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Archive for January, 2009

On customer service…

Lady: Can I help?

Me: I need to put money on my pre-paid Digicel.

Lady: We don’t do that here.

Me: Oh, I thought the sign said you did <gestures to sign>.

Lady: No, we only do Digicel.

Me: Uhh… that’s what I wanted.

Lady: <Walks away and mumbles>

Me: Sooooo where do I go to get it then?

Lady: <With much attitude>  I don’t know what you want!

Me: <Raises eyebrows> I guess I don’t know either.  I want to top up my Digicel.

Lady: Is it local?

Me: Yes.

Lady: <Points> Go pay to her.

Apparently the confusion stemmed from the fact that I didn’t say ‘top up’ from the start.  I suppose without those two words I must sound like I’m speaking a language other than English. Either that or it’s brain surgery <— notice I didn’t say rocket science?  I’m taking the advice of an interesting post by In Ether, which I completely agree with.  Rocket scientists get all the credit, and I generally use the phrase

a) out of habit, and

b) because I’m too lazy to think of anything to put in it’s place.

Although, I have noticed I use it quite often, and now I believe I will come up with much better inserts.  It should be pretty entertaining… stay tuned.

*******

On marriage….

Air Conditioner Man: Are you the new tenant?

Me: No, my mom lives here.  I’m here also… for now.

Air Man: Oh, well I bet your husband will follow you here.

Me: <laughs> Nope, not married.

Air Man: What?! Why not?! What are you waiting for?! You should be married.

Me: It’s not me. It’s them.

Air Man: <laughs> Mmm hmm.  Well, I have been with my girl now for over 10 years.

Me: That’s great! Are you married?

Air Man: No.

Me: So, what are you waiting for?

Air Man: <shrugs>

******

Later that day…

Mom: The air man was talking about you.  He went on and on.

Me: Mmm hmm. We had a discussion about marriage.

******

On arms…

Random Stranger: I would give my arm for you.

Me: Uh… that wouldn’t be wise.

Random: Why?

Me: Well, you would be less an arm that you need, and I would have an extra arm that’s not needed.

(Yes, I realize that I’m a total ass sometimes, but hey, that comes with the package. This could be some insight to my marriage-less lifestyle.)

******

On politics and friends….

Random Navy Dude: Hi, I noticed you from over there <points>.

Me: Uh huh.  What’s up?

Navy: <general introductions and small talk>

Me: <rambles on about politics>

Navy: I can’t believe a girl like you is so into politics!

Me: Why? Because I’m female, or because I’m Canadian?

Navy: <Shifts eyes and changes subject> I noticed you from over there <points>.

Me: Yes, we’ve established that.

Navy: So why are you here alone?

Me: I’m waiting on my friend <points to ice cubes melting in rum and coke>.  He’s in traffic.

Navy: Is he your ‘friend’ or your ‘friend‘?

Me: My ‘friend’.. the platonic kind <wonders where the F friend is>.

Enter Friend

Navy: <introduces to friend> so you are ‘just friends’?

Me: <bugs out eyes to friend with a look that says ‘save me‘>

Friend: Yes.

Navy: How come? She is a good girl, you know <rambles on many more reasons why I’m ‘good’ and grabs my hand>

Me: <feeling awkward, guzzles back rest of drink> Uh, it was very nice meeting you, have fun in the navy <begins to leave and starts humming ‘In the Navy’>

Friend: <Mumbles>

Me: <Falls down steps while trying to escape.  Hurts feet and ankle tremendously.  Embarrassed as hell, but continues on>

Friend: Hold on.  Shit. Are you okay? Wait… stop… <catches up>

Navy: <shouts as I’m leaving> I’ll be back in March, I’ll be looking for you.

Me: Uh…okay.

Friend: <Laughs>

Me: <limping, ponders life, wonders if I’ll ever meet a man that will put up with my bullshit>

******

On Heckling…

Truck full of Randoms: <to the woman walking out of the instant teller> Weeee! Whooooo! Gyal! Psssssst!

