Categorized | Features, General, Local, News

On Why Montserrat is so Unique

(For John Allen, the Man from Baker Hill)

Edgar Nkosi White

Edgar Nkosi White

Edgar Nkosi White

Okay Family, the journey is long but dear, and I’m not going alone. You coming with me.

Montserrat is a unique place. The only ones who don’t know are Montserratians themselves. We are always the very last to know!

If Montserrat were not unique, I would never have chosen to be born here and certainly would have denied my homeland long ago. Of course, Jamaica was tempting, especially in the 70s and 80s when so many Montserratians were passing for Jamaican and even living there. But although the Blue Mountains are wondrous, they don’t have the same Spirits as the Silver Hills. Trust me!

So let’s deal with what the real problem with Montserrat is. Few really believe that we are unique. If you ask us, we answer instantly, “Well, we lived with an active volcano and when others ran we stayed.” This is of course true but Montserrat was unique long before the eruption. All the eruption did was to give us a better excuse to run.

As for me, I love Montserrat bad. I love Montserrat the way a young man loves the girl in the corner of the dance floor who is ‘wining’ by herself and wearing those high heels which she knows show her to good advantage and yet are comfortable enough for her to go all night if she wants to. Of course, the young man wants her and all he can think of is “Get she panty off!” This is the form of love where you both are in love with the same person: Yourself!

Then there’s a next form of love. Think of two elderly people in the same nursing home, a couple, but now they live in separate wards. Almost every day when he remembers her, he puts on his white cap and takes his cane and goes in search of her through all the rooms. When he finds her at last, he calls out to her: “Come gal, get you things them, le a-we go home!

She walks to him and touches him on the left side of his face where the cap doesn’t cover. “But Jonnie, this we home now. You forget?”

“For true? Oh yes, that’s right.” And tears come to his eyes and he walks away. But tomorrow he’ll come in search of her again.

Now this kind of love no young man can comprehend because it’s incomprehensible, this finding and losing, finding and losing. Well, it’s so I love Montserrat. Bad!

As to the question as to why Montserrat is unique, few can answer. Montserrat is a very religious place and is full of hypocrisy at the same time. The two things are not mutually exclusive. Is that what makes us unique? I doubt it. We have a far way to go to beat Barbados on a Sunday morning around church time, with all the big hats and look of disdain on the faces of parishioners. (As they say, if looks could kill, me would a dead long time.) So no, my Family, Montserrat does not own the market in hypocrisy and church going.

How about homosexually and the fear of corruption through education and the Internet (that minefield of wickedness and depravity)? Is Montserrat unique because of its practices and alleged concern? Again we have to say, no. Because although we have a long tradition of man bulling man (and by the way, woman bulling woman) we are still in the minor leagues when compared to Barbados which wears the undisputed crown when it comes to being the Bull capital of the Caribbean. (It’s not for nothing that Barbados is known as “Little England,” followed, of course, by Trinidad. (Remember they have all those petro-dollars to play with). Montserrat is still small change when it comes to sodomy and the like.

No, what makes Montserrat unique is the second of the two words I have never heard uttered from the mouths of politicians: The first is Dignity and the second is Graciousness: the ability to let big people alone to do as they would and pretend that you don’t know. Indeed, in Montserrat everyone knows everything, even before it happens. And nothing in Montserrat moves faster than gossip. It arrives on the wings of angels.

My big question: How the hell did information travel from Town (Plymouth) to the mountains? By the way, let me pop another popular myth, the one that says that all Montserratians gathered in Town in joyous harmony and ate hand-made ice-cream together and partied. There were, in fact, large numbers of people who seldom ever came to Town. Some went their whole lives and didn’t see it once, would never be caught dead there. Damn people there, too wicked. Piss ‘pon you head and tell you say it raining.”

End of PART I

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

(For John Allen, the Man from Baker Hill)

Edgar Nkosi White

Edgar Nkosi White

Edgar Nkosi White

Okay Family, the journey is long but dear, and I’m not going alone. You coming with me.

Insert Ads Here

Montserrat is a unique place. The only ones who don’t know are Montserratians themselves. We are always the very last to know!

If Montserrat were not unique, I would never have chosen to be born here and certainly would have denied my homeland long ago. Of course, Jamaica was tempting, especially in the 70s and 80s when so many Montserratians were passing for Jamaican and even living there. But although the Blue Mountains are wondrous, they don’t have the same Spirits as the Silver Hills. Trust me!

So let’s deal with what the real problem with Montserrat is. Few really believe that we are unique. If you ask us, we answer instantly, “Well, we lived with an active volcano and when others ran we stayed.” This is of course true but Montserrat was unique long before the eruption. All the eruption did was to give us a better excuse to run.

As for me, I love Montserrat bad. I love Montserrat the way a young man loves the girl in the corner of the dance floor who is ‘wining’ by herself and wearing those high heels which she knows show her to good advantage and yet are comfortable enough for her to go all night if she wants to. Of course, the young man wants her and all he can think of is “Get she panty off!” This is the form of love where you both are in love with the same person: Yourself!

Then there’s a next form of love. Think of two elderly people in the same nursing home, a couple, but now they live in separate wards. Almost every day when he remembers her, he puts on his white cap and takes his cane and goes in search of her through all the rooms. When he finds her at last, he calls out to her: “Come gal, get you things them, le a-we go home!

She walks to him and touches him on the left side of his face where the cap doesn’t cover. “But Jonnie, this we home now. You forget?”

“For true? Oh yes, that’s right.” And tears come to his eyes and he walks away. But tomorrow he’ll come in search of her again.

Now this kind of love no young man can comprehend because it’s incomprehensible, this finding and losing, finding and losing. Well, it’s so I love Montserrat. Bad!

As to the question as to why Montserrat is unique, few can answer. Montserrat is a very religious place and is full of hypocrisy at the same time. The two things are not mutually exclusive. Is that what makes us unique? I doubt it. We have a far way to go to beat Barbados on a Sunday morning around church time, with all the big hats and look of disdain on the faces of parishioners. (As they say, if looks could kill, me would a dead long time.) So no, my Family, Montserrat does not own the market in hypocrisy and church going.

How about homosexually and the fear of corruption through education and the Internet (that minefield of wickedness and depravity)? Is Montserrat unique because of its practices and alleged concern? Again we have to say, no. Because although we have a long tradition of man bulling man (and by the way, woman bulling woman) we are still in the minor leagues when compared to Barbados which wears the undisputed crown when it comes to being the Bull capital of the Caribbean. (It’s not for nothing that Barbados is known as “Little England,” followed, of course, by Trinidad. (Remember they have all those petro-dollars to play with). Montserrat is still small change when it comes to sodomy and the like.

No, what makes Montserrat unique is the second of the two words I have never heard uttered from the mouths of politicians: The first is Dignity and the second is Graciousness: the ability to let big people alone to do as they would and pretend that you don’t know. Indeed, in Montserrat everyone knows everything, even before it happens. And nothing in Montserrat moves faster than gossip. It arrives on the wings of angels.

My big question: How the hell did information travel from Town (Plymouth) to the mountains? By the way, let me pop another popular myth, the one that says that all Montserratians gathered in Town in joyous harmony and ate hand-made ice-cream together and partied. There were, in fact, large numbers of people who seldom ever came to Town. Some went their whole lives and didn’t see it once, would never be caught dead there. Damn people there, too wicked. Piss ‘pon you head and tell you say it raining.”

End of PART I