The connections we make…
I got an e-mail a while ago from a guy in Barbados who found my web site by searching for Barbados blogs (and found my “asked to leave” Barbados comment). I finally replied this morning. And went to read his blog (no longer in existence).
He mentioned slowly atrophying with a friend at Quayside — a hangout on the South side of the island that I wasn’t too fond of 12 years ago. I hadn’t thought about Quayside in years. This flood of memories came rushing back. It’s a little overwhelming when that happens.
I think I’ve chosen to not think about Barbados. To not remember. Leaving was so painful. And the transition to the U.S. wasn’t an easy one. It was major culture shock, landing in central Florida, pine trees and subdivisions all around. No beach, nowhere within walking distance. And a whole lot of white preppy people who thought anyone else was… inferior. We’ll just put it that way. For 4 years, I’d been a minority. About 6% of the population in Barbados is white. Suddenly I was in a completely different world.
I still miss the islands sometimes, especially in these Rochester, NY, winters. Sometimes I’ll dream that I’m on the beach, walking along or swimming in the sea. It’s warm, it’s sunny. It just so damn beautiful. I’m swimming underwater, rising towards the surface, my head breaking through the surface, feeling sunlight on my skin. Wading out of the ocean towards the rum shop and the smell of flying fish grilling over a fire. And then my alarm goes off and I wake up to a freezing tundra of a reality.
For the most part, though, moving to the U.S. was a blessing and ultimately a good thing. Not that going to England would have been so bad. It’s funny — I think you always want what you don’t have. I dream about moving back to England. It seems almost impossible. But before I moved to this country, I’d always wanted to live in the U.S. Again, a seemingly impossible thing. But yet something that happened. It’s always that way with me. Believing that change will never happen: I’ll always have to come to work at RIT, I’ll always be a renter (not true anymore!)… on and on. Even though change is the only constant.
I miss the flying fish, though.