Many of you may be wondering what daily life on our little island must be like - in reality. You must be saying to yourself, "It can't all be sea snakes and breathtaking views and jet skiing and sunny skies." Sophie, who just returned from Europe reports that she was asked, "Do you have supermarkets there?" A ha. Indeed we do. And our lives are somewhat similar to yours. There are some differences, though:
- We live with the light. People here rise and set with the sun. It is not unknown that they are up between 4.30 and 5.00, have lunch at 11.30 and dinner at 18.30. They are in bed between 20.30 and 21.00. (As for us, Laurent gets up at 5 some days and 6 on others. I get up at 7.30 -- I just can't manage a 6 o'clock rising on Paradise Island. Sophie gets up around 6 during the school year as school starts at around 7.15).
- We live outside. That is, when it is cool enough to be outside. Right now it is summer, so we take care of errands and do sports earlier in the day - or later - when it is cooler.
- We do a lot of sports. You see a lot of runners, walkers, roller skaters, swimmers and bikers. Laurent runs a lot, I swim (yes, in the sea - and at the outdoor pool).
- We eat lightly - lots of fruit and salads, but we also eat chicken, beef, fish, bread, cheese and yogurts.
- We find life expensive as most everything is imported. When we first landed, we were shocked by the price of salmon imported from Ireland (not that we need to eat salmon from Ireland!) - €80 for a piece the size to feed the three of us. Another friend of ours didn't realise the price and bought a portion of cheese for €25.
- Telecommunication costs are exorbitant. Our Internet connection costs us €125 a month on average. The phone (before calls) costs about €40 a month. Cable runs just over €80 a month. (And every time we see a commercial for unlimited calls, Internet and tv for €29.99 a month, we, well, drool.)
There are things we do individually. Sophie is very creative and puts together the most amazing collages of photos on the computer. I've been taking a sand painting class and have been patiently bringing colour to (my) amateur drawings. I very much miss my piano and singing, but have yet to join a group. Sophie will start her drums again soon. Laurent has been studying English with a great software called the Rosetta Stone. I begin and end my days reading, and I probably spend more time thinking than I do writing about how to improve websites. We eat dinner together every night and we watch the news from France and we laugh out loud at our kitten's frantic night-time antics. Our daily lives are not that far off from yours ... really!
Photo by Laurent Guiader, 2005.