1. So the days are winding down quickly. And I'm starting to get a little homesick. Or home-food-sick. Seriously. What I'd give for some curried goat. Or manish water. What I'd spend to get some stew chicken with yam and banana and fried dumplings ... *sigh*. And ackee and saltfish? Or a beef patty? I miss Jamaican food with a vengeance. This might sound bad, but it's the thing I miss the most: the look, smell and taste of food from Yard. I miss it. I want it. I need it. Bad bad bad.
I didn't even know Jamaican cuisine was so essential to my makeup. But listen, it's in my DNA. I need Jamaican food. I just need to at least SMELL some Jamaican food flavours really soon. Lest I die. Serious. The craving is real. FedEx me some flour dumplings, please. I'd be eternally grateful.
2. I have passed the test of a true Yardie: I have said 'yeah man' and didn't realise I was saying it. It's funny. You don't realise how much you say things like that till you have a chorus of foreign echoes repeating every cliché Jamaican thing you say. Then you realise how many of those clichés are true. It's funny.
I never even realised I had a strong Jamaican accent until I was teaching someone to say a word, and they said the word with a Jamaican accent. I cracked up, because, well, one, it was just hilarious to hear them trying a Jamaican accent, and two, I was like: oh my goodness! That's what I sound like to you? Shocking.
3. I have fallen in love with this little family I'm staying with. I really admire their work ethic, and how close they are as a family. They have a routine that works, and a structure that pulls them together. Family is a seriously super-big deal in Mexico. Watching them interact on a daily basis: how the boys genuinely love their mom and dad, and show that? How they play together, and work together? It's nice to see, and it's great to be allowed to be part of that - even for a little bit.
4. Speaking of family, I will NEVER forget the chaps I spent the last five weeks with. They are just too awesome. Fun times, you guys! Like when Mark and I taught y'all to willy bounce and bogle and butterfly and sweep ... . Or when we went to La Coltrane cafe and then went to Riu to learn how to dance la Barchada? Or the karaoke bar? Or the informal lymes in the apartments? Fun times. Unforgettables all ... :)
5. I've found the perfect return-home travel song. It's Cold Play's 'Fix You'. I've loved this song for a long time. But for this trip, the song somehow reminds me of my mother:
When you try your best and you don't succeed
When you get what you want, but not what you need
When you feel tired, but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse ...
When tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone and it goes to waste
Cold it be worse?
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
I will try ... to fix you.
No matter how broken I am, she is always willing to try to fix me ... .
I love you, mommy.
See you in a little bit.
Hope I didn't do too much damage.