Day Six: Jamaican reality

Saturday mornings are spent on cleaning the house, mowing the lawn and doing laundry. I even participated by sweeping and wiping the verandah. I totally forgot about this word, as I have been referring to it as “the porch”. When I heard the term I had to ask my cousin’s wife to repeat what she needed me to do. On the third repetition I realized what she was talking about. I smiled. Meanwhile, my Canadian friend, who has been residing in Jamaica for the last three years, text me at two in the afternoon, “I’m finally done hanging the clothes on the line”. I text her back, “Oh, you do that too”, because I already saw that the clothes were neatly hung on our lines in the backyard to dry. “Dwl. Ya and I’m not impressed” she responded. I started to die of laughter too because as I’m seeing it some things never change.

Why am I waking up before 7am everyday? For someone who sleeps pass 12pm on a day off this is a surprise! I wake up at just after 6am and with nothing better to do with my time, I choose devotion. I often tried to get up at this hour when it’s time to fast while I’m home, somehow it takes willpower to make it out of bed. In fact to get out of bed for anything before 8am is hard work. But look how easy it is here. It doesn’t even matter what time one goes to bed. Friday night I went to bed later than the regular 11pm, and still I wake up at the crack of dawn. Is this a good thing?

Brunch was fried dumpling and callaloo. Callaloo is much the same as spinach or collard green and equally distasting. Ok well I prefer spinach more. I guess I never developed the acquired taste for callaloo and time hasn’t change that. It took me about an hour to complete the meal, well the dumplings were devoured in the first 10 minutes.

Saturday afternoon was spent at the beach. While in Toronto, there are no thoughts to go to the beach at this time of year, this in Jamaica is the thing to do. I packed my beach bag- a book, sunglasses, a hat, an umbrella, sun block lotion, a towel, change of clothes, money and water. The only thing I really needed was the towel and the money. The moment I placed my bag on the sand, I was the first to enter the water. How can I describe this moment? Um, It’s like rekindling with an old best friend you haven’t seen in ages. The moment I immerse my whole body in the water, the smoothness and the warmth of the water brings awareness to my senses again. “There is no place like home”. Nowhere else I’ve ever been where the water feels exactly like this, like cuddling in a blanket. My toes enjoy the texture of the sand between it and I remember the times I had been in this same sea when I was a child. I recall being at the beach all day and once we left at 9pm. I can see why.

On leaving the water, my body shivers with the contact of the wind. I’m cold. This is an unusual sensation to have in Jamaica, but I realize it’s later in the evening and the sun has already begun its descent  When we had had enough soaking in the caribbean sea (which this is just a temporary feeling because the truth is there is no way you can ever have enough of this good feeling), we decided to eat some fish and festival. This treat is like, going to Canada’s wonderland and eating Funnel Cake. There is simply no way you can walk away and not have this long anticipated treat of deliciousness. For me, this was going to be the first time. I sit on a bench with the umbrella-like covering, made out of coconut leaves. The fish is large and from the moment it hits my plate my fingers are all over it. This fish is called a parrot. The flesh was succulent. And the festivals (these are like dumplings but sweeter) were the cherry on top. I was quiet the entire time, because all focus was on the fish in front me. I ate everything- or most of it. The head of the fish I gave to this dog I made friends with. She seemed sad and abandoned. She took the head of the fish from out of my hand and went somewhere and ate it. Minutes later she returned. She seemed pleased of her good fortune and decided to follow us to our car to show her appreciation.

Upon arriving at home, I could only think of two things- shower and sleep. I hit the sack after 7pm and I was out cold. As they say early to bed, early to rise. This is no joke and it wasn’t a suggestion either, it’s more a demand. I woke up at 3am and I no longer needed to sleep. I noticed that dawn is at 5:30 and Sun arises before 6am.

Before I end this though I must say that I’m beginning to get annoyed with these ghostly mosquitos! I sleep under a fan at all times, I don’t see them pitch on my skin but somehow I have at least 20 bites on my legs and feet alone! The remnants of their harm are these big itchy bumps on my feet and nowhere else! Help!

…Oh but I’m still liking it here in Jamaica.

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