Friday, March 26, 2010

Nassau: Arrival Impressions

After almost staying up all night, I made it to the Bahamas early afternoon on Sunday. I was greeted with a long immigration line that moved super slowly.  After some time, I received a passport stamp that would allow me to stay on the island for seven days.  Later learned this was somewhat arbitrary, Sarah’s custom official gave her ten days!

Leaving the airport, we took a taxi to our hotel. Based on excitement and hunger, we dropped off our carry-ons and ventured out to explore and find food.  We settled at a place called Conch Fritters for lunch, and munched on conch fritters and veggie burgers (grilled vegetables with cheese on a burger bun).  For entertainment, we watched a random and long religious parade and admired Bahamanian women fashion (low heels and fancy hats).

Post lunch we walked and I noticed the coalescence of the Colonial influence and island color in architecture and design … I learned from a teeshirt that the island established independence in 1973, not that long ago. The local straw marketplace was fun, and vendors sold typical things, jewelry, handbags (fake!), woodworkings, etc.  Most stores were closed on Sunday, and the streets were rather empty.  Where we were staying, downtown, foot traffic was particularly light.  The cars however, would courteously stop, so pedestrians could safely cross the streets.

We also sat along the beach to admire the white sand and coral waters and few families who played outside on the Sunday afternoon. The kids, ran around so innocently chasing each other and doing kartwheels.  What different childhoods they must have to be able to go to the beach on weekends in March … Finally for dinner, even though we passed by Chinese, Indian and Thai restaurants ($15 pad thai!), we opted for McDonalds, where we each purchased salad and bottled water for $6 combined.

And as we readied to get our night caps on, Sarah wrote in her graph paper journal and I uploaded my day in photos –



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