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View Full Version : What should i expect when i move to Bonaire?



bonairehomes
07-08-2015, 05:19 PM
A client asked me today about what she should expect if she moves to Bonaire and lives here full time. I told her to remember the following:
- You can live with less
- You can and must learn to entertain yourself
- Shoes?????? You will only wear flip flops here, even to formalaffairs. (by the way, no one has formal affairs)
- Things here move slower and take longer
- The service in nearly all restaurants varies from slow to really slow to do it yourself
- The best beer is served right out of the freezer
- You may have to go to three or four grocery stores to do all of yourshopping, and there are only three or four store on the island.
- There is no Target, Super Target, Wal-Mart, Trader Joes, WorldMarket, Gap, Costco, Morton’s, Hard Rock Café, Bruegger Bagel, Dunkin Donuts etc. on Bonaire. And there isn’t one coming here very soon.
- There are no Shopping Malls or Golf Courses
- There is now a movie theater here, showing first run movies –hopefully they stay in business
- If you really need something, you can buy it online and have itshipped here in about a week to ten days. The minimum cost PER PACKAGE is $12PLUS about $3 per pound. For bigger things you send them through AMCAR freight in Miami, they arrive in about a month.
- You need to really like your spouse, because you will be seeing thema lot.
- Plan to travel more, South and Central America is close and easy toget to. Europe is only 9 house away.
- Bras and panties and men;s underwear of any size are nearly impossible to buy here
- You MUST learn to live with less

kob
07-09-2015, 07:10 AM
Great list, Bob ... I would add "you don't always buy what you want, you buy what they have"

petri hausmann
07-09-2015, 08:15 AM
-take a deep breath and relax .. nothing happens quickly
-bonaire has it's own time zone.. don't pay attention to the clock ..being on time is rare-being late is the common protocol ..
-be flexible ..no matter what you plan -like a simple dinner-requires substituting alternatives
-dress like the locals .. not the tourists .. modesty is the rule
-make an effort to learn some Papiamentu... every little bit really helps make daily life easier
-PATIENCE is more than a virtue here - it is your passport -as difficult as it may be in some circumstances temper and rudeness is not acceptable and will only result in shutting the door on any communication.
.

SevetS
07-09-2015, 10:50 AM
Great advice, all - thanks! A few more nuggets:

The power system is different from USA. Expect some outages, and for appliances and electronics to be shorter-lived - even with recommended surge/brownout protectors and UPS.

Internet service is generally quite good, but can also be prone to slowdowns or outages. There are a limited number of providers, who share some infrastructure like undersea cables so redundant providers may not always keep you online.

The water system carries more sediment than in many other places in the world, at least in our neighborhood (Belnem). Filtration recommended. We have whole house filter on supply, additional filter on washing machine to reduce likelihood of staining, and in fridge for ice maker.

Dust and sand happen. They can be corrosive and clog air filters. Preventive cleaning and maintenance helps.

It is good to have friends - whose advice, personal networks, skills, tools, boats, and luggage allowances can all help make life easier. Remember to pay it forward with yours.

and - remember to enjoy the whole island. There is a bounty of natural beauty, interesting and inspiring people and new experiences to be had. Relish and share the goodness - and think twice or three times before sharing any negative experiences, especially publicly, as the island economy relies heavily on impressions made with tourists.

tholland
12-14-2015, 11:45 PM
What type of water filters do you use and where do you obtain them in Bonaire?
thanks!
Anthony


Great advice, all - thanks! A few more nuggets:

The power system is different from USA. Expect some outages, and for appliances and electronics to be shorter-lived - even with recommended surge/brownout protectors and UPS.

Internet service is generally quite good, but can also be prone to slowdowns or outages. There are a limited number of providers, who share some infrastructure like undersea cables so redundant providers may not always keep you online.

The water system carries more sediment than in many other places in the world, at least in our neighborhood (Belnem). Filtration recommended. We have whole house filter on supply, additional filter on washing machine to reduce likelihood of staining, and in fridge for ice maker.

Dust and sand happen. They can be corrosive and clog air filters. Preventive cleaning and maintenance helps.

It is good to have friends - whose advice, personal networks, skills, tools, boats, and luggage allowances can all help make life easier. Remember to pay it forward with yours.

and - remember to enjoy the whole island. There is a bounty of natural beauty, interesting and inspiring people and new experiences to be had. Relish and share the goodness - and think twice or three times before sharing any negative experiences, especially publicly, as the island economy relies heavily on impressions made with tourists.

