Archives For November 2003

the native is restless

November 29, 2003 — Leave a comment

i`m haunted. been this way since last night. stayed up until some ridiculous hour and still managed to get up early. i spent the morning watching more tv, taking a shave, killing a few kittens, creating a list of music i lost, then more tv and now i`m in the office.

i`m edgy, i want to be doing something, but i`m not sure what.

i watched pump up the volume just before i left home. what is it about the female stars of the 80s that was so much more appealing than those of today? why did it seem like the characters had more depth? or is it just me?

i`m going to work on my mother`s annual finance project, hopefully by the time that`s done i`ll be in a better frame of mind.

today marked one week since i`ve been in jamaica, well 8 days.

and i must say it has been productive, i have an apartment, groceries, cable, a bank account, a mobile phone; still waiting on them to install my home phone; and as of today a tax number, which here makes me officially a person.

i can understand what is being said to me, sometimes with a bit of concentration, most times i pick it up on the first go round, i can`t pick out individual voices at the office but i`m sure that will come eventually.

so all in all, i`m settled, i`m about as happy as i`m going to get here on my own. now for the but and it`s a show stopper. the rampant and readily accepted homophobia. in polite society, showing `tendencies` can get you ostracised, in not so polite society it can mean your death.

which brings me to the first point, there is no middle ground with the masses, either you`re a `bad man` or you`re `chi chi`.

among the things bad men don`t do:

[according to the song]

bleach face, wear drop curls, wash with baby mother underwear

[on a more personal note]

wear sarongs, giggle, go down

there are more and as the days go by my creative director and i joke about the additions to the list.

it`s sad. i mean trinidad wasn`t the paragon of gay rights but most of the time it wouldn`t get you killed. i suppose this too shall pass.

in other news my computer ie the machine that was bought by the office for me to use arrived today and just in time too. the hard drive with my mp3 appeared to be failing and i just managed to copy most of it off. i know i`ve lost some stuff, but i just not sure what yet. it`s not much probably about 1Gb but i`m grateful i still have most of it left.

one more thing, i`d already posted when i recalled this observation. jamaica is home to largest [in both size, shape and variety] collection of bottoms. my god, everyday i go out and there is another stunner, it`s not a matter of not looking there are just there. it is a wonder to behold and at last i know where my genetic inheritance comes from.

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comfort in air travel?

November 27, 2003 — Leave a comment

there was a brief moment in time, just as air travel became available to the masses when it was the whole concept of comfort seemed lost.

you can get your choice of meals in economy on most transatlantic flights but there was a point when travelling economy was very reminiscent of travelling charter or these days any flight of four hours or less on a domestic carrier –  pretty much, many hours in a cramped seat with no food.

my flight to jamaica was relatively painless. just over 5 hours including two stops to get here from trinidad. there was a time when that flight used to be the milk run of the caribbean.

the flight always left at 7am for as long as i could remember, but we would stop in barbados, antigua, st. martin and puerto rico arriving in jamaica close to 2 or 3pm. and in those days BWIA stood for But When It Arrives. so you could expect all manner of delays, this would be much of problem seeing that jamaica was our final destination except we were travelling to the other side of the island and because my mother has never know the concept of travelling light we would have enough luggage for six months.

arriving in kingston on time usually meant, collecting our luggage and racing to another airline counter and checking in to catch our connecting flight. when bwee was spectacularly late and we`d missed the last connecting flight, we`d trek out to tinson pen airport [a term i use loosely, more like air strip] and charter a light air craft to fly us to montego bay.

there was always an edge of hysteria in taking these flights, if memory serves we did it twice. i would be put on the plane, then the luggage, then my mother, then we`d get off so they could reorganise the luggage and then we`d get back on. this would continue for a while until the pilot was satisfied with the weight balance and off we would go tearing down to the runway, using every inch to get this tiny little plane into the air.

this is where the fun begun, we would have to fly over the cockpit country of jamaica and the plane wasn`t big enough to go over the blue mountains we would have to go through pretty much. every little gust coming off the mountain would buffet the plane, every brush looked close enough to touch. i can`t remember how long the flight took, i think the excitement wore off the 10 foot plus drop the plane took. eventually, most of the time close to night fall we would land in mobay and then continue our trek by car to our eventual destination, falmouth.

like my children or my children like me, if you`re detailed oriented, once i got in a car for more than 10 minutes, i was asleep. i supposed it was deserved rest particularly since i`d been up since 4am anyway.

