Seeing as today is my birthday—thirty-something if you must know—I thought I’d be totally self-indulgent and share my top ten reasons why living in Bermuda is so darn delightful. No, it’s not another Bermuda for tourists list—if you want that try 36 Hours in Bermuda, a story I wrote for the New York Times in September—but it is unmistakably my own. So without further adieu, here in no particular order are my reasons why Bermuda rocks.
10. Lobster season. From September through March you can get the tastiest, sweetest, most succulent Caribbean lobster in nearly every island restaurant (and from local fisherman who sell them for half the price on the side of the road). Eat it on a regular basis and you too will never again crave its Maine cousin.
9. You can get a Dark n’ Stormy anywhere. Bermuda’s national cocktail is a savory combination of Gosling’s Black Seal rum and spicy ginger beer—and it’s delicious. I challenge you to find an island establishment that doesn’t serve one.
8. Beach picnics in February. It was February 27th to be exact. The sun shone brighter than it had all winter and the temperature was a balmy 72 degrees. My wife and I brought a bottle of chilled sauvignon blanc, cave-aged gruyere and a small bag of rosemary crostinis to a gloriously empty Horseshoe Bay Beach and spent the afternoon staring at the turquoise waves. It doesn’t get much better than that.
7. My Sym scooter. There’s something to be said for driving island-wide on the back of 125cc motorbike. The air is fresher, the views are better—and unlike driving a car—there are no distractions. No radios, no phones. It’s all about the drive. Just make sure to keep your mouth closed unless you enjoy getting your protein fix from flying insects.
6. The language. I know, I know. Most everyone in Bermuda speaks English (aside from a large Portuguese population, of course). But I just love that accent! Not unlike a southern twang or an Irish lilt, it’s very much its own: The house is “dahn de rooad.” Fill up the gas tank, “awl de way.” Your good friend is your “ace boy” and your acquaintance is your “cousin.” Just marvelous.
5. I never have to buy fresh rosemary. I’m a bit of a home cook so I’m thrilled when I’m asked to prepare roasted potatoes or pork or just about anything that requires a sprinkle of rosemary. The fragrant plant grows everywhere in Bermuda. Forget the market—just grab a sprig from the backyard.
4. The people. It’s a common statement among most island populations—that its people are its greatest commodity. But I’d say more than any island I’ve ever visited this sentiment is particularly true in Bermuda. Special shout outs to Jeff for unselfishly giving me his VIP tickets to this year’s Rugby Classic; Anthony for selling me my daily newspaper with a smile; and Charlie for always playing reggae in his immaculately clean and well-appointed taxi.
3. My gym. True, it may be a bit extravagant to work out in a luxurious Southampton resort each day, but the sweeping ocean views from the seat of my recumbent bicycle just can’t be beat.
2. Getting a wrong number. This exact scenario has happened three times since I’ve lived in Bermuda—just substitute the requested name made by the caller. Phone rings. Me: “Hello?” Caller: “Is John there, please?” Me: “Sorry, I think you have the wrong number.” Caller: “Oh my word! I’m so sorry for disturbing you! Please forgive me and do enjoy the rest of your day.” If only everyone could be so polite when they dial incorrectly.
1. I can still grow a winter beard (see above). Yes, it’s warm in Bermuda year-round but the slight chill of January prompted this year’s growth. I have a feeling it won’t last much longer but then again, neither will the chill.