SevetS
12-15-2015, 06:26 PM
We have Culligan HF-360A type units on main supply and washing machine feed. Replacement filter cartridges are available locally at Kooyman for under $10 for a 2-pack last time I checked, which is a relative bargain. We need to replace them at least 2x/year - or when faucet flows slow, which can come sooner when WEB digs up supply lines. Our fridge filters are Samsung, and last 6 months to a year. We can get 3-4 genuine Samsung ones on Amazon.com for the same price as one locally.

kob
12-15-2015, 06:52 PM
Bonaire has arguably the cleanest & purest water in the Caribbean ... not sure what the filter is for, because the water is absolutely excellent desalinated seawater

tholland
12-18-2015, 01:16 PM
When you buy things on amazon.com and have them sent to bonaire, do the roughly double in price, due to shipping/import fees?
Anthony

tholland
12-18-2015, 01:17 PM
This has been our experience also over the past 10 visits (or more?) to Bonaire. We drink the tap water and find it quite excellent (certainly compared to our local city tap water!!)
Anthony

kob
12-18-2015, 07:46 PM
tholland -- there are ways to get things from Amazon & other online retailers in the US for far less than double. Use eZone for small parcels; they are pretty cost effective at around $12 for small, light parcels. If you have something low value, then yes the cost would double. But if you have something of value (say an iPhone) shipped here that doesn't weigh much, then the shipping is a small percentage. Import duties are in the 8% range, so that's not too bad. Buy an iPhone for $500 and you pay $40 import duty & around $15 shipping (assuming it's shipped free in the US to Miami, where eZone is located). Otherwise, the tried-and-true have friends bring it down always works.

Dee
12-18-2015, 10:02 PM
great information Kob!!

tholland
12-19-2015, 02:29 PM
Great tip, thanks KOB!
Anthony

bonairehomes
12-19-2015, 02:58 PM
tholland -

You need to set up an account with E-Zone (www.getezone.com) or Punto Mio (www.puntomio.com) they are both freight forwarders who provide you with a shipping address (like a PO Box) in Miami and then they forward your packages from Miami to Bonaire via Curacao. Shipping time is about 6 to 8 business days from the time it arrives in Miami to when it gets to Bonaire and clears customs. I use E-Zone and the fees are a minimum of $12 for the first three pounds and then around $5 a pound after that.

You need to submit an invoice for customs clearing and if the total value of the parcel INCLUDING shipping is less than $100 they do not charge 8% import tax. If the value exceeds $100 than you also pay 8% duty just the same as all imports to Bonaire.

Punto Mio pickups are at the downtown Post Office and the E-Zone pickups are at the DHL Office which is across the street from the Divi Flamingo Resort.

Some things to remember:
- Most shippers like Amazon, don't consolidate shipments. The forwarders like E-Zone, don't consolidate either. This means that if order 4 things from Amazon, they may send you four boxes and each box costs you a minimum of $12 PER BOX to get it to Bonaire.
- These services do not replace having a PO Box in the US for mail. I E-Zone gets a letter for you at that address they will send it to you, and again it is $12.
- You will still need a US credit card to shop at Amazon etc. and have things sent here. Local credit cards do not work at most online retailers.

Meunus
01-31-2016, 12:07 PM
How much is fuel?
Average cost for a case of beer?

petri hausmann
01-31-2016, 06:33 PM
prices change regularly -if you plan on living here - when on island do the research

tholland
01-31-2016, 08:22 PM
Thanks for those invaluable tips!!!

Bruce Z
02-07-2016, 01:38 PM
How much is fuel?
Average cost for a case of beer?

Gas is about $4/gallon (someone correct me if my math is wrong.) Beer is $30 for a case of Bright, 24 9 oz bottles, only one I know. Just slightly less at Formoso next to warehouse.

michaeto
02-18-2016, 02:36 PM
Bob,
I sent you an email to you info@bonaireh.....s.com email on Monday. I was wondering if you got it? Mike Torrey

bonairehomes
02-18-2016, 06:37 PM
Mike - You can e-mail me directly at bob@bonairehomes.com, or call me at +599-786-7362.

Sorry, but this week has been nuts and i am way behind on e-mails.