10 Mar

When I go on holiday I love learning about the history of my destination, but I also love going to the local supermarket, looking through the launderette window, and watching people at the petrol station. I like to imagine what their “everyday” looks like – what they make for dinner; where they spend their weekend; what “normal” is to the people that live there.

When I recently spoke with a good friend, she too wanted to know about my everyday in Bermuda.

Food and Drink
Food is a big part of our everyday. With the exception of milk, eggs, and some vegetables, everything else is imported. The ship comes in on a Monday afternoon, so we shop on a Tuesday evening to get the freshest produce. This can be limiting; during December there was a huge shortage of carrots (!!) so if you didn’t get to the supermarket quick enough, you would have to wait for next week’s shipment and hope carrots were included! But the advantage of importation is that we can get our home comforts – Robinson’s Squash, Cadbury’s chocolate – as well as more exotic items such as Kiwano fruit, which look like puffer fish!

Almost every building in Bermuda has a white stepped roof to collect water

Our water comes from rainwater which is collected and filtered by our limestone-treated roofs, and stored in enormous tanks. When it rains heavily, people call this “tank rain” as it fills up their water tanks! It’s a great way to put a positive spin on grotty weather!

Cars are crazily expensive; on average it’s $30,000 for a new car and, unlike England, they do not depreciate significantly in value, so second-hand options are often pricey too. This is why expats such as Rich and I buzz around on a comparatively cheaper scooter! I also take the (distinctively pastel pink) bus which is regular and cheap, though there are no timetables at bus stops (it arrives when it arrives!) Bus stops are marked by poles sticking up from the ground – pink ones signify that the bus will be going towards Hamilton, and blue ones will travel away from Hamilton!

There are a few local television channels, but in general it’s US programmes and US advertisements that clog up the TV. The local advertisements are just that – local! You will know at least one person who knows someone in an advert, and they tend to have their own unique style! Here’s a fabulous example, courtesy of Bermuda Post Office, which uses the power of hip-hop and a rapping postman to remind you to use the postcode!

Bermuda is a very Christian country and so Sundays really are the Sabbath here. Until about 1pm the capital is absolutely deserted as everyone goes to church. And there are more churches per capita here than any other nation in the world! The sale of alcohol from supermarkets is prohibited on a Sunday, something we still find ourselves forgetting as we start to head out to get a bottle of Pinot Noir to accompany our roast dinner. It’s also illegal to carry a bottle of alcohol out of the supermarket without it being in a bag as I learnt when I popped in to pick up some Bailey’s for Christmas!

But, for all of Bermuda’s quirks and unique charms, there are frequent reminders of its outstanding beauty, even on the work commute. As my bus pulls into Hamilton, just past the wonderful Johnny Barnes, I see this:

And it takes my breath away. Everyday.


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