“Maaaan – If I was workin’ down there I’d be on the beach every night drinkin’ Rum”.
“Dude – you’re working in Paradise. Nothing but beautiful women and partying every night”.
When I landed Steve was here. Recently retired from the Federal government and he was going to run a restaurant here in the US virgin Islands. “I’m turning this place around”. A week later he was gone. I ran into his boss later. “You would be surprised – I can’t keep count of the number of people I’ve brought down here to run the restaurant.” No one stays. They stay a week. Maybe two. Then leave. It’s hard to be here. This place is a difficult place. If you have any addiction problem – it’s amplified here. It’s an island. My friend from college came down to run this place – he’s stranded himself thanks to drugs and alcohol. I can’t fire him – it’s my fault to an extent he’s here.
Next Conversation: “I came down with my husband – that didn’t last long”.
Next: “I came down with my wife. She left.”
At the Hotel on St John: “Yeah – the managers that were training me left for a day trip to Puerto Rico. Two days later we forced our way into their room and it was half cleaned out with a note “We can’t stay here anymore””. It happens more than you think. People leave and just never come back. They left the company car at the airport. At least we had another set of keys.
At another restaurant we catch the owner of the place having a drink: “yeah – I’ve about had enough. I’ve owned three restaurants. Florida’s a lot cheaper. I think 30 years here is enough.”
Another conversation: “I love this place. My girlfriend is coming down and bringing our child. We compromised on when we moved back – she wanted to wait later and I wanted to not wait this long. Scuba diving. Snorkeling. Sun. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. This place is paradise”