Third World Internet issues.
These four words explain my mysterious departure from Internet Land for the past week.
My service provider’s byline declares ‘This is how we Flow’ but, for those of us viewing those non-flowing modem lights, the irony is staggering. Throw in unanswered calls to the local office, as well as toll-free customer support that does a truly remarkable re-enactment of the confusion at Babel’s Tower, and you would be forgiven for thinking that Satan himself was the mastermind behind the altar to unprofessionalism that is FLOW.
If this is how these folk flow, we need an alternative because we are down to a trickle here.
Alas, alternatives are in short supply on this little corner of JamRock, which is why companies can afford to dish out disgustingly sour service (if it can – in truth – be considered ‘service’) and get away with it.
Ah yes… welcome to Jamaica, man.
When you reside on this tiny island out in the Caribbean Sea, you live among folk with complexions that run the gamut of chocolate colour gradient – from white chocolate all the way up to the darkest cacao nib possible.
There is no such thing as a purebred Jamaican because there is no single physical or genetic trait that we all share. Our bloodlines reach out beyond these shores to Europe, Africa, Asia and beyond, so our Jamaican-ness is either defined by birthplace or naturalised citizenship. To that end – our motto rings true:
Out of Many, One People.
In this neck of the woods, no one kills you because you have the wrong skin tone. They kill you because you have what they desire – money, vehicle, jewellery… body – and it is unlikely that you are going to hand it to them on a silver platter. There are those of questionable mental health who will kill for the love of politics, and they show up in varying hues.
Family feuds and gang wars will sometimes lead to beheadings or bodies pumped full of lead but our news bulletins list only the names and ages of the victims. Physical descriptions appear only in the absence of such information – as mere identifiers, not character references.
For what can the skin tone tell of one’s character?
Cloudless afternoon in rural Jamaica (2006)
My neighbour’s stereo is belting out lyrics about ‘Beulah Land’ and an ‘Unclouded Day’ yet future–
And I feel a longing in my bones.
This longing for a Better Land where stands a city, whose Builder and Maker is the Almighty God.
Depending on who you ask, Jamaicans may live in a veritable paradise (or not). But there are things that that can reach in and rock your world in ways that your counterparts in subdued areas of the globe would never understand.
The Canadians celebrated Thanksgiving Day in October, and my American friends are celebrating Thanksgiving Day today.
Both celebrations involve large family gatherings and I often wonder how they can work up enthusiasm year after year, after year (you get the idea).
In my family of origin, funerals were the large family gatherings we attended. No reunions. No Christmas dinners. No bridal/baby showers. No nothing.
There may have been weddings, but I might have been too young to remember anything that occurred. When you are born as far down the line as I was, you tend to miss out on a few things.
But those funerals were something else.
If he were a Christian, I would probably call it ‘righteous’ indignation– his vociferous condemnation of those whose preferences differed from his own.
But righteousness was not high on his agenda. He just could not stand the thought of anyone whose faults differed from his own.
Since his tirade encroached on my personal space, I felt obligated to ask a question.
(I wonder, in retrospect, if I had a death wish)