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Among the one (or perhaps two) percenters.

December 29, 2019

I spent Christmas at a very nice resort in Bermuda, gazing out at the ocean, eating four star meals and occasionally going and doing the less vigorous bits of the tourist thing.

I bought three nice shirts (that’s a lot for me and caused purely by the hotel’s dress code for the posh restaurant) and finally found some light weight knee length socks I liked: that shouldn’t be too surprising given this is the home of Bermuda Shorts.

The island seems to survive just about entirely on tourism though I’m told that off-shore banking helps too. I did wonder what was going on away from the main roads and in the places actual residents live but didn’t get the chance to find out. Perhaps it’s rude and intrusive to want that.

The rich people were mostly very nice, especially the two sets of Canadians who invited me to join their Christmas Day and Boxing Day meals. (Mind you what I was thinking before that was that the place needed an infestation by an unexpected SF convention.) There was one Loud American who kept turning down the menu at the restaurant and playing ‘Just Bring Me A Burger’ games with the wait staff who did their best to endure his showing off.  And charge him extra for the privilege.

It really was ungracious of him because on of the hardest things to do was to make up my mind which fabulous meal to choose. I still regret giving up the chance to try osso buco because there was lobster on the menu. And if only they had offered the goose on Christmas Day with something other than Brussels Sprout and some other member of the brassicae. Ah, well. Regrets of an aging gourmand.

Still, eating meals prepared by a master chef did great things for my digestion though discouraging things to my waistline. I could tell that by the increased difficulty I had squeezing into my seat on the flight back. My thanks to my brother for the Christmas gift of a seat in Club Class.

One of the things I noticed there and at the hotel was that in the high flying world the waitstaff don’t just say ‘The mushroom soup and the New York Strip Steak: very good sir.” They say instead: “Excellent choice!” Are people with money in need of that much reassurance that they have good taste? And perhaps my lower middle class manners are too polite for these circles: saying ‘thank you’ when they cleared my plate or brought me a new dish bought an overly sincere “No, not at all, sir!”

Would have been better if they had taught the waitstaff the way the British like their tea presented to them: in a pot, already made with boiling water not in the shape of a pot of cooling water and some teabags. I felt a bit of a heel making a fuss every breakfast time after the first. I didn’t regret taking my own supply of Marks & Spencers’ Extra Strong though.

The people of Bermuda are really very friendly. It seems to be a reflex.  Even more in your face about liking you on sight than Americans.

On the whole I’m unlikely to go back unless I come into some more mad money soon but I can see why people move there.

The illustration above is of the most Bermudan sign I came across. Apart from the chickens the local bird life is both slightly more colourful than you’ll find in England and a lot more unafraid of humans. At the pub where I dined on the last day the local sparrow equivalents (though I think they may have been finches of some sort) nipped in and hopped around the feet of the diners without any of the nervousness being near a human brings in the UK.

Some other tropical or semi-tropical paradise the next time though.

One Comment
  1. My experience is that Americans, particularly ones who have a bit of money but don’t feel secure about it, expect much more servility from staff than the British do; and I’m guessing Bermuda has more American than British tourists (Wikipedia says 80% are of US origin). That would also account for the inability to make tea.

    I have had sparrowlikes hopping round my feet in a small outdoor café in Finland. And a dunnock that flew into the main room at home, perched on the laptop I was using, tseeped furiously, and flew out again.

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