Column this week
Monday morning and I walking to work and the cold breeze hitting me wham in my chest. They say it’s going to be 15 degrees today but I feel they lie because it feeling like five. Now come out from Victoria station fighting up with a setta people to pass through three turnstiles and sprint across the next few streets to work. Realise I’m writing in dialect plenty these days but is a long time now I thinking in dialect and well, what you go do? Everybody speaking standard English all day everyday so the mind start protesting and yuh girl dying to hear a lil soot when she walking in the road but them man up here does only watch and turn they head fast. That’s when they watch at all.
So yuh gyul rocking a grey sweater with a cowl neck - in wool no less, thing I allergic to but I have no choice because it does keep you warm. So I in meh sweater with cardigan and jacket on, listening to Machel Montano’s Daddy Axe and wondering when last I see a Daddy Axe boy. A Daddy Axe if you don’t know, is a sweet man, a rude boy who does “clock card and put down wuk”. A Daddy Axe is a man so skilled that woman don’t care if he works no where or draws no pay, they will happily mind him as long as he keeps up his end of the bargain, pun intended.
And then yuh girl realise that is a long, long time since she see one and feel a lil sad. No sweet man pose off nowhere watching you sexy sexy from across the room/road/parlour. No uncrossing of legs and bouncing across the room/road/parlour to where you stand up looking hot and bussing style. Them kinda man was starting to get scarce back home but they more scarce up here, them man up here like they ‘fraid women, except for them Nigerian who don’t ‘fraid nobody except immigration officer.
Then “Hare Krishna” starts to play and yuh girl get happy happy and start thinking about the time me and the girls did follow a group of Hare Krishna through Soho only because the music was sounding like tassa. People smiling in they dhoti and handing we tract and we throwing waist and jumping like is Chutney Soca Monarch finals. Man lying down in the middle of the road and kissing the same street people passing and hawking and spitting and we rocking like is fete.
Feeling better now and then reach outside the people work to find meh boss stand up outside in a thin shirt with sleeve roll up, smoking a cigarette. Well, is either he’s a beast or I in a mess and I’s a Trini so no way I saying I in a mess so he HAVE to be a beast. And he not English, he from South Africa so he know about hot sun. “Just getting some fresh air,” he explains and I smile and laugh but not convinced at all, at all. That air a little too fresh if you ask me.
And as I standing in the elevator thinking about what I writing for my column I remember it will be Eid back home when everybody reading this. So for the year already I done miss Carnival, Emancipation, Divali and Eid and the newcomer the Chinee holiday. I not too sure what the name of that one is but I know everybody back home calling it Chinee holiday anyway.
I know if I was home I wouldn’t be doing one thing for Eid besides rocking back at home eating curry and sleeping or going to see a movie but still, the Trini in me protesting. Talking to friends on Saturday nobody went to see the lights, nobody light deya, nobody went nowhere. And I up here longing for a lil clay pot, some oil and a wick.
They should pass a law that every Trinidadian and Tobagonian live in a foreign country for a year or two. It have to be somewhere where you not seeing the beach at all, where it cold like dog nose and where if you watch people and smile they get up with they hand bag and leave. So that when they gone back they learn to appreciate thing like bush and clean roads and swimming in the sea without KFC box hitting yuh in the side of your head. And people will start to steups and change the station when them radio dj who does be in they air conditioned booth start to talk in they Yankee accent about “It sooo hawt tuhday!” And when people enter a maxi and say good morning people will start answering back because they know that that is one of the good things about a small island, the fact that, at the end of the day, everybody know everybody or should feel connected to everybody because we islands too small and too sweet but everybody getting tie up and want to be like “foreign” while foreign want to be like us.
Eid Mubarak everyone.