Tour D’Europe (Part Un)

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PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just like dah “toilet” yah lol I was har nat ready for this flight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Look nuh I was for sure ready for the trip but the extra 2 hours on the 5+ hour layover added to the 8 hour flight was just too much.  Then having arrived in France that too was not without its drama ‘cause for 1 we missed the train to Brussels, 2.  It took forever to locate the “blah Blah” car to take us there 3. even with the assistance of the GPS,  the driver took a wrong turn and 4. he ended up rear ending someone just before we got dropped off SMH despite all of that, I was glad to have experienced it with literally my brother from another mother a.k.a Shirley fuss bwoy a.k.a Ryo a.k.a Mario a.k.a (SOTAS – mi still await pon the release).

A likkle back story bout Mario and I.  See, we grew up together, his back yaad was facing my front yaad and I spent most of my time over his house since it was so many of them (just 5)! Lol!!!!!!! You know the love was real as no matter what sickness (I distinctly remember measles and mums) they had and despite many warnings from my mother to make sure I don’t bring them home I would still be over there ramping and chatting it up with them and of course Shirley; PLUS he was there for the “lift yuh leg up” drama (LOL – he will never allow me to be great and just forget that story).  Love that woman to death like she is my own mother.  Both our mothers were kinda sorta single parents (long story) and looked out not only for each other but also us as children. One thing was for sure, they instilled the importance of education and making sure that we lived up to our potential.  Which is why this trip was suupppeerrr important to me, not just to explore, but to see my friend and bother in his element and confirmation that WHAT IS FI U CAAN BE UN-FI-U!  You see, if you know me, then you would know the back story as to how Mario ended up Europe.  MI PROUD CAAN DUN!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway back to this Brussels leg of the trip, so after all that we finally got to the “hotel” or loft that we were staying.  Don’t get me wrong, I only air quoted hotel cause it really felt like someone’s home that were staying but we loved it seeing that it was just 5 mins away from Grand Place and was smack dab in the middle of the city!  What we didn’t like however was the tear up sheets lol I mean bed linen and a few other things that were or were not provided!!!!!!!! Now having gotten some what settled the first thing was to find food before our night excursion.  An mek mi tell you, Mario love a junk food, which doesn’t work for me since mi a try eat clean! Sas crise, I think we walked out all of Brussels trying to find a real meal considering the “plakka plakka” (lol I thought of my mother when that word first came to me on the flight) that I got on the flight.  We eventually settled on this place called “Wok to Walk” that Mario swore by; mind you people he didn’t even eat all his food!

Then it was time for our night time adventure! Yup, a pub crawl!!!!!!!! Six bars, one night!!!!!!!!!! BTW this is where Mario and I learnt to take a selfie with buildings that were tall! LOL yup, we there trying to figure out how to get the extreme top of the building (Grand Place), when braps we saw a girl angling her phone down to take the pic and we followed in quick succession; that was too funny. This was awesome, the first bar (Celtica – http://www.celticpubs.com/celtica/celticabxl.html) was littyy (as the young people say) and we turned up with the strangers on the tour so much so that endless people started coming in the pub/club and then we had to leave.  Oh yea, the beer was boss too, cold and noice (MAES).  By the time we got to the last bar (The Big Game – https://www.facebook.com/Thebiggamebrussels/?rf=747592401983166) we were fully pop dung, so we said our good byes then made our way home and even that was fun, as we stopped for French fries and mayo…yum yum in my tum tum.  Of all the bars we went to, we both agreed that the one called Cartagena Salsa Bar – https://www.cartagenasalsabar.be/ was our least favourite.

Day 2!!!!!!!!!! It was time for our hop on and off tour BUT first breakfast; and sure enough guess what Mario wanted?! McDonalds!!!!!!!!!!! I had to hold firm and tell him that we going to have a real breakfast.  Sure enough as we left the apartment, we saw a tour group and at my urging we decided to follow them into a nice little alley (Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert) where we discovered so many luxury stores and chocolate shops (LOVE) especially Mokafe and Delices du Roy.  Mokafe was pretty good, for €12 we got a pretty decent breakfast (OJ, eggs, croissant, greek yogurt with fruits, tea and a loaf of bread with cheese)…we couldn’t even finish it – well I couldn’t, as for Mario him can nyam like a farmer arse and if you ever see how the bwoy mawga (skinny).  We also went back for breakfast the next day to try the waffles, seeing that we heard from another tour (while sitting there the previous day loll we eaves drop a lot a lot) that they were known for their OMG waffles and sure enough it was AMAZING (I also learnt that plain Belgian waffles are my thing, all the others are just too sweet for my palette). 

