Coconut Rock & Yashi

Coconut Rock

The illegible logo

Next door to Marks & Spencers on Reid Street (on the left as you look at it), there are some stairs leading down to a place called Coconut Rock. The logo is illegible so you might not spot it. We’ve never eaten in Coconut Rock itself, it reminds me too much of Ritzy’s – red and black 80s decor. But it seems popular enough.

http://coconutrock.com/

Strangely enough, through the nightclub/restaurant, there is another door leading you to Yashi, the sushi bar. Don’t be put off by the black ash furniture, the sushi is excellent and pretty good value – edamame, $3.95, 6/8 maki rolls for $8.95. I like the shrimp tempura!

Highly subjective rating from a fussy eater: ★★★★☆

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Music & theatre

BMDS

Bermuda Musical & Dramatic Society

Despite Bermuda’s tiny population, there is some amazing talent on the island and there is a thriving am dram scene. Even if treading the boards is not your thing, you can help out in other ways such as set building, painting, backstage or just working behind the bar. On the subject of the bar, if you are taken aback by the prices of the drinks in Bermuda then head down to the Daylesford bar for a dose of 1970s priced booze. The bar itself is thankfully a little more modern than that but compare $4.50 for a glass of wine against the $15 price ticket at some of the bars on Front Street.

You do need to sign up to be a member of BMDS (www.bmds.bm) and have your application form signed by two members who will vouch for your good character etc. However don’t let this put you off too much. Head down to the bar one Friday night, get chatting with some people at the bar (or outside for the smokers) and you’ll have found people to sign your form by the end of the night. It’s virtually impossible to go to the bar and NOT speak to anyone.

So you might have guessed we spend a fair amount of time there! But we have met some great people and enjoyed some very memorable experiences there.

The Daylesford bar and theatre can be found on the corner of Dundonald Street and Victoria Park. And if you don’t want to get involved, then you can just go and see the plays. They produce a good old fashioned panto just before Christmas at City Hall and several other plays throughout the year shown at the Daylesford Theatre, including a playwriting competition.

G&S

G&S Society

If you are really into the am dram scene, then there is another society – the Gilbert & Sullivan Society – www.gands.bm

This year, G&S Society produced History Boys, which was amazing. And The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, with incredible costumes and choreography.

If you like singing, BMDS have a choir called the Daylesford Singers that rehearse on Sundays from January with a performance in May. Or there’s the Bermuda Chamber Choir, I can’t seem to find their website, but they have a facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bermuda-Chamber-Choir/43479291432

So as you can see, plenty to do here! Even if you just prop up the bar from time to time and go and see the shows.

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Learn something new: Community Education

Cedarbridge Academy

Cedarbridge Academy, one of the schools where the classes take place

If you’re looking for things to do or to learn something new and ways to meet new people that won’t break the bank, the Community Education programme is a good place to start. It’s basically cheap evening classes covering sports, dancing, cookery, art and the like.

It’s usually about $80 for 8 classes. When you think that other boot camp or yoga classes can be between $17 and $25 per session, it’s a bargain. It also helps you meet Bermudians rather than just other ex pats.  

You can download the term’s catalogue on the website http://www.communityed.gov.bm/portal/server.pt

The catalogues come out just before the term starts so you have to keep checking the site.

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Supermarkets

paper bags

Paper bags with no handles, like in the films

There are five or six main supermarket chains on the island and a couple of one-offs. The opening times take a bit of getting used to, especially the short hours on a Sunday.

Most are open until 9pm or 10pm daily except Sundays when they are open from 1pm – 5pm or 6pm.

The other thing to remember is that you can’t buy off-licence alcohol anywhere on a Sunday or after 9pm any other day. Don’t worry, it’s still available in bars and restaurants!

You can’t always get what you need or want so if you’re cooking a recipe, you might have to compromise or even be prepared to change your recipe completely. And if you see something you like (Marmite, Nutella, Jaffa Cakes…) buy two – you never know when  you might see it again!

Lindo’s

Renowned as having the freshest fruit and veg (probably apart from Miles), there are two Lindo’s and they are probably like a Sainsbury’s – despite the terrible ads. Actually, I think the ads are quite endearing and you see these celebrities around town regularly!

Miles

Miles is lovely – expensive but lovely. Like a foodhall rather than a supermarket, Bermuda’s answer to Harvey Nicks or Harrods (well not quite!)

Supermart

On Front Street and in St. George’s, Supermart is the Waitrose of the supermarkets and this is largely due to the fact they sell Waitrose products! I found this very comforting when we first arrived and it’s my favorite supermarket by far. Pricier than Marketplace, but not by a lot.

Marketplace

There are loads of Marketplaces around, they don’t have the best reputation for fresh goods but I think the prices reflect this. We once got some badly stored porridge with weevils (well, I don’t know what they were, but this seems a good enough description) in it. They exchanged it and said “it happens”! I suppose Marketplace would be like a not quite so good Tesco’s.

