Sense & Sensibilities

Caribbean people have a reputation for being friendly and very personable, especially to foreigners. We are very welcoming and would generally go all out to make strangers comfortable. There are, however, a few things that rub us the wrong way. We get “vex too bad”.

One is when people ignore the diversity that is the diaspora resident in the Caribbean Islands…”oh I just love your accent, I went to school with a girl from St. Lucia, and she sounded EXACTLY LIKE YOU”, says the foreigner to the Barbadian. Ummmmm……… she didn’t.Or when they exhibit their own ignorance by asking silly questions…..”So how do you all get around? Do you have cars?”…..naah, we typically swing on vines. Much cheaper that way, and you don’t have to worry about finding parking under the trees.Or the ever so popular “Do you speak english where you come from?”……well to be quite frank, after talking with you for the past half hour, I’m beginning to wonder the same thing.

But one of the things that really really irk us is when they “discover” things that we’ve known about in the Caribbean since, “rock of ages was a pebble” and turn around and wonder if we would be able “appreciate” these “new advances”. Friend of mine in Canada, for example met this lady who was doing some research for an import and export business…organic teas she said. Knowing my friend was from “the islands” (wherever that is), she was wondering if there were any pockets of people there who would appreciate organic tea……….can someone say bush tea!!! To add insult to injury she goes on to say that the more affluent the individuals the more attuned they are to general health and well being. So not only are we ignorant as to the “newly discovered” benefits of bush tea, we are too poor to even know that we don’t know. Never mind that, for the most part, in the early days (when bush tea was invented), it was the selfsame less affluent ones who used the stuff because they could not afford to pay to be killed by all the fancy medicine.

Its not her fault though. Her attitude is representative of the inward looking nature of many people who have become so used to their current environment, that they forget it wasn’t always that way. They forget that the thing which is now so much a part of their present is also part of someone else’s past. They forget that they are reaping the benefits of the experiences of others.

It takes all kinds to make this world the place that it is though and sometimes it is best to not let incidents like this get under your skin. Just say what my father said when he encountered a particularly silly state of affairs…………STEEUUUPPPPSSS!!!


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7 Responses to “Sense & Sensibilities”

  1. BCREFlib Says:


  2. laurel Says:

    lol…love it! ok jiselle yuh could direct yuh padnah to this blog…lol

  3. Paula Says:

    Like ah know this tea story. Don't start me on these uninformed, ignorant people we are forced to deal with. The only thing many of them have going for them is that they supposed to be living in a more developed country, whatever that means. The nerve of them to tell me I from a third world country, but I know more than most of them.

  4. Fuzzydave Says:

    I couldn't finish reading this blog because I was laughing too hard about the "swinging on vines" bit! I have probably committed some of these dastardly sins, and if so, I apologize now for it! 🙂

  5. Cara Says:

    Hm, I don't know if my comment went through or not…it'll say from Fuzzydave, but I can assure that Dave doesn't use smiley faces when he types! It was Cara.

  6. 'rah Says:

    Well what can I say…? I've lived in the US and have had to dispel the whole 'Tarzan' assumptions but over here in Asia it's a different ball game. I'd be happy if somebody had any clue where/what the Caribbean was let alone Trinidad. Sheesh! Is it only West Indians who do geography in school? On the rare occasion that I come across someone who has any clue that Trinidad & Tobago exists I feel like hugging them. I feel validated. Like T&T isn't some imaginary wonderland that I made up. It's real! Honest! And we ONLY speak ENGLISH! Seriously! It's our native language! No kidding!Wes…I swear you're gonna make me start the blog I've been putting off for years now… Cause now that I think about it, all my looooong comments to each of your posts is like a bloody blog post in itself. Ha! (good, all I need to do is cut, paste and edit)*grin grin*

  7. W2 Says:

    Lol…………I'm looking forward to it. Trinidad is part of Jamaica btw…..just so you know. Just yesterday one of my coworkers calls and asks me about shipping something to Jamaica because "that's where you're from right?"….

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