Then it was time for the adventure!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Of course we had to run to catch the bus lol.  At Mario’s urging we stayed on the bus to see all the attractions, so that we could determine which stops we would make on the second round trip.  Typical me, I didn’t listen so we ended up spending too much time on this leg.

Now as you can tell, travelling with the two us (Mario would say ME) is endless drama.  Case in point, having completed one leg/line of the tour, it was now time for the other one…and that’s where the drama unfolded.  To transfer to the buses you need your ticket and as we came off the bus I began looking for the tix to go on the other bus; of course no tix. So we ran across the road and asked the driver if we could search the bus to see if we left it there…sure enough no tix.  We go back across the road figuring I would empty my bag to see if it was there, thinking too that the bus we saw waiting for the other line would leave us; when low and behold as I am repacking my bag the tix appeared (I still don’t know where in the bag they were and if you saw any of the pics you know my bag was not that big)! You know the stress/disappointment must have been showing on our faces because as we ran across the road to catch the bus for the second leg of the tour even the driver for the bus asked us why we looked the way we did, while telling us it was the last trip for the day so we didn’t get to hop off the bus at all.

After a day of sightseeing and endless photos (of me of course lol – mi nuh know why Mario nuh like tek picture) my favourite attractions were Cinquantenaire, Notre-Dame Au Sablon (I discovered how much I love the architecture of the churches in Europe – I can spot them a mile away).  My least favourite was the Manneken Pis!!!!!!!! As the Saint Lucians would say CHOOPPPPPPPSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lol I mean we came off the tour bus to go an look for the thing and ended up doing everything else, only to realise that it was just this little thing tucked away in an alley, that were we paying attention the night before on the pub crawl we would have seen it.  When I tell you endless people was standing there trying to get a picture I just stood there wondering WTF it was and what was the importance?! The only good was that it was located in an area where there were endless chocolate and cheese shops!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We also found an excellent store with amazing knicks knacks and trinkets (Mi figet the name and mi caan find the receipt BUT lawks dem expensive, matter a fact the ENTIRE EUROPE har EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!)

Finally it was time for dinner, even that was not without drama…after walking around aimlessly trying to decide what to have we ended up at Drug Opera – dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine and 1 glass of red wine ran us about €36.  That was certainly a good way to end the day and the trip.  Only two things I am sorry that I didn’t get to do was to go to the Atomium and to visit the museums in the Cinquantenaire museum. Other than that I had an amazing time and despite what Mario says mi love Brussels!!!!!!!!!!!  I love how there are so many stores just tucked away around Grand Place and the place is really one big circle so its hard for your to get lost.  Once you make your way back to Grand Place you can always “re-route” from there.

Now back to PPPPAAARREEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stay tuned for Part Duex!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Check out the following if you decide to make a trip:

  1. Pub crawl – excellent way to experience the night life (€10 p/p) – https://likealocalguide.com/brussels/tours/pub-crawl-in-brussels?utm_campaign=marketplace_click&utm_medium=tours_page_normal&utm_source=brussels&utm_content=tours
  2. Instant Photo Tour (€35 p/p – you get an camera with this) – https://likealocalguide.com/brussels/tours/instant-photo-tour-of-brussels?utm_campaign=marketplace_click&utm_medium=tours_page_normal&utm_source=brussels&utm_content=tours
  3. Mokafe (no website but Facebook page is – https://www.facebook.com/Mokaf%C3%A9-1565011460451527/?rf=157310774330302)
  4. Delices du Roy (no website but Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/delicesduroybxl/)
  5. Les Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert – http://www.grsh.be/en/magasins-de-luxe/
  6. Hop on and hop off tour – http://www.citysightseeingbrussel.be/en
  7. Drug Opera – http://www.drugopera.be/en/home
  8. Train – https://www.izy.com/en/homepage

You can also browse the website https://likealocalguide.com/ to find more activities for the cities that you may be planning on visiting. Oh a blah blah car is basically travelling with someone who is going to where you are but probably needs company and you pay a small fee (like u really a gi dem gas money).  Another thing I love was the number of options to travel between the European city…you will see on our trip to AMSTERDAM!!!!!!!

