June 25, 2016 by Fensic
Dis could be ah non-story about ah hungry expat decidin tuh visit he local Trini restaurant fuh take out.
Or . . . dis could be ah story about everyting dat went rong an was rong wid dat event eef de reader is ah hater, ah trouble-maker, ah fan ah disunity, ah boycotter or ah boycottee — tuh invent ah word — who tink answerin in kind is de way tuh go.
Yes, dis could be ah story about all who livin in dey small lil world where progress is limited as long as dat reader want tuh stay unaware ah de possibilities in de real world.
I should know which one dis story about since dat hungry expat was me.
Ah was more dan just hungry fuh Limins Saturday special, ah was starvin fuh it. Only dat stew fish, callaloo, cou-cou an dumplings could full mih belly an satisfy mih taste buds. De first time ah order it was by accident because ah went an mix up mih days an tort when ah say, fix mih de daily special, ah was orderin someting else. It wasn’t until ah hear de restaurant worker mention stew fish an callaloo dat ah cyatch mihself. Since was my fault, ah keep de order. Ah end up being glad an mih taste buds make ah new friend.
Anyway, ah gorn up by Limins again. Ah walk een de door tuh ah packed place. Is not ah big restaurant. Eef it have seven tables fuh who want tuh dine in, it have ah lot. Dis time most ah dem tables had people eatin. Now ah not ah regular regular dey, buh ah never see so much people dey before.
Ah gorn up tuh de counter. All de workers behind it was lookin smart een dey Limins jersey. Ah see each one ah dem dey before buh was de first time ah see all ah dem one time.
When was my turn, ah place mih order.
“De fish go take 15 minutes,” de one who take mih order tell mih.
At least she didn’t tell mih it eh had no more fish. Mih taste buds was only goin an get delayed lil bit. Ah tell she ah go wait.
Ah park mihself in ah corner out ah de way. De place was busy. After ah couple ah minutes de same one who take mih order lean by me an ask mih eef ah from de Caribbean. Ah tell she yes . . . Trinidad. I did know where she from long time. In fact, ah did know where de udders from too.
She ask mih eef men in Trinidad does call women ‘gyal’. Ah cautious cause me eh want tuh give Jamaica ah next dotish reason tuh keep boycottin anyting Trini.
Ah tell she yes, Trini does use dat term . . . sometimes.
She ask mih eef dat word is ah insult. Ah tell she not dat I know. She put dis smile orn she face dat frighten mih.
Lord, ah say tuh mihself. Trinidad ah sorry ah just give Jamaica more ammunition.
She turn tuh dis udder worker.
“Me ah tell yuh say dat not no insult.”
She turn back tuh me an tell mih ah Trini customer call dat udder worker, ‘gyal’.
“Is all about what common in yuh culture,” ah add.
De one who ask mih de question nod she head in agreement.
“All what allyuh tink about Trinis rong yuh know.”
She lean closer.
De insulted Jamaican keep mumblin wid sheself.
“Trinis doh study Jamaicans de way Jamaicans does study Trinis. Ah know, ah does read allyuh newspapers.”
“Not me,” she say.
Ah wasn’t sure eef she was meanin she doh study Trinis or doh read de Jamaican papers. Maybe was both?
“We doh wake up in de mornin an ask weself what tuh do tuhday tuh piss Jamaicans orf yuh know. Trinis doh have time fuh dat.”
Ah sure ah had she mesmerized wid all dis brand new information but she had tuh leave go serve udder customers. Meanwhile, de udder one calm sheself dong. At one point she was even tryin yuh get mih tuh buy pone an currents roll buh ah tell she next time. Ah watch she good. Like she had ah calculator in she head de way she was addin up people order an rattlin orf what dey owe.
At some point while ah was waitin, each one ah dem workers ask mih eef ah was awright. Ah tell dem yes even doh ah was deep in tort, watchin dem an listenin tuh de calypso in de backgrong where some man was tellin some woman he wanted tuh get in she tent.
One ah de tings ah notice was dat none ah who I assume was de owners was in de restaurant, at least me eh see dem. Did dat mean one ah de workers was supervisin de udder two? Dey didn’t look like dey needed it de way dey was takin care ah customers.
Mih food reach at de exact same time as de 15 minutes end. De former quarreler ring up mih total in she head. Ah pay an walk out Limins. Until de next time mih taste buds whisper dey want de Saturday special.
So all who find dat whole lil scene obscene?
Me eh know de behind de scene details at de people restaurant. All ah know is what ah see an feel — commerce at work.
Buh dat had tuh be rong eef yuh narrow-minded. I eh meanin people from one rock in de Caribbean Sea wukkin in ah place promotin de culture ah people from ah next rock in de same sea. I dey wid Trinis an Jamaicans wukkin in each udder business. Greetin customers from de udder country who could tell dey not from dey rock? What people back home go tink? An worse yet, look how long dese workers dey askin Trinis eef dey want everyting orn dey doubles.
As fuh de udder side? How allyuh could hire dem? It eh have Trinis who could wuk just as hard, just as efficient? Wait ah second. Scrap dat larse question. Dis not about common sense, is all about emotion so dem Trinis doh have tuh be efficient or hard wukkin.
One side eh supposed tuh support de udder one. It say so right here in de script . . . let mih find it. Wait. De script have ah asterisk. De fine print say de hate only applicable eef yuh small-minded an or live orn ah island. Dat open-minded people or previous island-dwellers not bound by dat script an welcome tuh tear it up eef dey want.
Maybe none ah dat orn anybody mine. Maybe de onlyest ting rong is in my head. Maybe all dat happen is I went by Limins an buy someting tuh eat. Maybe all dat left is fuh mih taste buds tuh start screamin in delight as ah enjoy mih food. Next time ah hit Limins maybe ah could call out tuh dis one workers: “aye gyal, ah back.”
Maybe she eh go cuss mih.
‘Maybe’ is nice.
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