Upon further reflection, I can safely say there are many things that are ubiquitous to the whole of Belize, from the coast to the inland borders. Here is, in no particular order, a short, non-inclusive list of said normalcy:
1. Undecipherable conversations in Kriol.
Technically a version of English, (a really awesome, raucous, super-rasta version), Belizean Kriol uses no past tense. It is similar to what vocal spawn might spring forth from a union between a sassy French Creole voice and a laid-back Jamacian accent. Here is a sample of some useful phraseology:
Weh taim yu gat? = what time is it?
Yu da lamp up. = You are lazy.
Dis meet ya haaf raa. = This meat isn’t done.
Stap you rass! = shut up
Please lef yo ugly raas dog home. = No dogs allowed. (And good luck with that!)
2. Colorful plywood houses on stilts, lines of laundry strung up beneath.
Makes a lot of sense, building houses on stilts. Might help to deter some reptilian and insect creepers from scurrying in, while at the same time providing an expanse of cool shade to lounge under and a rain-safe place to air your laundry out.
3. Coconut palm trees.
Want some coconut water? Just reach out your hand. But watch your head.
Big, small, everywhere. The definition of creeper.
5. Marie Sharp’s hot sauce.
Seriously, it is on every single table in the country. Queen of the sauce.
6. Street dogs.
Everywhere. Skinny dogs, mangy dogs, healthy dogs, three-legged dogs, nursing mothers, big-balled males, puppies, muppets.
7. Rum. Belikin Beer.
The local One Barrel variety is the best. This sweet spirit is cheaper than water and is in every mixed drink. We kept seeing a cocktail called The Panty Ripper on menus, but after some debate on what that name might imply, declined to order it. Belikin is brewed in Ladyville (how you doin’?) Belize, and is often the only beer sold. Comes in lager and stout.
8. Rice and Beans.
We ate some version of this literally every day. Coconut rice and red beans were my favorite.
9. Thatched roofs.
They’re, um, thatched.
Grackles, grackles, grackles. Frigatebirds, pelicans, parrots. Orioles, kingfishers, egrets. Herons, kingbirds, and a species I have forgotten the name of now, but through some sort of deductive alliteration, called Count Chocula when I said good morning every day.