Locals disappointing

Old Jun 24th, 2004, 07:47 AM
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Locals disappointing

Just returned from Bermuda. While it is unarguably a beautiful spot, we did find it to be pretty outrageously expensive $30 two-mile cab ride to the airport?!) and the locals pretty darn unfriendly...and sometimes rude. The water is gorgeous and you should make a point to enjoy it because I think it is the best Bermuda has to offer. There was clearly an undercurrent of almost resentment and dislike among the locals. Even the children would only give the briefest response to any question I asked. Loved the island, but the people were a real disappointment.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 08:38 AM
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The first time we traveled to the Bahamas, early on in the trip at the first place we went out to eat, we noticed that the locals who were working as waitstaff in the restaurant had a tendency to be very testy and ignore the patrons.

After waiting for awhile, and then finally seating ourselves, we were ignored by the surly waitress and were wondering if we had done anything to offend anyone.

We decided that waiting in a restaurant in the Bahamas on a beautiful day was not going to kill us, so we shrugged it off and smiled and began chatting.

When the waitress finally came to us, we told her she looked really busy, and we were pleasant and friendly.

Lo and behold, we got our food before all of the people who were tapping their feet and fingers and rolling their eyes.

We adopted this attitude everywhere we went, and anyone who started out rude did not end up that way.

Travel to anyplace where there are people in the service industry (especially in the Bahamas, the Caribbean or Bermuda) means that these people are constantly having to deal with tourists who come to their island homes and behave like spoiled children just because they are on vacation.

I'm certainly not suggesting that you were anything less than cordial and friendly, but the people of those regions move on a different speed and service level that what many travelers are accustomed to, and adjustments need to be made for "island time."

There are a lot of cultural differences between the way people behave (especially in the US), and it can cause West Indian people to be put off.

For example, on many islands, it is considered very rude to walk up to someone and ask them where the Post Office is without first saying, "Good morning. How are you? Isn't it a lovely day?"

That may seem very odd to some, but it explains why some locals can appear rude to people who just barge up and say, "Hey, where's the Post Office?" It's basically bad manners where they come from.

Of course, some people/islands tend to be a bit frostier than others - it may be the British influence in Bermuda's case - or the children just may have been shy.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 09:04 AM
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I haven't been to Bermuda yet, so I certainly can't comment about Bermudans.
But I do agree 100% with Diana about her well-said assessment of the cultural differences between Westerners and Islanders.
It's also true, as she says, that some Islanders are not as "friendly" as others - I would say that's probably more the case on islands that are British and French influenced...and maybe "friendly" is not the word to use, "reserved" might be a better one.
 
Old Jun 24th, 2004, 09:19 AM
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Having been to Bermuda TEN TIMES by cruise ship (just came back Sunday morning) I hardily disagree with "chirper".. I have found no friendlier and nicer people than the Bermudians on any island or country. Yes, taxis are VERY expensive and the drivers want to raise fares.. NEVER have I found an undercurrent of resentment...The people go out of their way to help you, they actually like tourists which is more than I can say for other islands or countries. As for the children...well, never have I seen more polite children and well behaved..If your on the bus which we travel extensively, they will get up and give an adult a seat, thank the bus driver as they get off. Of course as one Bermudian woman told me. they change when they are teenagers,...don't they all...lol Perhaps you projected an attitude and you didn't realize it... I just can't tell you how many times we've ridden the buses back and forth and had conversations with the kids or adults. One elderly woman gave me a great compliment the other day.. she said after ten visits I'm now a Bermudian...lol.. There is no doubt Bermuda is very expensive and they depend on tourism.. and sadly they do have problems creeping up now.. As for an undercurrent of resentment....NEVER.. I cannot tell you how many conversations we've had with "locals".. The only negative I heard was from a horse and buggy driver when I asked how the bringing in of larger cruise ships would benefit the natives.... he said it wouldn't... they don't want to work...
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 09:52 AM
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ParrotMom I agree with you 100%!!! Bermudians are wonderful! They are in a class by themselves, just like the island. This island has a very high standard of living, and not if any unemployment. It might be the more reserve British influence, certainly not resentment. Many of the restaurants have people from all over the world, a mostly European staff in most!
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 03:22 PM
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Speaking of cabs, is that the only way of transportation in Bermuda? I understand that you can't rent a car there. So, what are the other ways to explore the island and is there much to explore?
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 04:08 PM
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Great bus and ferry system with very detailed maps/schedules which you can pick up at the airport. If you're adventurous, there's always scooters for rent - which we always use, we take it on the ferry at times also if we don't feel like riding for a long time. The information booth at the airport which has the different schedules also has lots of different pamphlets you can take with you for all kinds of things to see and do. We've been to Bermuda so many times and it is true, Bermudians are very friendly, laid-back people. Maybe you will run into one who is having a bad day (which really is very rare), but they're human too.
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Old Jun 24th, 2004, 04:22 PM
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Always use the buses and this trip from St. George we went to the Dockyard by ferry.. a very pleasant experience..
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Old Jun 25th, 2004, 02:36 PM
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I've been to Bermuda many times and have always loved it. Cabs, along with everyting else, are expensive. We generally take cabs when going to dinner, but when we want to go out during the day, we use a scooter. I have always found the people to be nothing but friendly and courteous.
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Old Jun 26th, 2004, 07:52 AM
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Personally I get tired of all this generalized talk. We have found most people in or travels to be fine. Treat people the way you wish to be treated and usually all will work out. And don't forget you are in THEIR country. When in Rome....... JM2C.
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Old Jun 26th, 2004, 09:50 AM
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Exactly Jacketwatch. People need to be gracious when visiting someone else's country, afterall, you are a guest. You also need to take into consideration that countries' people persona and not take any attitude's personnaly. Islands are layback, Bristish are reserved, the French are in a league of their own. If we are in a foriegn country we at least learn Hello, thank you, please, or something like "i'm sorry I don't speak Czech do you speak English", "Mluvaytee Ingliska nayomee mas Czeski" (spelling is off but that's what it sounds like. I can't remember one instance when I didn't have someone warm up to me even if they had a frown on their face when I approached them. Grant it that it may also have been a smothered chuckle from them because I'm bumbling their language - the point is it is always is well recieved.

