Mind Your Manners, Bahama Mama


Hit-the-ground running. Think outside the box. Off the beaten track. Go real or go home.

Map depicting New Providence Island which is c...

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Bahamas. 3 days. Dead of winter. Great escape. Airport smells like the opposite of a tropical paradise.

Atlantis? Seriously? Unexpected surprise but I’ll take it. Few martini’s can’t hurt. Food is garbage. Getting urge to venture off campus, outside the gated community.

Look like a tourist. Hate it but can’t help it. Feeling brave. Scared too. Unknown lands. Grab a cab, cross the bridge. They drive on the left? 10pm. Nassau. Ever play Grand Theft Auto? I see my life flash before my eyes, twice at least. 5 minute ride turns into 40. $10 dollar ride turns into $50. Expected. Challenge the ruling? Not in your life! $10 left. Enough to eat? Enough to get back?

Drops us off in front of the “best Fish Fry in Nassau.” Bay Street. His recommendation. Host welcomes us. Grab a table. Wait. No service. We’re the only tourists in the room. Locals look irritated. Lethal looks. Get up, grab a menu. No service. Wait. Leave after 5 minutes. See the same Host. Says, “Wasn’t that the best Fish Fry you’ve ever had?.” We nod in disbelief.

Go next door. Prices are high. Need a bank. Girlfriend with me. Leave her alone not knowing where to go, how long I’ll be. Need help, advice. See a police officer. Humble approach. “Excuse me officer, could you…” Cuts me off. He’s angry. Stop in my tracks. Am I on Royal Bahamian Police ground without permission? Did I break the law? Am I trespassing?

“In Nassau, we say good evening first young man.” Kidding? Frantic. He is of no help. Unsympathetic, condescending asshole. I run. 3 miles. Flip-flops. Find a bank. Insert bank card upside down and backwards? Lucky to find bank employee, confirms it’s the correct way. Bank card close to being chewed up. Run back. 3 miles. Barefoot. Out of breath, sweating I sit down for real Fish Fry.

Worth it. Recommended. Nothing like local grub, made by locals. Describe the meal? Details? Can’t. Remember more the work it took to enjoy it. Sorry.

Cab it back? No. Walked. 3 hours. Across the bridge. Should have done this coming in. Glad I didn’t. Risk you take by going out of the reservation. Without it, there is no experience to remember, share.

Jim Bamboulis
Jim Bamboulis has held several posts over the past 12 years, including National Sportscaster, Food Host and Writer, Talk Show Host, Olympic Researcher and Travel Film-maker.

Born and raised in Toronto, Jim learned early on that the combination of travel and food meant ultimate living. Combining his insatiable creative spirit and desire to document his travels, Jim took his unshakable travel bug and set off to explore. Add the fact that Jim also grew up in a Greek household and he learned that not only does Mom always make the best meals, but as importantly learned the importance of understanding and appreciating the countless beautiful cultures and the integral role food plays in every corner of the World.

In August 2009, Jim founded Travel Mammal, a site that brings together his travels and experiences (both good and terrifying) with the hope that others are inspired to share their own. We are all storytellers, especially when it comes to travel and food. He urges everyone to be inspired, explore and love the world and the people that share it with us. Or in other words, Live to Travel and travel to live!
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