Driving in Jamaica Kingston to St. Mary 

I took a trip to Portland. Here is a part of the journey.

 

 

– Aldeam Facey 2016

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Unwritten Rules And Norms Of The Jamaican Culture

For such a small country, Jamaica has one of the richest cultures worldwide. While many try to duplicate, a significant portion of or norms can only be experienced here. Let’s Look at some of our norms that have been etched in our culture.

  • We have the remarkable ability to replicate the American accent when talking to Americans, or after a short stay in the country. Whether or not this is done well, is a very subjective matter.
  • It is perfectly legal to park the letter ‘h’ anywhere in a sentence. Example ‘Hi am feeling very appy’. 
  • Whenever you are at a shop in rural Jamaica, often times no one is present to sell you items. You indicate your need for service by shouting “Serve”. Someone will appear to help.
  • You do not have fried dumplings for dinner. They are good for breakfast only.
  • Guys can have a complete conversation using only the sound ‘ahh’.
  • You must acknowledge the national anthem before watching any movie at the Theatre. 
  • It is your right to convey that you are filled with the Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues when worshiping at a Pentecostal church, but not at a Catholic church.
  • More often than not, the biological father is absent from the household.
  • An effeminate male is immediately categorized as homosexual.
  • Rice and peas, with your choice of meat, is expected for Sunday dinner.
  • Ginger bulla, is eaten with pear (avocado).
  • Having multiple jobs is the norm.
  • If a vehicle “bad drives” you on the road, it is your duty to drive them down just so you can utter profanities at them.
  • Taxi drivers are known to be aggressive while driving. Make way.
  • Upon arrival from ‘foreign’, whichever country it may be, it is expected that you return bearing gifts.
  • There is absolutely nothing better that free food.
  • Everyone appreciates old Reggae Music.
  • We find being told negatives about our mothers to be especially offensive.
  • Most persons are not Rastafarians, most persons do not smoke weed and most persons rarely visit the beach. We find it surprising members of the international community believe those are norms.
  • The word ‘hush’ does not mean ‘shut up’. It is a sentiment of empathy. 
  • If someone is in our way when walking and we want to pass, we do not say ‘excuse me’ like the rest of the world, we say ‘sorry’. 
  • When singing the national anthem, it is ok to insert the sound ‘boom’  after ‘Jamaica’. Big up yuhself Omar McLeod. Boom! 

 

– Aldeam Facey 2016

Conflict Of Interest #7: Impregnating Two Women At Once – Part 1

This is a true story!

So we all know cheating is a big deal business in Jamaica. You are not a real Jamaican man until you have three ‘baby mommas’ you don’t care about.

 

So Matthew, 27, met a beautiful young lady, Samantha, 22, and wooed her panties to the floor. But other than falling in bed they fell in love and formed a ‘serious’ relationship. No one expected Matthew to joke around. But there is something powerful about vajay-jays that makes Jamaican men giddy headed. Matthew met another young lady, Sasha, mother of two children, and immediately fell into her. Of course, it was an accident. This accident happened over and over on the streets of an apparently busy highway, until the evidence of the mistake could no longer hide itself. She got pregnant. Naturally, the Jamaican thing for Matthew to do is to keep it a secret from Samantha for as many decades as possible, stressing about a possible revelation until he dies of a stroke. Okay so no big deal right? Wrong! Sasha is also in a committed relationship with the ‘father’ of her babies, a man who already questions the paternity of the children ‘given’ to him, who clearly lack the phenotypical characteristics that defines a father-child connection.

Sasha, naturally is afraid to tell her partner her big secret as he uses the machete very well and his mental stability has not been confirmed. So she presented the news to him in a brilliant fashion, ‘Babes, we havin a baby! I’m pregnant, for you’. Problem solved. We will get back to this later.

Matthew continued his relationship with Samantha and four months after Sasha got pregnant, Samantha had some good news for Matthew as well. Yes, you guessed it, Samantha found out she’s pregnant!…For ‘Matthew’.

