You are not logged in.

Announcement

Welcome to the one and only Spiceislander Talkshop.

#1 Feb 03, 2020 11:22 am

New Historian
Active

My father's first encounter with Jamaicans!

Our father would have us spellbound with his war stories in England, starting with his first night on the ship that took him away from Grenada, in February 1941:

“We were all scared witless, especially at night! We’d all want to sleep on deck, forever on the lookout for telltale signs of periscopes – which of course we couldn’t see, anyway! We knew that U-boats were all around the Caribbean, wreaking havoc on merchant shipping, some of us had even seen them. And there we were, in a Royal Navy ship: a giant bullseye!”

The ship left Grenada and sailed northwards, stopping at other islands along the way - Saint Vincent, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Dominica, Antigua and Saint Kitts - picking up more young men at each stop. They all shared a common bond: they were Britain bound. In total about 520 West Indians joined up for the scheme, and the mood heightened as the ship gathered momentum from island to island.

That is, until they reached Jamaica.

THEN, the trouble started. The Jamaicans were a nightmare: everything was a problem! Their first fight was over accommodation. By the time the ship reached Jamaica, all the best cabins had already been allocated, to the early comers. Sorry, blame it on geography. The Jamaicans didn’t like the food, didn’t like the crew, and most of all, didn’t like the small islanders, having all the best berths!

Those same small islanders were aghast: who ARE these people? Even after the ship sailed from Jamaica, the Jamaicans were still causing trouble, and in any fight, were quick to pull out their weapon of choice: an Okapi ratchet knife.

80 years later, and nothing much has changed lol!!!

Offline

#2 Feb 03, 2020 12:01 pm

Slice
Active

Re: My father's first encounter with Jamaicans!

You could say dat again, not ah FRIGGING thing has changed 80 years later.  My first was in a party at my aunts house, I was playing some Mighty Sparrow, when some Jamaicans walked in, they quickly walk over where the music was playing, removed the Sparrow LP and started playing they Reggae.  I jumped up and started walking towards him and someone held me back.

That night however, I did go home with ah Jamaican woman.

Offline

#3 Feb 03, 2020 1:58 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: My father's first encounter with Jamaicans!

Slice wrote:

You could say dat again, not ah FRIGGING thing has changed 80 years later.  My first was in a party at my aunts house, I was playing some Mighty Sparrow, when some Jamaicans walked in, they quickly walk over where the music was playing, removed the Sparrow LP and started playing they Reggae.  I jumped up and started walking towards him and someone held me back.

That night however, I did go home with ah Jamaican woman.

Revenge? smile

Offline

#4 Feb 03, 2020 2:01 pm

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: My father's first encounter with Jamaicans!

Why?  Why do you think they are so volatile?   Accident of genetics?  Cultural? Political?  All of the above?

Offline

#5 Feb 03, 2020 2:19 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: My father's first encounter with Jamaicans!

Real Distwalker wrote:

Why?  Why do you think they are so volatile?   Accident of genetics?  Cultural? Political?  All of the above?


How long have you got? Like all of us, it all boils down to history.

Philip Sherlock and other historians have pointed out that the form of slavery practiced in Jamaica was far more brutal than those on other slave islands, with the exception of Haiti. Because of Jamaica's hilly interior, slaves could and did escape the plantations and set up Maroon communities. Plantations were far more brutal in the treatment of their slaves, for example: Barbados and the other Eastern Caribbean islands became largely self-sufficient in slaves, new slaves coming from children born to existing slaves. That never happened in Jamaica, because the death rate was so high.

After slavery conditions didn't get much better, and boiled over in the Morant Bay Rebellion in about 1864, long after slavery had been abolished. Education was better in the smaller islands, with high rates of literacy compared to Jamaica. Hence, economic, social and family life in Jamaica was "harsh, brutish and short". Slavery's long tentacles are still felt, today.

Offline

#6 Feb 03, 2020 2:36 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: My father's first encounter with Jamaicans!

My brother describes a scene he came upon, on his very first day in Jamaica, in 1974:

Two taxis nearly collided on one of those recipes for disaster: a Jamaican four-way stop. Note: they nearly collided. No contact, no damage, so no problem - right? Wrong. From the safety of their seats each driver hurled a steady stream of curses at the other, accompanied by much manual histrionics. When one of them inevitably invoked mention of “yu mumma” a line had been crossed. Something had to be done, something more than mere verbals. Honour demanded it.

So at some invisible signal, both drivers jumped out of their taxis and rushed at each other, feigning physical contact. They squared up, cursing even louder and throwing the occasional jab without serious intent. Then one of them decides: I need a weapon, and goes off in search of a rock. As soon as one driver picks up his rock, the other driver does the same but a bigger rock. There then follows an insane arms race as both drivers scurry around the crossroads like crabs, each one searching for ever-larger rocks.

It was all Tom could do not to laugh, lest they both turned their joint rage onto him. Eventually sanity prevailed; each combatant’s dignity intact, they both retreated to their taxis, still hurling abuse as they drove off, both eminently satisfied.

Welcome to Jamaica!

Offline

#7 Feb 03, 2020 4:58 pm

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: My father's first encounter with Jamaicans!

Makes sense.  Thanks.

That second story needs David Attenborough narrating it in his proper British accent.

"The males are agitated and begin their dominance displays.  With each wave of the arm or angry vocalization the displays become more extreme until they begin searching for ever larger rocks with which to threaten. Of course this is mostly bravado and seldom are blows actually landed. When each male is satisfied with his display he retires to the comfort of his own den and the day can continue."

Offline

#8 Feb 03, 2020 5:05 pm

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: My father's first encounter with Jamaicans!

Offline

#9 Feb 04, 2020 10:47 am

Slice
Active

Re: My father's first encounter with Jamaicans!

Leh me take up for dem ah bit.  Now I can say this because ah tink he and he first wife divorce.  Grenada Lord Slim was dating ah Jamaican woman.  She was from we area Washington DC; so he used to leave Brooklyn and come visit us along, with he Jamaican woman, and LORD! she was very very special.  Apart from Kiaks, she was the most wholesome person I ever met. Saw Slim in Grenada in 2018 in Spice basket and he could not remember her.

Then ah was dating ah Jamaican, she was sexy and wicked.  She din like Jamaican men; because ah tink she knew for sure, because of her ways, they was going to kill her.  She is on the phone, with her soon to be husband in Trinidad and having sex at the same time.

Last edited by Slice (Feb 04, 2020 10:49 am)

Offline

#10 Feb 04, 2020 12:37 pm

Expat
Active

Re: My father's first encounter with Jamaicans!

Slice wrote:

You could say dat again, not ah FRIGGING thing has changed 80 years later.  My first was in a party at my aunts house, I was playing some Mighty Sparrow, when some Jamaicans walked in, they quickly walk over where the music was playing, removed the Sparrow LP and started playing they Reggae.  I jumped up and started walking towards him and someone held me back.

That night however, I did go home with ah Jamaican woman.

Dude you would go home with an Eskimo given half a chance.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB