6 Ways to Live Like a Local in Barbados
So, you want to be a Bajan. Of course, the first step is for you to move to our beautiful coral island paradise. It also takes a unique spirit and an openness to trying new things and meeting new people. But, in addition to possessing a certain “je ne sais quoi”, here are 6 ways you can truly live like a local in Barbados:
1. Be open to the food
At some point, you’ll probably be offered dolphin to eat. This is no cause for alarm, as what the locals refer to as dolphin is actually Mahi Mahi – a delicious fish that is commonly found in the island’s waters. Typically served grilled with delicious sides such as Rice & Peas or Macaroni Pie, dolphin will soon become a staple in your new diet.
Mahi Mahi and Macaroni Pie via the wanderfulltraveler.com
2. Ride on a ‘reggae’ bus
Affectionately referred to as “reggae” buses by the island’s visitors, these are actually known locally as “mini-buses” and “ZRs”. The yellow and blue-striped mini-buses and white and maroon-striped ZRs are known for their loud music, colourful characters and their very creative driving. At only $2 BDS or $1 USD per trip, these buses provide reliable and fun transportation around the island.
3. Lime like a local
In Barbados, a lime is not a mere fruit, but also so much more. A gathering of friends and strangers who quickly become friends, limes are often punctuated by loud music (seeing a trend here?), the sounds of dominoes slamming and loud, infectious laughter. Limes often take place in rum shops which brings us to our next tip.
4. Visit a rum shop
Rum is central to the Barbadian identity. The island home of Mount Gay – ‘the rum that invented rum’, these often ramshackle shops pay homage to the island’s unique history. With over 1,200 such establishments spread across the island, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Be sure to order a “bread and two with cheese and pepper sauce” with your rum and coke – it brings out the flavours. Trust us.
Barbados Rum Shop via visitbarbados.org
5. Frequent a local Farmers’ Market
Don’t be lured by the air-conditioned aisles of the island’s supermarkets. Instead, wake up early on the weekend and head down to a local Farmers’ Market for the freshest fruits and vegetables. Try the extremely popular Brighton Farmers Market, which is held every Saturday from 6:00AM to 10:00AM.
6. That beach is yours
As a popular local song goes, “dah beach is mine, I could bathe anytime”. This now applies to you too! With all Barbadian beaches designated for public use – the ocean is truly your oyster. You’ll quickly find your favourite and we’re sure it’ll be one of the best in the world.