At this point I’m sure Matthew shouted the very same profane words he did while he accidentally fell into those holes without head gear.

He eventually built the courage to tell his sisters that he got two women pregnant and without a doubt it was met with much surprise. No one else knew. Sasha’s baby, Kimberly, became Matthew’s first born and is loved by Matthew’s supportive sisters. It was a sibling secret and they kept their mother in the dark regarding the birth of Kimberly.

Months passed and Kimberly grew to become the clone of Matthew. So much so that Sasha’s physically abusive spouse is now asking for a DNA test. It is important to note that Sasha is a very close friend of the family, who often stays at the family house. Mathew had to break the secret to his mother, who resides overseas. But of course, he had to deliver the message in bite sizes. He told his mother Samantha is pregnant and was about to have his baby. Matthew’s mother was happy to hear such good news so he paused there for a bit.

This is where it gets interesting…

So Matthew’s mom decided to make a trip to Jamaica to meet her ‘first’ grand child, for whom she brought many gifts. She decided to have the entire family meet up at the family house. Samantha had just given birth to Shannele and they made the trip as well. It would have been a grand and happy time for stressed out Matthew except Sasha and Kimberly were staying at the house at the time.

Sasha and the siblings knew the whole story but the siblings eventually had to let their mother know. Much to her disappointment as she had given her heart and cash to Shanelle. It is important to note that during the visit Sasha felt so left out and unwanted, that she left. But to this day, Samantha is unaware that her child is not Matthews first.

Should he tell her knowing it would mean the end of their relationship?

Should Sasha tell her spouse?

In my view, to be honest, the truth sometimes really really hurts. Lets hope this is resolved soon, without injuries.

I can’t say I am excited to see how this story ends but it does encourage me to keep it in my pants until it rots.

I am an independent observer/advisor of the events. All names have been changed for privacy.

 

– Aldeam Facey (The Real Jamaican Man) 2016

 

Rebecca Black, Is So White!

So its Friday! The day ‘nine to fivers’ look forward to weekly. My contentment led me to the popular video site Youtube.com, in search of a song that reflects my mood. I searched for ‘Friday’ and I found a song that was released in 2011 by a wonderful little white girl called Rebecca Black. The song surely brought a smile to my face as I listened to the pure, innocent lyrics.

The song is so amazing and I don’t know why millions of persons hate it so much. One should be awarded for such brilliant creativity. To top it off Rebecca’s vocals are on point with Beyoncé Knowles, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and those big shot singers. So intrigued was I, that I had to press the like button on the video. Youtube.com did a very strange thing that I had never seen before. It asked ‘Are you sure you want to like this video?” and I clicked yes then subscribed for more. To demonstrate why I love this song so much, just look at the some of the lyrics:

[Verse 1: Rebecca Black]
7am, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal
Seein’ everything, the time is goin’
Tickin’ on and on, everybody’s rushin’
Gotta get down to the bus stop
Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends (My friends)
Kicking it in the front seat
Sitting in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

These are everyday problems we face in developing countries like Jamaica. We can all relate, that’s why the song is such a big hit here. 

Even with our luxurious taxis, when one arrives at the taxi stand, everyone just stops and looks at it because no one knows whether to kick it in the front seat or kick it in the back. Sigh, life is so hard.

[Hook: Rebecca Black]
It’s Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin’ down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend

Sentiments with which we can all agree. 

[Bridge: Rebecca Black]
Yesterday was Thursday
Today is Friday
We so excited! We so excited
We gonna have a ball today
Tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards
I don’t want this weekend to end!

Like a bridge over troubled waters! Dah bridge yah bad! ‘Yesterday was Thursday Today is Friday’ Sounds like something Grace Jackson would say! Probably that’s why I like this Black girl so much enuh. Then she goes on to remind us that ‘Tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards‘. Such deep and powerful words! This girl deserves a Grammy ASAP! 