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#AWEH35AGO?!

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LOL what a hash tag! On a real though a weh it ago?! Like I am so mad at my old– ahm sorry I mean mature friends for not telling me that this is what 35 would feel like…lol what does it feel like you may ask? Mi feel crush up or as the Lucian would say “chifoney” (I am certain I spelt it wrong) lol.  Then again, this may be as a result of the tequila shot, or the 5 screwdrivers, or the glass of wine, or the beer, lol I am not too sure; all I know is a great time was had by all.

So in true TW form, I decided that instead of doing a long thank you on fassbook just as well do a long ass blog (lol JK Don); I’ll try to keep it as short as possible.

No lies, this has been one heck of year and my only aim is to top it in 2017…haven’t quite decided that I wanna do but u know me I am sucker for torture/adventure but it will be fun.  The only thing I wish I did more was save!!!!!!! Sigh, #livingandnotsurviving cost “a Money oh” LOL!!!!!!!!! What the struggle was real but come 2017 I am definitely putting my shoes down on that one.  Yup walking into 2017 like Addi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k931NbUVNzU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HBhfTFKCLY

The last year saw me just not caring about anyone but myself.  That’s not to say I was mean or anything (well depending on who you ask lol) I just focused on making sure that my mind was right and that I was happy; and if you follow me on fassbook you already know that even my co-workers saw the difference.  No lies, people should try it, you will see how freeing it is to not give 2 f**ks about what anyone thinks (although I don’t that I ever did). By no means am I saying I was happy go lucky all the time (cause unoo know say mi miserable from mawning), I just started looking at the glass as half full…well most times anyway; sometimes mi just couldn’t help but wallow inna mi feelings and emotions.  Especially when it came on to work! Wah mi swear I wasn’t gonna mek it but den mi see a likkle light an bossy’s favorite quote came to me; i.e. “calm down”. Mi mussi tell miself that infinity times throughout the entire process; wah?! da EU Procurement sumn deh nuh easy but now that it done mi think mi like it! LOL!!!!!!! Mi manager would just die if him see mi say that lol, it was a good experience and I am glad I went through it.

It also saw the ending of a relationship and the realisation that I can only really  depend on myself and to except nothing and I won’t be disappointed.  It was a hard lesson but such is life, we live and learn. Good thing is, as Trina say: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZdA7KUYQlo  I’m single again, back on the prowl, lol mi nuh know bout that last part deh but U get di idea right?!

I also jumped carnival for the very first time! I still have the marks to prove it lol…altho mi bex seh mi parri dem #roastorfry never get fi experience it.  So many other firsts, learning how to swim, learning French; both of which I need to start again in 2017.  Yup, my goal is to leave (if I do, cause e’rybaddie here seems to think I either need a Lucia/OECS boyfriend) here better than I came and man am I up for the challenge!

Wah it has been an awesome awesome year with more to come, cause for the first time in a while I am actually looking forward to Christmas.  I am beyond excited!

So cheer people, I kept it short, anymore information it mek sense u call and chat to me cause I har have the time now lol.

Happy Holiday guys and see you in the new year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH, and thanks for all the BDAY wishes!!!!!!!!!!! I spent it just like how I wanted to…doing a little bit of everything.

IT’S MY ANNIVERSARY..welll kinda sorta :-D

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Bwoy it seems like forever since I have done one of these but I thought it only right that I put one up since I am coming up on several Anniversaries.  So Many things have happened since I decided to relocate to a new country for a second time on April 29, 2015.  I arrived in Antigua & Barbuda for a layover to Saint Lucia arriving March 30, 2015 to start working on April 1, 2015 (so tomorrow will make it year since I have started working here).

