Hey there! It has been awhile. Med school is every bit as crazy and time consuming as anticipated but I am making it…and doing well. We have officially made it half way through semester 1… AND as of today, I have also made it to 30!! Aside from some minor injuries, all of which were entirely my own fault, I am walking into my 30th year all in one piece. Happy Birthday to me.
SO, when I left you last, you had a pretty good idea of my room (I also got throw pillows – now its posh. I actually don’t know what posh means. Not important.) and now that I have been here for some time…ISLAND LIFE. I have made you a list.
Life on Grand Cayman – The Basics:
- There are wild roosters and chickens EVERYWHERE. There are also KFCs everywhere…coincidence? You decide.
- Also, Roosters do NOT just crow in the morning. They crow all the live long day. Primarily, while you are trying to take exams.
- There are geckos and iguanas everywhere. They climb trees. They will fall on you and it will be terrifying…for you. Super funny for everyone else.
- When you hear rustling in the bushes in the evening, you will assume it is the lizards. It’s not. It is crazy sketchy bush crabs. That’s right, bush crabs. They are kind of aggressive:
- Everyone drives on the left here and the driver is on the right side of the car. It’s a British island so that makes sense.
- Everything is closed on Sundays. FUTURE STUDENTS PAY ATTENTION – Do not fly in on Saturday night thinking you will be able to go run around and get set up on Sunday. ALL of the stores are closed…grocery, clothing, hardware, liquor…all of them. Bars and restaurants are thankfully still open though.
- Bus stops are a somewhat fluid concept here. Basically, the busses (read: vans that say PUBLIC BUS on them) drive up and down the main road and honk when they see people walking. You can wave them down and they will stop and let you on (and you then simply tell them when you want to get off) or shake your head or otherwise tell them to keep going. It will cost you $2. No matter how long you are riding for, the bus is $2.
- Follow up from #6 – honking here is rarely due to displeasure. People honk at one another to say hi, to tell someone else to turn, or to see if you want to get on the bus.
- There are no bike lanes. I bike to school with one of my classmates. He goes in front and it is like a terrifying combination of spin class and life or death follow-the-leader. We arrive at school sweaty and VERY VERY ALERT. Watch out for iguanas.
- Everything here is insanely expensive. I bought myself pickles for my birthday. That’s right, birthday pickles. They are so expensive here that I have been holding off. The price is high to start and then you remember that it is high AND in CI (Cayman Dollars). $1CI = $1.25USD…once you do the conversion it is even more expensive. Grocery shopping gives me weird anxiety now as a result and I am obsessed with finding free food. I have found bananas, mangoes, and coconuts. Coconuts are freaking delicious but are 1) very high up (my friends climbed to get me birthday coconuts) and 2) incredibly difficult to de-husk. I am going to have a wicked scar to prove it. Don absolutely refuses to let me have a machete and he may have a valid point.
- This is probably the most important. Everyone here is very friendly. The locals are legitimately kind natured. Even if you manage to lose your wallet, phone, shoes, and shirt…all separately…on the same day….they will manage to find their way back to you as my one classmate can attest to. No matter how kind the locals are however, he will never live that one down.
Well friends, that is my very quick overview of the island that I am calling home for the next 16 months (2 down!!), but please feel free to bombard me with questions if there is something specific you want to know. Now that I have a grasp of classes, what to expect, and how to handle it, I will be better about keeping you all posted! Now…back to anatomy…Happy Birthday to me.