Thoughts on the Bajan Buses

I didn't take this video but it gives a glimpse into a semi-typical bus ride in Barbados. This family's observations are similar to what I pick up on when I take the bus home from work. Note the woman says she's sitting on a sub-woofer (the yellow buses can be quite booming.) The one thing missing in this clip is that a Barbadian bus ride is mostly standing and we're usually packed in like sardines. Where these folks are driving looks like my neighborhood. (Did the kid really say "drink rum and have fun"!!?? Geez, what is it with these American families, by golly!)

The yellow and the blue buses costs $1.50 BDS, very affordable, and they run all over the island. The blue bus has a money deposit slot at the front and a receipt dispenser. On the yellow bus, you sit down or take some space in the aisle and a person comes to collect the money. But the most important observation about the buses that is not clear in this video...they all tend to go FAST. If you're on the bus, hold on and if you're driving and sharing the road, steer clear, give them room.

The clip below (also not mine) is an experience I have not enjoyed...a ride on a ZR bus. That's pronounced 'zed R' and what you have along with all of the above (booming soca or reggae, folks squished in, plus super fast driving) as the added attraction of the bus being the size of a mini-van.

Let's hear it for affordable and plentiful public transportation!


Things We Should Adopt in the U.S. #3

Photo by
apalca on Flickr

"Hello, good day."

"Good afternoon."

"Hello, good evening, how're you going? Right."

Pleasantries. I'd love to bring back a tradition of pleasant greetings to the U.S. In Barbados, it's hot. The pace is slower. When people meet up on the street, friendly greetings are exchanged. You slow down, you say hello, then you ask how much it costs to send a letter back home. Ask about how a person's day is going, mean what you ask, then put your groceries on the conveyor belt. Slow down. Be nice.


Sailing at Carlisle Bay

Adding to the fun of this year-long adventure...sailing lessons for Jill and the kids. Again, I am the documentrix, not one of the sailors. This location is Carlisle Bay at the Barbados Sailing Association. It's a great way to learn to sail, lot's a hands-on and terminology and ropes instruction. Actually, it's an amazing place to learn as you can see from the video.

Here's the link to the Sailing Association's training page.


Things We Should Adopt in the U.S. #2

School uniforms. I see them everywhere. On the way to work between 7am and 9am and again when the students get out starting at about 3pm. Girls in their orange dresses, belted at the waist, or blue skirts with Mary Janes, boys in their brown short pants and knee socks, or natty white shirts and ties. Always, the shirts are tucked in. I like this. The debate goes on in the States about school uniforms in public schools but American school kids should wear them. Uniforms level the playing field. Everyone has nothing special and everyone is already special within. When I look out and I see a sea of uniformed Bajan children, I see the future of Barbados. Drivers slow down without School Zone enforcement because these children are the future of the country.