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The Story of the Puss Roll

Today I’ll be returning to my Yaad (Jamaica). I love being in airports but this wasn’t always the case. I felt it was only fitting that I shared the traumatic story of my first time being at the airport. I wrote the story a year ago for my public speaking class. Enjoy!


Crisp white socks; folded neatly at the ankles. Shiny black shoes. A denim dress that flared at the waist with a rounded lapel. My mother completed the look by putting my hair in four evenly parted braids. There wasn’t a crease in sight or a hair out of place. I was ready. I was 1½ years and I was ready for my first trip by airplane.

While my mother and father juggled two suitcases and my diaper bag, my lone responsibility was to guard my stuffed kitten. This was no ordinary kitten. Pink fur, a white under belly and a long white string, courtesy of my grandmother, for a leash. After a 30 minute journey, we arrived at the airport. Mommy kissed daddy goodbye. He then kissed me on both cheeks and gently clunked our foreheads together so I wouldn’t feel left out. It was just mommy, me and my kitty now.

Despite what my mother would say, I was a well behaved baby. I walked beside her in silence taking in the hustle and bustle of the airport. This was probably my first introduction to the concept of “waiting in line”. That’s the thing with airports; lots of opportunities to wait in line. We had to queue to check in our luggage, then we had to queue for the security check.

We waited and waited until it was finally our turn. Mommy lifted her carry on and my diaper bag onto the conveyer belt. While mommy balanced monitoring her bags and conversing with security, some woman snatched my kitty. My jaw dropped as I tried to process what happened. I looked to my mother, waiting for her to defend me but she was busy with the bags. I had to take matters into my own hands.

In one swift motion, I dropped to the ground with a splat. I simultaneously kicked my feet, exposing Huggies underneath so they knew I meant business. I kicked and rolled to the right and I kicked and rolled to the left. They still hadn’t returned my kitty. I added a new move to my tantrum combo. I hollered. I had a pair of lungs and I knew how to use them. The entire airport waited with baited breath for my stuffed animal to be returned.

The conveyer belt had swallowed my kitten and was taking its own sweet time with the digestion process. I was kicking and rolling and screaming at the top of my lungs. My mother was frozen in shock and appreciative of the sympathetic looks she was receiving. The poor attendants ran from my mother to myself then the conveyer belt, unsure of what to do next.

The scanner finally spat out my kitty and the security personnel passed it around like a game of hot potato to get it back to me as quickly as possible. The same woman who had taken my toy returned it and apologized profusely. I stopped my tantrum mid-roll, got up and took it from her. Wearing one shoe, I hopped passed my mother. She scrambled to retrieve my other shoe and any other article of clothing I might have dislodged in my fit.I didn’t know where I was going but I knew it was away from catnappers, stuffed toy eating machines and baffled onlookers. My mother chased behind me and swiftly pulled the back of my dress down to cover my diaper.

Despite what my mother would say, I was a well behaved baby… unless provoked.

#KultureShocked

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globalFEST On the Road: Creole Carnival

Imagine my surprise when I saw that a Jamaican entertainer I knew was coming to my little college. I wanted to ask him the question so many have asked me: How did you find your way here?

My college was one of the stops of the globalFEST tour. The tour featured performances from Brushy One Sting, a Jamaican man who plays a guitar with one string; Casuarina, a samba group and Emeline Michel, “The reigning queen of Haitian song”. I knew I had to be at the show just to give Brushy my support. However, I enjoyed it even more than I had anticipated.

The show opened with Emeline and even though all her songs were in the Haitian French Creole, her soulful voice conveyed her powerful messages in a way words never could. It is for this reason that I say music is a universal language.

After Emeline and her band left the stage, a small, slender man in a hat took their place. He had no backing band, just one guitar with one string. Brushy One String didn’t need much more. He captivated the audience with his powerful voice and equally powerful messages of love and unity.

Casaurina was last to take the stage. They played and sang traditional Brazilian songs and once again language did not create a barrier. Their music conveyed happiness and sadness effectively. Once they were through with their set, Emeline and Brushy returned to the stage for the grand finale. Together, they sang Bob Marley’s Get Up Stand Up with a Samba twist. They brought everyone to their feet and received thunderous applause for their amazing performance.

#KultureShocked

 

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Yes Grandma!

Wanty wanty nuh get i’ and getty getty nuh want i’

Translation: Those who want it the most won’t get it and those who get it in abundance won’t want it/ appreciate it.

If you have ever been in a position where you watched someone waste something knowing in your heart that if you had half of what they did you would put it to better use, then this is an expression for you. This saying pretty common  in Jamaica. There is even a song about it.

Thanks for stopping by!

#KultureShocked

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Yes Grandma

Growing up, my mom always told me that after the kettle starts boiling I should leave it for a few more minutes.  I never asked why, but since mommy said it, I always did it.

Yesterday I had my head rested in mummy’s lap as she played in my hair while waiting for the kettle to boil. Just as I was drifting to sleep the kettle started to whistle and mommy did everything short of pushing me out of her lap in an attempt to get up to make her tea.

I was comfortable and refused to budge. I silenced her by saying. “You said to let the kettle boil a while before turning off the stove”

She laughed and said “cock mout ketch cock”

Booom!

That was a new one for me and I knew I had to share.

Translation : the cock’s (male chicken) mouth caught the cock (male chicken)

Meaning : What a person says in the past may come back to haunt that person in the near or distant future.

Let me know what you think!

#KultureShocked

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Yes Grandma!

Welcome to my first post in my “Yes Grandma” feature. Growing up, the adults around me often said things that made me say “Huh?” but there was also a hidden lesson. Now it’s my turn to share them with you guys.

The first saying I’m going to share is in Jamaican Patois:

Deaf ears gi liad trouble!

Translation: Deaf ears will give a liar trouble.

Meaning: to be honest, I can’t give an oxford dictionary translation for this one but my mom always says it when I mishear a part of a story. So because I wasn’t listening or paying attention (deaf ears) when I pass on the story to someone else, the information will lose it’s essence or meaning entirely, putting the original storyteller ( the liar… or truther? who knows really?)  in trouble.

Thanks for stopping by!

#KultureShocked

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New blogging feature?

Because I’ve been doing such a wonderful job with my other blog features (please note the sarcasm) I’ve decided to add another one… or two.

In the first one I’ll take a proverb, quote, idiom, saying or whatever and give my interpretation and maybe even share a story or two on how it had an impact on me. This will hopefully provide an avenue to share more about my culture,  which is, after all, what KultureShocked is about. I would like to start this today and diligently follow through on the Tuesdays to follow (speaking it into being).

The second feature will be my take on one of the daily posts from the week before. I’m not sure when I’ll start this yet.

Thanks for stopping by.

#KultureShocked