Gem of the Caribbean Sea

I've been away for a ridiculously long amount of time and for that, I am TRULY sorry.  I miss writing everyday.  Blogging was home for me for a long time.  I miss keeping folks in the loop with me, especially friends and family back home.  And I miss connecting with people who may be curious about what I'm doing, have done, or plan to do.  I miss all of your thoughts, ideas, and even criticisms.  It's one of those things where I wake up and tell myself, "Write today.  Right now."  And by the end of my day, it gets pushed farther and farther to the side.  So here's my attempt to re-boot my defunct blog and start tracking my adventures again.  I'm never too far from the blogging world though.  I did a couple of recent interviews here and here to dust out the cobwebs!

So, Barbados is my home now and I've certainly enjoyed the past six ten months here. I've traveled around the Caribbean a bit, visiting St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Grenada, and Trinidad.  I never get tired of these breathtaking islands.  I am so grateful that I've been given the chance to live in paradise for two years.  There are a lot of things I love about being here.  I have always loved the sway of Caribbean music, usually reggae. But the variety of genres blows my mind. Tons of soca, steelpan, dancehall, calypso and a cool Trini mash-up called chutney. All of these riddims move me from my toenails to my hair follicles. From the minute I wake up until I go to bed, I can listen to the music I really love. When I go out to a club, there's no doubt I'll hear some good stuff.  I enjoy the vibes here.  Always chill, no rush to do anything besides chill some more.  Living here has taught me to appreciate the stillness.  What a calming effect on my mood and psyche.

It's impossible to summarize the past ten months into one blog post so I will not try, but I'll start with some of my favorite Bajan sayings:

One of my favorite things about Barbados is the way people talk. Some people may rave about the Jamaican accent or the Trini lilt, but I've grown fond of the Bajan dialect. There are some hilarious sayings that tickle my ears when I hear them. Here are a few of my faves:

"Cheese-on-bread": To express shock, excitement, disappointment, disbelief, etc. Similar to "Oh my goodness!" In a sentence, one might hear: "Cheese-on-bread! Can't believe he dropped the ball AGAIN!"

Kuh-DEAR (also spelled, kadir, cuhdear, kuhdeer, etc): Similar to "awwww"; When i was traveling to St. Lucia recently, I told my Bajan friend that I missed home (aka Barbados), to which he replied "Kuh-DEAR!!! Yuh Bajan now!"

"Yuh gettin' tru?" (aka, "you getting through?): The first time someone asked me this, he had to repeat himself so many times that he just relented and said, "how are you doing?" So much easier, no?! Lol.

Scabbical: this word cracks me up, but i'm not exactly sure what it means. according to urban dictionary, it means "unclassy, trashy, etc" there's an ad running on the radio that refers to a "scabbical turkey" that's gotten loose, but mostly, i hear it referring to a woman who sleeps around or something. will check back with you on this one.

Wukkin' up: bumping and grinding, dirty dancing, insane hip gyrations. I try to practice wukkin up every weekend.

Bashment: when i hear this word, i think of the moment when a party goes from tame to buckwild in the span of like 15 mins. everyone's standing around sipping their delicate cocktails and next thing you know, the DJ plays like 2 or 3 good songs in a row and it's just chaos, body parts flying everywhere, sweat dripping, etc. to me, that party has reached bashment proportions. Lots of that going on in Barbados.

Bim: a nickname for Barbados, short for Bimshire, which is what England called Barbados back in the day

STUP-see (or maybe it's pronounced STOOP-see): the equivalent of sucking one's teeth to express disapproval. I can't quite stupse yet, but it won't be long now...