Not sure where this will lead but let’s see, because the plan is to do a review of all the blogs I have done to see what I have captured and try to integrate in this one (you know for effect an thing) as a way of providing an update. Now having reviewed the blogs I see that the more things change the more they remain the same lol.  Take the first example below:

“…I do not own a stove! Yes you heard me, lol I DON’T own a stove!!!! This is something that I have never hidden, even from potential “boyfriends” lol (maybe that’s why I don’t have one – but that is for another blog, another time) BUT don’t get it twisted, while I choose not to be domesticated, make no mistake, I CAN cook (ask Camo, Marcia, Damian, Roland, Kirk – lol), matter a fact; Sandra would have it no other way. However having spent several years being responsible for the domestic activities (cooking, washing cleaning ironing) of a household while mommy went and provided for us; the moment I had the choice of opting out of domestication everything went right out the door! YUP I don’t cook or clean (I have a helper for the latter lol YES people I work way too hard to come home and slave over a dirty place – mind you I stopped cleaning for myself when I started working at that place in 2009 which will remain nameless and my current place of employment).   I mean that’s why they have domestic helpers, car washes etc. etc. etc how I see it is that I am helping the economy and preventing one more robber from entering the streets by making sure that they are gainfully or otherwise employed ”

So just a couple of things:

  1. I technically still don’t own a stove! Lol I just have one because it came with the apartment. Now while I can cook, I still don’t like to do and just do it now because unlike Jamaica where every corna yuh turn u can find a cook shop or somewhere to get food of your desire; that’s just not the case here.  Not to mention the hassle of taking the staff bus to go into town figure out what to eat from the limited options available. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I am forced to cook #thestruggleisreal
  1. The “boyfriend” thing still obtains! Lol such is life but I will just note this from the blog “Single, To Be or Not to be? That is the Question” (see blog post -https://mouttamassytanya.wordpress.com/2013/11/12/single-to-be-or-not-to-be-that-is-the-question/)

“I realized…how flawed his views of me and life were and therefore thank God                          that it ended when it did before things got deeper or more complicated.” (you know I can be very insightful at times); and

  1. I don’t clean, yup I still have a helper for that. I will say though that I do iron once a month BUT lol that is only because she charge too much to iron! Hehehehe

Now from the blog “What’s in an LLM?!” I noted the following:

“I won’t lie, the road to this achievement (not jus the LLM) wasn’t easy trust mi!…but every time I…went to bed I always remembered that when I was applying for the course I had prayed and asked God that if this was what I was supposed to be doing I would get through…hey it nuh easy when u get back u grade and not only did u fail, the people dem all a tell u say u totally miss the point of the assignment! Lol mi start fi think to mislef, a wah dis mi tek up doa Lord, but…How did I do it? God, cliché as it sounds, support from my loving mother and great friends that I have met along the way both alive and dead L RIP MP love u loads.”

LOL!!! When mi read that back I still CTFU! But 2 things from that section and that is still applicable to this day, is that I pray about these major decisions, well everything really (shocking right?! Lol, it’s not something I discuss all the time but if u don’t know now you know. I PRAY :-p) and that my friends (new and old) pulled me through.

In the blog “…And we’re off!!!!” I noted that I had gotten braces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lol WELLLL those bad boys came off last month after 2 years and 3 months.  Now I am sporting my million dolla smile.

Now on to where the adventures began! The first was my short stint in BELIZE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All the details can be found here https://mouttamassytanya.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/adventurous-or-mad/ and https://mouttamassytanya.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/my-lovehate-affair/ I spent just about six months there and it wasn’t until later down in that time I started to feel comfortable and at home.  Unfortunately for them BUT fortunately for me, I got a call for the job I had originally wanted so it was time to pack up and move on.  I miss my friends there though and one of these days I am def heading there to chill with my peeps and do some sightseeing.

As for the first year of my journey here (in Saint Lucia) some of which is captured here https://mouttamassytanya.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/cultural-divide-or-nah/ based on the following: “…There are a few things left to do but like getting my driver’s licence, buying a car, etc etc…” the update is that I have bought the car, gotten the driver’s licence, gone around the island twice, gotten to see Beres Hammond and Jah Cure at 2 of the 2015 Jazz shows, will be jumping in carnival July and will be going to 2 of the shows at this year Jazz Festival, met some of the most nicest, funniest and utterly maddest people who I am happy to call friends, been to at least 2 other islands with plans of visiting more in the future.

