Nobody could believe it when a Beaconite told them that after six months in the territory, she still hadn’t been to Virgin Gorda — arguably the closest and most accessible of the sister islands. She had her reasons: As she’s mentioned often in this space, she arrived in the territory a mere two weeks before Hurricane Irma, and so has spent most of her time here in a world where the usual rules do not apply. Still, she has gotten around: She went to Anegada for Lobster Fest, Jost van Dyke for New Year’s Eve, Norman Island for the flotilla — and even Sandy Cay for the Painkiller Cup. However, there hadn’t been an outside motivation to get to Virgin Gorda — until a last-minute assignment on Friday to cover the groundbreaking of the new Robinson O’Neal Memorial Primary School. But, as a free media bus ride to the North Sound revealed the island’s scenery in breathtaking fashion, she realised she didn’t need a reason: The island itself is enough. She can’t wait to go back.
It’s not fun to be sick. But last week, it was especially not fun. With a soaring temperature, severe pain and the constant feeling that her body was being dragged down by a 20-pound weight (only slightly exaggerating here), a Beaconite found herself in the clinic not one, but three times. After a fair amount of trial and error, she finally started taking the correct antibiotics to treat the persistent illness over the weekend. But while on her deathbed, she had a lot of time to reflect and would therefore like to thank the following individuals for ensuring she did not meet an untimely demise: her editor, for letting her take a brief nap in his car during a particularly rough moment; the taxi driver who took her to the clinic, for not asking too many questions; her roommate, for essentially being a taxi driver; and her co-workers, for being very kind and considerate — but with a few jokes thrown in there for good measure.
A Beaconite occasionally likes to devote some newspaper space towards articulating some of the territory’s many inefficiencies. While a large percentage of the population’s jeers have recently — and somewhat deservedly — been directed at the public sector, the Beaconite would like to point out some pervasive pointlessness in the private sector. First up this week: internet cafés. While he is happy that several cafés and restaurants seem to be reinstalling free wi-fi in the post-Irma landscape, the Beaconite is continually reminded of a time-wasting practice that seems unique to the Virgin Islands: Why do café proprietors here shroud their wi-fi passwords in a nuclear-code level of secrecy? In other countries, establishments often post their passwords in laminated paper along the walls, or at the very least employ friendly servers eager to share the appropriate combinations of letters, number and symbols with any customer who asks. Here in the VI, however, such a request often requires you to hand your laptop over the cash register, instruct a stressed barista how to access your wi-fi options, and watch as said barista hunches over your keyboard and scans the room to make sure no one without Level Five security clearance catches a single character of their precious internet key. Now that modern devices can remember passwords forever, such a practice does nothing but ensure additional customer frustration in a slower moving line. For the sake of these hardworking caffeine mixologists, the Beaconite urges all café and restaurant owners to publicise their passwords in friendly wall-side posters. And make it easy to remember, like coffee123 or password321.