Arnolds

There is one on Front Street and they are open late. They don’t sell much fresh food, it’s more of a large corner shop. But there are other Arnolds that we’ve never been to – they are yellow.

Whites

I haven’t been into a Whites, but I have seen them. http://www.experiencebermuda.com/shopping/?id=76&type=all

Hunts

I got this off the Hunts Twitter page – Tuesday 5% OFF and Thursday for seniors 10% OFF Cash or Check ONLY. Hours: Mon. – Fri., 9am – 7pm ◊ Sat., 8am – 8pm. 5 Quarry Lane, Khyber Pass, Warwick ◊ 236-6343

Discounts

Pay in cash on a Wednesday and you get 5% off. Arnolds also has a customer appreciation day, I don’t remember the details but I think it might be 15% off one night a month.

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Immigration: The Form

Passport

It takes a while to get to this

No two ways about it, getting the immigration application form filled out before you get here is the single most complicated thing you will have to do in your life. And there is little information out there to help (well, that’s why we’re writing this).

The information contained on www.immigration.gov.bm has definitely been updated in the past year, but it still doesn’t help that much – it’s badly written and doesn’t make much sense to anyone but the person who wrote it. There used to be a link to the actual form, but the link I had is broken – let me know if you have one.

www.bermuda-online.org/employwp.htm has a LOT of information about work permits, so I’m not going to repeat it, it looks useful.

Permission to Reside for Partners and Spouses

There is very little information on bringing a partner or spouse to the island, but it can be done. There is such a thing as a Permission to Reside. You have to supply lots of additional information such as both sets of bank details, and the working partner has to write a letter stating they will kick their partner off the island if they split up. A note of warning though, once a partner has this type of visa, they will not be able to look for work or even get a Permission to Reside and Seek Employment form. Spouses are ok though, they should be able to get the Permission to Seek Employment.  

Chest X-Rays

There are a series of strange requests that take time and effort to get, and are met with strange looks. Our experience with getting a chest x-ray was odd. The first stop is to go to your GP, but ours didn’t understand why we needed this and I had to go back three times to get the right green form. You then have to go to the hospital and pay around £65 to get a copy of it – the hospital seemed to understand what you need so it’s fine once you get there.

Notarised copy of passport & certificates

I paid a fortune for notarised copies from an actual notary (http://www.thenotariessociety.org.uk/) – bear in mind it costs about £100 for each certificate and you have to get your GCSE certificates notarised! But it turns out you just need a solicitor to sign that it is a true copy which costs about £3 per document.

Police Certificate

Again, pop in to your local police station to get this form and they don’t know what you’re on about! There is a downloadable form on this website: www.acpo.police.uk/certificates.asp 

Things might have changed, but we applied for a different type of police certificate, which I think was slightly cheaper and had no option of the express service, but I’m sure this one would be fine!

How long does all this take?

Anywhere between 6 and 10 weeks, less if you get a temporary visa. But is always talkes longer than they say it will, particularly during the summer months.

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Useful websites

Emoo

Emoo

Possibly the most useful website when you first arrive on the island is www.emoo.com. Here you can find somewhere to live and all manner of second hand things you’ll need.

www.bermuda.com has recently been revamped and has lots of general information. www.bermuda-online.org also has a load of information, which is pretty up to date despite appearances.

If it’s the latest Bermuda news you want, there are three websites to choose from: www.royalgazette.comwww.bermudasun.bm and www.bernews.com

www.nothingtodoinbermuda.com posts event flyers and information, proving that there is plenty to do in Bermuda!

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Finding your way around

Bermudian houses do have numbers!

Bermudian houses do have numbers!

Despite Bermuda being so seemingly small, it is irritatingly impossible to find your way around until you get the hang of it. When asking for directions (and if you have to give them), the information tends to come in a jumbled order with alarming amounts of detail about the colour of the house and its ‘trim’, the colour of the surrounding houses and landmarks – I had a 10 minute conversation about the fact I didn’t know where the Quickie Lickie Laundromat was when speaking with an estate agent! I was none the wiser at the end of the conversation but had to meet her there.  Despite the fact the houses all have a name, a number, a street name, a parish and a postcode, this is relatively new so it’s not the common way to describe the address!

Google maps is no use. The tourist maps are vague and often send you off in random directions – fine for tourist destinations but no use when going to pick up the toaster you’ve bought on emoo. There is an online map on Bermuda Yellow Pages (or Yabsta as they are now called) but with no search functionality – duh. Still give it a try if you like a challenge at http://www.bermudayp.com/guide/poi

If you can get hold of the Bermuda Yellow Pages printed map, it has an index so that’s worth getting – at least you can take it with you. 

There is one website, which will tell you exactly where a house is and what it’s called – doesn’t help with the colour of the houses (a particular issue if you’re colourblind) but if you can get it to work, it is pretty helpful. www.landvaluation.bm

If in doubt ask, but despite the vagueness of directions, Bermudians don’t seem to be that clued up on where everything is – it really is the case of a different language!

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