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Carol Perkins: Cruise, Part III, Stop in Freeport, Bahamas

Freeport version of a 'taxi' is different from those in the United States, made very profitable by packing small buses with passengers paying $20 each for a twenty minute ride into town.
Next earlier column: Carol Perkins: Cruise, Part II, Key West. Posted July 20, 2014

By Carol Perkins

Our second stop on our cruise was in Freeport, Bahamas. From the dock, the drive into town is about twenty minutes. A taxi is the preferred mode of transportation, but the taxis there and taxis here are not the same. This was a small bus holding ten passengers by cramming people in closely, which is what the drivers do. Twenty dollars per person for a 'round trip soon becomes very profitable. That is why the drivers do not leave the port without every seat filled. Our driver was an older woman who spoke very little English and had very little patience with tourist.

Driver of bus drove like a maniac

Quickly, seven people filled the van, leaving the back row empty. That was not acceptable, so the driver rounded up three more people. She "ordered" those in the second row to move to the back. That was not acceptable to those in the second row. "I ain't movin'" this young woman declared, swinging her head from side to side. "If they wanta ride, they can climb in." There was not room for them to climb in, so after the driver kept ordering those in the second row to move and the lady kept declaring, "Why we gotta move? We were here first," the young man with her crawled over to the back seat and the other man followed, leaving room for the newcomers. Why this lady had to be so difficult is because she "owned" her seat. Entitled to hold her ground. Entitled to show who's boss. All she did was make herself look like Omarosa (the Apprentice).

Evidently the driver was agitated or perhaps she normally drove like a maniac, but the moment she passed a car and cut in too quickly and almost caused that car to leave the road led me to grab the nearest strap. I didn't want to land in a hospital or a morgue on foreign soil.

Bars draw large crowds of young people

Although the beaches are beautiful and the resorts breathtaking, the village is not very large, and is filled with straw baskets, bars, and jewelry that can be bought anywhere. For some reason, bars draw large crowds of young tourist. At one location, three American ladies in their twenties, scantily clad, were dancing on top of a bar top while young men enjoyed the view. I looked at Guy and said, "These are somebody's daughters."

From Freeport, our next stop was Nassau, which was more upscale and modern. It would be a wonderful place to have a summer home, which many famous people do. We drove to the Atlantis Resort that is heavily advertised and saw every inch of the city on our tour. It was fun to walk the main street and eat in a local restaurant. Tortuga Rum Cakes are made in this city and I thought I might bring one home until I saw the price and decided I would make my own rum cake.

Back on ship, it was a good time to find shady spot and read

Back on the ship for a two day sail to New Orleans, I avoided the spa area and the Lido deck with all the food and took my book to an area behind the pool, found a shady spot, and read. Guy was also relaxing when we heard laughter so loud it would wake the dead. "What is going on?" Guy asked. "Oh, that's the Hairy Man contest." Evidently there are still some men who don't wax the hair off their chest. These men were beer drinking, belly bouncing fathers of children who were watching. I am sure they suffered from acute embarrassment. I suggested Guy might like to enter and he suggested I read my book.

Once back to the states, we debarked by nine, loaded our car, and as we drove down the ramp we saw the long line, like the one we had been waiting in just a week before, circling up the parking ramp and into the garage with their luggage, beach bags, and cartons of soft drinks and water. We left with extra pounds around the middle and dirty clothes. - Carol Perkins
The writer, Carol Perkins,is co-host with Susan Chambers of "Susan & Carol Unscripted," live each Tuesday at 10amCT on The Hoss, FM 99.1 radio.

This story was posted on 2014-07-20 06:48:40
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