Hello again my dear reader,
this weekend was one of barbecuing, snorkelling and even playing board games. Our visitors from Boston brought with them an insatiable appetite to see and experience as much of Bermuda as possible. And, Bermuda being the fabulous place that it is, there is quite a bit to see and enjoy. So, we tried fishing on Friday evening, snorkelling on Saturday daytime, bbq on Saturday evening and board games on Saturday night. Sunday required some rest in the morning, then we went for lunch and finished the day off with Mexican food. All in all, a smashing time!
Fishing on Friday evening was quite fun, despite not catching anything worth keeping. We went to our usual spot, Cavello Bay. But, with the wind slightly up, it looked like it was going to be a bad catching day. I used the new fishing rod for the first time and caught 4-5 little fishes (we call them Spiros fish since I seem to be catching many of them) but had to put them back, they were way too small. Nathan and Cindy tried fishing for the first time ever. They both caught some fish, I think Nathan had a slightly more productive day but it seems that they both enjoyed it. Jitka didn’t have a very productive catching day but she was using new line and hooks so there is some adjustment she may have to make to get into a groove again.
Saturday morning, we packed our things, took the beach chairs and headed for Church Bay, the premier snorkelling location on the South coast, luckily only 4 km from the house. There is a Vietnamese dude there who rents out fins and snorkelling gear so my guests could hire their stuff, I used the mask and fins from my diving gear. The reef is really only 50m from the coast and the sea is not even that deep there. So, we saw loads of fish. We saw many parrotfish, many brins and chubs, whole schools of little yellow fish feeding on the corals and a huge variety of other species. I think I saw a few snappers also but I couldn’t see any angelfish or anything else really exciting and exotic. Nathan got the best of snorkelling because he came in first. Later on, when we went back with Cindy, the wind had picked up a little and it was more difficult to see. We still got to see a few fish but we never found ourselves surrounded like it was with Nathan once of twice in the middle of the rocks with fish swirling around everywhere. Still, it was fun and we did manage to see a giant parrotfish on the way out, maybe half a meter long and I think of the princess variety.
After returning from snorkelling, we headed to town because Nathan really wanted to visit “the market” to buy a board game. While I appreciated the sentiment that he wanted to buy us a game as a present, I was a little apprehensive going into town since there is really no “market” in Hamilton and it was unlikely to find any stores open at around 17:00 on Saturday. Still, we made it into town, headed for the Phoenix Centre with a brief stop in Chatham House for cigars and went upstairs in the Phoenix to the kids section. It turns out that despite my earlier apprehension, the Phoenix has a huge selection of board games for Bermuda. We found both Apples to Apples and Taboo, 2 of the 3 games that Nathan was looking for. Just to illustrate the pricing in Bermuda, the game of Taboo can be bought from amazon for less than $30 and Apples to Apples will set you back $20 in the same store. In Bermuda, the same games cost $67.50 and $50 respectively. That means that the markup for games in Bermuda is between 60% and 125%. This is not atypical of pricing in Bermuda in general. So, paying only 5.75% income tax is quickly eclipsed by the ridiculous markup. This markup is due to the lack of competition which is mandated via protectionist market policy but that is a story for another blog post.
We had another two guests over on Saturday night for the bbq so there were 6 of us in total (7, if you count Athena) and we had a great night. The food came out great, we made way too much of it as usual and it will be my lunch today and maybe even tomorrow if we end up eating out tonight. Then, we got back inside and played both games. It was a fun night, one that I wish to repeat many times over the summer with other sets of friends. We ended up staying up until 4 AM chatting, catching up, arguing and generally engaging in a form of intellectual jousting that I miss in Bermuda. I used to have a group of friends where such discussion was easy to come by and I miss just spending an evening gaming and chatting.
Sunday was another good day. We had lunch at Mickey’s Bistro on Elbow beach (pretty uneventful, the food was OK but pricey) which is a fabulous location. Having lunch outside in the sun, overlooking the water, that’s the kind of thing you want from Bermuda when you arrive here as an expat. I guess it’s more of a new thing for people who don’t come from Greece, I have had these opportunities a lot in my time in Greece. But, still, it was a pleasant experience. We then went to town (which was both empty and dead, it was a Sunday) and took the ferry to Dockyard. Dockyard was also a ghost town despite the large cruise ship that was docked there. We walked around, my guests spent some time looking for trinkets for friends and family back home and we took the ferry back to Hamilton, where the bikes were. Overall, we spent an hour in Dockyard and it was about the right length of time given how little buzz was going on there. We rode home, Cindy made some fabulous Mexican food, we watched a couple of episodes of a Modern Family and went to bed. It had been a long and tiring weekend but overall and really good one.
Please check back soon for more exciting stories. Nathan brought me an underwater camera so I think there will photos of fish and corals coming up soon too!