The U.S. Virgin Islands vs. the Rest of America: Similarities and Differences

Many people don’t realize that the U.S. Virgin Islands exist, and are very much American. In fact, there are so many similarities between living here on St. Thomas and living in almost any other state, I oftentimes wake up thinking I’m in Brooklyn. See what I mean:

– Just like in Maine, approximately 89% of roadkill here is iguana.

– Just like nowhere else in America, people here believe they’re right all the time. In holding firm with that opinion, they fight about everything—then usually laugh it off minutes later. They fight about dominoes, poker, billiards, parking, directions, taxis, picnics, girls, etc.

– Just like in Missouri, there’s terrible snorkeling here and on St. John.

– Just like in the states, my friends here are super nice to me. Case in point: This conversation.

Friend: (After going through family members) “…so what is your mom like?”

Me: “Well…(yadda yadda yadda) …and we look nothing alike. You’d never guess my mom and I were related.”

Friend: “So your mom is hot?”

Also:

Friend: “Do not hit me. If you hit me I will sexually assault you.”

(This is their way of flirting. I tried to tell the local guys that this doesn’t quite fly in the states, but it fell upon deaf ears.

– Just like in remote Alaska, the police really care about your vehicle. The most common wrongdoing one is pulled over for is expired registration tags. Actually, besides illegal parking, that’s the ONLY thing I see people pulled over for. In the meantime, you’re allowed to drive with missing headlights, drive with missing mirrors, drive with missing taillights, drive with shattered windows, drive with no windows, drive with shattered windshields, drive drunk, drive high…you get the idea. Yup, you can drive drunk here. Makes me feel real safe.

– Just like in New Jersey, pollution here makes weddings difficult to photograph. There are often pelicans flying into the photo, ridiculous sunshine, huge waves, breaching sting rays, running roosters, and jumping fish that try to ruin my shots.

– Just like in the states, this stop sign on Water Island is perfectly legal.

– Just like in Connecticut, I’m able to go to the beach at night and see my feet and colorful shells at the bottom, all crystal clear in the midnight water.

– Just like in New York, there is an astounding variety of food here. There’s rice and beans, stew pork, stew chicken, plantains, and yeah. That’s pretty much most of it. There is no Thai food, Indian food, Lebanese food, Vietnamese food, or much variety here at all. A trained chef here said the most adventuresome food he’d ever eaten was foie gras. Really?

– *Just like in the states, I do yoga here on cliffs.


*Note: I do not do yoga, so don’t bother correcting my form.

– Just like driving in Nebraska, your ears pop here on almost any 15-minute drive. It’s THAT mountainous. On a terribly environmentally unfriendly side note, one of the work SUVs I drive here gets 10 miles per gallon.

– Just like in Oklahoma, it’s easy to go for a 1-hour hike and get views like this.

 

Yes, life here is tough. I’m off to work a bit and then to pick up a friend visiting from snowy New York. Until next time, ta-ta.

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