Bermuda is not for the faint-hearted when it comes to the pocketbook.
This island may be a magnet for international high finance but after your first trip to the grocery store you will question whether you are actually earning enough. Tax free or not.
My first round of sticker shock occurred upon selecting a lovely and large chicken for a dinner party. The price was $42.00. I couldn’t believe it. I then looked at a smaller one weighing in at about 4 pounds and found it was still priced inordinately high at $38.00. I love to eat. I never miss a meal. It’s the best guilty pleasure I know. My dad always questioned whether it was more expensive to clothe me or feed me. (Jury’s still out there.) 3 squares aside, there are also all those other delicious little snacks and nibbly bits to indulge in all day long. What fun. Eating is among those rarest of sensual pleasures that can be engaged in endlessly through out any 24 hour period. How good is that? You can’t buy a new dress as often as you can visit your own refrigerator, can you now? So understand that I don’t mind emptying my wallet for a tasty morsel, but not my whole bank account.
What’s more, once you’ve loaded up your grocery cart having estimated its contents equivalent to the cost of a small country’s national debt you are then confronted with that audacious little ATM machine at check out enquiring, “Is 481.00 okay?” “Huh?” Actually, “ it is not !” I wanted to scream. I told that to
my check out clerk
who just laughed, saying, “I know girl, but you gotta eat.” She’s right of course and
steep prices are to be expected when you live on an island where everything has to be shipped in.
But it does take some getting used to. Like when my husband wanted to buy a towel warmer which I’ll admit was a fancy towel warmer.
It was the Mercedes Benz of towel warmers to be exact. It did cause a little choking sound to rise from his throat
when he first heard the cost of keeping his 100 plys dry: $6200.00.
Suffice to say, the internet was soon our friend and did supply us with an exact replica from the States for much less money but with far more hassle to import. You have to pick your battles.
Valentine’s Day was not one of them. Sadly I neglected to purchase any expression of spousal affection on the aforementioned day and felt such a sting of guilt the morning after that I didn’t even blink at the price of the most magnificently perfumed candle I had ever encountered. It doesn’t sound like much. But my husband appreciates nose gratifying aromas. We always kid that he is the best
smelling man on the continent. And why wouldn’t he be with an exotic collection of 25 different colognes occupying more than half of our available bathroom counter space. Then again, they do say that smell is our most evocative sense. So, I bought that woodsy, giant, gorgeous smelling, and yes, overpriced candle without so much as a backward glance. I was desperate. Happily, it was a big hit at home, so I went on-line to order more of those $65. 00 pillars of scented perfection and was shocked when I found them for just $17.99. I didn’t care how heavy they were. For one third the price I’ll hand carry them in, pay duty and still come out ahead.
A few other sticker shock high watermark moments include the arrival of your first electric bill. It will absolutely be more than you have ever paid anywhere in the world. And don’t even get me going on the price of fresh flowers here. I have been forced to purchase silk ones now which lack the luxury of natural ones but last a very, very long time.
So, you see, you can adapt. There’s a learning curve here which encourages you to waste less.
I don’t let precious water run too long from the tap for one thing. I buy only what I need most of the time and a little less of what I just want.
And, like all things you ultimately put “island sticker shock” into perspective.
What is the price of paradise anyway? What you’re willing to pay for an item or what it’s worth to you?
Interestingly, we have found that the cost of liquor is quite reasonable on the island. Now that’s the kind of thing that can take the sting out of a lot of other expenditures.
Best advice: Stock up and party on.