Monday, February 28, 2011

Nicknames and our little misadventure

Just a few observations about nicknames here. First, they are very widely used. Second, they follow you, good or bad, pretty much forever. Third, here you can know someone for a very long time without actually knowing their 'real' name. And fourth, they serve the purpose of providing an alias should you decide to do something illegal, with the idea that the police would look for you using your real name, which some may not even know. Sneaky. One of our regular bus drivers, Piley, which is embroidered on his dashboard Kleenex box, and Supa Ted, a driver we had on a Bridgetown-bound West coast bus, are just some of the names I have heard. In Canada, we generally call each other by our full name or a short or cutesy version of it. It is rarer to call someone another name all together on a regular basis. In Barbados, I have been known to respond to Shorty and most people’s nicknames correspond to physical features: Tall man, Big guy, Rasta, Red man, Picka (he is a picky eater), etc. We used to have some dancer friends here: Casper, Froggy and Scooby. But I like it all. Keep your eyes peeled for a future post on speakin' like a Bajan - Melissa is officially getting "lessons"!

On the weekend front, Saturday I met up for lunch with some friends of my dad’s – thanks for lunch, ice cream and friendly faces Jim and Silvia! – and limed the rest of the day away back at Crane Beach. And eating some coconuts right out the tree!
On Sunday, Melissa, Chris and I headed out to the West coast after my surf lesson with the vision of taking out the kayak, catching a glimpse of some turtles and snorkeling around the marine park. I had done it already many times on my own and even with Melissa last month, so by now I should have the routine down pact, right? How wrong I was. I heard swell was big on the West coast, since surfing Sunday morning at Freights on the South Coast was not that great wave-wise. Apparently when one is good, the other really isn’t. But even after dragging the kayak, snorkel gear, fins, anchor, waterproof camera, bread for attracting fish, towels and whatever else down to the water’s edge, the wave breaks along the beach seemed manageable. We had all the good intentions in the world, watching the wave sets and looking for a calm moment to push in the kayak and hop on. But we misjudged. Badly. And the kayak (which has a crack in it already) filled completely with water, making it an 8 foot long rock sinking and crashing into shore! It knocked Melissa clear off her feet, sprawling into the water, along with all of our gear! And me, who owns a kayak at home and is at least a self-professed intermediate kayaker, was at a loss to figure out how to drain the extremely awkward and weighty boat. Meanwhile, I am sure the row of tourists sunbathing nearby was particularly amused at our little chaotic antics. Essentially for about an hour, we wrestled with the waves and keeping the kayaking from taking in water on the launch. And then we realized that in the midst of all the confusion, we lost both snorkel masks – the whole purpose of going out in the first place!

Sam, if you’re reading this, Copper is looking for them, sorry! And your anchor as well. Not sure how we managed to lose that one. I suppose it’s a particular skill of mine.

All you can do is laugh it off, and after some good home cookin’ and a beautiful sunset, we headed back to the South coast, ready for the work week.

Check it out: post-surf lesson at Freights Bay!

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