Whaddyadoallday? Real Life on a Desert Island Rotating Header Image

July, 2014:

Supply and Demand

Continuing on with the theme of supply side economics….In the last post I pointed out that we now have a dry cleaners. We have the high tech auto shop. And we’ve talked before about the amazing metamorphosis of our grocery stores. It’s not only that we can get olive oil. We can get several different brands of olive oil and almond oil and walnut oil. We didn’t used to be able to find Ritz crackers, and now we have so many choices in crackers that it is overwhelming (though my beloved, simple, Wibix crackers seem to have disappeared and the Sodabix that have replaced them just are not the same!).

We have vegan sections, lactose-free sections and even trendy if mostly misguided gluten-free sections. In fact we have so many theme areas in the grocery stores now that I can hardly figure out where the regular milk is….milk pops up in so many different places. It’s a veritable epicurean Disneyland – every bit as pricey but at least varied and engaging. We have Aidells gourmet sausages now, and we can even choose between Café DuMonde and Peruvian coffee! (Conveniently located next to the canned goat’s milk!)

coffee

There is one particular section placement that still throws me off a little bit, though. It’s probably just that I am older. I came of age in the days when certain ‘items’ were hidden away behind pharmacy counters. In fact the process of having to ask for them was favorite fodder for comedians and sitcoms. So first of all, kudos for having essential items out in the open and even conveniently placed right inside the front door for quick and easy access if you are on the run and in a time crunch. That’s cool. Yeah, I’m dope with that.

store shelf

Sure the condoms the jelly, all right there. Excellent. But the pregnancy tests right next to the condoms? Is that to scare you into using the condoms? If so, also very excellent. On the other hand, if that’s a caution against the true effectiveness of the condoms, then maybe not so good. But what about the top shelf? Do you see what’s up there? Coz sure, I saw, “Something’s Gotta Give” (many, many times to my husband’s chagrin). I laughed when Diane Keaton’s character stopped to take Jack Nicholson’s blood pressure in the midst of things. Ha ha ha. Very funny. I just had no idea that had become the standard in those circumstances.

But I guess life imitates art, and you gotta give the people what they want….that’s simple economics.

Eye of the Storm

Sometimes you don’t notice change especially if it is gradual and you are right in the middle of it. Like being in the eye of a hurricane. Lots of stuff goes on all around you but you’d never know. Not until there’s a shift in the atmosphere and the newness washes over you. That’s how it is living here in Anguilla now. Apparently change is happening all the time but we just don’t experience it until it comes to our door.

For instance, we broke with tradition and actually went out to a charity gala the other night. Dinner and dancing. Long speeches and line dancing (apparently the Electric Slide is HUGE here and folks still know the moves to the Macarena!). All requiring dressing up in nice clothes. We tend to shy away from really nice clothes here because they tend to require dry cleaning which always meant letting them sit around dirty and sweaty (dancing does that especially in the Caribbean) until we could take them back to the States for cleaning. In fact, when we first moved here it used to aggravate the heck out of me that Tommy Bahama was ‘purveying the island lifestyle’ by selling ‘dry clean only’ clothes. What kind of cruel insanity was that? But today we can throw caution to the wind, put on our finest, and party like it’s 1999 (or we are on a cruise ship) confident in the knowledge that we now have a dry cleaning establishment on island.

Dry Cleaner

Yes indeed. I took the fancy cocktail dress and the fine men’s slacks in on Monday and picked them up on Wednesday all pretty on their hangers for $20 and &$9, respectively. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong (since I am out of the loop) but that doesn’t seem out of line to me.

We also recently got tired of driving our car into the bush to a guy who works as a mechanic in his backyard. The car was making all kinds of noises (as 14 year old island cars are want to do), and we kept replacing this and replacing that and finally decided to try a new mechanic. Lo and behold there is a big new, state-of-the-artsy car repair facility on island. A real building. With hydraulic lifts and computers and all sorts of impressive gadgets. Impressive invoices at the end, too, of course. But, let’s face it, everybody knows you have to pay more for superior service.

At least that is what we are counting on as we find ourselves in the middle of our own personal whirlwind. I mentioned before that we are now naturalized citizen which means we can easily open a business. Well, easily in that we could get a business license and not need work permits (like green cards). Not so easy in other ways. See I really just want to finally be able to do what I have been trained to do and to get paid for doing it. I just want to do my doctor stuff. What I wasn’t counting on was having to learn so many other things: purchasing (with the added aggravation of ocean transport and duties), pricing (with the added aggravation of ocean transport and duties), shipping of lab samples, merchant services ,and Quickbooks. Not to mention logos and business cards and websites. It’s more than a bit overwhelming especially to my aging mind.

Then again, maybe that’s a good thing. Shaking life up a little bit from time to time. We have been getting a bit complacent. Comfortable. Staid. Settled. I don’t want a hurricane, of course, but maybe a nice little metaphorical, tropical storm to bring some nourishing rain and to stimulate new growth (and brain cells) might just be what the doctor ordered.