When you're in the islands which go at a slow pace it's tough for people in the service industry to have to jump to it with an American's fast pace attitude. I'm not saying that one attitude is better than the other, I'm just saying that there is a cultural difference between the two and when on vacation you need to adjust yourself to that particular's cultures attitude. It makes for a much more pleasant experience.


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Old Jun 26th, 2004, 11:06 AM
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Very true Mariann. Our first vacation ever (which had lead to many was in Nassau and I do recall thinking about the wait to be served in the restaurants. Then you realize this is the norm, the pace is slower and you actually learn to dig it. Indeed you look forward to the next trip to the islands for just that reason.
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Old Jun 26th, 2004, 11:10 AM
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Having flown all the way from England to Bermuda it was a pleasant surprise to be amongst polite people, even the children, many times my wife was offered a schoolchilds seat on 2 occasions they even insisted she take the seat. We had no problems at all getting about the island on the bus and ferries, great way to see the islands and the waterfront houses. I think maybe Penny hits the nail on the head, with the 'Britsih reserveness' if that is a word! Don't be put off a visit.
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 06:36 AM
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Locals are not a commodity so for you to say you were "disappointed" in the locals suggests an unrealistic expectation. "Locals" are people and people have to go about their business just as they do anywhere else.

Frankly I am surprised about your comment because I have been to Bermuda three times and I find them the most civil, most welcoming anywhere.
 
Old Jun 28th, 2004, 11:01 AM
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We went to Bermuda on a cruise last June and we found the local people to be friendly and charming, the most of any carribbean island we have traveled to (over 8). For example, we asked a local man where the bus stop was, he walked us to it since there was several turns to make. This is the type of hospitalitity we experienced on our trip.
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 11:26 AM
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One of my favorite travel quotes...

"When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable."

-Clifton Paul Fadiman
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 11:54 AM
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BjorkChop-how many people besides you and I remember Clifton Fadiman..lol Our favorite story about the wonderful people in Bermuda concerns my buying my collectibles in Smith's... with my husbands stern look I only bought two.. On the bus I told him how much I had spend and his infamous words were "is that all!". We got off the bus in St George went into Smith's. .. and ordered two more.. which their window decorator delivered to the shop the next morning just in time for us to buy before cruising home. Now where else would you get that service!!
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 12:03 PM
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Actually PM that level of service is found in Fiji as well. A bit further to go however.
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Old Jun 28th, 2004, 12:24 PM
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How about this. Two years ago, my girlfriend and I were waiting on a Sunday outside the entrance to Ariel Sands for the bus and a lady stopped her car and told us to hop in because the buses are very slow on Sunday. She ended up dropping us off in Hamilton. Where else would you feel as safe and as comfortable.
 
Old Jun 28th, 2004, 04:56 PM
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Has this thread lost its "chirp"? Sorry, I had to.
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