Woman: <while munching on a  KFC snack pack> You do not have what I want.  Ain’t got what I want at all. <takes bite out of fried chicken>

Me: <laughs and thinks, that’s a good line… I’m going to use that one>

Randoms: How ’bout some of dis gyal <points to groin area and shakes it around>

Woman: I said you ain’t got what I want <devours rest of chicken leg>.

*******

On group tours…

Visitor R: I went on the rum tour today.

Me: Cool, how did you like it?

VR: Well, I was the only one on the tour.

Me: Awesome. Your own personal tour.

VR: Ya, well, the tour guide still treated me like I was a group of people.

Me: <laughs> What?

VR: Ya, I tried to ask her a question and she asked me to hold my questions till the end to avoid disrupting the rest of the group.

******

On being a dick…

Me: <sitting on patio>

Visitor T: <shakes on door from inside> Boo!

Me: <sarastically rolls eyes> It doesn’t work from the inside, you know.  You can only scare me if you do that from the outside.

VT: <laughs> What? I said Boone.  Boone! The name of the character from LOST we were trying to remember all night?

Me: <laughs> Ohhhhh. I thought you were trying to scare me.

VT: <laughs> You’re a dick.

Me: <nods> Ya.

*******

On confusing the unwanted…

Visitor M: Watch this.  All I have to do is speak French to people who bug me, and they totally back off.

Me: <laughs> That’s such a good idea.  I wish I was better at French.

VM:  It doesn’t even matter what you say.  They don’t know the difference.

Me: Like, ouvre la fenetre? or l’anana? or telefrancais? or ou est la toilette?

VM: Yep.  Oh, here comes some <motions with eyes>.  Watch this.

Randoms: <various pick up lines and offers of drugs>

VM: <speaks French for 2 minutes>

Randoms: <laugh hysterially while backing away cautiously>

Me: So. Awesome.

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Call me crazy (like you haven’t already…), but I love washing cars.  I don’t know what’s so intriguing about it for me.

Is it because I get to play with bubbles?

Or, could it be that I get to play with the hose?

How about because I get a nice tan while doing it?

Maybe, it’s the way the water bounces off the car and mists onto my face.

Is it the way it looks so shiny afterwards?

Or, is it the sense of accomplishment because I made it look so shiny?

Is it because I like to clean things?

Well, definitely not the last one.  I like things clean, but would prefer things to clean themselves… other than cars, obviously.

Hmmm.  Really, I’m stumped.

Anyhoo, today I washed my mom’s car… mainly because she had clients flying in and I left enough sand to build a castle inside. So I figured, after I de-sanded it, I would give the exterier a nice washing.

I literally took hours (I’m on island time, remember).  I found it so peaceful and relaxing.  I popped on my ipod and gave that sucker a scrubbing it will never forget.  I refused to finish until every little smudge and watermark had been eliminated, and I could see my reflection.  It didn’t even upset me that my brilliant wash eventually got rained on.

Many passers-by took notice of my impeccable car washing skills.  I swear it.  It wasn’t my car washing attire, which included a bikini underneath a tube top and cargo cut offs. It was the skills.  Really, it was.  It also wasn’t because I was belting out the tunes on my ipod.  Nope.  Skills, all the way baby.  Skills are hard to come by.

Wax on, silentorchestra-san, wax on.

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Although I am now living in my most favourite place on earth thus far, I am still in the process of adjusting, which I suppose happens with everything.  Some of my current adjustments include, but are not limited to:

1.  Driving on the other side of the road.

I pretty much have this down pat as I’ve been here so often… but I still have issues with maneuvering myself around parking lots, and reversing. The fact that the roads are tiny and not made for American and/or Asian and/or European cars does not help the matter much. I still almost always try to get in the car on the passenger side, and also grab the air for the seatbelt.

