Junkanoo is the New Year's festival in the Bahamas, and a main part of the Bahamian culture. Johnny Canoe's at Cable Beach has Junkanoo festival performers put on a show during dinner for the guests; one of the few times one can see it aside from New Year's Eve. What an incredible din; whisltes, trumpets, drums, shakers and tubas all at very close range! My ears were ringing for the rest of the night, but what a rush! I was hearing the music in my head for hours afterward.
Another cool thing was the 'straw markets'. There was a HUGE one in downtown Nassau, and a smaller one at Cable Beach
. There were little booths with a mix of handmade crafts, with the artisans there selling their own creations, and the rest were commercial products geared towards tourists - Bahamas t-shirts, keychains, clothing, etc. The sales people were very competetive - if you showed ANY kind of interest, they pounced! "Hey, pretty lady! Come see! I'll make you a deal!" I've never been called 'pretty lady' or 'pretty girl' so many times in my life as at the straw markets. I did get some great stuff there, but I had to sort through so much stuff to get what I really wanted, and avoid the 'made in China' things, but it was worth it. I got very good at just burning down each aisle, looking quickly from side to side, and not stopping unless I saw something I really wanted. The smaller market at Cable Beach was a bit better for that, and most of the ladies were genuinely interested in you, where you were from, etc. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Christian music playing in the market, and on many of the jitneys (buses). One lady was used to having visitors from the eastern U.S. and eastern Canada, but she had never heard of British Columbia, and when I explained that it was north of Seattle, that didn't help her, but when I said 3 or 4 hours flight north of California, her eyes nearly popped out! She couldn't believe that I would travel so far to see her country, and she was calling the other ladies from the other stalls to 'see the girl who came clear across the continent to visit us!' They were so pleased; it was a very odd, but pleasant experience to be welcomed so warmly.
The Bahamian police force wore white uniforms, both for patrolling, as well as for dress occasions. It was certainly too hot to wear navy or black...