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giving thanks

November 27, 2003 — Leave a comment

happy thanksgiving to all of you who are celebrating, especially victoria and the boy chick. hopefully this is our last one apart.

i`m not big on holidays. christmas used to be my time of year, but years of constant fighting, highlighted by screaming and tears on christmas morning by mother and grandmother, have made appreciate being on my own for the holidays.  after this year, adjustments will be made.

something about the holidays just irks me on some visceral level. i`m trying to get it out, but it`s not coming out in any sensible form.

i believe it`s my general lack of faith in my fellow man that makes me cynical around the holidays.

i`m going to stop now.

i am thankful for vic, the children, my mother, my friends, my job and that i have a roof over my head. i`m going to leave well enough alone because cynical or not, there are far too many people in the world without anything.

and if you`re still not convinced, check out your place on the rich list

flights of reality

November 26, 2003 — Leave a comment

i was just having a conversation over lunch about flying, i realised i must be one of those lucky people, i can remember flying as long as i`ve been cognisant, even before that as well.

my mother packed me off to present me to the grandparents as early as 2 months if i recall correctly and every year until i turned 16 we would fly to jamaica.

we would also take TTAS or it was commonly know shake and bake to tobago at least once a year. if you`re not familiar with TTAS, before air caribbean, caribbean star and any other airline serviced the air bridge between trinidad and tobago. the government ran the Trinidad & Tobago Air Service. the aircraft if i recall correctly were some world war two era turbo props.

the flights were never more than 40 minutes but more often than not you travelled in silence, well not silence but since most people either had a death grip on the arms of their chairs or if you had anything to say, it was pretty intelligible over the cacophony of engine noise.

the cabins weren`t lined and were the original aluminium, so you`d spend the entire flight sweating bullets whether you were afraid or not and that was where the bake portion of the name came in.

the shake portion of name came via the rocking the aircraft did. takeoff, in-flight, landing. it was like being in a child`s toy. side to side on the ground, up and down in the air. you`d get off the aircraft and be all wobbly.

strangely i never puked on those flights, but i seem to be in the minority. where i used to puke is on the flights too and from jamaica. i`d eat, i`d be fine, the plane touched the ground and up it came. we finally deduced it was the airline food. so my grandmother would cook for me on the return flight. the first time she did that, as soon as the stewardess started making her trek, i cracked open my thermos and the scent of the piping hot food grandma packed for me that morning went wafting through the aircraft.

aaaah the fun times.

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the dreams are back

November 26, 2003 — Leave a comment

and my oh my, they are so lovely. it`s been a while since i`ve had one of those vivid dreams. and i`ve missed them.

i`m getting settled in and i`m realising it may be a little while again before i see vic. i priced tickets for everyone getting here for christmas and it wasn`t pretty. bringing the girls up from trinidad is JA$40K and vic and the boy chick is another JA$72K, so i`m realising it`s going have to be done in stages.

that however doesn`t stop the longing. i got up this morning and i could smell vic on the pillow. i want to cook her dinner on my sooty stove, scrunch up in the tiny shower and throw down on one of the single beds and cover her with kisses.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): \”Time porn\” is defined by as \”TV shows and other media that portray characters having excessive amounts of spare time, a thing we covet but cannot have.\” \”Seinfeld\” and \”Friends\” are especially obscene examples of this phenomenon. I`m hoping, Virgo, that in the coming weeks you will renounce any attraction you might have to this perverse form of vicarious enjoyment. Instead, fight and claw to procure for yourself the real thing: an abundance of free, unscheduled hours when you can sit around doing nothing in particular.

yesterday was my first official day of work and what can i say. i got to spend most of the afternoon watching tv. can`t really complain about that. i doubt every day is going to be like that, but that`s a pretty high note to start on.

i also cooked my first meal in my apartment last night, it wasn`t bad, i think the fact that stoves soots, just completely threw me. there is nothing i hate more in a kitchen than a stove that doesn`t work properly.

i did however find a knife, two actually, but only one deserves the volume of praise i`m going to heap on it.  it`s 5″ long, weighted and balanced, sharp as fucking hell. i love it. nothing like a good kitchen knife either. i also realised yesterday as i threw the pasta into the pot, i had no salt, no sugar either. i think it`s on of those things you`re so accustomed having in your house you never put on a list.

i also went to check out a new, bigger apartment last night. i liked what i saw, but i need to run it past the powers that be here and probably see somewhere else before i make a final decision.

there`s not much else to tell, i walk to work, i walk home, i make dinner, i  fiddle on the computer, i read, i go to sleep. i`ve become king of the truly mundane.

btw is it my connection that seems to be caching all the js pages? or is something going that i`m unaware of? pm and let me know.

today is my first official day at work. my living arrangements are settled for the time being. [although i`m looking at two bigger places this evening], the cable installers are supposed to swing by this evening and i should hear from the phone company this week as well, which means i have to wait another week for internet access [due to some strange bureauracracy i can`t apply for internet service until i have a phone in my house. go figure] so until such time as i have access at home, my post are going to be from work.