What I have no problem adjusting to re: driving, is the incredible amount of courtesy on the road. I’ve always said this about Barbados, and I absolutely love it.  There are many horns being honked, but almost never in vein, instead, to say ‘hello’, ‘go ahead’, or ‘thank you.’  People stop, even though they have the right of way, to let someone else in.  It’s fabulous, I tell you.

2. The fact that I’m working mostly from home, alone, which makes for some very lonely times.  I don’t even have my cats to talk to (yes, I do that).  Although, here is a pic from before I left.  Echo was not impressed with my leaving:

echo
3. Sometimes it’s hard to meet people here that don’t have alternative intentions.

4. The crazy rocket launcher in the neighbour’s yard.  I’m still laughing, you know.  As promised, here is a pic:

Rocket Launcher

I know it’s hard to tell, but the angle of the tower is pointed directly at me, like so:

10-4

It’s hard to see all the wires, but these are the best shots I could get, as I am not in the business of pissing off the unknown neighbour.  Especially since they have a massive dog, who: a) is scary, and b) looks out for random burglars.

5. On the topic of random burglars… this is not yet something I am willing to discuss as I don’t want to jinx the situation.  I also have an ongoing entry about it that I have not yet posted, and in fact I may never be comfortable posting it.  All I can say about the situation is that I’ve never felt unsafe here in 11 years, I do now in this spot – after dark, and we’re moving.

6. Everything takes forever.  Going to the bank, supermarket, getting a cell phone, lunch, dinner, whatever. This is not so challenging for me though, as I have quite a laid back demeanor.  To tell you the truth, I enjoy it. Still, it’s an adjustment from big city life and expecting everything to be done, pronto.

Somethings that I have no problem adjusting to:

1. The amazing weather.

2. Yummy drinks, including beer, rum, Frutee and mango juice.

3. Fresh mangos, fish, plantains and all other island food in general…. including hot pepper sauce. Yummers.

4. The sound of the tree frogs.  One Canadian friend of mine thinks they sound like the noise they have for the visually impaired at large intersections.  I promised her that she will miss the sound when she leaves.

5. The beach, oh, the beach…. including the fact that the island is coral and therefore there is a lack of vegetation in the water.  It’s all about white sands and clear water.  Niceness.

6. The radio stations.  So funny and so awesome.

7. The fact that everyone says ‘good morning’, ‘good afternoon’, or ‘good evening’… even to strangers.  Wow, what a concept.  I tried that once in Toronto and just about got my ass kicked.

8. Last but definitely not least, is the beauty of the island.  I don’t have many pics yet, but here’s a couple snippets to give you an idea:

Naniki view

View from NanikiRendezvous sunsetSunset

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Yes, that’s right.  Frutee.  So. Good.

What’s Frutee, you ask? It’s the most sugary, carbonated beverage that will ever touch your palette.  I swear it.  I’m obsessed with the stuff.  That’s probably not a good thing. It’s my most favourite drink in Barbados, next to rum and beer of course.

It comes in so many bizarre flavours: banana, pear, apple, cream soda, lime, red, sorrel, grapefruit… and probably more, but that’s the variety at my local supermarket.

You can feel the sugar linger on your teeth after you drink it.

But it’s so good.

After I have one, I feel like I just drank a pot of bold coffee.  Wired. To the max. Yummers.

My fav flavour is banana.  It literally tastes like you’re drinking a banana popsicle, and my friends, I love popsicles… with a passion.

Sad, I know, but these things excite me.

Even though it doesn’t say on the bottle, I’m sure it has 10 times more sugar than a bottle of coke.

Can we say, ‘diabetes?’

I don’t care though.  So. Good.

frutee

Yum!

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“Houston?”

“10-4.”

“Houston, we have a…”

“Roger.  What do you have?”

“Uh… we have a… er… rocket launcher?”

