Every time my husband hears someone say some place is too far, he chides with what can be summarily restated as 'pish posh.' He reminds us about how far we used to walk 'back home', how packed the buses were, and how long it took us to drive from Portmore to New Kingston. His stories of life in Jamaica sometimes border on exaggeration, but I have to admit he's right.
From how and what we eat, to how we raise our children, things in the United States don't look much like our days in Jamaica. True much of it is advancement and taking advantage of opportunities, but there is more than that. My interest in all things Jamaica has grown exponentially over the years. I read the Jamaica Observer and Gleaner voraciously and engage in passionate discussions about how the island can be 'fixed.' I now become out of sorts if my local supermarket doesn't have the ingredients I need to make dishes I never used to care about.
There is also the oft-reiterated notions that we work harder in the United States. We don't go to work late or not at all if it's raining when we wake up. We work late and on off hours. It has become so commonplace for West Indians to have more than one job here that the 'hardworking Jamaican' has become a comic punch line. This, though I didn't know one person who had a second job when I lived in Jamaica.
How are you different from your days in Jamaica - or Trinidad, or Guyana?