BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Tuesday March 21, 2017 – Regardless of where you live in the Caribbean – or anywhere else for that matter –, you’ll hear complaints about the cost of living at some point or the other.
But according to a list compiled by Bruce Northam for Thrillist, one Eastern Caribbean island is one of nine “incredible countries” where someone interested in visiting for an extended period or relocating could get by on US$1,000 per month.
Grenada was named in a list that also included Armenia, Bolivia, Fiji, Laos, Montenegro, Nepal, Nicaragua and Zimbabwe.
Here’s what was said about the Spice Isle:
What you’ll save on: Exotic spices. Fresh and way cheaper than Trader Joe’s (the nutmeg on Grenada’s flag is telling).
Why here? You’ll find plenty of splendid beaches and nice places to crash on this West Indies paradise. GMT (Grenada Maybe Time) slips away from you as the locals’ songlike accent often needs translating. Keep in mind that this is the Caribbean and to navigate affordably you’ll have to go more native than you might prefer. Keeping the peace is Grenadians’ attachment to British colonial law — one must bow to a picture of the queen when entering a court. And if you swear, it’s not hard to land there. Locals call this a “church state” because cursing within earshot of a cop can warrant an arrest. At least you don’t need any language but English to get around just fine.
Local joints play upbeat soca music, which gets Grenadians up and bouncing. They call it wining, pronounced “why-ning,” and it’s a carnal dance demonstration: couples swiveling for hours, rarely making eye contact with one another. No doubt you’ll also encounter some of the 5,000-plus international students enrolled in the medical school, perhaps on the dance floor.
Affordable adventure: Hike jungles, laze on beaches, and just mingle. Dig on the national dish called oil down, getting its name from the coconut milk oil residue that infuses the one-pot stew of breadfruit, callaloo, okra, cabbage, fish, dumplings, turmeric, and whatever else is on hand. A lively traffic circle near Grand Anse Beach borders a makeshift outdoor marketplace sarcastically named “Wall Street” because the strip-mall parking area is bookended by banks. Along with being a mini-bus hub, the circle attracts locals who gather to buy open-air-grilled meat and drink beverages sold from ice chests in pickup beds. At night, cars blare music, creating instant parties.
If you need a hedonistic binge: You’ll soon hear distant calypso music filling the barbecued night air. That’s your cue to follow the sound of steel drums and behold this West Indies invention — listening music — that doubles as delivery for satire and political commentary. You can hire a cabbie who’ll take you wherever you want to go for the night, all night, for about $20.