The truth is though I miss home quiet often and often keep my sanity through talking to my friends be it on social media, messenger, email, skype etc, I also try to keep abreast of all that is happening in the media.  I miss just doing road with my #delinquents #socialites #rallo #berto #maxanne and Mrs. S.  just to a new few but I know this is a necessary evil and one that I will not regret when all is said and done.  As for what happens next, I am not sure; right now I am just about living my life while trying to achieve a couple materialist milestones.

One thing is for sure, you really have to be of a diffferenet temperament to pack up your belonging and move to place where you know don’t know a sole. Matter of fact, you have to love your own company (then again it may just be me) because you have to spend a lot of time alone.  This has led me to question whether or not I was truly ever an extrovert or is it that our situations determine whether we are introverted or extriverted? Cause honestly there is nothing to me like staying home and watching T.V. or reading book; even if there is no food.

I say all of this to say that The lessons indicated in the “What is in an LLM” blog are not only applicable to studying but to life as well, as when I look back in retrospect all the items/areas indicated in the blog have been constants in my journey. Now I don’t know bout anybody else but one thing I know for sure is that I have the best support system in the world! (Some of whom have been a part of the journey from inception, some that came along way and have seen the changes, emotions, heard the stories how many umpteen time) trust mi when I tell you people there is more to the journey that was stated above but seeing that smaddy tell mi say mi fi keep it short like dem dick! Lol no joke imma end it right here.

So as usual, read, like, comment and share!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PoliTRICKING

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Look what it took for me to write a blog how many years later? LOL!!

But (yea yea I know we were taught never to start a sentence with that word) having gotten a message from a friend about this LISA/WARMINISTER saga I was most disappointed by the comment and BRAPS the thoughts and opinion(s) came and I decided to just do a post since it been forever!!!!!!!!!!

Now I am not for either party and I know there is this thing that once you don’t vote that you really shouldn’t have an opinion BUT mi nuh care, mi a voice mine simply because I don’t believe in voting just because it is a right that has been bestowed on me.  If I am voting I am going to vote for substance and strategies not along colours or party.

However, if I had a a gun to my head I would not vote green or labour party simply because I have no faith in their leader who comes across as being disingenuous, phony, clueless and out of his depth.  I mean yes you are the opposition and it’s your role to oppose BUT where are plans and strategies for all the flaws and inadequacies that you have identified with the ruling party? I have yet to see or hear any.  Telling me that you wear “Dessert” [sic] clarks lol or that you are going to give your MPs Job letters doesn’t mean shit to me. Lol, I mean, as pointed out by a friend of mine are you telling me that after how many years of independence a MP/politician doesn’t know their role or job function?! Lol GIMME A BREAK, but I digress!

To the matter at hand; the WARMINISTER calling Lisa a Jezebel.  Sigh, few things that just doesn’t sit well:

 1. Him calling her that! Irrespective of how tight her pants were lol (if this is the real reason den him sexuality very questionable lol).  Tell me, which man nuh like see ooman inna tight pants?! hahaha wwwooiieee fine it may not have been appropriate for the venue. 

2.  He repeated it!!!!  Which to me clearly indicates his need need for attention.  

3. To say that she deserved to be called that, because in your view she’s no saint; when you didn’t come from a cow but another female just isn’t acceptable!!!! Like really?! mi affi start look pon u wid mi dutty side yeye cause if u have a mother how the hell can you justify that about another female. 

4. The “LEADER” nor the youth arm, nor the other females of the party, nor any well thinking MAN in that party has come out (no pun intended) lol to distance themselves from the statement.  Objecting to his outburst doesn’t mean you support the PNP it means you nuh support slackness.  God bless the one friend (labourite) who objected to that creature calling the woman that. 

Anyway mek I head back to the people dem work yah, but it really sad that there are people who find this behaviour acceptable, cause for sure that behaviour does not reflect well on the country and why we are moving slowly when it comes to women having their place in certain areas.  I mean a nuh fi har fault she attractive and he isn’t!! lol 

I just remember two sayings that my friends have shared: 

a. ugly people gi nuff trouble!!! lol I have seen this time and time again although alecia say mi mus’n call people ugly; and 

b. you caan be ugly and useless, u affi pic one lol #picastruggle

I gone, see you when I see you and remember to like share and comment!!!!!!!!!! 

 

Cultural Divide or Nah?

