Growing up as a West Indian, you don't think of your upbringing as separate. You figure everyone was raised with the same values. That everyone has the same crazy stories about their families. As I've gotten older, I've realized that is not the case. There are truly somethings that has me saying that's some West Indian shit.
When you’re sick, you relate to feeling better with a soothing beverage like tea or a meal like soup. Even an over-the-counter drug would suffice. That is not entirely the case when you’re a young West Indian child. We have to endure these horrible tonics, which makes us think twice about being sick. Presenting Exhibit A:
This disgusting joke of medicine is called Buckley's. It is a vial, viscous, milky substance that is to be taken when you have a really bad chest cold. It tastes like liquid Vick's. Drinks like orange juice or tea that would normally aid your sickness were used as chasers for this horrible excuse for a medicine. The after taste stays with you *shivers*
Another enjoyable tonic was Cod Liver Oil. I am convinced this does nothing and if it does, a 7-year-old doesn't need to take it. This absolutely has no taste. The bulk of my dietary needs should not come from this. NO.
We love them. We hate them. We tend not to claim them. Living in a West Indian home is a test that you will fail. No matter the question. No matter the deed, somehow it's wrong and you're left thinking "am I in the Twilight Zone". Examples:
" Di ting ova deso".
Brings back wrong thing.
" Ah dis mi send yuh fah?"
Again, say what you mean. I'm not a mind reader.
Disappointments seem to be the name of the game as a West Indian. At a young age, we find out not everything is what it seems and it all starts with the biscuit tin.
This shiny metallic box contains cookies or crackers. I mean, that's what's on the tin, but once you open the tin, you find there are no cookies. No biscuit. Not even a fricken cracker. What's in the tin is random shit: needle and thread, stamps, tape measure, pins, marbles, everything but what's on the box. The same goes with a tub of butter. Why?
This doesn't change as we get older. No. We discover new lies. Like the name you've been calling your cousin for the past 18/19 years isn't her name. What?! Was I ever gonna get the memo?
There is nothing more awkward than being out on the street or at a store and you feel the pricklies on your neck of someone staring at you. This someone is more likely a relative or a family friend. The interaction comes with one of the following questions:
Another example, usually taking place at an event like a baby shower or party where a relative or family friend approaches you and says "You don't remember me, right?" No, I don't. The last and only time we've ever met was when I was below the age of 5. How am I supposed to remember you?
My personal favorite would have to be someone screaming "gal for (insert parent's name)!" What are you doing? The block now knows not only my mom's name but me.
But no matter how annoying it is growing up in a West Indian household, your proud to rep your flag.
Just an introvert sharing her thoughts and interest with the world