Note the Stars and Stripes, right by our USVI territorial flag, which includes the eagle from the U.S. seal. I will say, however, that while the USVI is politically part of the United States, culturally it is much more a part of the West Indies. There do seem to be many advantages to that, though. All the people here have been among the friendliest and most welcoming i've ever met. I've had complete strangers walk up to me, welcome me, and shake my hand. Individuals on the court staff have even dropped by my office to see how I was doing and if I was enjoying myself.
I believe that a little respect for Virgin Islanders and their beautiful home really does go a long way. Local Crucians (as St. Croix natives are called) greet one another depending on the time of day (Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Good Day, Good Night). I have learned that one is expected to extend this greeting to literally everyone he passes. The hardest part of this is getting used to using "Good Night" as a greeting, but hopefully i'll get there.
The food down here has definitely surprised me. I'm definitely not a vegetarian. However, about the best food i've found near my office comes from a vegetarian food truck. I think it's vegetarian to cater to the local Rastafarian community; nonetheless, even though I don't expect to be growing dreadlocks any time soon, the vegetarian dishes are pretty awesome (see below.)
The food truck in question is within sight of the courthouse where I work. While my own office doesn't have a view, our suite does. I can definitely say the view is amazing and unique:
Still on the topic of food, I also tried a local pastry called a pate (pronounced like the french word). Basically, it reminds me of a large version of the curry puff pastry, which was popular in Singapore, another tropical island I lived on about a decade ago. Basically, it seems to be a puff pastry filled with some sort of meaty filling. I tried both the beef and the conch fillings. I have to admit I didn't really like the conch very much, and I think these are pretty oily, so they will probably be eaten sparingly. The beef, though, was pretty solid:
In any case, my days here continue to be pleasant and interesting. I tentatively believe that moving here was a great decision.