of web sites but they were what I would call utter garbage.
Eventually I was rescued by a site that not only very easily gives you the dialling codes required but they also have a time zone convertor. That sure made my job of calling all around the world a hell of lot easier.
The site I used was called time and date.com, and I think it is a great resource for travellers and business people alike. I may add I found this site all by myself through Google and that I’m giving a review for no other reason than because I want too!
For some real self promotion I’m going to mention my other Barbados related blog called Barbados Photo Blog.