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Finally got an idea for this blog! Lol

Now as most or all of you know, I have been traversing the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean over the last few months and having finally settled for what I think will be a couple years.  Here are just some of the things that I can remember learning since I’ve been here; I promise there are others but I need to start writing them down each time they use the word and give me its meaning:

LAMEHWOa term used my St Lucian men to describe women drivers who they think aren’t good driver’s lol where I have I heard that before, I mean I don’t think we have a specific patois (patwah) term to describe those kind of female drivers but, bitch, fool, idiot comes to mind;

You Mekking it? – what we would say is yuh good? Used especially during or after any partying session (lol I get this a lot – my EC Posse don’t think I can role lol I am always ready to go home after 3 hours and I don’t like beer or any other alcohol they serve, which annoys Chevon the most)

SUPESwhat we know as mix-up, suss;

SUSUknow to us as pawdna/pardner;

GREEN FIGare Green Bananas and no they don’t call ripe banana’s ripe fig…hehehe lol

JUST NOWgimmi a sec/hang/hold on;

Yyyeeeessaaalloopp – aka BUMBOCLAWT lol this was the only word that stuck with the Mr. while he was here.  Last but not least:

Black Pudding – this is a meal and don’t worry I am sure we don’t have this at all in Ja.  It is actually tripe stuffed with coagulated blood BUT look nuh, fortunately or unfortunately that was all the information they got out in trying to explain it to me cause I stopped them right there.  I was too grossed out and to think they were giving me the side for eating chicken foot! I mean what is a good soup without chicken foot and if you know me you KNOW I LOVE SOUP!

Now having lived in both Belize and here (St.  Lucia), there are just a few differences as a non-national here that I have experienced…it’s the simple things like being able to get saltfish! Lol I mean it would be blasphemous if they didn’t have it in abundance seeing that it is a part of their national dish (i.e. Green figs and salt fish – best I have had to date is the one from a restaurant at the Marina called Bread Basket, right amount of banana to saltfish).  However, on a serious note though there are several major differences between both places:

  1. Opening a Bank Account: in Belize you have to complete a form; that form is sent to the Central Bank for approval. On that Form you also have to tell them who you expect to received and send remittances to.  Now having gotten the approval you have to be interviewed, meaning telling the Officer why you’re opening account, who are the people you listed to receive or send remittances to, why would you or they need to send remittances and then I had to wait to get the card, not to mention sending a wire transfer; even that had a limit AND I had to get a permit for that to happen uugghh! If you’re a reader of my blog you would know how frustrated I was and how long it took.  All I needed to open the account in St. Lucia was my passport, job letter, lease agreement and an ID and bam everything was done the same day, received and pinned card ready for use.  As for the wire transfer, no permit, just join the line and give the teller the wire transfer details; no forms or anything! Whew! Mind you, you have to see a customer representative for most things before they actually send you to someone AND that is where I get most annoyed as you can take up to an hour just to speak to the customer reps and by that your lunch time is up (come to think of it, it sounds like banking in Jamaica).
  1. Foreign exchange: in Belize you can only get US$3,000 for the entire year, and in order for you to buy any you will have to take your travel itinerary, passport, complete an application and you can only get US$250 unless you request the amount you want in advance, so forget buying randomly unless its from the black market.  In St. Lucia you can buy as much as you need whenever you need it
  1. CSME Certificate: this was pretty simple in Belize, all I they did was take a copy of the one I brought from Ja, noted in my passport that they are awaiting confirmation from Ja that it is authentic (this took a while) but far better than St. Lucia, where I will have to apply to their Ministry of External Affairs to get a CSME Certificate from St. Lucia.
  1. Social Security: this was also simple in Belize, I only had to complete the application gave them a copy of my CSME Certificate.  Now St Lucia was a different story.  I was told that I needed a work permit despite the fact that there is a stamp in my passport that says I am exempt from getting one.  However, the officer noted that the statement doesn’t mean that I am allowed to work. Look nuh don’t ask ‘cause I myself didn’t understand that reasoning.  When I eventually got one, they noted that since I don’t have a CSME Certificate from St. Lucia I would have to do it annually. Well annually it is ‘cause I am not about to pay for a police record AGAIN and then pay for another certificate. Nope nope.
  1. Taxis/buses: taxis here are way more expensive than in Belize.  Taking a taxi to varying places in the same parish/district is US$7 twice the amount of what it costs in Belize.  It is way cheaper to move around bus and no it’s not like the ones in Belize, St. Lucia is too small for that.  It’s the Hiace buses that are used to go EVERYWHERE! No Knutsford Express roun’ ‘ere.  One of my co-workers said she was impressed that I knew how to get around to find the various bus routes.  As the MR. would say, when in Rome do as the natives do! BTW he did not like taking the bus one bit when he was here lol! Poor thing, it was too funny.
  1. Food/lunch/everyday living – the BIGGEST difference is there are fast food chains in St. Lucia! 😀 Yup, from KFC to BK to Church’s Chicken, to Domino’s. There are also a lot of restaurants north of the island (up north).  As for the prices, I mean it is what is; there are certain things that will hold their prices in whichever country you are (i.e. Smirnoff Apple Vodka cost about US$37) and there are those things that are expensive here. It’s the same too with clothes, very few options here and the good stuff are expensive (no second hand clothing is sold here) so a lot of people shop online and have their stuffed shipped through Miami.  I think the cost of living here is similar to Jamaica but manageable, as there a few things that are zero rated and exempted from VAT aka TAX so certain things in the supermarkets (one chain Super and Mega J (is like the Mega and Price Mart in Jamaica) not owned by the Chinese) are affordable.

