I went to Grenada in 2006, and could literally see the Grenadines, but somehow didn’t make it until this year. I went with my Guyanese mother, who traveled on her Canadian passport, and kept introducing me as her daughter from Iceland, yet I was traveling on my Guyanese passport… so everyone was a little confused, even us. Mom spoke with a West Indian accent, I spoke with a Canadian accent, but we knew everything about the roties and curries and pepper sauces so at least we were warmly accepted.
They have their own version of Africa’s TIA, and they call it ‘island time.’ You’d think it just refers to when things are late, but its also an excuse for things that never happen. As the ignorant westerner expecting things to run as they should, you hear alot of ‘don’t worry,’ ‘don’t stress youself’ or ‘everytings gonna be arite man.’ I wouldnt say I was ever in a rush, and I kind of embraced the island time livin,’ but it was a bit weird when we went to a Wine and Tapas restaurant that didn’t have wine or tapas… but they had rum punch, so everyting really was arite.
We were there a week, and island hopped from Barbados to St. Vincent in a plane, then ferried to Bequia and Union Island in the Grenadines. My so-called ‘uncle’ (its a term of respect for family friends but we’re not related) that I stayed with in Carriacou ten years ago had 27 children, and I though he was special, but I met a few other productive fathers. One guy, who I met on a rum-shop pub crawl, had nearly 20 brothers and sisters, and said he recently walked in on his father 95 years of age having sex. His mother had her last child at the age of 65, which isn’t impossible but still hard to believe.
St. Vincent makes an 85% rum called Sunset which could also be sold as lighter fluid or gasoline, which I discovered when our car ran out of gas on our rum shop tour. I ate conch curry for the first time, lots of amazing, fresh, sea food, and Guyanese rum and Cuban cigars were sold in nearly every corner store. Beaches and more beaches were the focus of our days, and fans and air-con the focus of our nights. I’ve always thought to be too cold is worse than being too hot, but there were definitely moments when I dreamed about being back in Whistler or Reykjavik in some fresh, frosty air, but now that I’ve left, I know those were just temporary brain lapses. Take me back to the sun please, even my skin is protesting from the lack of humidity.