When we posted on social media about making an impromptu visit back to the island in March 2017, a friend we’d made over in Carriacou who worked mainly in the UK, messaged us to ask if we could do him a favour — well two actually. One favour was to pay a small debt to someone he knew on the island we’d never heard of and who we never managed to track down. The other was to take a dartboard and some darts across to some other friends we’d met previously. It seemed dart boards were not easy to get hold of on Carriacou and these friends, Dee and Harley, lived without TV or internet and liked nothing more (because there was nothing more) than playing darts which had resulted in them completely trashing the one they had.
So armed with booty for random islanders we set off again.
Having a bank account on the island was obviously going to be useful especially since international transactions are both expensive and slow. So prior to our sudden decision to revisit in March 2017 I had sounded-out one of the two banks on the island about opening an account. The bank I thought I had contacted was the one where we used to draw money at their cash machine on our previous visit. However, when we arrived to chat about the account I had got the banks mixed up and it was the other bank — The Republic Bank of Grenada — who we were scheduled to see and which was just over the road from the one I liked better.
When we arrived to open our bank account with armfuls of ID, references, etc proving we were not international money launderers we were ushered into a side room where a very intense and quiet young man sat us down. He pondered over the very lengthy form we had completed and then painstakingly transferred all this handwritten information into the computerised version of the same form on his screen one finger-press at a time. This literally took over two hours during which not a word was spoken with Liz and I occasionally looking at each other to roll our eyes about his lack of typing speed. When completed, the young man got a rubber stamp from his cupboard which showed the next account number to be dished out. He incremented the rubber stamp by one numeral and stamped some cards for us to sign which he then very carefully laminated with overlapping strips of Sellotape. Finally he explained to us about the wonderful new account we had opened.
It was for deposits and savings only, hence it could not be used to pay anyone else for which a checking account would be needed and which could only be opened after three months of satisfactory usage of the savings account. Also it could not be administered in any way online and there were expensive monthly bank charges.
So having opened the account we promptly closed it and went across the road to the Grenada Cooperative Bank. Here a nice young lady made an appointment for us the next day and by salvaging ID and references we had used previously we managed to get a very suitable account opened in very much less time and we walked away with a shiny new cheque (check) book for our new joint-account.