Anyway, we will do our part by car-pooling and doing things outside peak hours, or not driving at all. Georgette, Rhian and I have already made good use of the buses, and as it's the same fare (B$1.50 or 75 US cents) to make a trip anywhere, it's not a bad option. The private minibuses (which have licence plates beginning ZR) are a mixed bag. You get an initial excitement by feeling that you are being adventurous, and living like a local. But, when you get squeezed up and you are with a buggy or a sleeping toddler, or both, that "fun" quickly fades away. Some ZR drivers are like kamikazes; the more reckless drivers tend to work for other people so need to make as many trips and take as many people as possible. You can see and hear them coming, and their weaving and fast driving have caused much public comment and may lead to new legislation. They are also being blamed for other social ills, because the ZRs tend to blast out dance hall reggae and rap music, or what some politicians are labelling "mind-altering music". Many people won't ever step onto a ZR fearing for their lives or hating the noise, but waiting for a big public bus means a much longer wait for the greater comfort, and blander atmosphere, though some of these are also driven at crazy speeds.
All of this is scene-setting for our new car, which came home today. It was a long wait of about 6 weeks; in the US we are used to getting the deal done in half a day and driving away happy with the new rapidly depreciating asset. No cars were actually available at most of the dealers and we had to wait for the boat that "was still on the water". Then, clearing customs and moving through some diplomatic hoops added time. Therese, an unpaid spokesperson for BMW, really wanted the little model that they offer here. With the roads here, it would be a challenge to get the car to hit more that 70 km an hour, and Beamers are not cheap, even duty free. She had an ultimatum ready for the supplier of the Suzuki Swift that we were awaiting, but in the end calmed herself and let the process roll out. Now, cutie pie car is home. It's been a star on the rally circuit, so I will have to see how it deals with the winding inland roads over coming months. It seems a perfect little car for this little island. It would have been better if it ran on ethanol or was solar powered, but that part I can't control. What petrol it uses will be much less than most other cars, but I won't push too hard on environmentalism while talking about a 2nd car. I'll enjoy the freedom it gives and I'll try to use that and get about so that when our hordes of visitors arrive I'll know more than just where are all the supermarkets and playgrounds.