Welcome

Dennis Jones is a Jamaican-born international economist, who has lived most of the time in the UK and USA, and latterly in Guinea, west Africa. He moved back to the Caribbean in 2007. This blog contains his observations on life on this small eastern Caribbean island, as well as views on life and issues on a broader landscape, especially the Caribbean and Africa.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

Happy Days.

It takes a visit by some tourists to help you discover some of the little Bajan treasures. This morning, I had a breakfast date with "Daphne" and her family (see "The World is Bigger and Smaller Than We Realize" and "You cannot be Serious!"). She had promised to bring me a delicacy from South Carolina, boiled peanuts. Having arrived in Barbados four days ago, she and her family had toured the island several times, and enjoyed the rugged east coast, especially Bathsheba. They had sampled Oistins several times, and also "Jus' Grillin'"; I have to admit that I pointed them to places and things I enjoy. They had discovered for themselves, a lovely little restaurant in St. Lawrence Gap, named "Happy Days".

So, after my weekend away in Trinidad and Tobago, I exchanged messages last night with "Daphne"and we agreed on a 8'o'clock meeting this morning. While I waited, I talked to the lady who seemed to be the owner as I heard a very strong English accent. I explained what had brought me to the cafe, and she burst out laughing. "How strange! We met this family at 'Silver Sands' and had drinks with them, then went to Oistins on Saturday." I had heard of these events through my e-mail exchanges, but now I was blown away. The owner, Euralene Nunwa (see picture), had just taken over the cafe two months ago with her husband, Mick (an English-born lad from Derby, with Indian roots). Euralene was Bajan-born but went to England as a seven year old, now was a recent returnee. We had a good laugh as we discussed places in north London where we had both lived. Then up came "Daphne" and her family. "You stand accused," I said to her, telling her that she somehow looked like the person who had been sending me messages. We quickly ran through the morning's events. Eyes popped again.

All of that over, we had a great breakfast--the "Full Monty" English, for me (bacon, sausages, beans, toast and eggs). Daphne, her husband (an evangelical pastor), her niece and her husband (a retired soldier, who had fought in "Desert Storm", stationed in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) and I all talked about "Muslim fundamentalism" in Barbados. More seriously, we talked about Muslim countries and cultures--the extremes in places like Saudi Arabia, where people are beheaded or amputated for certain crimes, to the other end where the country has its major industry as beer making (Guinea). We talked about the coming US elections, of course--they had already voted: they remained stunned that so much interest existed here for this event.

We talked about the fear of extremist terrorists. I told them about recent neighbours of mine, who had just come from Zimbabwe, and kept a guard at their house in our bucolic neighbourhood, because they were fearful of crime in the island. You get conditioned. "Daphne" and her family told me about being held up by low-level Bajan terrorists at the weekend, as they were pressed for some "purples" by a group of men on the highway: they were near Earthworks Pottery at the time and the people there said that they would report the incident to the police. Still, they loved Barbados, its friendly people, and its wonderful beaches, and would go back with good stories, wit plans to visit again soon. When they return to the US the results of the election should be known and they can start to think about what the next president will mean for them.

For my part, I will go and enjoy those peanuts, and share them with some Bajan US election watchers tomorrow evening. I'll also make a note of signing up for a regular breakfast at "Happy Days".

1 comment:

Happy Eater said...

It was really good to read your article mentioning Happy Days, I too have sampled the "Full Monty" breakfast and I must say that the food is very good, the atmosphere is really friendly and the staff quick moving and happy as you would find in England.
I thought it a great plus when I visited Happy Days that I was able to eat and use the internet all under the same roof, when I return back to Barbados - Happy Days will be the first place I will be visiting.