The first thing you should know is that Barbados is home to more places of worship per square kilometre than any other nation in the world.
The second thing you should know is that there is a local rum shop within walking distance to each one.
Some Bajans say this is why so many different religions are able to thrive harmoniously on the island.
There are approximately 12,000 rum shops scattered across Barbados, but Bajans are very particular about what they consider a traditional rum shop.
Some rum shops sell groceries, some have cafes and finer dining, but most simply provide the basics including seating, a bar and of course the booze.
They are a local meeting place for friends of every social and ethic background to talk, drink rum and play dominoes. Heated discussions of cricket are always abound, but it’s nothing a shot of the world’s oldest rum can’t fix.
The Bajan Rum Shop is an institution of the Village Life
…and a Celebration of Barbados’ Heritage & Culture.
Island life is simple in Barbados.
The difference between a typical bar and a traditional rum shop is the price.
Liquor and food are quiet a bit cheaper in the rum shop.
Rum is usually bought by the bottle, with a container of ice and a bottle of water or chaser of choice, or drunk ‘straight’ if bought by shots.
As I walked inside it was clear that I wasn’t on the typical tourist trail, but I was experiencing the true Barbados.
The rum shop was comprised of one main room dimly lit through narrow barred windows with creaky wooden floors and walls covered in provocative advertising that would make most North Americans blush.
The bar rested in the back corner of the room, cluttered with dusty bottles and lined with mirrored walls.
My eyes met the biggest, widest smile I had ever seen.
Standing in the middle of the bar was a brightly dressed woman that seemed absolutely thrilled to welcome us to her bar.
She greeted us, asked us to sit down and began to serve us drinks.
We all ordered different things; rum punches, a small bottom of rum and the beer of Barbados; Banks.
I personally had a shot of Mount Gay Rum and a glass of rum punch. Not bad before noon.
Like most times in Barbados, we were late.
Due back to the Resort for lunch, we decided that we wanted to spend more time at the rum shop, simply enjoying our drinks and soaking up the local Bajan atmosphere. The Club had no problems with our change of plans and we relaxed until after noon.
It was a perfect day in Barbados.
This trip was made possible by The Club Barbados Resort & Spa.
All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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