Will Black at Hog Penny; May 24th Parade; Fishcakes; ...James Burton offers savvy expat advice on these things and more. *File photos
Will Black at Hog Penny; May 24th Parade; Fishcakes; ...James Burton offers savvy expat advice on these things and more. *File photos

Bermuda is a beautiful, vibrant place where — contrary to some negativity — there is plenty to do and see. However, there are some things that must been warned against. Here’s a newcomer’s guide to things NOT to do in Bermuda (in no particular order).

1: Refuse to tip a grocery packer. 

Your soul and conscience will be tortured for the rest of eternity. Don’t be tight — give the kid your change. Unless, of course, they pack the eggs at the bottom.

2: Treat the airport like a transport terminal. 

It’s not. It’s an unofficial reunion centre for Bermudians. Think Love Actually’s closing credits in arrivals except with people fist-bumping all their old school friends before getting their ride home. An innocent bystander caught in the crossfire has no idea who’s coming or going.

3: Refuse mayo in your fishcake-hotcross bun combo.  

Frankly, there aren’t enough conflicting flavours in this ‘special’ piece of Bermudian cuisine. What it needs is another layer of sickly, fatty sauce to complement the other layer of sickly, fatty sauce (tomato) and the greasy mound of fish and potato that’s rammed into sweetened — yes, sweetened — bread.

4: Pay too much attention to Johnny Barnes’ success with lady tourists. 

I swear Ace Boy just has to sit on his bench and he attracts the cream of the holiday-making talent. His expertise and obvious allure is dispiriting for the rest of us mere mortals. Have a day off, Johnny. For once. 

5: Get too into Will Black. 

It’s not healthy. I’ve seen previously part-time Hog Penny drinkers slowly morph into regulars constantly yearning for the next chance to tap their feet to another Bon Jovi version of a Bruce Springsteen cover of a Bryan Adams number. What? How do I know they’re regulars? Er...

6: Forget to put your helmet on (not a euphemism). 

Aside from the obvious safety issues, within seconds a ferocious-looking lady will emerge from the nearest corner and berate you into embarrassingly rediscovering said headgear. Don’t be mad, though, that incredibly-rude **** just saved your life.

7: Schedule two hours for the May 24 parade.

It. Takes. All. Day. And. Even. Some. Of. The. Night. I swear I saw the Warner Gombeys go past Queen’s Club three times but then I might have been delirious by then.

8: Seriously upset someone on a night out/date/boat trip. 

Why? Because the next person you unwittingly meet will be their cousin (a certainty), sibling (distinct possibility) or — even worse — best friend (likely). Word will have got around and, for a small but not insignificant period of time you’ll feel like the biggest leper on the island. 

9: Get too cocky on swizzle.

Yes, it may taste like sweet amber nectar good enough to lick out of a urinal BUT be warned: too much, too soon can leave you lying, foetal position, in your own vomit, in a corner of the Pickled Onion. Apparently. 

10: Choose the wrong day to go to Dockyard.

ie. when those offensively-huge, brick-shaped, floating towns are in dock. Sometimes you’ll find yourself caught in a vortex of sweaty, overweight tourists being herded around the sights, to the pub and then back on board for their next feed.