It took me by surprise. Walking from my hotel to a client’s office in Hamilton there was almost incessant honking by the drivers as well as some serious waving of arms – in both directions. Shouting and body language! It appeared to be a veritable seething mass of anger and road rage, but what little traffic congestion there was could not compare with my hometown of Toronto, let alone other cities I’ve driven through such as Jakarta, Mumbai or Cairo.
I mentioned it to my client soon after I arrived and it didn’t take them long to set me straight. Bermuda is a relatively small country and almost all business will take place in the capital city of Hamilton. Most people know each other and if you don’t honk, it could almost be an affront, like not saying ‘hello’ when you walk past someone you know on the street.
My next question to them was, “It must be impossible for anyone to have an affair in this town – where just about everybody knows your name and maybe the car you drive.” My ‘interpreter’ smiled and said that while it does have its challenges, human nature being what it is…, well how shall we say this? Affairs in Bermuda are not unheard of.
A lovely country to visit and charming people, but if you walk the streets of Hamilton, Bermuda and you hear the honking of an automobile, I suggest you keep three things in mind:
a.) Do not (always) ask for whom the horn beeps:
As explained, it is a friendly place and what you are hearing is ‘hello, I see you’.
b.) Step lively – it may beep for you:
If you are like me, from a country where we drive on the ‘other’ side of the road…you need to be careful. Look BOTH ways when crossing – even one way streets.
c.) A friendly place – like I said:
Perhaps the horn does beep for you but for an entirely different reason “hello there” in a much lower voice (think Barry White or Diana Krall). Careful though, the ‘Bermuda Triangle’ in your case may end up as a relationship rather than a geographic location.