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Friday, April 18, 2008

Things that foreigners cannot handle

1. "I cant find it anywhere". I understand this reason very well. You just want to go to a movie and chill. You just want to go to a restaurant and get served quickly even if they dont know you. You want a leg of Lamb NOW. You want to go to a club and you dont want to feel like you stepping into a meat factory.Its, selfish and not really important, but it is at the same time. Especially when it really isnt an island problem since you can go to other islands and do all of the above.

2. Everyone is watching. Met veye is an occupation in this small island. Like your privacy ? Go far into Zion and come down for you shopping and go back up. The alternative is that everyone is going to know you business, whether its true or false. Confidentiality means nothing here. Your bank manager to your next door neighbour has info that has to be shared. And goddammit...them goin share it. Just accept that or be a hermit.

3. The rumour mill. Not content to minding their own business they also have to create stories to match their interest. Its an island, ok . We dont have National Enquirer or the Sun. We have radio neg. The best ones are rumours that people can end up telling you not knowing its you they are talking about. Priceless, but some people can really get hurt by the non ending quest to damage their name or reputation for the sake of easing some dead TV time.

4. Government. Look. there is nothing more irritating than govt on small islands. In most large countries you dont even know who you local rep is. You are detached and the machinery of government just rumbles on. In Dominica you get to see the person who has influence over many aspects of your life close up. And it aint pretty. The bureacracy, thin skins, and plain lack of smarts of Government can drive anyone mad and get them to leave this place. Many of them prob wouldnt even be able to get a middle tier job in on merit elsewhere. But here they are king....and you better remember that or make plans to scoot.

5. Dishonesty. The country is small. That means every slight gets magnified and really CAN piss you off. If you get into business in Dominica you have to realise that there is no code of conduct or business ethics etc. Its the law of the jungle, survival of the fittest. This is not a statement saying that Dominicans are more dishonest than anyone else. We are a good people. But tings tight as they say and people have no qualms about copying, stealing or plain taking your ideas, your dreams or anything they can use and running with it. I am not being harsh. I am being real.
However if you are just living your life this doesnt apply. Well, except if you expose a fresh British or US accent in the market. Then crapaud smoke your pipe :-)

6. Gotta have some. Caribbean man must be honest. Its so damn hot and we get so horny that we have to tackle every woman. Or do we. On the flip side I really think we need to do 'Get some' holidays. Want to get some ? Come to the Caribbean island of Dominica and get laid. There is someone for everyone. Lady has a full grown beard or a nervous tic ? No problem...we have someone for that too. All joke aside though, as a man you dont realise how bad it is until you have a lady friend visit from abroad and move around with you. Guys talking to you and watching her like a piece of bacon on a menu. Some like it (bearded ladies need love too), many dont. But its real. 24x7 tackle mode is employed. It has to stop of course but women in Dominica have to play their part in stopping it.

Better get back to the real world.


Fiona said...

I love how you tell it how it is!

TropicallyTied said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TropicallyTied said...

I suspect some of these turned

7. Everyone wants my money. From getting your car fixed to buying land. I hear many find the price goes up and up once some Dominicans hear the foreign accent

8. Dominicans are experts on everything. Someone is always willing to point out that the way you are doing something is foolish and you need to do it like this. From parking to building your home.

You think it's just foreigners who cannot handle these things?

Re. 6 How would you suggest women in Dominica playing their part in stopping it?

Should/Can these things change or are they as Hunter says just part of "Typical Dominican"?

Kenny said...

Hi TT,

Dominican women need to stop using their sexuality as a tool. Caribbean women in general. Its ok if its part of a multi faceted weapon, but when generations of women only have that as their weapon, they end up having to fire it regularly. When men start to learn to take a woman serious because she demands it, then they will start to look out for that standard. Simple.

Fiona said...

I still haven't got my head around the leaving dominica blogspot whilst still trying to flog my how great it is to live there book blogspot scenario. Must be me.

TropicallyTied said...

If you look up "foreigner" in the dictionary it seems such a harmless little word but I hate to hear it, so many negative connotations. How about "Things that overseas visitors cannot handle" ;-)

TropicallyTied said...

re "Dominican women need to stop using their sexuality as a tool". So you think Dominican women being hassled all the time and not being taken seriously is some of their own doing because some "use their sexuality as a tool"? I cannot see that. From time and all over the world some womem who feel they have little power have used sexuality as a means to try and get ahead or achieve their goals. So firstly I would disagree that it's limited to "caribbean woman". Secondly this is a two way bargain, the woman offers this and in return the man gives whatever. He is fully aware of the contract and can always say no to what is being offered. A strong man could show there is another way. So I see it as mutual exploitation between the powerless and the weak.
But what if I'm not "firing that weapon"? I am sure there are plenty of Dominican women who are not looking for that contract and do not send out those signals (certainly not intentionally). Isn't the difference obvious? OK some women use their sexuality in order to be heard just as some men use their pyhsical strength or bullying and even their own sexuality (I've seen that too) to get their way but what if I'm not? Surely it's out of my hands if someone see's me only as a sexual object. It's down to them to change

Kenny said...

Hi TT,

This isnt a typical "they asking for it commentary" though on face value it might look like I am just repeating a normal excuse for us to justify the way we treat women.

The Dominican man for example doesnt form his impressions based in isolation.

You said some important things. Firstly, because we have a matriarchal society and women are in fact the 'strong' in our society, sexuality is used by men locally to equalise things (I know that doesnt fit with the pic you have). Its not immediately obvious because everything is trivialised down to a fun level here but its dead serious.

There is little flirting in our society. Thats a sign that things are seriously wrong IMO. Flirting is usually driven by women and is damn healthy but because of the dynamics of an insecure local man, women cannot flirt. The result is a game of constant " I wanna cokay you" and women never tackle it head on because to deal with it they will have to tackle a huge problem. How do you tell a man "no" in Dominica without it being a slight to him, and still be able to get a lift from him, get top up, lime amongst them, a job, etc when he thinks he has NO chance of getting some.

The thing is, they still will get it, but it will be harder. So many take the easy road and just play the game so to speak. The woman coming down gets tangled up in the same game even when she has no intent to play at all.

There are only a few local women who can exist in that space (of being outright - no). In the first world that dynamic has changed drastically for women.

I am pretty normal as a man. Maybe I can articulate my perceptions alot better but most Caribbean guys know the deal.

Maybe this is too complex an issue for here :-) I am getting a headache just doing this.

Maybe one day you can examine the relationship between the English returning woman and the Dominican man. There is a definite perception that you might be interested in.

J said...

Fiona, the Leaving Dominica thing.. I know what you mean.LOL.. her blogs are good though, still!

Very interesting blog K. I interact with many "foreigners" as TT pointed out., for the most part, they share similar sentiments. Those who can slow down and go with the flow survive, and those who prefer to swim against current eventually move away!

That said, I have a Canadian friend who had something very insighful to say.. "why maintain a way of life which does not serve you?!"