Bahamas Stories and Tips

The Jitney - Experience Nassau with the Locals

After our blissful stay in Harbour Island, we returned to Nassau the night prior to our flight back home. We stayed on the outskirts of town and had the interesting experience of riding "the Jitney," or local bus from our motel into the main part of town to dine at the area known as the Fish Fry.

The Jitney is like no other public bus I have ridden on. It was not air conditioned and filled with the friendly local bahamians. Never did we feel unsafe on the jitney, but it was definitely not an organized method of transportation.

There are no stops. Basically, along the way, our busdriver would scout out people standing on the side of the road and shout at them as he whizzed by at jarring speeds. He was selective in his choices of passengers, primarily cute females. "Git Dirty for Thirty" was one of his favorite phrases. If they appeared interested in him, he would slam to a stop and let them onto the bus. Well, that is, if he felt so inclined. We also witnessed many people unsuccessfully waving the jitney down for transportation. The driver would happily wave back and point behind him and shout out the window that another bus was on the way. Then, he let one of his friends on and he contributed to the action.

On our way back to our motel, our second jitney driver was running low on gas. So, he pulled over to fill up his tank while we waited in the back of the empty bus. He then asked us where we were going and when we told him Orange Hill, he said he wasn't going to go that far (even though we were on the route that went to Orange Hill) and flagged down one of his buddy jitney drivers to take us out there. So, we got off the bus and got on another bus and rode back to our motel.

I can't say I would not ride the jitney again as we got to our desired destinations, albeit creatively. In fact, we were quite happy that we did. After the tourist mecca of Atlantis and the peaceful quiet of Harbour Island, it was nice to see Nassau's fun and quirky way of life.

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