Of course being Jamaican has its own perks, but here are the top twelve problems we Jamaicans can understand:
- When they show lotto in the middle of an important television airing of an event.
Remember the Olympics airing, and the local television station bought out all airing privileges so it was impossible to watch it on ‘cable’ TV. Remember when right as Usain Bolt was about to run and they cut the show to broadcast the Lotto, which lasted like ten minutes?
When the Voice was aired and Tessanne Chin was a contestant and they cut the show to air Pick 3 and Cash Pot betting games; or when the Miss World was being aired and they constantly took breaks to commercials during the most important moments. Yes, that is Jamaica for you.
- Hearing that there are more taxes.
Taxes are integral to any economy, as it accumulates and is used for much needed roads, health care, education, etc. But there is a fine line between making the poor poorer and straining individuals to pay taxes on necessities such as hygiene products and food.
- When you hear screeching screams and you wonder if someone is being killed or in danger, and when you investigate, it is a woman running from a lizard.
This is an incident that a lot of persons can identify with as many Jamaicans hate the very sight of lizards. Jamaican lizards are quite large and they make known their presence in obvious places like walls, in the bath, and other areas most persons reside. Society has probably instilled fear for lizards in most individuals, because with every sight of a lizard comes with a heart-clenching scream. Truth is, lizards won’t hurt us in all actuality.
- When you go to a cook food shop and they tell you they are out of curry gravy.
Jamaicans love their curry gravy, on fried chicken, roast chicken, fish, anything —anything that they can put their curry gravy on. When cafeterias tell them they are out of their ‘prized’ request, the world is seemingly over for all ‘foodists’ who can relate.
- When Jamaicans go abroad to other countries and people respond ‘Yeah mon’ or ask if we are rasta, smoke weed or know Usain Bolt.
Most migrating Jamaicans and tourists can attest to this that they have had at least one incidence where another person from another country has said or asked one of the above. With all the rich and diverse culture we possess as Jamaicans, we would hope that we are looked upon as more culturally adept.
- When you have to fear for your life because of the taxis on the road.
If you are a driver, you are no longer driving for yourself, but for every taxi and pedestrian who comes into contact with a taxi man who is also taking the road by storm — literally. It’s a wonder how they are not caught yet. It is evident that they get a passenger from one point to another, but these customers need their sanity intact as they are bobbed and weaved through bumper to bumper traffic. Is your safety really worth saving an extra JM $100?
- The phenomena of flying cockroaches.
If you are afraid of cockroaches, then you will understand how possible it is for your confidence in killing it can drop from 100 to negative 5 in less than two seconds. Once a cockroach starts flying, and chasing you, the laziest of persons will find the energy to bolt out of that room faster than you can scream.
- When rain falls, everywhere floods out.
When was the last time rain drizzled? Like there was a good amount of rain just to replenish the earth. No. When it rains, everything in its wake floods out and needs repairing. Worst thing is we Jamaicans never have umbrellas and never prepare because the day before the report said sunny skies.
- The drive thru on a Friday night is like bumper to bumper traffic on the Highway.
It’s like every Jamaican goes to a fast food restaurant on a Friday, following the tradition of rice and peas and chicken or ackee and salt fish on a Sunday.
- When potholes are like a hole to the centre of the Earth.
The potholes are like trenches, which every Jamaican has damaged their cars trying to avoid, either by hitting into another car or falling directly into it. The government had no choice but to fix them when President Obama visited.
- When your car tank is on empty and it can carry you around the world and back.
The cars of Jamaica are reliable and we will not trade it for any other international vehicle. Which other vehicle you know takes you from point A to point B on an empty tank of gas. By the grace and divine intervention of God.
- When the Jamaican Dollar is devaluing every second.
Between the rise in everything except the quantity and quality of anything, Jamaicans are slowly but surely feeling the burn as they try to survive yet another month. However, we are supposed to be the happiest persons on Earth and as such, we try to make do with what we have regardless of the little we have.
By Alexandra Daley
What are some of the intricacies of your culture? Share them with us.