Things Jamaicans don’t understand..

    As most of you know, I’m from Jamaica. The fact that I was raised here doesn’t mean that I fully understand some American’s “habits.” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that there are certain things about Yanks that I’ll just never understand. I realize that this is a cultural difference, but maybe, just maybe you can help me out and answer some burning questions for me.

       I’ve often sat back and said something like, “Only in America.” And as if we didn’t have enough questions daily, I’d like to present, “Questions for ya’ll Americans.”

   1. Why is that dog in the bed with you?

      When all the ladies were here in Miami, we sat around and had a brief conversation about the way that Jamaicans treat dogs. When I was in Jamaica, a dog was that animal that you had to guard the gate. He didn’t come inside the house, why would he? He doesn’t go for a walk, he has the yard. But the situation that makes us question Yanks the most is the dog sleeping in the bed with you. WHY does that happen? ‘Im nuh ave ‘im own bed? I find even more hilarious when I catch that show where the woman has to come in and re-train the dog because he’s in the bed and the woman’s HUSBAND has to sleep on the sofa because the dog kicked him out. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN!? As my mother would say, “A idiot ting dat!” I just don’t get it.

   Correction: Chubby did come inside the house once. Hurrican Gilbert was outside. #Truestory

    1A: What is dog food?

   I didn’t know the concept of  dog food til I was in school and I saw Teresa’s dogs getting special food. In Jamaica, you know what the dog gets to eat? Scraps from lunch. My aunt Rose would drop this on the grass when she got home from work, Chubby (the dog) would eat what he wanted, and the palmetto bugs would clean out the rest. *brushes off hands* Done and done. But cooking for a dog?! No, that don’t work. And buying dog food? Nah, I think the dogs they got up here are spoiled.

   2. Why do you have all those pills?

      Growing up, any kind of ailment could be solved with a cup of tea. Everything to a Jamaican is “gas” and we’re all convinced that a good belch will get you feeling better in no time. Not only that, but you don’t even need to buy teabags (I can’t say “teabags” without laughing) because I have a whole fence full of mint leaves. Come by after church and I’ll pull some for you. I’ll send you home with a bagful of mint, thyme, and some scotch bonnet pepper for good measure.
     P.S. This is the truth, do NOT think otherwise!

   3. Why are your children talking to you any kind of way?

     This might be one of the biggest questions that Jamaicans have about Yanks. I cannot tell you how many times my mother and I have seen a situation happening and we just look at each other as if to say, “why is she not beating him?” Now, I’m guilty of this sometimes, but I’m a grown ass woman. We’re not talking about grown ass people. My momma can’t beat me (anymore). We’re talking about the screaming children in the grocery story. We’re talking about the “I Hate Yous” that can be heard when the parent doesn’t want to buy the toy. We’re talking about the “top of the lungs” screams that interrupt my time in the library, and the ones that don’t want to eat their food on “Super Nanny.” What is the matter with you!? “Give him two beatin and get on with life!” Not only that, when you’re done beating him, call over granny and make her beat them as well. With the belt that you made them get you from the closet. (And make sure they get the right belt too!)

   4. Why is sitting in the corner punishment?

     Time out? What the hell is a “time out?” Why is being quiet in a corner considered punishment? Depending on the situation, being quiet could be considered “calming yourself before bedtime.” This isn’t punishment. Why hasn’t the belt been fetched yet? If they’re gonna be standing, at least make them do wall squats or something. Outside. In the rain.

    5. What do you mean, “they’re 18, they’re an adult?”

     Just because the state considers them an adult means NOTHING for what an 18 year old is thought of at home. Like they magically became smarter on their 18th birthday. Are they still living in your house? “Yes?” Then they ain’t grown! And they’re still a kid until they move out! Yes, a curfew might be revised, but don’t start tossing around the “I’m grown” business because you might come home at 2 o’clock without clearing it with Veronica, and find your ass locked out. (And I was 22!)

    So there you have it folks. Just some of the things that Jamaicans can’t understand about Yanks. I believe that each one should teach one so I just thought I would put it out there. We can bridge this gap of confusion so easily, just tell me why some of ya’lls counterparts do the things they do. And if you have a question about Jamaicans, I’ll be more than happy to answer. No, don’t ask me about kush.

    Thank ya kindly!

    Peace and Love, Nick

P.S. I was just joking, you can ask me whatever you want…

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20 Responses to “Things Jamaicans don’t understand..”
  1.    1. Why is that dog in the bed with you?
    Not as many of us “yanks” do this as you think. I will say dogs are just a silent, furry member of the family. As for dog food, most people give rover scraps here too but your vet will tell you that some things are just bad for them. Trust me when I say my parents dog, Champ gets a twinkle in his eye when ribs are on the grill.

      2. Why do you have all those pills?
    Well we generally don’t take care of ourselves and the pharmaceutical companies has worked themselves into our medical system. The last time I filled a prescription was when I torn my knee up. Can’t rock with pills. *Sidenote* As a southerner you wouldn’t believe the “remedies” I’ve had.

      3. Why are your children talking to you any kind of way?
    This is new. Baby boomer and their children aren’t always focused enough to be control their seeds.

      4. Why is sitting in the corner punishment?
    It’s not.

    5. What do you mean, “they’re 18, they’re an adult?”

    Never had a curfew and my parents were born in ’32 and ’38.

    Question for a yardie;

    Jamaican men are notoriously homophobic but they always are shown wearing mesh tank tops straight out international male. Why come?

    • max says:

      “I will say dogs are just a silent, furry member of the family”.

      Member of the family? Only in America

      “but your vet will tell you that some things are just bad for them.”

      A vet? You pay to take your dog to the doctor?? Only in America.

      • Yes, the family. I’ve had dogs that I prefer more than cousins. As for the vet thing, since I’m slighty higher up the ladder in evolution and food chain it’s the least I can do for the furry f***er is make sure he doesn’t have fleas and worms.

    • nicknotnikki says:

      I would love to know if you not having a curfew possibily has something to do with you being a dude? I’ve heard this before, and was wondering if perhaps that’s the case..
      I had a 12:30 curfew on prom night. And the prom was over at 12. Mom said, “that’s just enough time for you to make it home.”
      The men in the mesh shirts business.. This was cool way back when. I’m sure it was probably born out of a need for ventilation. I live in Florida and break out in heat bumps when I go to JA. The heat there is OBSCENE~! Everything in me would love to say that the men are homophobic because it’s inbred that “bad man a bad man” and there are certain things that “bad men” don’t do. On the other side of the spectrum, they wear bright colored jeans (1982 wants it’s wardrobe back) and rhinestone buckles as if to say, “I’m so comfortable in my manhood that I can wear this.” without realizing they look like they shopped at Rave.. With a bit of “Rainbow” on the side..

      • I never figured out the curfew thing Nick. It could have been that my brother and I were dudes. I would say that it was because I grew up in the nether regions of South Carolina and there was only so much trouble that you could get into but that would be false also. I guess my parents figured they knew what they were doing.

        12:30? That’s just harsh. I remember many nights that I had to wait for the North Bound Am Track to pass through my town before I could get home. (If it was on schedule it rolled through around 3 or 4 a.m.)

        Miss Moneypenny and I always wondered about the wardrobe/homophobia thing. This was my chance to ask a Jamaican.

        As for the 1982 clothing, I think this could be said of much of the American south as well. (Short sets anyone?)

      • I’m convinced that there is a cetain element among the southern Negro that shops for short sets out of season as if this ungodly apparel were high fashion. I can’t prove it but I know this happens.

  2. Cheekie says:

    LOL, a couple of those things you listed are what Black folks (especially my family) ask about 2520s. Like the dog thing, and the “children talk to you any kinda way” thing. My sister, in particular, STAY saying “That’s white people ish” when she sees a dog MAKING OUT with a person. I don’t mind dogs licking me, but I ain’t finna tongue-kiss nothing that licks its own butt. Even if their mouths are scientifically “cleaner.” Their breath smells like dog food and constipation. I guess lots of folks that have pets consider them a companion (especially if they don’t have a human one…but even then…) which is why they allow them on the bed. I’ve never had a dog (grew up with cats, but still don’t remember sleeping with it) so I wouldn’t really know that feeling.

    Oh, and the children talking to their parents any kinda way?! And in public?! I don’t even have kids yet and the hairs stand up on the back of my neck when I see that. Imagine how my mama, sister, or aunts look. They wish their child WOULD talk to them any kinda way. AND front them off?! Please. My mama and aunt grew up in the days when their mama gave their neighbors permission to slap them around if they acted out when she wasn’t around. That’s the sense of community that was abound back then. Nowadays, let someone try to tell someone else’s kid how to act. Police will be called. LOL

    Oh, and the punishment? Yeah, can’t say I’ve ever had time-out. lol Not only did my grandma used a belt, she used anything that was near to her. That was that southern in her, though.

    Wu nailed the pills thing. It’s a shame, really. It’s so easy to depend on pills, I take allergy ones myself…and it is crazy. I actually do believe we have everything here on earth to take care of everything that ails us, but it’s easier for us lazy Americans to risk side-effects with a quick fix. SMH…

  3. max says:

    I’m not Jamaican (but I’m close enough) and I don’t like in America (but close enough) and I sooooooo feel you on this. Girl you KNOW how I feel about the dog business – I told you about how my family in Trinidad treats our dog right? I mean – the dog’s name is “dog”. That tells you everything right there.

    And #3 is the key thing for me too. Only non-west indian people can tolerate this. I am 35 years old and I would get my teeth smacked right out of my mouth if I ever even twisted my “mout” to try to talk to my parents some kinda way.

    • BP says:

      “The dogs name is dog”….DEAD!

    • Cheekie says:

      “I told you about how my family in Trinidad treats our dog right? I mean – the dog’s name is “dog”. ”

      Max! LMFAO…I remember when you said this in Miyamuh and I fell OWT. I did it again just now. AHAHAHA.

  4. MsEsquire77 says:

    Here I go:

    1) I love dogs and plan to get one when I buy a house but I will NEVER kiss it in the mouth and it will NEVER sleep in my bed. That’s just nasty…ugh!

    2) I avoid medicine unless absolutely necessary. Then again I have a super-strong immune system so I’m rarely sick. *shrug*

    3, 4 and 5) These didn’t apply at my parents’ house and they won’t apply in mine. I love my parents but I also have a healthy fear of them.

    • nicknotnikki says:

      the first time I took care of that girl’s dog, I couldn’t keep him off the bed. It’s my thought process that I just walked him, watched him sh*t and then he’s gonna bring that “shitta batty” (as mom would say) and drag it across the bed!? Somethin bout that don’t rock right..

  5. BP says:

    Ok, so once I said something rude to my mother in front of my boyfriend and my mom popped me in the mouth. I WAS 25. Talk about being embarrassed! Moms is old school, she does not play. I co-sign your entire list. Although, I have almost lived in the states all my life I still don’t understand some of these folks logic.

  6. LaLaBakir says:

    I’m glad Cheekie brought up 2520’s b/c the entire time I was reading…I’m like “this is white people ish”

    Forgive my ignorance.

    I don’t know many black folks w/ dogs. And b/c of the climate changes in NJ…if they do have them, they damn sure don’t sleep in the bed. Hell I knew one dude who kept his pit in a cabinet under the kitchen sink.

    We don’t kiss dogs or none of that. Hell, most of the black folks I know don’t do pets. PERIOD.

    I’ve heard stories from my mom and sis about my nephew throwing tantrums in public. But he’s 2, so I’ll let him slide. But Auntie LaLa don’t play those games, hence why I only visit him and don’t take him out.

    At 18, legally…you’re considered an adult in the U.S. of A. Now what happens under your parents roof (if you still live at home) is a whole different story.

    • nicknotnikki says:

      nah, that’s cool.. because I’ve mostly seen some of that stuff with white folks.. I’ve seen black people on that show where the dogs were in the bed.. and i’m lookin at them like, “where dee hell was you raised?” that ish don’t make no sense..

  7. Even though I grew up in the states, my parents & nearby extended family made sure I grew up Ethiopian too lol. Replace the title with “Things Ethiopians Don’t Understand…” and it would be the same.

    1. Dogs in the bed? Sheeeeeeeit. Moving on…

    2. My parents only kept cough syrup and aspirin in the house. For everything else, there’s prayer and holy water.

    3 & 4. I think at least part of this is due to the fact that American society treats children like they’re fragile imbeciles. Child abuse is serious and the psyche of a child is sensitive to a degree, but it gets taken too far sometimes where a parent feels like they can’t discipline their child for fear it will scar them for life. Other parents are just soft in general. My parents weren’t really worried about all that.

    5. I wish I thought I was an adult when I was 18 cause my parents would fix that real quick. One day I was at home and my parents asked me if I wanted a beer. I said “no” thinking it was a test. I was 22.

  8. keisha brown says:

    as a descendant of jamaicans, i and i approve dis ‘ere post.

  9. A dog can not lick me, let alone get in bed with me.

    I have noticed that a lot of Black children are sonning their parents in public. I have seen my niece and nephew get fresh with their parents with no real repercussions. My mother would find such nonsense reprehensible, and would make everyone involved, parent and child, cut her a switch.

    For some kids, sitting in a corner is hell. For me it was worse than a whipping, depending on how long I had to be in said corner.

    I am not a pills guy. I have to be unable to move to take an aspirin. Dependency on meds does more harm than good.

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