“Please fasten your seatbelts, we will descend soon.”: the flight attendant announces the arrival to Curacao. FINALLY! The long trip is about to end and you are happy! The REAL adventure awaits you. Dushi Korsou, here I come! You will first experience amicable but island life, “riba un chill” (meaning relaxed) custom officers. And when you finally get to pull your luggage from the luggage belt, (patience is virtue) and you’ve survived the long queue through customs control, the doors will open and the heat will welcome you with open arms! Alongside all the family members awaiting their loved ones to arrive, our colleagues and shuttle bus await you and you’re officially on you way to getting to know our dushi Curacao!
So what can you expect when settling on this island paradise?
1. Hot Days
In the previous article, you read about choosing a house, suitable to your needs. In the meanwhile you’ve done your research and you’ve found the perfect new home, with an amazing porch and/or backyard. You’re very happy with this extra feature, as Curacao is known for its outside living and enjoyment! And it’s true what you’ve’ heard: BBQ’ing is a frequent thing! But what’s next? After a hot day outside, you might want to cool off. Your first instinct will be to turn on the AC. But here’s what you need to know: electricity is quite expensive on the island. So, you might rethink this action. The back-up plan? A fan might come in handy or simply just the island life mindset: open de windows and pick the coolest spot in your house to grab that relaxing breeze. And if you are lucky to have a pool in the backyard, or as part of your apartment complex, than diving in will be the perfect refreshment!
2. The meaning of time
We (Dutchies) are brought up with the most efficient time management ever. From an early age, we were forced to be “on time”, rather than being “in time”. I know, this needs some explanation. The rainy, cloudy skies and the cold weather in the Netherlands, make you want to move fast to wherever you need to go. However, on Curacao, the heat comes knocking on your door. You will soon realize that rushing just doesn’t make any sense and only causes unnecessary stress. Besides, who wants to get to an appointment all sweaty? You want to be “in time” which basically means without the feeling of being rushed. By the way, if you have an appointment and you are being told “I am on my way”, that typically means they are running 20-30 minutes late on schedule: #getusedtothat . But as I already pointed out in my previous article, “Bai poko poko”; Take it easy, because everything is going to be all right!
The people of Curacao like to eat. Okay sorry, that’s an understatement. They LOVE food! It is an important part of their daily life; from early morning until the wee hours of the night. The Island provides you with several options. There are a couple of big supermarkets and many small scaled “toko’s” scattered along the island. But that doesn’t mean they have everything in stock all the time. The island itself doesn’t have big produce and we are highly dependent on import of goods and products. Therefore, products can be scarce and pricey. But you know what? Most basic foods are regulated by the government and held at reasonable prices. Tip: if you come across favorable items, buy more! You never know when it is available for purchase again. Furthermore, there are enough bars and restaurants to go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner like Kome, Fishalicious, “Bij Blauw” at Pietermaai. Or enjoy your dinner while dreaming away watching the beautiful sunset at the “Sea Side Terrace” For a late night snack, you can drive by the food trucks, also known as ‘Truk’I pan’ for finger licking good grilled food until 5 in the morning! My personal favorite local food restaurant is “Dokterstuin” at Barber. The best place to indulge yourself with the Curacao cuisine in a Historic manor-house!
Having your own car is an absolute must. Sure, you can opt for a bus drive, but be prepared to wait quite long and see full busses driving past the bus stop, especially during rush hours. Bikes are mostly used for sport and leisure. Since we don’t have bike paths we wouldn’t recommend this means of transportation daily. If you can and want to buy a new car that would be just awesome, but a second-hand car would do just fine too!. As you find your way around the island, ask colleagues and friends to bring you in contact with a reliable car mechanic who can assist you in finding the best car for the right price. Luckily petrol is cheaper than in the Netherlands The majority of the cars driving around the Island, come from Korea, Japan and the United States of America. Considering the poor road conditions during rainy season, or if you are an off-road adventurer, it wouldn’t hurt to be on the lookout for a SUV!
5. Leisure time
Last, but certainly not the least important mentioning! Where to begin as there is so much you can do! What about taking a swim at the WestPoint beaches, diving, hiking or climbing the Christoffel mountain? Loads and loads of different watersports like sailing (my personal favorite, use the Catamaran!), windsurfing or wakeboarding! Go on a boat trip to small Curacao or try out some horseback riding at the North side of the Island. You could also visit the “Shete Boka Natural Park” at the north coast of Curacao. Did I mention Shopping?! The fashionistas amongst us can take weekend flights to Miami, Panama and Colombia to shop till you drop! I could go on and on and on… But you know what? Whatever you decide to do, take out some time to relax and chill. Sit down, enjoy the ocean view and the beautiful sunset from different spots, and soon you’ll be saying: ‘I live where you vacation!’
Stay tuned for my last blog: five things you will learn when working on Curacao!
For now, “te despues!” (See you later!)
Yolanda de Milde
Senior recruiter, Bearingpoint Caribbean
About the Author: Yolanda de Milde
Yolanda is our Senior Corporate Recruiter. She finished her studies in Social- & Organizational Psychology. During her career, she has gained extensive experience in the field of human resources, international recruitment and employer branding. She combines her strategic insight and functional experience to focus on (employer) branding, complex recruitment issues, headhunting, workforce planning and forecasting.