Driving on island is nothing short of loosely organized chaos. The rules are: stay on the left (unless of course you feel like you should drive in the middle to avoid potholes or ignore road markers or you’re a tourist), let people in (unless of course you’re pompous or a tourist), and honk for all manners of politeness (unless you’re an angry soul or a tourist). The one thing we can take solace in when driving is that USUALLY no one’s going over 40mph (unless of course, they are). Coming from a place where rain=head-on collisions (and there’s a lot of rain), I find island driving to be pretty okay usually. Driving on the left was pretty natural after 2 weeks or so and is now so engrained that my knee-jerk is to worry about the people in movies when they pull out on the right.
In over two years, we’ve had two minor accidents. One was after about a month on island, involving a tourist crossing the center line, taking off our mirror, and driving off. I was the one driving, so I pretty much didn’t drive again for a few weeks. We’re also 99% sure the tourist who hit us was staying at the resort as he nervously inquired of the bellman (DJ) what one would do if they hit someone on these “narrow roads and couldn’t really pull off” and got in the distinct purple rental van with a damaged passenger mirror. Any who, it wasn’t ideal circumstances, but we ordered a side-mirror from Amazon for about $20 and went on. It’s actually quite nice to live in a place where everyone’s cars are full of dents and few people are concerned with the cosmetic condition of their vehicles.
Then we bought a new vehicle and became a little more antsy about dents and dings. So I cringed a little when we were on our way to work two days ago, and it became evident that the vehicle on the right was not making room for the vehicle coming down on the left (us). Fortunately our mirror just folded in, and no harm was done. But this time the other driver stopped, and he picked up his mirror out the street and waved DJ on saying no worries. He was also a police officer. Ah island life: a life of diminishing things to “ain’t no t’ings”. The night drive after was a different story.
It is with a heavy heart that I share this story of how I accidentally ended the life of whom I assumed to be a perfectly nice crab. DJ always drives us home. In fact, if we are both in the car, he is the driver 99% of the time (no relation to the first mirror incident). However that night, he asked me to drive as he was enjoying an ice cream treat. It was an otherwise ordinary night driving through the winding island roads that are sparsely lit. We were approaching a notoriously sharp turn near Bolongo Bay when I saw something in the road and slowed down. It was a large crab scurrying in the street, so I came to a complete stop and waited until I was sure he was not in the way of the tires. I took off slowly and proceeded to hear the most awful crunch my ears have ever experienced. I was so devastated. I silently held back tears and contemplated the series of events that could’ve gone any other way for the crab. So to my shortlist of downsides to island life (severe lack of donuts, going to 5 stores to accomplish a grocery list, lack of rainy days, and all my friends leaving forever), I add the hazard of crustacean pedestrian crossings and the horrors of less Sebastians on the street as a result.
In other island news, Tropical Storm Danny is scheduled to pass over the VI sometime between Monday and Tuesday. It’s a blessing and curse really to which we’re all praying for low winds and waves and high concentrations of rain (which would mostly just be a blessing). We’re in preparation mode at work and home just in case. Ted Mosby would certainly love to spend a day or two snuggling inside. Feel free to join us in tracking Danny’s behavior. Updates to come!
Before I say good-night, I’d like to ask all our readers to stop by our friend’s GoFundMe page. Anthony, Jeremy, and Blake are friends we met on island who are also from Louisiana. Blake and his dog, Kali, were severely injured by a pit bull earlier this week and need prayers for healing and financial support for both of their major surgeries. Any support you can offer is immensely appreciated by us and their hurting family.
Thanks for stopping in friends 🙂 See y’all Friday!