There are a few things left to do but like getting my driver’s licence, buying a car, etc etc and already I see a difference with buying the car as I will need a lawyer for the bill of sale.  Different it, isn’t?! In Jamaica you select you select your car, have your deposit ready, contact the bank to confirm that you can get a loan for the difference, purchase car if the latter is in the affirmative and that’s it.  I don’t know, maybe I didn’t read the documents I signed but I can’t remember getting a bill of sale much less lawyer to sign it.

Crap this blog is turning out to be longer than expected! Hmm, I guess that’s what happens when I wait too long! It’s funny ‘cause I am always of the view that I have no content but once I start I just can’t stop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Any who I will break this into two and continue to write the other since I am on a role!  As my coworker here says, you can’t be ugly and useless, choose one! Lol have a great one guys, keep reading, sharing and liking.

There is never a Dull Moment in Barbados

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You really affi tek bad tings mek joke. Since it’s my first time here in Barbados, I wanted to use the opportunity to see little bit of the island and as there were a few of us I decided on booking a tour to see Harrison’s Cave today. About 7/8 people confirmed, however, when the time came the only 4 of us showed up! Lol that was the beginning of what almost turned out to be worst experience ever. At 11:45 the driver to take us to the place was here, anyway before I could say anything he barges into the Hotel and asked if I was Tanya, I said yes and started to explain to him that unfortunately there may not be 10 of us as we are unable to locate 3 other persons to meet his 6 minimum requirement.

Hahaha well people who tell mi fi go say that! Lol the man start cuss me inna the lobby in front of the receptionist and couple other staff members that he was told 10 and that if we don’t get 6 people our day will be wasted because he is not going to take us. By this time I am just standing there with my mouth open ‘cause I couldn’t believe that he was acting like that, but look nuh it got better the man say that’s why he specifically told the hotel that the minimum is six and now we have wasted his day, because he had to get up and bathe put on him clothes to take is there in an A/C bus with diesel and a whole lot a bullshit!

Anyway when he finished ranting and raving I said well let me see if I can get a hold of the other 3 persons so that he wouldn’t have to waste his day. Well no such luck; as I ended the calls to the rooms, I saw him coming back to the lobby and as I opened my mouth to say Sir I am sorry to have wasted your day but it seems as though we will have to seek alternative transport to the Cave the man licks out its ok I will take you, I mean since I am already here I may as well just take you there.

You think that would be the end of it right?! Oh no, as we got in the van he started again about how much it would cost to get there if we had just taken regular transport and how long it would take, seeing that a rally was in progress and that he would have to take the back roads so we don’t waste our time in traffic, by this time everyone was getting annoyed by his complaints. On realizing that he proceeds to tell us that there is another tour that he does on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Friday’s which would take us around the island and includes lunch which has banana bread/cake that is made by his daughter.

