One of the things I love most about Caribbean culture is that everything is loud – in every sense of the word. Audibly, people sing aloud to themselves and no one in particular; laughter is no giggling matter but rather, meant for the room to revel in; casual conversations can often sound like a spirited yelling match; unsolicited opinions on typically sensitive matters such as weight and levels of sexual attraction are never withheld. Visually, houses are painted in all the shades of the rainbow – pink with green trim, purple with red doors, yellow on yellow, anything goes; women color coordinate every last detail of their bright-hued ensembles from their nails, to their eyeshadow, to their jewelry; the local bakery’s cakes look like they’re made with Willy Wonka’s recipes – and dye kit.

In the US, for the most part, I feel like everyone is always trying to fit in. Originality of character is usually articulated with much more subtlety – a maroon door on an otherwise beige house is considered a “fanciful pop of color”; yelling aloud in excitement tends to be saved for sporting matches; people are partial to classic gray suits and little black dresses; wild colors and patterns in fashion are generally the mark of the eccentric.

I appreciate the sensory noise of the Caribbean. I like that people aren’t afraid to stand-out and show the world what they believe makes them unique. The general attitude is one of, This is who I am. Take it or leave it. It’s a confidence you don’t find everywhere – one that borders on arrogance but is too fun – funny even – to truly be received as such.

Among the many cultural expressions of individuality that has always caught my eye during my time in both the US and British Virgin Islands are the decals that people adorn their vehicles with. I don’t have my own car, though I often think I’d be downright embarrassed to be caught driving around with some of the stickers I’ve seen. But we’re in the Caribbean – loud and proud is where it’s at and it’s me who needs to perhaps buck up and snatch some of that abundant boldness for myself.

From what I’ve seen, the stickers of choice tend to fall into five categories: the religious, the sexual, the self-aggrandizing, the aggressive, and the difficult to decode. Here are some snapshots of Caribbean car culture on my rock, Virgin Gorda…

 

The Religious

"Truly Blessed"; "In God We Trust"; "Extremely Blessed"; "God's Angel"; (Jesus pic)

“Truly Blessed”; “In God We Trust”; “Extremely Blessed”; “God’s Angel”; (Jesus pic)

The Sexual

(Sexy woman); "Spanky Spanky"; "Take it to the HEAD"

(Sexy woman); “Spanky Spanky”; “Take it to the HEAD”

The Self-Aggrandizing

"Miss Gorgeous"; "Empress"; "Miss Ting"

“Miss Gorgeous”; “Empress”; “Miss Ting”

"Act like a lady...Think like a Boss!!!"; "High Grade"; "Superman - Against All Odds"

“Act like a lady…Think like a Boss!!!”; “High Grade”; “Superman – Against All Odds”

"Sweet Thing Swagga Chick"; "Queen Mafia"; "Empress Alicia"

“Sweet Thing Swagga Chick”; “Queen Mafia”; “Empress Alicia”

The Aggressive

"Caught Ya Lookin - Haters"; "Bye Haters"

“Caught Ya Lookin – Haters”; “Bye Haterz”

The Difficult to Decode

"Progressive Time!"; "All Wheel Drive"; "Talk Ah Yours"; "Scorpion"

“Progressive Time!”; “All Wheel Drive”; “Talk Ah Yours”; “Scorpion”

"Black Diamond"; "MAN"; "The Pup"; "Casper"

“Black Diamond”; “MAN”; “The Pup”; “Casper”

"Pimp My Ride"; "Steady Mobbin"; "High Definition"; "So Icey"

“Pimp My Ride”; “Steady Mobbin”; “High Definition”; “So Icey”

–  –  –

Has anyone else noticed this type of vehicular personalization on any other Caribbean island? Or is this just a Virgin Islands treasure?

If you have unique car decal pictures from your island, share them with us on our Facebook page – we’d love to see!

Written By:

Chrissann Nickel

Current Rock of Residence:

Virgin Gorda, BVI

Island Girl Since:

2006

Originally Hails From:

California

Chrissann’s home rock in the British Virgin Islands feels bigger to her than it actually is. Though after spending five years on a teensy one acre island, the current 13-mile long rock she’s residing on now IS ginormous, at least by comparison. As with everything in the tropics, it’s all about perspective.

Once upon a time she used to care about things like matching her purse to her pumps but these days, any activities that require a bra and shoes go under careful, is-this-even-worth-it consideration. If island life has taught her anything at all, it’s that few things are more rewarding than time spent in the pool with a cocktail in hand.

As the Editor in Chief of this site, she spends her days working from home with her blue-eyed sidekick, Island Dog Diego, writing, editing, and cultivating content in the hopes of bringing some laughter and lightness to her fellow island souls. She recently published her first children’s book, When You’re a Baby Who Lives on a Rock, and is pretty pumped to share it with all of the island mamas out there. Her days off are typically spent boating, hiking, and meeting up with the neighborhood’s imperious roadside goats, who she shamelessly bribes into friendship. While normalcy was never listed as one of her special skills, Caribbean life may indeed be responsible for new levels of madness. She attributes at least a smidge of her insanity to the amount of time she spends talking to drunk people.

If you’re somehow still reading this and feel inclined to find out more about this “Chrissann” of which we speak, you can also take a gander at her eponymous website or follow her daily escapades on Instagram @womanonarock.

Want to read more posts by this writer? Click here.

Similar Posts You Might Like

Keep in touch with the tropics!

 

Join the community & connect with tens of thousands of island-loving souls. 

 Once a week, we send you the latest posts, funniest rock life finds, and more. 

 We respect your inbox - you can change your delivery preferences anytime.

Got it! You're all set.

Pin It on Pinterest

First time visiting the site? Welcome! - START HERE -
Hello. Add your message here.