Monday, November 10, 2008

Mujan culture

Yesterday was a day of hospitality for us here in Bermuda.

We were planning on a trip to Hamilton when Uptown stopped by and invited us
out on his yacht "MUJAN" for a trip to the other side of the island. No way
we were going to pass on that one. We later learned that the word Mujan is
old Bermudan slang for Bermudan.

It really was a proper little yacht, with classic overhangs, very nice
brightwork, polished stainless, and a proper teak cockpit sole and solid
teak and holly cabin sole. It is 32 feet, made in Sweden, and is Uptown's

Well, it is his home when he is not visiting one of his 6 lady friends (he
is working on number 7). Uptown is divorced, you see, but quite interested
in the ladies. "I was talkin to a girl out in the country for about 6 years,
and talkin to another girl in town for about four years, so it wasn't
entirely my wife's fault that we divorced. It is not easy being me, but
somebody's got to do it." BTW - "talking" is a local euphemism.

There is a lot of drinking to be done here, and the locals get good and
pissed out on the town dock, hooping and hollering quite a lot. It is in
stark contrast to the very groomed and very proper Mr Trott in the customs
office and the professionals waking about in their Bermuda shorts, dress
shirts and ties. But even when they get falling down drunk, the locals are
quite friendly. There was one incident when one of the local drinkers
(drunks sounds so judgmental) took offense to a question from one of the
cruisers and there was some invective, but it seems to have been an isolated

Uptown seems to be able to handle his liquor, and was enjoying "his first
drink of the day" by 10:00. It was what his grandfather called "coffee with
no steam", code for a rum and coke before noon. Later, Uptown asked me to
pour him his "first drink of the day", and when he saw my questioning look,
he told me that he asked his grandfather to explain why he said he was
having his first drink of the day after Uptown had seem him have 8 or 10
drinks already...his Grandfather told him that it was for the benefit of the
police officer who was standing nearby.

We had a great tour and uptown pointed out all of the resorts, Kirk
Douglass' house (Kirk was cool, and would hang out with the locals for a
little rum and a game of pool, but Michael only hangs out with the rich). He
also pointed out the prison, and informed us matter of fact, that he had
spent three years and 6 months there. (He got in a fight that went too far)
It was OK though, because there were three meals a day, air conditioning,
carpeting and cable TV, plus he had a cousin working there so he got a lot
of work programs outside of the walls. He said he used to get wrecked while
out on work program, and his cousin would exhort him to walk straight when
returning to the prison past the other guards so he wouldn't be exposed. "I
had to work real hard to walk straight, then I could just collapse in my

Uptown is a real fine cook, and served us Dorado in a jerk sauce of his own
making. His Grandmother taught him to cook, and I have to say he learned
well. He caught the fish himself the day before. "I caught a fish, and I got
half was a good day."

We couldn't have had a nicer day. We ended the day with sundowners on
another cruiser's boat, eating provisions left by yet another cruiser who
did not have the battery capacity to keep them frozen. Shrimp burritos and
Pork chops on mushroom stuffing. We had to retire early because I was
exhausted, but from our bunk we could hear the other sailors going on for
quite a while. There is a lot of drinking to be done here in Bermuda. I may
have to start another temperance league here.