Hahahaha like seriously? Do you seriously expect me to give you a dime of my money after the way you acted about this trip? Mind you, provided that he had handled the situation with a little bit more tact, I would have definitely gone on that tour as we had apparently put him out of his way today and seeing that it is a holiday tomorrow it would have been a great way to see the rest of the island. SMH we were so put off by him that even telling us about himself and how long he has been here and where he was from (St. Kitts and Nevis – altho he has been in Barbados for 30 years and married and English woman from London) and how his daughter worked with Virgin Atlantic and was currently in Morocco and had gone to South Africa in December since it was free and that his uncle just got in the Guinness Book of World records for being the oldest Polo player ( 82 years 166½ days old) didn’t make a world of difference; all we wanted was for him to shut up, as he didn’t miss a beat in using every opportunity he got to tell us about how he had to take four people to the cave.

Nevertheless, all’s well that ends well. We had a great time seeing that cave…light tricks and all. I also think he got the picture as he said not one word to us on the way back and we sure did have a good laff about it.

I did learn one thing though, next time I am going to do my sightseeing myself ‘cause dese people are so full of it and it was a cussing that I could have certainly done without. Not to mention Williams Tours will never see another dime from me, an I most certainly won’t recommend them to anyone else.
Not the blog I wanted to write but, this was certainly too long to be a Facebook post. 😀

PICS to be posted soon

MY LOVE/HATE AFFAIR

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I am beginning to have a love hate relationship with this place! Imagine working in a place where there is a celebration for staff birthday, an mi nah talk jus a likkle gathering mi mean real party! A place where come Christmas, you are given a choice of between ham or turkey, a bottle of rum poyo (aka egg nog)/wine or non-alcoholic wine PLUS an office party with every liquor that you can think of! A place where taxi fare to anywhere in the district is a mere US$3.50, a place where lunch ranges from US$4.00 – US$12.00 (drinks included). A place where you have to switch from heels to flats, as the majority of the thoroughfare is not heels friendly.  A place where you can walk home and where all the supermarkets are Chinese owned BUT people don’t fool around their restaurants too much.

A place where one day a month you get to take a half day from work, a place where you don’t have to sign in a register, a place where people who don’t come at 8 actually stay pass the end of the work day and get there tasks completed without any interference for their supervisor. A place where a visit to the orthodontist is a mere US$88 compared to US$240 or above (in Jamaica). A place where EVERYONE takes lunch at 12 noon lol I am dead serious! Office hours are written as: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. A place where there are no fast food chains just maybe like 10 restaurants (if so much) and I saw a pizzeria today but at it was closed so I am not too sure if it’s even operational.

Then there is work, for a place with so few people they sure are politicized, I mean today, today just took the cake; Jamaica suddenly didn’t seem so corrupt. For the first time since I have been here I really felt like this would be pointless, I live in a place where people are so highfalutin; you know, caught up in their titles and position as opposed to doing what it takes to get the job done, a place where everyone know each other so you better be careful of how and to who you speak as God forbid you may be speaking ill of the person’s husband/wife/etc. etc. a place where managers (line/junior/senior) cannot participate in activity unless their CEO the equivalent of our PSs (Permanent Secretary) gives approval for the individual manager to participate in that activity.

Now having gone into the “city” my entire mood changed and I just wanted to go home, to a place that as familiar, despite its flaws. On this route to the “city” we drove pass swamps, water logged roads, through a cemetery, a place that reminded me of May Pen cemetery, a place that reminded me of old Spanish Town, down town, several of inner city communities, I mean even a radio personality on their version of a call in programme indicated that he hoped the funds that they got from the PetroCaribe would someday make the place look like the USA to which a coworker noted that there would be no shanti towns.

How could I forget,  I live in a place where its been a week since I have applied to open a bank account and to this its still hasn’t been opened!  I mean they say every application has to go through their central bank but come one with just less than 400,000 people living here why does it take more than a week to open an account? Bureaucracy or nah?

Bossy did say to wait until I leave to right this blog, but today, today, was just one a dem days so much so I swore I had put my camera in my bag so that I would be able to take pictures BUT as I was driving through the “city” and seeing the places I could not find the camera to take the pics. It wasn’t until I got home I found it, so as far as I’m concerned it may just have been for a reason that I wasn’t able to capture the city in its truest form.