Tuesday, 27 November 2012

A 'ole heap o respect

Just when I thought I'd been in Jamaica long enough to know it all, something interesting happens that turns it upside-down. 

Yesterday, I was taking my usual route taxi ride home and I had a totally different conversation with the driver than normal.

(Aside #1 - a route taxi is the equivalent of public transportation here.  It is a sedan car that runs along a fixed route and carries four passengers. The far is usually about $90 Jamaican (just over a dollar Cdn) and I take them all the time to get where I need to go.)

Usually the driver is a young man, and he asks for my phone number or makes some other pass at me. Sometimes it is just about where I am from, but often it includes something like "Do you have a boyfriend?" or "Can I go home with you?" I've seen these kinds of conversations happen with all kinds of women in the cab, Jamaican ones as well. So the drivers on the whole don't have the best reputation.

But yesterday, the driver started to tell me about the passenger that had just gotten out before I got in.  "He has a 16 year old girlfriend, that is not a woman, that is a schoolgirl.  He's a pervert!"

(Aside #2 - what the driver said was mostly in patois.  I am pretty good at understanding it now, but I'm not so good at reproducing it yet. Bear with me)

After the driver had me agreeing that this was wrong, he proceeded to tell me all about his wife of 21 years. 

He said, "You know, Jamaican men, they always have 2 or three women." 

I nodded in agreement. 

He said, "Me, I don't like to tell no lies, so I go home to mi woman." 

He was clear - he had plenty of other offers, he was a driver after all, but he didn't bother with them, he went home and met his "needs" with his woman. 

"After all," he said "that's why I don't got no wrinkles, you know - no stress.  And mi girl, she look young too." And it was true, he looked about 25, even though he said he was 46.

He had told me he had two sons, so I asked "Don't your boys give you stress sometimes?"
And he said, the part that I thought was the best, "They good boys. They see how me go forward and they move in my direction." 

Let all the other taxi drivers take note, I've found the one I'd be willing to go home with.  He'd take me home and I'd met his wife and sons and probably learn a lot.  

(Aside # 3 - He still did ask me where I was from - some things don't change.)


On another note, Captain Phil and I had a feast last week.  It was celebratory and so involved baked avocado, lobster, steak, roasted vegetables, and banoffee pie for dessert.  We were stuffed and happy by the end of the meal!

The pre-dinner lobster, bought live from the fisherman earlier that day.
Poor suckers - so tasty though.
really, really yummy!
banana, caramel and whipped cream - with chocolate shavings on top - what else could you need?
Necessary after all that pie, I raced both Saturday and Sunday this weekend on the sailboats.  One of club members did a great video of the weekend which I've re-posted below, if you can stand to watch another sailing video.  I am in the blue shirted team, just past the 1 minute mark, taking the winch handle out of the winch.

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