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.

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About mouttamassytanya

A product of the black green and gold, the land of wood and water: JAMAICA JAMAICA with a dash of Saint Lucia thrown in! Often misunderstood, but once you read my blogs and follow my social media handles you will see that I am nothing but a hardworking Island Girl just trying to live life to the fullest.

One response »

  1. Pingback: IT’S MY ANNIVERSARY..welll kinda sorta :-D | mouttamassytanya

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