my apt, as i said before is tiny. it`s a studio, which means it`s just two rooms with sections defined by the quality of the furniture. in what constitutes my living, kitchen area,  i have two single beds, a computer desk with chair, tv, vcr, refrigerator, kitchen counter, stools, a stove and cupboards. i have an equally tiny bathroom, with what has to be the tiniest shower in the world, suffice to say, if i drop the soap, i have to get out of the shower to get it. but all in all it`s not too bad, it`s a 15 minute cool stroll to the office, which is going to do me some good.

i`ve been eating take out all weekend, but i think this is last of it. i spent closed to JA$18,000 [now before you go screaming bloody murder, the exchange rate is US$1 = JA$60 [you do  the math] and i think i have enough food for the next three weeks, plus i had to buy flat ware and pots. i haven`t procured a good kitchen knife yet, but the search will continue today.

sans cable this weekend, i caught up on my reading, Taking the Red Pill: Science, Philosophy and Religion in The Matrix, got lots of sleep, reorganised my mp3 collection and thanked my lucky stars for the the speakers i bought, i managed to watch a batch of futurama episodes i had on a dvd, as well as monty python`s the meaning of life.

vic also moved this weekend. it`s so odd both of us moving and not to each other. sigh. hopefully the next move for both of us is together.

there`s not much else to tell, so i`m off to earn my keep.

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i was too tired to get into the travails of my trip, but all bright eyed and bushy tailed from my night`s rest in my new apartment [and no i didn`t swing any kitties in the apartment, i haven`t killed any yet either]

i got up at 3:30 yesterday morning had a shower, said my good byes and got the airport early, specifically because i knew i was overweight [i am too, but i was talking about the luggage]. you don`t pack 2 years worth of books and miscellanous shit and not expect that. now before i left i`d called the airline and informed them that i expected to be overweight what were my options, i was told it was two pieces at 32Kg each and i`d just pay whatever i was over.

obviously that`s not what happened, i got to the airport and apparently the baggage handlers union has stipulated they`re not lifting anything over 35Kg [77lbs], bearing in mind one of my bags was 38Kg and the other 33Kg, so theoretically i was over the limit by 7Kg. nothing is ever that simple, after much back and forth they finally agreed they would get me a box and i would transfer some of my stuff and then pay the overweight [bear with me there is a point to this sordid tale] i moved some books out of one bag into the box and then moved some clothes to the book bag, both weighed in at 32Kg and my box at 7Kg, just got over there and pay the charges. certainly. here`s the rub, they didn`t charge me for the overweight, they charged me a whopping US$60 for a 7Kg box, if my books weren`t in there i would have fucking left the box.

after that the flight and my arrival into jamaica were uneventful, a cakewalk even, which is why what came next should be no surprise. i cleared immigration and proceeded to the carousel to collect my luggage, a couple of minutes later, the carousel starts up and six pieces of luggage make the rounds and make the rounds and make the rounds and once more here they come. just those six pieces, no more, then the carousel stops. no more luggage. we`re just standing around wondering what the fuck is going on. another 10 minutes elapses, by this time everyone on the flight has cleared immigration and is standing around waiting on their luggage. a harried looking airline employee stands in front of the carousel and quietly announces that the cargo hold door on the aircraft is stuck [murmurs of dissent from the crowd] and the plane will have to be sent back to trinidad for them to open [open hostility from the crowd now] and we would get our luggage when the plane returns the following day. at this point the woman has backed right up to the carousel and the crowd seems ready to tear limb from limb when her walkie-talkie crackles to life and announces the doors are open. some time later. me with my two massive bags, box held together with twine [the airline`s courtesy only extended as far as the box, there was no tape to be had] and my four pieces of hand luggage trek to the customs agent.

i have nothing to declare so i walk to the nothing to declare line. the woman takes one look at me and sends me to an inspection counter. that was a breeze, the woman was really pleasant and could see the exhaustion on my face, she check my bag full of books, looked at my laptop and sent me on my way.

ok, i`m tired typing and i have to go see about getting cable/phone/internet installed at the apt. i`ll be back later

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well that`s not entirely true. it`s just some of the things i want to talk about right now are not quite coherent.

i think it`s the feeling of being in limbo, the production wrapped last night, i don`t have confirmation on my departure for jamaica, so i`m back to having too much time on my hands, which for me means time to think and follow all sorts of nagging doubts down to their worst possible conclusion.

i`m pretty much packed, i`m waiting on a friend to drop off another bag so i can back my books, i have some laundry to do, but i keep putting it off til the last possible minute so i don`t have to pack any dirty clothes to leave with.

i have a theory, one of many, which i`ve aptly named the sisyphus complex. the crux of it is that you have no perspective on the size of the rock you`re pushing up the hill because you`re behind it.

i think i need to get some perspective on what`s going on with me, the loneliness is starting to kick in. which is why i avoid have too much time on my hands, it`s dangerous to my mental health.

i`m going to get detergent to do the wash, hopefully a couple loads of laundry will restore some balance to my life

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