By: Bill Pyle
By: Bill Pyle
As of July 1, 2002 I am now a resident of St. Thomas, US Virgin
The island is wonderful and beautiful. I truely love it here and the
island loves me. Even the left hand side driving has come naturally
I work for 7 Seas Water. We take sea water (salt water) and make it
into drinking water for several resorts and the island of St. John.
Water is very precious and expensive. On average the ost of water is
$0.05 a gallon compared to water in the states being about $0.002 a
gallon. So everyone conserves and everyone collects rain water in
cisterns which are located beneath the houses.
The island is 13 miles long and 3 miles wide. A drive of 5 miles
takes 15 to 20 minutes due to the steep hills and sharp turns that
are necessary due to the mountainous terrain. More hilly compared to
big mountains in the states. The roads are steep to reduce the
construction of them.. Building here is very difficult and very
expensive. The island was created from volcanos and hence almost
solid rock. Requiring blasting to build anything -- even houses.
It is expensive to live here.
I have a 2br, 2 ba condo that overlooks the Carribean (I get to see
the cruise ships come and go). Rent is $1400 a month!
Water bill about $150
Electric about $150
Gasoline is $1.80 a gallon
Hamburger meat is $6.00 a pound
Chicken is $5.00 a pound
Eggs are $4.00 a dozen
Milk is $7.00 a gallon
American cigarettes are $13.00 a carton
Good booze is about $8.00 a fifth and
the locally made rum (Cruzan) is $5.00 a half gallon.
Wine is more expensive here by about $3.00 a bottle.
So necessities are expensive and luxuries are cheap. Go figure.
The people here (West Indies) are kind and gracious. Every
conversation must start with Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good
Evening or Good Day. It is polite and people get offended when a
simple hello is used instead.
We also have an assortment of Rastamen. They are a strange breed but
they are gentle. Some are real and some are wanna be's. The real
ones are very nice people, while the wanna be's seem to have an
attitude all the time.
Everything is at a very slow pace here. No rush at all. A nice
change for me from all the years of chaos at work. Cell phones are
not overly reliable with signals being lost all the time. Cabel goes
in and out and internet connections are slow and sometimes non-
existant. No Burger King! but many different restaurants to pick and
choose from. I believe it is estimated that there are over 1000
restaurants on the island. Considering the population is only 60,000
that is alot of restaurants. Tourism makes the island happen. When
in season (November through May) all the restaurants will be packed!
Not to mention the streets.
The West Indies have a habit of stopping anywhere and anytime to
chat. It makes for tricky driving as around every turn or over any
hill, there may be a car stopped for chatting.
Charlotte Amalie is the capital of St. Thomas. I live about 20
minutes from it. The locals pronounce it TOWN. Town has all the big
stores for the tourists - you name it, and it can be bought -- mostly
expensive jewerly and clothes. Some nice restaurants can be found
there including Hard Rock Cafe St. Thomas!
I will write more as time permits and will start posting pics very
My best to everyone,
Regatta Point Villa's
St. Thomas, VI 00802
By: Bill Pyle
MORE THAILAND TRAVEL
By: Jack Ellis
Sunday, 13 Jan 2002