Not all skills and activities travel so well, though. Certain city habits are useless on the island, and some of my island chores are unnecessary in Richmond.
Here are some things that take up my time on North but are irrelevant in my urban life:
Hanging laundry. Where there's a steady breeze, tons of sunshine and sky-high electric bills, using a clothes dryer is just stupid. And for a girl who hates to iron, having the wind blow out wrinkles is a bonus.
Filleting fish. I do a lousy job at it, but when you buy a fish here, Dar or Gee just hands it to you whole and ungutted. Learn or go without seafood. Ditto with "knocking" conch.
Fixing a well pump. I learned how to get the thing running again, even with shampoo running into my eyes when it failed during a shower. I now think steady running water is a marvelous urban gift.
Avoiding/pulling burr grass. If you've never encountered these little shards of Hell, consider yourself lucky. Hate 'em-hate 'em-hate 'em.
Obtaining and opening coconuts. I use a long-handled tree trimmer to get them off our trees, then various instruments for opening: A serrated knife, screwdriver, hammer and sharp kitchen knife do it for me. Yes, I know guys from Haiti and the Dominican Republic who do it in a quarter of the time using only a machete, but I'm a danger to many when I wield a machete.
Eating bonefish. In the U.S., angler release what's considered game prey only. In the Turks and Caicos, people eat them. At some point in any extended stay, you might be offered some. Figuring out how to eat a fish that's mostly tiny bones is a delicate skill.
On the other hand, there are lots of activities in Richmond that just don't happen on the island:
Parallel parking. Heck, even having lines in a parking lot is unheard of on North. Just stop the car.
Crossing city streets without getting hit by a bus. When I'm on the island, my mortal fears come from hurricanes and inadequate medical care. In Richmond, it's death by GRTC.
Figuring out what directions the sirens are coming from. I think the TCI police cars have sirens, but I've never heard one. Same for the ambulance ... and the fire truck isn't allowed to leave the airport.
Loading a dishwasher. Extreme water conservation plus those electric bills equals doing dishes by hand, always.
Using ATMs, point-of-purchase machines and the Go Card reader on the bus. These things don't
exists on North Caicos. We did have an ATM for a while, and I was one of the few people who actually used it, but then the bank failed and the island is once again a cash-only economy.
Recycling. Yeah, it's terrible to realize, but there's still no recycling program on North. It pains me to throw away all those beer bottles and plastic jugs. But on a positive note, with the mail system being so unreliable, the island doesn't even have all those catalogs and credit-card offers to recycle!
So it goes, with me swinging back and forth between my skill sets. Makes me glad that I can get annoyed by grammar failures (it's for its, a plural verb with "none") in either culture.