Ohhh what is a tropical boy to eat for a snack on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Hmmmm, nothing store bought, no chocolate, no candy, I want something really sweet but natural. Ohhh te choices, Mangoes, plumbs, mammie apples, bananas, skinups, oh man, what shall I have. I stood at the back door looking out at the garden, that’s when it hit me, Sugar Apples, yes, that’s sweet real sweet. I ran out to the tree, oh yes, luckily there was some rip ones on the branches. I picked a couple, sit down under the shade of the tree and bit into one. Ohh the creamy goodness, like nature had grown ice-cream straight out of the ground. Yes, yes, this is the life.
Ohhh its like culinary heaven, Pasta with tropical spices, all the vegetables possible and chicken, lightly peppers, stewed in a taste exploding sauce. If you close your eyes, you can almost see the colours you are tasting. Then later, you sit at your window, look out at the ocean littered with small boats and enjoy:
Yes, yes yes, a slice of Pumpkin pudding. Ohh the cinnamon, ohhh the nutmeg, ohh the taste of natural sugar cane sugar straight from the cane fields right behind your house. Oh one can only daydream of such a life.
Ohhh yes, coconut chips, simmered down in brown sugar, with nutmeg and cinnamon, ashhh the sweet taste of island spices. I can taste it now.
The one thing that confused me was the magnitude of choices in the stores. On the island, there were only two grocery stores like the ones here. Most of our shopping was done at little neighborhood shops. They were small wooden buildings owned by someone in the village. You can buy sugar, butter, lard and rice by the pound and everything is weighed right before your eyes. I always wonder what makes one brand better than the next. Are we paying for quality or name? Is it taste? I never knew about junk food. I mean, my snacks consisted of me going to my back yard and picking some mangoes or sapadillas, or guavas, or any kind of tropical fruit I wanted. You know what is strange? Like everyone else, I found myself addicted to it. I went from one hundred and forty seven pounds to three hundred pounds. That was in less than a year until my bloody chicken legs rebelled. I always wonder what the fascination with chocolate is in this country. I have seen people eat it, their face twisted like they were in the middle of having an orgasm, but then again, I can understand why. I am seven feet one inch tall of pure chocolate all day every day and I love myself. The main thing I had to get used to when shopping was the taxes added on. On the island, whatever price you saw is what the item cost. For the first two years, I would always go by the price I saw on the item. Needless to say, I was always short.
Now as simple as these things may sound, it can create lots of confusion, especially living in the Wild and Wonderful City. Most people were not accustomed to diversity, so a simple trip to the store became a tedious two-hour ordeal. Both store employees and customers tried to explain to me the particulars of how things work. Yes, there are good people here.