Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Foreign use’ Daddy Axe

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.


Alexia said...

Very deep writing this morning..I figure its the cold and you r home sick longing for some fun,sun,beach & everything else that sweet bout Trini.
What's your reason for commiting to England?
My reason for commiting to the USA, I have been here 15 yrs, I have 3 yrs left for my Masters and my long term fiance is american and is not ready to make the move to the islands. I know I will be going back home to live I keep saying by 45 I should be back home.

Mani said...

I agree. Living away for a long while makes T&T seem so much sweeter to you and you start to crave things you never wanted before. You realize that while foreign countries have nice things about them, T&T has a familiarity that you can't get anywhere else.

Hottie Hottie said...

Alexia girl, the experience. You grow up in a country and it's all you know. I want to know something else.

Hottie Hottie said...

Mani, so true. There's great shopping up here and the theatre and the travel but in the end, it's the simple, easy things you want.

Alexia said...

Yes, I agree the experience thats also a major part for me cause I am very complusive, and very curious and seeing other ppl culture. I love traveling so I have been to most of the states, I try to make a trip to a different state each year. My next trip I am planning is a euro tour can't wait for that. but ,like u at the end of the day there's nothing better like your own country simple pleasures.

sweettrini said...

Gyul, I know what you mean!! When it cold, cold so yuh feeling the bite of the wind in yuh toes even though yuh have on 2 pairs of thick socks and ah Tims, ah does have to shake meh head and say Why Lord??? Why did I leave my warm, sweet country fuh dis?? I came to NY to get my bachelors degree and just stayed. I wish I would have gone home before I met my hubbie and had my kids because he won't contemplate moving there until we're retired. So fuh now, ah hadda just hold strain with my Carnival and Christmas visits yes.

Hottie Hottie said...

Girl, dais why I fraid to get involve with anybody from up here. Cause I not planning on staying and I DEFINITELY not raising no chirren here.

Mani said...

But Hottie, you never used the new header that you wanted to put in?

saucydiva said...

When I was younger I had many oppourtunities to migrate but somehow I never took the plunge.The longest I have lived outside of Trinidad was a few months, about 4, and that was enough for me. I think it is great to travel,experience new cultures, take the oppourtunites for education and employment skills to boost your resume in the future, but at the end of the day there is only one home. Besides, I cannot take cold AT ALL. I am always cold here in Trinidad FAR LESS for cold in the U.S. or U.K.

I do wish that I can have a vacation home somewhere else besides Trinidad though, so I can retire and look at blue seas for the rest of my old days..............maybe Greece,Amalfi Coast,Nice....or even closer to home like Anguilla,Antigua or Barbados *sigh*

Icahwait* said...

I with you every step of the way. And I know about the negativity that starts to step in around Oct time.

I know my hus & I not waiting till retirement to move, I ain't in that.
And you ever seem them chicks in the brunt of winter, on a night out in they mini skirts, short dress etc, pretty ARM HOLE tops no jacket?? I pick warmth over sexy anyday - and is hardly ever the men is come up to you in the road, except the african dem. No just no. Clubs are cool though.

How long you here?

Hottie Hottie said...

Mani - up to now I kyah find teh time to design it. Boy, is luike buffet lunch at Pizza Hut, fus meh plate full.

Saucy - I kyah take cold either, so yuh know! But I doh regret living in another country, especially a country that we have so many misconceptions about. Since I've been up here these misconceptions falling like ripe mango in August. Braaps!

icahwait - would you believe a little over a year?! I doh know how people does make out being up here 10, 15 years nuh.

Jamette said...

For the record...for divali this year I went up by 'Mama' and 'Tantie D' and light deya with the hundred grand children and is only because I wanted my son to start experiencing what i experienced as a child. Mind you I am not indian, not mix up with no Indian, not mix up with no nothing but black. But as a child i would go by my godmothers family every year and run round in the bush whole day on divali, listen to prayers and light deyas in the night...and that is what the small man about to do too. Leave there talking about 'Mummy can I have some weti (roti) please'

ryan said...

Great Column.

I did the whole UK thing from may 04 - apr 06 and the work experience was nice and the ppl at work were cool but other than eh know what to say nah...some ah dem people real unfriendly...ah mean I doh think I talk to a stranger in 2 years while I was there. In trinidad you can talk to almost anybody like u know dem long long time.

I did like the cold though...guess it was novel :)

Hottie Hottie said...

Jamette - AWWWWWW.... That is TOO sweet! That is the Trinidad I know and love. And miss. Imagine a whole year gone without me wearing a sari or a shalwar.

Blush, blush. Thank you Ryan. Glad you liked. It is a great experience - to see how another part of the world lives. But there's no comparison. I like the winter clothes BAD! But the cold? Eh eh. The funny thing is, I went to Austria last December and it was -15 degrees at times. And I didn't feel it. I liked it a lot actually because it was so pretty. Like a postcard.

Afrobella said...

HottieHottie, you got deep with this one. Now you have me thinking about my own relationship with home, which is complicated. All through high school, particularly in the bitter end of 6th form, all I could think about is how much I wanted to leave to have my own life. When I lived at home, there were so many times when I felt foreign before I even left. Just in the clothes I wanted to wear or the music I wanted to listen to. My friends always thought I was weird, but they accepted and loved the weirdness. I think I picked a good place - Miami is as close to Trinidad as you could find in the States. Same plants, same hotness, you could find roti shops... but I didn't anticipate how much I would miss home. I miss the mountains. I miss the friendliness, I miss getting sooted and the "ay gyal" slackness, I miss the food, I miss driving through St. James at night. Even while I don't miss the small-mindedness and the gossip and the bacchannal so many people I knew were immersed in. I cannot wait to go home for Christmas!!! I'm bringing the American husband down for 10 glorious days. He's been to Trinidad often, so even he is looking forward to it even though for him a "real" Christmas is in cold-ass Chicago with snow and wind that cuts like a knife.

Thanks for writing this. I love your blog, by the way. I'm glad we got to know each other, so weird how small Trinidad is. That you would know my kicksy teddybear of a big brother! I can't wait to come home and hang with my fam!

Hottie Hottie said...

Afrobella. Thank you. Thanks for visiting and thanks for loving. I love your blog too! And it's true, Trinidad is very smallI guess it's a love/hate relationship we have with home. There are very narrow ideas of what is acceptable and once you step out of that, well, you face silent ostracision. I hope you have a great time for Christmas with your husband and your family. Tell Patrick I said, oye!

Lilandra said...'s so horrible living alone all alone in the cold with hardly anybody around and when the americans celebrating their holidays...rarely inviting you so even if you don't celebrate still feel miserable and lonely.
why torture other people so? :-(

Hottie Hottie said...

Sorry Lilandra :(

Welcome anyway...

Wonderfulkc said...

Hottie, I am also planning on moving back sometime soon and I can't wait for that day to come...girl u ain't lie bout them Nigerian men, I don't know why is them alone does have the courage to come up to you and the other men does behave as though u don't exist.