No telling which of these verbal ticks I'll come back to America with, but I get a good chuckle.  Anyway, I have lots more to talk about but will save it for later.  :)

Until then,



My Temporary Escape from Reality

London was just that - a temporary escape from my hectic reality. I intended to divest myself of all the emotional baggage that had been draining me and I think it semi-accomplished that goal. As anyone who has ever experienced disappointment knows, it's nearly impossible to shut off your mind when it's focused on something, whether good or bad. In my quiet moments, I thought of G. But I mostly stayed busy hanging out with my fabulous friends. I drove up to NYC first and hung out with my brother and his girlfriend. They took me to, go figure, a Korean fried chicken spot called BonChon. I remember seeing it in Korea but never went there. A few other friends joined us and we made a night out of laughing, drinking (dangerous) soju and grubbing. The following night, my DC crew was in town to celebrate my girl's birthday so I hung out all day with them. I was feeling a bit down since this was a trip G and I were supposed to make together, but I tried to have a good time. My flight to London was super early, about 745am, so I barely slept. Nervous energy? Perhaps...I had some red wine to calm my nerves on the flight and thought of all the impending fun...
Seeing the Parliament Building never really gets old...it's like living art. Even in the gloomy weather, I couldn't help but stop and stare, traffic jams be damned. The traffic is probably the most unfortunate aspect of this area....too many gawking tourists like me.
the London Eye...aka the-ginormous-ferris-wheel-that-I'm-too-scared-to-ride...
A lovely pub near Westminster...there's like 2 pubs per person in London...which I just made up but it sure felt true
The iconic London Underground logo made from random objects...like clay and pencil and tape. Cute artwork.
View from the Thames River..
In Tra-FAL-gar Square, which I inevitably mispronounce and am promptly corrected by anyone within earshot.
Walking with my friend Harry, in search of ice cream
The coolest rocker momma on the planet...and her squiggly (albeit a bit grumpy) bundle of cuteness.
My new love - Strongbow cider
The man of a million metaphors...
Headed to the Tate Modern...loved every minute, especially their A-MA-ZING gift shop!! Who knew?!
Had to sneak a pic or two...you can't judge a book by its cover nor a museum by its facade. Looked like an abandoned building on the outside but how deceptive! My trip had many highlights, some of which I failed to capture on camera. Had dinner with a fellow blackgirl blogger at an adorable Thai restaurant near Piccadilly Circus. First time having ostrich since the Philippines and it tasted even better than I remembered. My friend's husband also made a proper English meal with yorkshire pudding, roast beef and gravy, potatoes, and veggies. I ate enough fish & chips and drank enough Magner's to satisfy my cravings for years to come. Even more, I enjoyed walking around Brick Lane, where I sampled divine Indian cuisine and browsed beautiful vintage boutiques.
cool graffiti near Brick Lane
When the time came to leave London, I felt ready to start on my new journey. After starting work and having an incredible summer in DC with my "framily" (friends who are really more like family), I discovered that I'd be spending the next 2 years in the glorious Caribbean island of Barbados. So, here we go... :) Until then, J


A Closed Chapter, An Open Book

**all grad photo credit goes to my friend, Cameron**

My graduation weekend was filled with lots of happiness, laughter, and amazing moments. It could not have been more perfect. Even Ash and Mimi flew in for my big day, along with my granddad, aunt, and uncle. As you can see, I attempted to get my hair straightened, only for it to be frizzy after 10 mins I actually cannot believe graduate school has ended, but I am incredibly glad that I made it. I'm ready to close that chapter of my life and start anew. I have no doubt that the best of my life lies ahead (though I've had some damn good moments to date). The weekend started on Friday night with a celebration of my graduation and my brother's birthday at Marvin on U Street. Great atmosphere and music! The DJ had everyone up and dancing. I even scored an attractive, though strangely dressed, dance partner! Nothing like a random compliment from a stranger ("I think you're cute," he said) to crack my post break-up blues. Pics below and on to my lovely trip to London.... :)

**busting a gut with Jar, Ash, and Jess at Marvin on U. Street...**

**my little cousin - he's such a cutie!**

**my rocks**

**with Ash and Mimi on a Potomac River cruise**

**looking more like my mom than I care to admit**

Until then,