Amalgamating


There are many, many curiosities about living in the Falklands and I’ve started to notice that they’re becoming more and more familiar to me. I’m in danger of not noticing them at all soon so I decided that I’d make a list of them to remind me of the things to forget about upon reintegration into ‘normal’ society in a few years’ time:

  1. There’s not really any crime, so leaving your house unlocked all day is the norm. Locking your car door is unheard of.
  2. You do need a car to get around Stanley as it’s so stretched out spaciously along the coast, but it’s not far enough to charge car batteries that well so going shopping and leaving your car unlocked with the engine running is pretty common. As a result, the car park will be full of 4x4s ticking over and drivers nowhere to be found.
  3. When passing a stranger on a darkened street at night, rather than worrying, saying hello is the done thing.
  4. The internet is slow, expensive and limited. Paying £70 a month for 5gb data usage at home does make you realise that most of the stuff on your Facebook feed just isn’t worth watching and you can manage without streaming/downloading things.
  5. I haven’t yet looked at a weather forecast for Stanley. When, in the time it’s taken you to have lunch, the weather has gone from bright sunshine to snow to hail and back to sunshine, I don’t think Michael Fish will be able to keep up.
  6. Fresh milk isn’t a thing, as there’s no dairy here and the lack of regular cargo flights in means that a bag of apples is many, many pounds. You need to forget UK pricing
  7. Cars are expensive. A car that you wouldn’t look twice at in the UK is several thousand pounds here.
  8. There’s no postmen – the post office learn your name and place of work then sort the mail that way, so post is delivered to the school.
  9. Lack of VAT and import tax on booze results in a very large round of 7-10 people giving ample change from a £20 note.
  10. Most people here are employed by Falkland Islands Government (FIG) and, historically, have a fixed lunch at midday of at least an hour to allow time to go home and stock the peat burners (the school’s lunch is 90 minutes). This is sacred and, each weekday at Midday, a mass exodus occurs and shops and services (police station included; no crime happens at lunch!) close to shun anyone left out in the open during this. It’s nice to think of all of the children sitting down to have lunch with their parents every day though.
  11. What’s that? You want a MAP of the vast and bitter wilderness outside Stanley? And a complete one without blanks that say “cloud obscured”? Jog on!
  12. The oven or heating not working indicates that either the large metal gas bottle or the giant kerosene tank plugged into the house are empty. Call the only supplier in town. Just not at lunch. Or the weekends.

2 thoughts on “Amalgamating

  1. The Navy would sail it out for £1300, but it’d only be useful around Stanley. As soon as you get out of town you need a 4×4 to manage the tracks. Having said that, the Skoda is pretty good…
    (Also, the luggage allowance seems to be pure luck as another teacher got stung for being over his 54kg).

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