Well, hardly any posts the last two weeks. Not because there’s nothing happening, or because of the difficulty in getting online – I found a free wireless hub in Christiansted, all I have to do is drive the 20 or so minutes into town and if the laptop’s battery has taken a charge I can take care of most of my business in an hour.
No, the reason we haven’t been posting much is that we’re in a rush. I know that’s not an “Island time’ concept, but we are. When we came here we arranged for a month in a very nice, very posh and kinda spendy vacation villa for the first month. It was more than we wanted to spend, but better that than thinking we’d gotten some great deal only to find we were living in a shithole, ya know?
But the month is nearly up. We’re not going to get thrown out on the street – the place we’re at will let us stay since no on has reserved it for August, but we’d rather not pay the price. This is about transitioning from island newcomers to island residents.
It took us almost two weeks to find a car. It was worth taking the time, because Bertha (named for the hurricane/tropical storm that passed by while we were searching) is reliable. A ’97 Nissan Pathfinder, not great mileage but sturdy and it’s already broken in, which on these roads means something. After our last car (don’t get me going about Volkswagens, they’re crap) reliable is a very good thing. And we got her insured, which on the island took the better part of a day. No, those online insurers don’t cover St. Croix.
Then Tori and I – and sometimes Millie and I can’t tell you how happy I’ve been to have her along, showing an interest – spent two weeks looking for a longterm rental. We drove almost four hundred miles – no small feet on an island that’s only about 30 miles long and five or so wide - in the course of two weeks looking at neighborhoods and areas, checking out houses for rent in the papers, getting lost more than a few times but that's always an adventure, getting shown really inappropriate things by Realtors who – I don’t want to cast aspersions but it’s true – heard our stateside voices on the phone and assumed we were rich or something. It had to be that, or else they were just really stupid because we’d tell them exactly what we were looking for and they’d show us things that cost twice as much. One was three times the top range we said. Really nice houses, and everyone a Realtor showed us had a pool. But not what we were looking for.
Well, we found it at last, because Tori is just bound and determined to succeed. Driving into Frederiksted she told me to drive straight instead of making the turn into town. Then she told me to take a right at the market on the corner. Then she told me to stop. There was a for rent sign on a nice little house, sort of Spanish style. The neighborhood is okay, not great, but it’s close to town, close to where we’re pretty sure Tori will be working, and the price was lower than we’d hoped. We called the agent, two days later we looked through it and were amazed. It was nicer inside than out,. No air conditioning (with the price of power on the island that’s not necessarily a bad thing) and it’s very breezy. The agent had opened all the windows and doors, and the doors kept blowing shut. We filled out an application and after a brief discussion of our shitty credit and our suggestion that perhaps they’d like us to pay a couple of months in advance, we got the house.
It’s unfurnished, so we’ve got a lot more to do between now and moving day. Yea! Another adventure! And we’ve got a place to move into.