Audley promised us he will be back tomorrow “first thing”, so we were feeling confident we would soon be on our way. We decided to celebrate. The guys from Philly had gone to one of the sports bars in the settlement and said the food was good. I was tired of cooking and was craving some wings so we went to the hotel to get a taxi. Our driver seemed very happy that we were venturing outside the gates to mingle with the locals.

The settlement at West End seems very poor. It still hasn’t recovered from the last hurricane that went through. Houses are boarded up, there are very few people there or so it would seem, but oddly there are at least 3 sports bars. Our driver told us that most of the places were closed as there was a big political rally that night and the whole town was turning out. The Bahamian election is coming up on May 2 and the PLP party had just opened a campaign office in West End. His favorite restaurant was still open and a short drive later he stopped at a nondescript building called the Triple Play Sports Bar. Outside were about 15 people milling about drinking beer and wearing matching yellow shirts with the letters PLP. As he dropped us off he promised us good food, friendly people and if we wanted to we should stay and enjoy the political rally. Ok then.

Skirting the crowd we entered the building and were surprised to find 4 large flat screen TV’s. Three were tuned to basketball and the other was tuned to a Bahamian news channel talking about the election. We ordered wings and conch and settled in our corner table. The bar started to fill up with more yellow shirts. Tessa on her way back from the restroom had discovered a back room with video games. She asked if she and Tristan could check them out while we waited for our food. I said sure. A few minutes later Dan says “I think those are video poker machines back there.”

Nonsense I reply. A short while later the kids come back to the table and Dan asked if it was video games and they both said yes. Our food came quickly. The wings and conch were awesome. After we ate, the kids wanted to go back to the game room and we said fine. By this time the bar was getting busier and louder. The waitress came to take our plates away and again mentioned the political rally. We noticed most of the political participants were taking out bottles of Guinness beer and jugs of wine. These people knew how to seriously political party! I can’t help but think we would have more enthusiasm in our elections if malt liquor and wine were included.

Dan went in the back to check on the kids. He came back with them scurrying ahead of him. “Those aren’t video games back there. Those are video poker machines.”

I look at the kids and they look at me innocently.

“Were people playing them?” I asked.


“What were our kids doing?”

“They were watching.”

I breathe a sigh. “Well if they weren’t bothering anyone.”

Dan shoots me a look. My mother of the year status is in jeopardy.

In our corner white world we watch as more patrons come and go with their yellow shirts uniquely styled to suit the wearer. Here is one tied at the side, that one is knotted at the waist, another is off the shoulder. It is a mini political fashion show. It’s dark outside now and I wonder when the rally will begin. As we wait to pay our bill, the kids are getting bored. They want to go outside and play. At first we said absolutely not as it was dark out, the restaurant was close to the road, there was no one to play with and no place to play. They pleaded. In another “Mother of the Year” moment, with Dan looking at me as if I have lost my mind I say “Sure, but don’t bother anyone.”

Ah, my little militants, off to join the rally. I am proud of myself. Not only am I allowing my children to embrace cultural diversity but I am pretty sure I can count this as home schooling. (I know if I could have gotten them on those video poker machines math would have been covered!)

The bartender brings us our bill, touches Dan on the shoulder and in a reassuring tone again tells us about the political rally. I wonder do we really have an “Oh my God what are all these locals doing in a local bar” look on our faces? He is obviously very proud to be sponsoring the PLP and we are genuinely happy for him. He’s a very nice guy as is everyone there. We pay our bill and he calls the hotel to come pick us up. Tessa runs into the bar. They are in high spirits as they have found a cat and are chasing it. They are having a great time. All too soon however our driver came and took us back to the Marina. I guess we will have to watch the rally on TV.