I’ve got dreams…

As I sat at my desk today writing a list of my expenses for next month I came to the realization that I will need to spend $30,000 more than I make for a month which lead me to start wondering what I’m living for. Well am i even living or am I merely existing as a way for JPS, NWC and My landlord to increase their profits…hmmm? I mean, seriously…My budget includes absolutely no entertainment and no room for even a very small indulgence in comfort food for the sadness that is sure to hit me at least once during next month.

It is during this reverie that I realized that despite all the struggles that I face and all the times I’ve said I’m going to give up and stop caring and blah blah blah I never actually give up! (shocking!)

Why though?… Well the only explanation I can come up with is that I still have a dream and because I haven’t lost the ability to dream I still have hope. Some wise unknown person once said that “Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible,” (or something to that effect, I read it somewhere but I cant remember it exactly) and since my current situation often seems impossible I need all the hope I can get.

So yea, I hold on this hope…

The hope that I will learn enough in my current position at Main Event to make me qualified for a better job elsewhere if Main Event fails to give me an appropriate raise when the time comes for that to happen.

The hope that one month I will be able to make a student loan payment without holding on to the money for 4 days because I find it so hard to let it go, knowing fully well that I’m going to pay it anyway!

The hope that I will one day be able to buy that black stiletto (u know the one with the red on the bottom that you always see in the movies?) that will probably sit in my closet as I wont be able to wear it very often but I will have bought it because I want to.

The hope that one day my children will not have half the struggles I now have as I will have endured not just for me but for them as well.

The hope that I will never lose hope and that I will never lose sight of my dreams as according to Eleanor Roosevelt “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. The future belongs to me…

My blog title is even more appropriate now than ever as I continue to dream my whole life through…

There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” ~ Douglas H. Everett

May my dreams one day become the reality I live… and until then may I never lose Hope.

-Sherjei

Advertisements

Pretty Girl has Issues

Looks can be deceiving… If I never agreed with that saying before I definitely agree now.

I was at the bus stop in Trees waiting on a coaster bus to go home from work. As per usual the area is crowded and I’m trying to find the most strategic location to stand so I wouldn’t have to push and shove to get into the bus when it eventually arrive.

A young woman came to stand beside me. She was dressed in a business suit and her long processed hair was pulled back in a ponytail. Very quietly she stood there in her 5 inch heels waiting (as everyone else was) for the bus to come. With her professional attire, her seemingly quiet demeanour and her good looks I thought “hmmm… this is a nice young lady”.

When the bus came it stopped right our feet, Lucky us right? We sat in the seats right behind the driver and I put my earphones in and turned my music on. The bus picked up the usual ‘200’ persons (although it is only licensed to carry 30) and we set off on our way to Portmore. As we approached the toll road the conductor made his usual announcement “all fares please.”

Everything was seemingly ok, passengers were all handing over their money and then it all changed. The lady beside me made no move to go into her handbag or purse or pocket or bosom or whatever… she just sat there. The conductor asked for the “other person pon the front” to send the fare over but even then she didn’t budge. He asked again, louder this time. This time she responded very quietly “me nuh have none.”

“Weh u say?” asked the conductor, with a puzzled look on his face.

“Me nuh have no money,” she replied, without even looking up.

The conductor started shouting, “Look ere ooman, if u nuh have u fare me ago lef u pon the toll! Me tired a it now! everyday unuh come dress up pretty an caa pay fare! It naa go work!!”

Of course everybody is now looking at the subject of the conductor’s fury. With all eyes on her she’s obviously embarrassed and decided to respond. That’s what shocked me and probably everyone else on the bus.

Remember when we first saw her in Trees? Professional attire, seemingly quiet demeanour? … well now we can forget all of that and replace it with a woman shouting “dutty suck p***** beep beep beep ductor, if me nuh f***ing ave di blood  beep beep beep beep money weh me fi get it from…”

*Aside… pinch me cause this nuh real! How she transition so fast??!!

“Weh u waa me fi do eh bwoy, tek it outta me beep beep beep p***y an give yuh…” she continued.

