The Jamaican Round-Up
First let me offer my apologies for my brief absence. I’ve been plagued with a bad back ache and a head cold that left me out of commission for a week then I had to work to make up the days I missed. A girl’s got rent to pay ok?
I’ve been collecting a few episodes I’ve had with Jamaican passengers and there’s nobody like my people I tell you!
I have a bad habit of speaking Jamaican in front of people who I assume will not understand me. There are many times I’ve cussed people out in my language with a smile on my face. Seems I am not the only one. My friend D warned me against my antics with this story.
Miss D was operating a flight to Denver and this white lady (not light skinned) boarded wearing three church hats on the top her head. Miss D turns to the other Jamaican flight attendant and said,
“Is which part she a go wid so much hat pon har ‘ead? She mussi frighten.”
Translation: “Where does this lady think she going with so many hats on her head?”
Suddenly the lady turned around and responded, “Yes mi frighten!”
Despite this warning, I still carry on with my antics. It’s my only relief.
When my airline started service to Jamaica, the passengers weren’t used to the dry snack options that many U.S carriers now offer. Many of our customers were spoiled by the hot breakfast, lunch and dinner that they have become accustomed to Air Jamaica. After drink service I started my snack service.
Jamaican Lady: “Is what dis?”
Translation: “What is this?”
Diana: “Snacks ma’am” (Conversely, I use my American accent to the fullest when I do Jamaican flights. If they even smell that I’m Jamaican I will not sit down for the entire flight. Don’t judge me.)
Jamaican Lady: “So where is the food?”
Diana: “This is it honey.”
Jamaican Lady: “No! Is wha dis dear Jesas? So much money fi mi ticket and no even a fry dumpling? A tru yu nuh know sey a bout tree ackee and saltfish mi did ah plan fi beg u dis mawning?”
Translation: “What is this dear Jesus? I paid a lot of lot of money for my ticket. I was planning on asking you for three servings of ackee and saltfish this morning.”
Diana: “Excuse me? I don’t understand what you just said.”
Me and Papa Eddie
Yesterday I had the pleasure and honor of having former Jamaican Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Edward Seaga on my flight from Fort Lauderdale to New York. He was every bit the charming flirt…and I loved it!
He boarded and shook hands with the crew. The captain knew about our VIP passenger. When he saw him he whispered, “He’s white!” Yes Captain Myopia, Jamaicans come in every color.
I later escorted Mr. Seaga to his seat and told him my grandmother was an avid JLP supporter and loved him dearly. To which he replied, “Well a lot of people can say that about their grand-mothers, but what about the grand-daughters?” I couldn’t resist I threw my arms around him and said, “I love you too!” Locked in our embrace turned and kissed my neck and said, “This is good airline.” Mr. Seaga then took my hand and looked at my manicure with green nail polish (the color of his political party) and said, “Oh you knew I was coming today!”
I checked on him throughout the flight but he wanted nothing. No water, no juice, no tea and definitely no dry chips. I leaned in and whispered.”You going to see Dudus?” He chuckled, “I see you love mix-up.”
The last entry for the Jamaican round-up is me meeting reggae legend David Hines of Steel Pulse at the Subway in San Juan. You knew I peeked to see if he was ordering a ham sandwich right? Relax, it was a vege- patty sandwich. Mr. Rose is ital. He and his bad were on their way to Martinique and I wanted very badly to abandon my flight attendant job and become a reggae band groupie. But like I said before, I gotta pay my rent.