Shocking but true facts about Bermuda.

There are a lot of misconceptions out there with regards to Bermuda. While most of it can be blamed on the fact that Bermuda IS somewhat of an anomaly, I also think that many of these misconceptions can be blamed on the lyrics to the Beach Boy's "Kokomo".

Exhibit A:

Off the Florida Keys,
There's a place called Kokomo.
That's where you wanna go,
To get away from it all.

Bodies in the sand,
Tropical drink melting in your hand.
We'll be falling in love
To the rhythm of a steel drum band,
Down in Kokomo.

Now, here is where everyone goes wrong...

Aruba, Jamaica
Ooooooh, I wanna take you
To Bermuda, Bahama,
Come on pretty mama.
Key Largo, Montego,
Baby why don't we go...

Oooh, I wanna take you down to Kokomo.
We'll get there fast,
And then we'll take it slow.
That's where we wanna go...
Way down to Kokomo.

OK. Catchy tune, but perhaps they should have consulted an atlas. The song implies that they are casually island hopping through the tropical Caribbean, "getting there fast", while Bermuda is actually located 600 miles off the coast of North Carolina, just a 2.5 hour flight from New York City, thus throwing a much longer flight into the mix...which really takes away from the laid-back, spontaneous trip they were going for.

I, for one was quite shocked to find out just how far north Bermuda actually is. It is situated nicely in the path of the Gulf Stream, which moderates it's climate, making it temperate all year round. There is no rainy season, though winter is damp. The summers are hot. The average annual temperature is 76 degrees. Throughout the year, the temperature can fluctuate from 55 degrees (12 degrees celcius) in January to 85 (29 celcius) in August...plus a rampant humidex. The humidity is so high that you have to keep closets heated so that your clothes don't turn green, refrigerate pretty much all of your food so that it doesn't go soggy or clumpy, and keep electronics like laptops and cameras stored with silica gel to keep the moisture in the air from rusting out the internal parts.

It's like a combination of 'Survivor' and 'Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous'.

I was also quite shocked to find out how freakin' tiny it is. This map is definitely NOT to scale. Bermuda is 21 square miles, 22 miles end-to-end, which is roughly the same size as Manhattan. This is problematic because if Kurt and I get into a fight and I send him packing (for the afternoon...just for the drama of it all), no matter how far he walks, I will still be able to see him. OK, maybe not. But 21 miles is small.

Bermuda is a self-governing British Dependancy. The Queen's Birthday is a national holiday. They love their tea.

The speed limit is 35 km/hr...everywhere. Most people get around on scooters.

There are 65,000 Bermudians...including mine. Other notables living on the island include Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Ross Perot. Sweeeet.

My commute to work may or may not involve a ferry. I'm hoping that it will.

We're going to pay double our current monthly mortgage costs in rent for a one-bedroom apartment. At least.

Bermuda's GDP per capita income in 2004 was $69,000 USD - the highest in the world. This is thanks, in large part, to offshore business such as insurance and financial services. Bermuda's insurance industry is third in the world, behind New York and London.

Chicken is cheap.

But...milk costs 8.99/gallon.

But...I don't drink milk, so who cares?

There are hundreds of shipwrecks around the island, which is also surrounded by coral reefs. I will definitely be looking into taking my scuba diving license.

The sand is pink. Why? From the coral reefs that surround the island breaking down naturally and mixing with the rocks.

Bermudians won't swim between October and May 24th. Anyone on the beach at Christmas is almost guaranteed to be a Canadian. Nice!

All of these fun facts have come from books and advice we've received from people who have spent time there. I can't wait to experience these things first hand (well, I could do without signing those rent cheques, actually) and to have our own fun facts to share. From what my Bermuda wall calendar suggests, it's an incredibly beautiful place. Can't wait to sink my toes into that pink sand....

7 comments:

Katie said...

do you guys have your diving certificates? If not I am going to have to INSIST that you get them... A-SAP, yah I said it..
A-SAP!

it will be like moving to a whole new place and then seeing a whole new world under the sea.. Amazing.

Heatherness. said...

Jealousssssss!

Definately a trip to Bermuda should be in order.

Anonymous said...

John Stamos played drums on that song AND he played with the Beach Boys in Ottawa and I saw him.

Why won't the people swim between October and May?

Emily

mike jones said...

come on guys dont you know anything about bermudas history. i came here for a reason ok? please if you know anything about bermudas history please ad it to the website

Kristin. said...

Dear Mike,

Can I please direct you to www.google.com. Type in "Bermuda and history" and you should find what you're looking for. This is my blog...not a personalised history lesson for you.

Thanks,

The Management.

Dai- Dai said...

bermi is the greatest, you should come sometime

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