A few things I learned this morning as we wandered Nassau:
The Bahamians, by law, are not allowed to gamble (although they can work in the casinos).
Kalik Beer was named after the sound the cowbell made as the cow walked.
The Junkanoo Festival is held every year for two reasons: To remember the slaves (their ancestors) and to celebrate life. I tried on a hat, and it almost broke my neck (see photos below). The costumes can weigh over 70lbs, and last year when the wind was blowing participants were having trouble standing up, walking.
Turns out I am a very good Bahamian speaker due to my regular use of the word “man.” A local lady told me I sound like a native, and she laughed when I responded, “Ah, I don’t know man.”
Those were all nice little nuggets, but the real treat was this afternoon when a few of us wandered down to Junkanoo Beach and had a few beers.
There is a strip of restaurants and food stands, most offering reasonably priced drinks/food (two beers for $7). I saw more locals hanging out than tourists, and we kicked back at a table outside and loosened up, enjoying the last bit of the day as the sun went down and a few dark (yet beautiful) clouds rolled in off the Atlantic Ocean (yes, it’s the Atlantic, not the Caribbean). Our choice was Candies – but a beer is a beer. Pick a spot and post up, relax.
I practiced my Spanish today with some rollers at a cigar factory (seriously), and they gave me some advice on how to travel to Cuba as an American (they were from Cuba).
That story is for later, though – I’ve got to run. We are doing a people-to-people dinner tonight – a local family is hosting us at their home.
This isn’t an experience reserved for the press: Any visitor can contact the board of tourism and have it arranged. Best part? It’s free!
More to come – for now, some photos: