Sun | Jun 16, 2019

Kelly's World | Country life a dweet

Published:Monday | May 13, 2019 | 12:22 AM

“As a youth I thought Kingston was the place to be, until me forward up a country ... Mi never know country life was so nice.” – Country Life by Ras Karbi

 

As small as Jamaica is, it feels like the country is about four different nations in one.

Forget the geography of the island for a second, even though Jamaica has it all, from mountains to valleys and everything in between.

No, the different nations I’m talking about refers to how people behave and the customs and traditions of various sections of the island.

I’ve been to the rural areas many times over the years, and I always come back with the same good feeling.

I went to St Bess recently on assignment and the overall demeanour of the residents was a far cry from anything one would see in Kingston and some parts of St Andrew.

We were in the Junction area, and then headed even further south to areas such as Southfield and Pedro Cross.

I tell you, along with the climate, the people were just as cool. I think I’ve found my retirement spot(s).

When people saw us walking up to them, there was no sense of trepidation like ‘a who dem strange man yah’?

I find ‘country’ people very easy to talk to. There is no apprehension or shyness.

You know what one of the other major differences was between them and town folk?

At least three people told me and the photographer that had they known we were coming down that side, they would have given us some of their produce.

Now, juxtapose that with town people who, dependent on the area, would ask us if we can’t ‘let off sumpn’.

I remember a trek to a popular inner-city community in Kingston and, having got the story I went for, was chatting with the people.

‘Mi can tek yuh weh?’

I remember a colleague commenting on how precious a little baby was, and may have said ‘mi can tek yuh weh?’ jokingly.

Two twos, the parents started talking like they would be willing to give her up for adoption.

Just like that! Dem doan know we from Adam! I’m just showing you the difference in mindset.

What was also quite refreshing on my ‘country run’ was that people weren’t running and hiding from the camera like they were wanted by the authorities.

In fact, we had to figuratively beat them off. It’s like everybody wanted a photo.

Back in town? They could be protesting for lack of water or something essential, they don’t want their faces shown.

Gets downright annoying sometimes, to be honest. But not with the good ol’ country areas.

The thing is, even though I went on a Saturday, like I said, I’ve been to the rural areas on many occasions, sometimes on a weekday.

But the vibe is always the same. Even the honking of horns in the town squares don’t bother me like that of the ones in town.

I tell you, if I can, I’m retiring somewhere in the rural parts. Life just feels so much easier.

- Link me at daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com.