Okay.  So get this…

The part of the porch I sit on while I funnel sip back my beer and have a smoke, looks onto my back neighbour’s yard.  The yard is pretty large in Barbados terms. Apparently, there used to be a big tree right at the fence. They had to cut it down though, assuming it was interfering with their satellite signal.  I assume this because, well, it looks as though they may have steady contact with Mars.  

For serious.  

I can’t stop laughing at this thing.  It literally takes up the majority of the yard.  It’s totally make-shift and points right at me.  It looks like a prop from the movie Contact.

For real.  

To top it off, there’s more than one. But this one is definitely the main attraction. I’m going to take a wild guess and say that they collected all of the parts over time, and eventually constructed this massive space object.  

There’s a million wires crisscrossing every which way that connect to the rocket launcher.  There are little metal things on the wires, connecting some of them together. There’s about bunch of rusty poles keeping it steady, which are based in rusty drum barrels.  Also, there’s a block of cement that has a little black box with sticks pointing out of it.  There are balls on the ends of the sticks, and they spin ’round and ’round with the breeze.  Oh, and let’s not forget the random metal boxes that are duct taped to the poles.  

Their dog, Spike (I don’t know if that’s his name yet, but he looks like a ‘Spike’ to me), won’t go near it.  As I sit and stare in awe, I wonder if they actually get any channels.

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if they didn’t, but were just too lazy to demolish the thing.  

Or, maybe they actually view it as a work of art.  

You think?  

I wonder if they’re proud of the mighty rocket launcher.  

I wonder if that’s where the Barbados version of Larry the Cable Guy lives.  

I wonder why they need four other antenna creations along with the rocket launcher.  

I wonder if they highjacked some building and just stole it off the roof.  

I can totally imagine them doing that and driving down the unmarked roads in the sugar cane fields, holding the rocket launcher steady on the hood of the car with one hand, while pounding back a beer with the other.  

Hmmm.  

Anyhoo, I promise to have a pic pronto, but as of now the sun has already set and I’m afraid I’ll either,

a) Piss off Spike with the flash,

b) Piss of the neighbours with the flash, or

c) Unintentionally set off some random trigger that launches the rocket straight for my head… with the flash.

Until then, Godspeed!

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So the day has finally come.  And what a sweet day, indeed.  My countdown is complete, and I have finally made it to my favourite destination.  

Ahhh… Barbados.  

My flight etc was rather uneventful, which is a plus, since generally I travel on Air Canada, US Airways or American Airlines and it’s always hell.  West Jet, however, you are my saviour.  So much so, that you even got us there early.  

Please pause, as I bow down to West Jet….

….

….

Alrighty.  

It really didn’t hit me until I got off the plane.  I walked down the steps onto the runway and felt the warm breeze through my hair.  

Warm. Breeze.  

Wow.  Those two words are so much sexier than wind chill.  

As I tried to gather my carry on luggage and winter coat in an acceptable fashion, I wondered why my face was twitching.  

Then it hit me.  That twitch, my friends, was a smile.  

What?!  She’s actually happy?  

Yes indeedy.  I forgot what happiness felt like.  And this is it.  Seriously.  I am absolutely in love with this island.  Like how you feel when you’re in a relationship.   That kind of love.

I forgot about that feeling… the last time I had it was July, which was the last time I was here.  It’s like a switch goes off and all the stress and negativity disappears.  The feeling increases even more when I realize I’m not just here for a few weeks, but four months.  

Four.

Weeeee!

Is it crazy that I have a human being relationship with an entire geographical land mass?  

Maybe.

But I don’t care.  It’s full blown true love.  Heaven.  

Now please excuse me as slip into my flip flops and sit my ass on the wrap around porch filled with palm trees, aloe plants and birds of paradise.  It’s time to suck back my third Banks Beer, feel the warm breeze on my face and watch the planes take off overhead.  

Bliss.

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