Yes. The buses here are pretty much just well air-conditioned vans with advertising on them. You can tell if they are buses by either their destination signs or their license plates. (They read BUS-nnnn, where nnnn can be any number from 0-999) Pay attention to this, because they look exactly the same as taxis, that are much more expensive. (Taxi license plates begin with "Taxi")
Originally Posted by joubeen
To catch a bus from campus, you walk down from the campus past the casino (you will know this when you get here) and wait at the intersection of roads, across from the WIB ATM in front of the casino and next to the large rocks. (you will also know these things once you get here)
The bus, when they see you, will stop to pick you up. You can also hail the bus to make sure, but that may be unnecessary.
The destination signs, pay attention to them. They are placards placed on the dashboard of each bus, rather than the large LCD's on large vehicles you normally see in the States. If you're going to Cost-U-Less, which is in Philipsburg, then take the Philipsburg bus. Most buses coming that way are destined for Simpson Bay/Philipsburg anyway, so you won't have a problem with this.
The bus rates... "it varies." However, don't expect to pay more than $2.50-3 one way going to Philipsburg. To get to Simpson Bay, which is much closer, the cost is usually $1-1.50 one way.
As far as bus stops, the only place I've seen them are in Philipsburg. for other places, you can simply tell the driver that this is your stop and pay the fare. (You can also tell the driver you are going to Cost-U-Less and pay the fare then, simplifying things, but this may not always be possible.)
One word of advice when shopping at Cost-U-Less without a car/on public transportation: Buy the orange shopping bags near the front of the store. They are large, durable, and reusable. Cost-U-less, like Costco, do not give you shopping bags. They are perfect for food shopping as well, and packing them well will make for a more comfortable trip home.
As for the trip home, this requires the most attention. There is a proper bus stop right next to Cost-U-Less. Look for buses that either have the Mullet Bay or Marigot destination signs, and tell the driver that you are going to Cupecoy, near the AUC campus. These buses will often drive you right up to the guard shack on campus.
Yes. Most of the items here are imported from the US, France, the Netherlands, or other places. Depending on where you're from, items may be comparable, or up to 2-3x more expensive than what you're used to. However, Cost-U-Less has one of the lowest prices in the areas.
Are the items at Cost U Less more expensive than in the US?
You have a choice of either UTS Chippie or TelCell. Go with whichever suits you best, but many people on campus opt for Chippie, as it is much easier to refill the balance (you can do so online as well.) The rates (for Chippie, as I don't know the rates for TelCell) are around $0.36/minute for outgoing calls on the island. Incoming calls are free, even from the US. I am unsure of cost to make US calls through chippie, but I imagine that it is much more expensive. I will attempt this later and come back with results.
Whats the best phone service to use? I will be bringing the iPhone 4 unlocked. What are the rates for incoming and out going calls to the US?
On the iPhone 4:
DO NOT upgrade to iOS 4.0.2! Apple closed the PDF exploit in 4.0-4.0.1 that allows the jailbreak webapp to work.
Make sure your phone is jailbroken and unlocked in order to use it with any island SIM, or ask around on campus for someone who can do it for you. There are plenty of people, such as myself, that can help.
The iPhone 4 uses microSIMs, while the GSM carriers here only offer regular-sized SIMs. Both have the same contact area, so this will require you to shave/cut the SIM in order for it to fit the iPhone 4 SIM tray. If you can't do this yourself, someone on campus will be able to, just ask around. I can shave SIMs as well.
Yes. Not only are they convenient, but storms and power outages are frequent. Your electronics will thank you for it.
Do I need a surge protector?
You're very welcome, that's what this place is for.
Thats all i can think of for now. Thanx!
Last edited by mofogx; 08-19-2010 at 09:05 AM.
Reason: Updated bus fare
"I have accumulated four score and nineteen difficulties, but a wench cannot be counted among them."