Sunday, 2 January 2011

Coming In From The Cold



In this life, in this life, in this life,
In this, oh sweet life,
We're coming in from the cold.

Bob Marley

*Music continues as I type this post*

Hello, my wonderful readers and a Happy New Year! Finally, after all the hecticities (not an actual word) of the Christmas season, I got a chance to settle down and blog. As many of you may not know, seeing that it was a last minute decision, I came back to Trinidad to spend Christmas with my family and friends. The thing is that whilst I've only been in Bogota for five months, coming back to Trinidad and being the 'new' me was so weird. Thus, this post will speak about all the things I found weird in Trinidad, and in myself after spending five months in foreign.

I suppose that after five months of hearing Colombian- Spanish accents, two different types of Trinidadian accents and a bunch of Jamaican accents, one tends to become accustomed to these types of accents and anything else sounds really weird. There I was on the tarmac of a Panamanian airport waiting on a bus that would eventually take us to the plane. Suddenly, I heard this woman talking to her husband. It was obviously English but her South Trinidadian accent had me stumped, it was just WEIRD. On the plane from Panama to Trinidad I found myself struggling to understand what the other Trinidadians on the plane were saying owing to the different accents on board; there was the black woman from the outskirts of Port of Spain screaming at her child, the fresh water Yankee Trini, the retired school principal with her "bouge" accent, the cool Grandpa from Diego Martin flirting with the woman sitting next to him and the classic Trini "wajang" accent. Sigh, poor me!

I think the colour of my house could induce photosensitive epilepsy (Google it) in some people. I mean, my gallery is painted bright yellow, my living room walls are the colour of a ripe paw paw, my bathroom is painted yellow and green and my tiles are peachy looking. Basically, my house is a world of bright colours and has made me the happy, optimistic person that I am today. The thing is that after five months of living in an apartment with white walls and black and white tiles coming home to an advertisement for Sisson's Paints' "Colour Explosion" was mind blowing. It took my eyes about three days to become accustomed to my world of colour.

I'm really extroverted and energetic, I'm usually the loudest person in a group and everyone knows that Garvin is there. I have a high voice, I don't walk with a "bounce", I take good care of my skin and good care of myself in general, some may say I'm metro sexual. Throughout my life I've been called every gay- related term in the book and whilst, it doesn't bother me now, back then I was a MESS. I started to change my personality, to be more "manly" (whatever that means) so as to conform to societal norms and seem less "girly" in the eyes of the masses. Going to Colombia has really helped me to be myself so much so that I feel so uninhibited in Trinidad. I walk how I want; talk how I want, act how I want and I don't worry about what the close minded Trinidadians have to say. This new sense of confidence is a little weird for me but I love every minute of it. Being I is so satisfyingly blissful.

I've always prided myself on having a good grasp of both the Standard and Trinidadian Creole English. Thus, I found it easy to speak and teach in the Standard and switch to Creole whenever I was with my friends. Now that I'm in Trinidad I can't seem to "turn off" the Standard. On the night I returned to Trinidad, I was talking to my family in perfect, perfect English. I didn't realise it until my brother said, "Boy, why yuh talking like yuh just come from England? Steupssss!" Ever since my brother's subtle exclamation, I've become really aware of the way I'm speaking these days; it's more articulate and grammatically correct with the slightest trace of an accent, its origins unknown. I've also noticed that I'm more attuned to the grammatical errors that many a Trinidadian makes when they speak. Now I'm destined to become one of those people that constantly correct people when they speak, this is NOT good.

More or less, these are the weirdest things I've noticed since I've been back and I think they'll get even weirder because I'm returning to Colombia on the 25th. I must say that coming home for Christmas has showed me that I can indeed live in Colombia with regular visits to my homeland. So who knows where life would take me, if it decides to take me to a life in Colombia so be it. At least, I can come in from the cold ever so often.