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The Bahamas Was Not As Anticipated

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When we left Charlotte North Carolina,we were on our way to Nassau, Bahamas and I was overwhelmed with excitement. Thoughts ran through my head such as, “I wonder what it is going to be like. How are the people. How is Atlantis”. I most definitely remember looking out the window to catch a glimpse of the beautiful ocean waters and how the little pieces of land were outlined with a very vibrant turquoise. I found it very magnificent that the ocean water was naturally clear. The waters looked so fresh and clean as if no man has ever had a chance to badger nature’s beauties. Without a doubt, I was in total awe because I witnessed something I had never seen before. Shortly, the pilot spoke on the intercom: “ We should be landing in Nassau in about 15 minutes, and the weather is currently in the nineties with sunny skies.”

When we landed in Nassau, I immediately looked out the window saw the lush, dense plants and trees that were on the side of the runway. They really amazed me because they were unlike any other plant that I have seen in America. So, landing in the Bahamas and observing the beautiful greenery, I was ready to start my Bahamian journey. As soon as we walked out of the airplane and stepped foot in the airport, the hot air hit me right in the face. When we stepped out of the airport, I breathed in the fresh air even though it was still very hot outside. Soon, we were on our way to Atlantis. But, Atlantis is on Paradise Island,so we had to drive through Nassau to get to the bridge which was by the port area. But, when we reached that area, some of my views of the Bahamas had changed. When I was younger,I thought every foot of the Bahamas was paradise, but that was not fully true. I had been mislead by all the commercials advertising for the resorts and the movies talking about the beaches, but they never mentioned about the surrounding area that made up most of the island.

Besides the little eateries and shops, Nassau is not that extravagant. It really made me think that the whole island is not wealthy and luxurious, and that some parts are rather poor. As we rode in a taxi heading to a restaurant taking the side streets, I peered out the window to find that that alleys were dirty and the houses were small and not that decorative or clean either. So, it was like as if some parts were slums like any other worn down neighborhood in any city. While we were in the taxi, the concerned and somewhat angry voice of the person on the radio said, “ People what care are we showing for our island? We are leaving trash and broken bottles our our beaches! We cant even walk around bare foot on the beach! We have to watch our every step!”

What is ironic about that area is that there are so many banks in such a small area, while the surrounding area is not being up kept that well. On Bay Street my family and I saw, all the designer stores such as Gucci, Fendi, and John Bull, but I wonder how much money was the city receiving from income of the sales and if they were receiving a sufficient amount what was the city using it for? I would imagine that tourists purchased a lot of items considering all the persuading employees saying: “ Ooh, would you like to try this? Oh yes, that looks lovely on you. They are going to love it. Yes indeed, it is a gorgeous piece of jewelry.” The employees were a little relentless when it came to getting tourists to purchase items.

But, in some ways, I think the Bahamian people resented the foreigners from coming go their island. My family and I were going through customs, and as we approached the employee I noticed that her face was blank without expression, but her eyes and tone hinted at her feelings. Her face lacked any sign of happiness, but obtained a hint of anger. A sense of shock came over me when she smiled as we left. In a way I was confused because the whole time she helped us she was without emotion, but as we left she decided to smile. I think that the reason why some of the Bahamians resented the foreigners is because maybe most of the city’s money is being used to build stores and restaurants for the enjoyment of the tourists. While on Bay Street, we saw all the souvenir shops, little eateries, and designer shops, and I know they were there for the tourists because I doubt the average Bahamian is shopping there every day.

On our first day, once we left Nassau and crossed to the bridge to Paradise, I felt as if I was in another world. Everything was maintained properly, the streets and sidewalks were clear of debris, and the small buildings and houses were beautiful with colors ranging from pinks, blues, greens, and vibrant yellows. It seemed as if the bridge acted as a barrier between the two islands. The bridge separated the newer exotic side from the older historical side. As our vacation progressed, we enjoyed our time in Atlantis on Paradise Island swimming, eating, and playing games ,but we also found entertainment in exploring the smaller attractions that awaited us in Nassau. When our final day had come, and as we boarded the airplane, I again peered out the window, taking it all in and thinking about the eye-opening trip of a lifetime that I would never forget.





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