Sunday, January 27, 2013

Da Current Done Gone

Doesn't it sometimes just grab you the wrong way when things don’t go just so?

I had one of those days recently. It was a mid-December morn. Practically everyone was smack in the middle of wrapping and decking for the holidays. With tasks piled way high waiting to be executed, each had one thing in common: a timely resolution - minus the wear and tear on dear old me. Oh, I mean young me.

I was well aware that the highways, (yes, we have highways on this archipelago) like the stores, were jammed packed. Considering that most of my chores embraced driving, I needed an efficient course of navigation. Hence, I jotted down a To-Do List – not an uncommon task for Nassauvians. This "rock" might be an island only 21 miles long and 7 miles wide, but when it comes to traffic and bottle-necking, Nassau isn't any different from other populated towns.

Therefore, I had my list, along with the planned stops, but ahead of all that, I had the dogs to walk; breakfast, newspaper, Sudoku, and treadmill time; followed by a few hours of computer/internet work. (Thankfully, it wasn't housecleaning day.) 

After a warm shower, I methodically planned to drive to the nearest and first location on the list. Of course, in my perfect world, everything would be completed prior to 3PM. This is when the halls of education rang open and avid readers, writers and future leaders were collected, carefree and unaware of the congestion they added to the already overcrowded streets.

My organized plan was strategic and almost came to fruition, until the “current done gone.” Quick as a seagull diving for a fish, my purposeful aura of pending fulfillment exited and Ms. Frustration boldly sauntered in; so much for plans.

Switching gears, an innate attribute of the female gender, I immediately engaged my To-Do List.

I guess I should mention that power shortages have diminished greatly since I first moved to this Bahamaland some 12 years ago. But, drumming my fingers, I still don't get why these stone-age events continue to revisit. And then intuition and experience hits me: Oh, yes. It's The Bahamas, and for true - anything goes.

So, the power went off. At that exact second I had barely walked twenty minutes on the treadmill when I was jolted to an abrupt halt. It might have been quite comical had I been running at top speed! Well, "mudda flip," as they say here in da Bahamas.

It was now 9:30. I realized immediately that my well devised plan was at ground zero and thought: Hello Houston. We surely do have a problem. Without power, computer work was totally impossible. Oh, the frequent challenges of living on an island.

If I haven't already conveyed it, loss of electricity in The Bahamas is quite common. It's also frequently nonsensical, especially during the cooler season when air-conditioning - the grim zapper of power - is hardly utilized. Along with other island dwellers, I often wonder what it’s really all about: politics; sabotage; pet peeves between the employees and the power company. What? I wish someone would enlighten me on this.

OK. No power. I am a survivor. I mentally flipped my day and proceeded with Plan B: shower from trickles of cold water; dress, and exit the house with To-List in hand.

First stop: Mail Boxes Etc. Here, they randomly fly the mail in from Florida. I mention the ‘random’ pattern as no definite assurance is given as to when a particular card, letter, or package might arrive. Remember, what I wrote above: ‘This is The Bahamas, and for true - anything goes.’

The alternative to Mail Boxes is the Bahamas Post Office. The latter is similar to my favorite author, Stephen King’s “The Dead Zone.” Mail a letter from the Post Office and presto - it might never reach its final destination. (A granddaughter is still waiting for the card and gift I sent her a few years back.) Mind you, The Bahamas does offer numerous positive aspects to living here; top on my list would be the people and the sea - but definitely not the mail, especially with all the duty, tax, and shipping fees incurred.

Standing in front of my mail box, I inserted the small key and peeked in. The tight fitting chamber was yet again empty. In a day or two, it would cough out an overwhelming assortment of magazines, letters, bills (hopefully a check or two from book sales) and what have you. The multitude of crammed correspondence was proof that the mail sat accumulating in Florida, inefficiently waiting – certainly not a practice of my native New York Post Office, The James A. FarleyPost Office at 33rd Street & 8th Avenue. There, to express the efficiency and dedication of that landmark and the employees, engraved on the building is:     

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

Oh my, excuse me for boasting, but it’s true; the mail in the U.S. is delivered no matter what - obviously not the case in The Bahamas. In fact, when rain falls on the island, along with no mail delivery, students and employees are guaranteed late arrivals, waiting at home for the rain to let up. (Imagine telling them down on Wall Street that you were late to the office waiting for the rain to let up. Right.) Oh, da islands, mon – don’t ya just love dem!

Back in my jeep, I drove past the Cable Beach strip, admiring again the incredible construction underway. Just rounding the bend, with the ocean on my left, the urge to breathe the salty sea air grabs me. I put the window down. The sun graces my face with soothing warmth and natural beauty -  smiling at me, happily in the sky. I couldn't resist; I pulled over and parked.

Minutes later, my flip flops are forgotten, along with my To-Do List.  I sling a blue fold-up chair over my shoulder, gather my ever handy writing and reading materials and slip into the cool sand.

At this stretch of beach, there is no beach – at high tide, that is.  However, on this upside down day, some 50 feet of pure white clean sand awaits my greedy footsteps.

Putting down my gear, I wade into the magnificent turquoise waters. Exhilarated, I glance up at the sun as it easily coxes my grateful smile. It's times like these that I thank my higher power for all things good.

Wading through the ultra clear rippling waters, I scrimp up my Aztec looking sun dress and admire the craftiness of a darting crab; the slender form of a needle fish; and the shimmery red coloring of a pointed starfish. 

Splashing my hands through the water, and feeling the happy-happy-joy-joy of the moment, I decide there and then:

The next time 'da current done gone,' I’m going too – To da beach, of course!


  1. A long day with a happy ending! Power cuts are annoying, especially when there seems no feasible reason for them. Residents are plagued with them more in the eastern part of New Providence than the west, probably because the lines are much older than the more recently developed west. Many eastern residents – and some in other areas too – have installed back up generators. Solar panels are becoming popular too.

  2. Yes, it was a long day with a happy ending. Re: power cuts, well someone once said that even if a spider crossed a line, that critter could interfere with phone lines and quite possibly power lines as well! As far as Solar Panels and such, well - someone near and dear to me is involved with that right here in Old Nassau Town!
    Thanks for commenting :)