Yow unu pree di song!

If the song was any Whiter, it would be transparent. That is how pure and real Friday appears.

It doesn’t ever get much Whiter than this. I can’t wait for Saturday to be released. Rebecca, keep doing what you doing! You Rock!

 

– Aldeam Facey 2016

 

Jamaica’s Online Community Had No Mercy, On Grace

Unless you are living under the ‘Tobago side of Trinidad’, you would have heard of how lovely Grace Jackson’s commentary at the Rio Olympics have been. So the Olympics are officially over and I have not been sleeping well since then. I miss the soothing voice of Grace, her accurate analysis of the races and her use of repetition to ensure we never miss her point.

Grace Jackson is a well decorated, retired Jamaican athlete who competed in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympic games. She earned a silver medal in the 1988 Olympic games in the 200m. She placed second in that event, behind the first place finisher.

Our Jamaican language focuses on repetition for emphasis and clear understanding. For example if we wanted to say ‘That is a very big tree’ we may say ‘It is a big, big tree’. So it was no surprise to me that Grace, an authentic Jamaican, would repeat a few words.

It was a great honor for Grace to be selected to do the commentary at the Rio Olympics this year. Given her experience in the participation and administration of athletics, no one dared to question her competence or request any vetting. We didn’t know what to expect, but she did her job and she did it …graciously.

The online community in Jamaica, however, had a grand time mocking Grace for what they perceived to be the worst commentary of all time. How rude. Some of the popular tweets can be seen below:

grace

 

Okay, so they are hilarious!

It is said that when in Jamaica, do what the Jamaicans do. So I had my fair share of the fun as I tweeted the following:

Screenshot_2016-08-30-13-03-35

I trust they will do the right thing and allow her to commentate during the Japan Olympics 2020.

 

– Aldeam Facey 2016 (Satire)

 

Jamaican Windscreen Washers

Much like the Loada Man, a Jamaican windscreen washer is a self employed entrepreneur who provides a quite redundant service. I have always been annoyed by these aggressive guys who force you to accept their service whether or not you need it. But it was not until I had some personal experiences with them that I realized how forceful they can be towards drivers.

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So a few months ago not long after having my car washed,  I saw a windscreen washer at a stoplight at the intersection of Hope Road and Trafalgar Road. With stained, heavily perforated, over-sized garments he walked towards my car. In his left hand he had a transparent soda bottle and in it there was a clear fluid, which I assume was water and what appeared to be leaves of a tree. No, not diluted soap; leaves! His sanity was questionable. As he stepped closer to the vehicle I knew he was coming for me. Thoughts ran through my head; What should I do? Should I scream and run? Cornered by other vehicles left me without an option. I frantically waved my hand at him, begging him not to ‘clean’ my spotless windshield. My requests were not observed as he looked at me through the windscreen and nodded ‘yes’. I waved again and shouted ‘NO!’. He looked at me again and nodded ‘yes’, with a creepy look that clearly says ‘just let it happen’. I let it happen. The light, much like our political system, just wouldn’t change to green fast enough. At the end of his session I gave him $15 and I just sat there in traffic, feeling dirty and used. He did a poor job, leaving the windscreen much worse than it was before.

Now, I’ve learned a lot regarding dealing with these windscreen washers, who may greet you with profanities or make requests for you to consume various parts of your mother.

How To Say No

  • Apparently, much like a young lady in a short skirt is begging to be raped, driving around with a dirty windscreen is an invitation to these windscreen cleaners. Always have a clean windscreen.
  • Turn on wipers as they approach.
  • Wind down windows and aggressively say no.
  • Let them know you have no money.

 

Now, while I am not a big fan of these guys, they are trying to make a living. I prefer them doing this than robbing people. So if you need your windscreen cleaned, feel free to let them do it for you. They will accept as little cash as you have. My primary issue is their attitude towards drivers, otherwise, they are tolerable. 

– Aldeam Facey 2016

Many Interests, One Jamaican