Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ABC - Appreciating Bajan Culture

Barbados is very different from all the other places I've been to so far, in the Caribbean. It's the flattest of all the islands I've visited until now, like really flat. And that place is crowded! My superbook, Understanding the Contemporary Caribbean, states that in 2008 it had a population density of 589 people per square kilometre. That is a lot. That number makes it the most densely populated island in the Caribbean, very far ahead of everywhere else (with the exception of Aruba, which is a close second). 

Culturally, I didn't perceive much of a difference, although it's that aspect of the island that most people directed my attention to when I talked to them about it, before going. I'd been told that the Bajans though themselves Brits, because of their close link to the UK throughout history. And that they were arrogant. Well, I did not see that in anyone I talked to. 

I was going to do a really lengthy post about everything I saw in Barbados, the beach and the museum I went to and the city. But my CS host has a pool. And it's like right next to me, calling me... and I really want to go! So I'll just show you what I did real quick and then jump in the water and if you have more questions, you just post a comment. I answer them, you know that. 

First: beach! 

Second: museum. I wanted to know more about the island and its history and I also didn't want to be a lazy beach bum, so one morning I took a bus into Bridgetown and visited the Barbados Museum and Historic Society by St. Anne's Garrison, a historic area. It was a very cute museum, very well set up and truly informative. I don't know what kind of funding a museum in a country like Barbados might get, but I'll just guess that it's not too much. So assuming that their budget isn't too high, they did a really good job and deserve some credit for it. If you go to Barbados, visit that museum - not just because they're nice people and did a good job setting it all up, but because you will really learn something about Barbados and see many things about the island and its inhabitants in a different light. 

It used to be a prison, now it's the museum. 

And the area around the museum is also nice for a little walk. 

Whoever said that just because you're in a place some people call Paradise you have to spend all of your time on the beach? If you're like me and you don't want that, just go ahead and explore. Barbados, like all the islands I've visited so far, has a lot of culture and history waiting for you as soon as you step off the sand and onto the road. 

Now, I don't have any pictures from central Bridgetown, because when I was there I was on a mission to find a bus and I didn't really think about pictures. But it's a nice enough place, there's some historical sites in the centre and the bridge (yeah, guess why it's called bridge-town) is also a cute little thing. I did take pictures again when I got to the airport, here they are, including tips: 

Chefette - the Bajan fast food chain. It's actually good food and fresh, too! Best (if only) strawberry milkshake I've ever had. 

The only time I saw that Brit-connection was when I bought stamps to send off my postcards. 

Don't have this, it tastes like grass. No, I have never tasted grass, but that's the association my brain made. Either way, it's not very good. 

So here's Barbados in a nutshell for you. I'd have liked to talk about it more, but again, that pool is waiting for me. More other things later, whenever I'm back from swimming. If I ever come back out of the water... 

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