Barbados

Although it is generally a safe place to travel, there is some crime that appears more significant because of its comparative rarity. It's wise for tourists to avoid certain high-risk activities like walking on secluded beaches, day or night, and walking in unfamiliar residential neighbourhoods or secluded areas away from main roads.

The most common kinds of crimes against tourists include taxi fraud, robbery, and shortchanging; however, rape and assaults are becoming more common. Most Bajans are by nature friendly, especially in the earlier part of the tourist season November and December.

A special area of concern for visitors to Barbados is drugs. The country's strict antidrug policy is made apparent to visitors coming through Customs. In practice, however, Europeans and Americans in Barbados are offered marijuana or even cocaine frequently. Sellers will often roam the beaches selling aloe vera or other such innocuous goods as a pretense to begin a conversation about "ganja," "smoke" or "bad habits." As a result, many hotels and resorts now ban the use of aloe vera under the pretense that it "stains the towels."

Regardless of one's inclination to use drugs, it is not advisable to accept these offers. Marijuana is considered bad and is not accepted by Bajan police. While Bajan police are not frequently encountered, they prosecute drug crimes easily.

Care should also be taken going into the sea. Many people underestimate just how powerful the currents can be and rip tides have claimed lives over the years. Always look out for warning flags.

Beware of the sun, Barbados is only 13 degrees off of the equator and you can get sun burnt very easily. It is very important to keep your water intake high. Drink plenty of water or bring an umbrella to shade yourself against the sun, which is commonly done in the country.

Dengue is prevalent, therefore it is advisable to put on bug spray, as mosquitoes are often a nuisance to anyone staying outdoors for prolonged periods, day or night, as soon as you are in the country side. At the beach, as long as there is a breeze, you'll be ok: mosquitoes are poor fliers.

contact

There are several small internet cafes located around the island as well as connections offered by the larger resort hotels.

respect

Despite, or maybe because of, the tropical climate, Bajans tend to dress conservatively when not on the beach. A bikini will not be appreciated in town and certainly not in church.

Bajans are particularly sensitive to manners and saying, "Good morning" to people, even strangers, goes a long way to earning their respect.

When meeting a Bajan, try not to discuss politics or racial issues. Talk is also important because Barbadians speak fairly fast when speaking in Creole or Bajan, as it is called.

The use of the "N" word is a no, but when talking to friends words such a "B" which is short for "bro" and "dawg" are used to describe or refer to a friend. Initially these words should not be used unless you know the person well.

Most Bajans are fun-loving and love to go out and have fun, as is noted by the large number of young people found in the clubs and on the Southern Coast of the island. Try not to stare at persons without good cause. If you happen to bounce into someone in a club, you should immediately apologize to the person.

Keep in mind that Bajans are very protective of family, and insults to a person's family are taken very seriously. This also relates to their views on issues such as homosexuality; even though most Bajans do not agree with the practice, your rights are still respected.

talk

The official language in Barbados is English. Bajan occasionally called Barbadian Creole or Barbadian Dialect, is an English-based creole language spoken by locals. Bajan uses a mixture of West African idioms and expressions, such as Igbo, along with British English to produce a unique Barbadian/West Indian vocabulary and speech pattern. There are a few African words interspersed with the dialect. Communication will not be a problem for any English speaker, and Barbados has one of the highest literacy rates in the Western Hemisphere.