While vacationing in Barbados, we ventured from our hotel in St Lawrence Gap to Bridgetown to shop for reasonably priced souvenirs. We went where locals shop – Swan Street.
I believe because locals shop “in the city” for wears, I couldn’t find a tropical looking dress with ” Barbados” on it for my mother. However, we enjoyed the sights and sounds of our bagless outing anyway.
After a sweltering walk about Bridgetown, we considered taking the bus back to the “gap,” and quickly dismissed the thought of a potential hot, long, bus ride. We opted for something that would get us back to our beach and ocean-view room as fast as possible; we took a taxi.
Crossing the street in front of Chefettes (think chains, think the McD’s of Barbados) towards the lot of taxis by the one of the bridges, a lady cab drive yelled to us, “want a taxi?” I returned, a pleasant “yes please” and crossed the street.
By this time, I’d adopted the EXTREMELY polite practices of “please thank you” and the proper greetings to corespond to time of day or night. In my opinion, Bajans are by far the most polite Caribbean people in the Caribbean islands, and I’ve visited quite a few (Antique, Bahamas, Barbados, Caymans, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St Barts, St Kitts & Nevis, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, and Trinidad).
The lady cab driver was quiet to start. My partner, who’s Bajan, began to ask the driver if she was the owner of the van. We’d just had a conversation with his brother about the different types of public transportation and the governments efforts to regulate all of them. She replied calmly with, “yes, it’s mine,” she said what sounded like both pride and a bit of regret, as she explained that she doesn’t trust anyone else to drive.
My Bajan friend went on to talk to the driver while I added headnods and “good for you.” She shared with us that business was challenging during the pandemic. She didn’t work much but admitted things are picking up. She’s hoped for a good “peak season” which begins in November, with European tourists. She told us she works weekdays until 2:30pm, when she goes to collect her daughter who is 3 months old, from childcare; she emphasized taking care of the baby
By the time we reach St Lawrence Gap, the lady cab driver was smiling and sharing freely. She knew where my partner was from on the island. He was familiar with her ‘hood as well. They exchanged cultural pleasures while I enjoyed the sights of the ride. She wished us a great vacation, as we both hopped from the van.
I hopped out leaving my cell phone on the back seat. Shit. It wasn’t for another 15 -20 mins before I realized I didn’t have it. I recalled placing it on the seat to retrieve cab fare. I handed the cash to my partner to do the conversion and pay. I guess I never collected my phone.
We got to the room, I made plates of leftovers for us. We were hungry. My only hope…the lady cab driver or her next customer would see my phone. Hell it’s on vibrate. My tactic to reduce stress and anxiety. I quickly prayed to the universe that she’d find it. My partner called my phone to see if it was in our room. It was not. I knew exact where it was. Oh gosh, she gets off at 2:30pm. In a couple of hours.
I called the front desk of the hotel to alert them and to see if she called. Came-by? The front desk staff said ok. They would call me if she returned.
We had lunch and laid down quietly. I asked my Bajan friend to ring my phone again. He did. And once more! He obliged.
We laid quietly. Relaxing. Thinking what next. I didn’t panic. What was the worst thing out of this situation – I would need to replace my phone. Not a limb. Not car keys. And not anyone’s life. Perspective is everything!
The front called. I was hopeful. They called to tell me they would call the taxi stand in Bridgetown. They would try to locate the driver. They asked for information. I provided everything I knew. We we’re grateful the hotel staff was willing to help. Nice gesture!
I think we’d been laying down listening to the waves for about 5 minutes when the phone rang again. It was the lady cab driver. She heard my phone vibrate the 2nd and 3rd time. She saw the kind gentleman’s name Chandler – from Foul Bay.
She called the hotel front desk to patch her through to Chandler. I picked up. She has my phone! She said she was on her way back. Will take 15-20 minutes.
I thanked her profusely. OMG! What a relief! She found my phone – my lifeline. So what’s this return gonna cost me? I gave her both a few Bajan & US dollars for going out of your way ❤️🙏🏽🇧🇧
Final Analysis: Because she returned my cell phone, I had a positive image of the people in Barbados, being trustworthy, honest and concerns that tourist would think of their island as people who would not return items. I’m gonna have to brush that up real cessation.
Bridgetown, Barbados 🇧🇧
1 thought on “My Authentic, Bajan Tour of Barbados – “Lady Cab Driver.””
There are still good people in the world. Sometimes we have to be the good people for others and sometimes they are the good people for us!
LikeLiked by 1 person