Sometimes, in all the hustle and
bustle that has become Grand Cayman – especially in the George Town area – it’s
easy to forget we still live on a Caribbean island. With all the honking car
horns, fast food restaurants, shopping plazas and apartment complexes, a person
should be excused if they mistake Grand Cayman for somewhere in Florida.
Luckily, there are reminders of
where we live all around us.
Despite the amount of development
on Grand Cayman, we still have female turtles coming ashore on our beaches and
laying eggs in the sand; we still have ching chings attacking people who
venture too close to their nests; and we still have land crabs, albeit fewer of
them, migrating to the sea to lay their eggs.
Although they aren’t indigenous, we
still have plenty of feral roosters, hens and green iguanas roaming seemingly
everywhere on Grand Cayman, much to the delight of tourists. We might consider these creatures a nuisance,
but they are all a reminder that we don’t actually live in Miami.
Even though we have a plethora of
fast food options these days, there are still plenty of places to get local
food. Walk into a grocery store in the
U.S. and you aren’t likely to find the kinds of food at the hot deli bar that
you find here, things like oxtail stew, curried goat, tripe and beans, ackee
and salt fish and rundown.
We might have traffic problems just
like so many other places, but where else in the world do you find people
slamming on their brakes to allow someone to exit from a side road? Yes, it can
be annoying, and even a bit dangerous, to the person driving behind that car,
but the practice helps define Cayman.
Then of course, there’s the sea
that surrounds us, the sea that can either soothe or souls with its serenity,
or strike fear in our hearts with its fury. Anyone who remains here when a
hurricane is approaching remembers full well they are living on an island. But it’s good to remember that at other