Sunday, June 12, 2005

Travelling is a bitch!!

Not two weeks ago, I went across the country to Freiburg to do a presentation on the language situation in Jamaica. I had to take the train which cost me something in the region of 140 euro. If the cost wasn't bad enough, someone got sick on the first leg of the journey and the train was delayed for about fifteen minutes so that the medical team could come for her. This of course threw off my schedule since I only had four minutes to connect to the next train. I ended up having to wait about half an hour or more for the next one.

When I got on and we started to move the conductor came around checking tickets and when I presented mine, he said something to me in German. "Ich spreche kein Deutsch", (I speak no German) I tried to say in my best best German which is worse I guess than hog a nyam coco to the native German ears.

Thank God there was a woman who was sitting right in front of me who offered to help; she spoke English. They carried on their conversation and she explained that I had taken the express train and had to pay extra - whole a 30 odd euro (even though the train's delay caused me to miss my connection). I unwillingly forked out the money. Minutes after the conductor returned and gave me back my money. Then I knew I was not in Jamaica. He said the station people could have informed him that there was a delay. He even went further to tell me what train to take in Frankfurt, etc.

Coming back two days later was no less eventful, since I went in and took my seat and had people staring at me. I found out eventually that seats had been reserved and I was supposed to look for an unreserved one. But, no, this lickle walk-bout bwoy neva git up. all I do was to close me yeye every time de train stop and pray dat nobody wudn come for the seat. Prayer does work!!

But then the whole experience made me think about the scores of people who leave Jamaica everyday, tek plane and don't have the slightest clue about travelling. But they seem to get by. It is a case of "Consider the birds of the air, they neither sow nor spin, yet our heavenly Father takes care of them' In fact, when I was coming over to Germany there were two females who were obviously coming over for the first time. They latched on to me. One of them I assume could not read and write at all since I had helped her at the immigration section to fill out her departure form (every last detail).

The three of us walked into the plane together. When I reached my seat and turned back round there was the other one complaining that she could not find her seat. I took her ticket and showed her that her seat number was 25K at which point Miss Mum tell me "No, the K is for kilogram". Gentle persuasion finally won her over in the end.

So why do I worry about travelling? Massa God will continue to tek care of what me don't know bout.

By the way, those of you are used to my usually comical "first-time-I-tried-to-find-the-SDA-church-I-got-lost story" will be glad to know that that was not the case yesterday. I found the street okay. It was just a problem of deciding whether the church was at the east end or the west end of the street. It amounted to over half an hour of walking.

More time!!
De Walk-bout Jamaican Bwoy

1 comment:

Stacy-Ann Edwards said...

Hi Joseph-

I was doing an online research on Jamaican Patois for an MA program I am currently enrolled in and came across your page. I read a couple of your blogs and found out that your SDA (which I guess isn't difficult to believe...I usually assume most Jamaicans have some SDA relation. :)

I was proud to learn of your doctoral pursuit and travel abroad and that your SDA.

I am SDA and wondering how your experience in Germany is going? I would like to go to Spain after I complete this program. I went as an undergraduate and loved it...would like to spend a year.

Anyhoo, this blog looks old so you may not even be there anymore...but, still would like to connect.