All this time I sat there looking at her through the side of my crossed eyes wondering what happened to the woman I was sitting beside all along and where the hell this woman came from.

The argument continued until the bus got to Portmore mall, where the woman came off, told the conductor a few more choice words and walked away. As she walked away the lady who now occupied the seat she was sitting in made a remark that I found very fitting “Pretty girl has issues…”

Toodles,

Sherjei

Cuss Cuss – Original and Translated

Taken from I & I Translation. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Original

Cuss Cuss
By: Louise Bennett

Gwan gal yuh fava teggereg,
Ah wey yuh gwine goh do?
Yuh an yuh boogooyagga fren
Dem tink me fraid o’ yuh?

Goh wey, yuh fava heng-pon-nail,
Is me yuh want fe trace?
Me is jus de one fi teck me han
An leggo pon yuh face.

Fe me han no jine chu’ch an me naw
Pay licen fe me mout’,
Me wi tell yuh bout yuh–seh yah
Gal noh badda get me out.

Me noh know is wat kine o’ chu’ch
Fe yuh mout’ coulda jine,
Yuh lip dem heng dung lacka wen
Mule kean meck up him mine.

Gwan, me an yuh noh combolo,
Yuh foot shapeless an lang
Like smaddy stan far fling dem awn
An mack dem heng awn wrang.

Fe yuh foot fava capital K,
Koo pon yuh two nose-hole!
Dem dis big an open out like
Miss Tane outsize fish bowl.

Goh wey, yuh kean bwile sof egg
But still yuh want get ring,
Noh man na gwine fe married yuh
Wen yuh kean do a ting.

Is grudge yuh grudgeful, me kean cook
But me ben goh dah good school,
Me got intelligency yuh
Illiterated fool!

Me sorry fe de man yuh get
De po’ting hooden nyam
When you ackebus him salt-fish
An bwilivous him yam.

Translation:

Get away from here! you look like a vagabond!
What do you think you’re going to do?
You and your ragamuffin friends
assume I’m afraid of you?

Get out of here! You resemble clothes on a stick.
‘Tis me you really trying to disgrace?
I’m just the one to use my hand
and let it fly into your face.

My hands aren’t members of any congregation,
and I pay no license to communicate.
I will tell you about your — look here…
You better not get me irrate.

I don’t know which church
your mouth could have joined,
you lips hang off your face
like a mule that can’t make up his mind.

Go away, you and I aren’t friends!
Your legs are shapeless and long
as if someone threw them from a distance
and attached them quite wrong!

Your feet look like a capital K,
and just look at those nose holes!
they are big and wide,
just like Miss Tane’s oversized fish bowl.

Get out of here! You can’t even boil an egg
and yet you want a wedding ring?!
No man will want to marry you
When you can’t do a thing!

You’re too envious. I can’t cook
but I definitely go to a good school.
I have high intelligence
you illiterated fool!!

I’m so sorry for the man you get.
The poor soul would never eat a thing
when you ‘obliterate’ his rice,
and ‘illiterate’ his chicken wing.

 

 

 

 

No Lickle Twang – Louise Bennett

No Lickle Twang – Louise Bennett

Me glad fi see yuh come back, bwoy,
But lawd, yuh let me dung
Me shame a yuh so till all a
Me proudness drop a grung.

Yuh mean yuh go dah Merica
An spen six whole mont deh,
An come back not a piece better
Dan how yuh did go weh?

Bwoy, yuh no shame? Is so yuh come?
After yuh tan so lang!
Not even lickle language, bwoy?
Not even lickle twang?

An yuh sister what work ongle
One week wid Merican
She talk so nice now dat we have
De jooce fi understan?

Bwoy, yuh couldn improve yuhself!
An yuh get so much pay?
Yuh spen six mont a foreign, an
Come back ugly same way?

Not even a drapes trousiz, or
A pass de riddim coat?
Bwoy, not even a gole teet or
A gole chain roun yuh troat?

Suppose me laas me pass go introjooce
Yuh to a stranger
As me lamented son what lately
Come from Merica!

Dem hooda laugh after me, bwoy!
Me couldn tell dem so!
Dem hooda seh me lie, yuh wasa
Spen time back a Mocho!

No back-answer me, bwoy – yuh talk
Too bad! Shet up yuh mout!
Ah doan know how yuh an yuh puppa
Gwine to meck it out.

Ef yuh waan please him, meck him tink
Yuh bring back someting new.
Yuh always call him ‘Pa’ – dis evenin
When him comes seh ‘Poo’.

 

 

 

Jamaican Creole – English

In Jamaican Creole the term “licky licky” is used to refer to persons who are gluttonous. This morning I came across a word that I believe is the English equivalent to our “licky licky” and I wonder how many people have made this connection before. The word is lickerish.

According to Dictionary.com, lickerish which is an adjective means;

1.Fond of and eager for choice food.
2.Greedy; longing.
3. Lustful; lecherous.

Origin:
Likerish shares a common ancestor with the less positive term lecherous . The Old French licherous ,”pleasing to the palate,” evolved into both English words.

Sherjei.

Bleachers Anonymous!

As a part of my internship in the Gleaner’s online department I have to work with the other intern to produce some videos for their websites in the form of vox pops and mini features. The one we started filming this week was inspired by a story published in the Gleaner on December 29, 2010.

This was the headline: “Rub it out – Health ministry to take second shot at eradicating skin-lightning culture, warns against use of cake soap”

(Click on the link below to read the story)

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20101229/lead/lead1.html

On the day the paper was published I had a good laugh in the office as my coworkers sat talking about it. The discussion went from people pointing out that people who bleach tend to have very low self esteem, to Vybez Kartel’s plans to introduce his own cake soap  and a whole host of other opinions when one person said “just like alchoholics anonymous we need a bleachers anonymous in Jamaica cause these people are addicted to the bleaching”.

Bleaching refers to the use of products that result in a lightning of one’s normal complexion.

Up to this point I had been listening quietly but that comment cracked me up! I would love to see a bunch of people from down town Kingston in a ‘BA” meeting. “Hi my name is Marva and I’m a bleacher…” Epic!!

Although I laughed when I heard it he does have a point. The health ministry’s campaign to eradicate skin lightning culture will face some major problems. Bleaching isn’t just skin deep. Its psychological and we have to get into the minds o f these people to help them see themselves as being beautiful in their own skin. Many people who who bleach believe that being black isn’t something to be proud of and it is only when we can get these people to look in the mirror and be able to say to themselves that “my  black is beautiful” that we can start addressing this problem.

I’d like to highlight the fact that the Health Ministry might be overlooking something that is of great significance to their campaign. Bleaching has become a culture. Its not just a fad or a hobby but a way of life of a people. How can you eradicate a way of life?? History shows that this is virtually impossible to do. Slaves brought here from Africa were seasoned to erase their values, beliefs and practices but they found ways to keep them alive and I do believe that even if the government can find ways to prevent the illegal items from being used to bleach people will get creative. well, more creative as they already have a number of creams made from household items.

The article highlights the fact  that the police are going to clamp down on illegal substances that are currently being used to bleach. I don’t want to be a pessimist but I say good luck with that. And not to reign on anyone’s parade but after these illegal drugs are removed what will be done about the legal things that people use to bleach? We can’t put a ban on curry and toothpaste and hair relaxer? I mean I might not miss the relaxer since I’ve gone Empress ‘n ting but my teeth haffi brush and them can’t rob me of my curry chicken/back.

I’ve always wondered though, how do these illegal products get into the country in the first palce? Don’t we have a director of customs and a bunch of clamping down activities at the customs department and the warf already? I’d really like to know how these products pass through such “tight” security.

The Ministry has taken on a virtually impossible task and I wish them all the best in their efforts. However I would be lying if I say that I believe it’s going to work. They simply do not have the resources to go about it and after all you can not eradicate a culture.

Til next time,

Sherjei.