Friday 16 November, 2018

16 ways to spot a Bajan in a kitchen

Pots and pans stored in the oven when not in use. (Internet image)

Pots and pans stored in the oven when not in use. (Internet image)

Bajans just do things different.

If granny tells you 'Go in de larduh' and you are clueless, you did not grow up in a Bajan home.

They will always call the refrigerator 'the fridge', so get accustomed. Besides these there are other ways to spot a Bajan in the kitchen, whether they’re cooking or just passing by at the wrong moment.

1. If dem ask for the Squezy but just mean the dish washing liquid. It could be Joy, Palmolive, all is Squezy. Just give them 'de lil soap nuh!'

2. When a Bajan is looking in the open oven, do not not ever dare open the fridge or freezer door behind him or her. You may not like the strong words unleashed. It will be followed by ‘You waan gie me a stroke?’

3. Don’t ask a Bajan to go from the hot oven to the cold fridge either, see number two (2) above for how they will react.

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4. When the stew wants thickening, a Bajan will get a cup with a little water and mix in a spoonful of flour. Then pour the mix in the stew or gravy.

5. ‘What you mean all de browning or colouring gone?’ Bajan grabs the sugar jar and a frying pan, lights the stove, puts on the pan and spoons a few heaps of brown sugar into the pan. The sugar will start to melt and bubble, the professional Bajan browning makers know when to pour in a glass water so as to not make black bitch but bring forth a lovely colouring.

6. Cook says: Gimme de butter!

*passes the table butter*

Cook: No! *Stupse* De margarine! De yella wun.

7. Somewhere in the kitchen there is a plastic bag full of plastic bags. (We have heard this is a Hispanic thing too)

8. The oven is not empty when not in use, so don’t ever preheat the oven without looking in an removing the utensils – pots, pans and baking pans, stored inside. (Heard Hispanics do this too)

9. Person stands looking in the fridge and trying to decide. A Bajan passing will sing out ‘Stop staring in de damn fridge like it's a TV!’

10. Child comes in from playing outside and opens cupboards randomly looking for a snack, then turns to the stove and uncovers pots. Bajan parent: ‘You now know you hungry?’

11. Child goes in fridge and sees nothing he or she wants. Returns five minutes later and stares in fridge. Bajan parent: ‘Wait you feel something does grow in dey? Wuh you now come out dat fridge. Shut my fridge door please. ‘Cause I cyan onstan!’

12. ‘My tummy hurting and I keep going to the bathroom.’

Bajan granny: ‘Go and put some Angostura bitters in a mouthful of water in a glass and drink it.’

13. After 6:00 pm and ‘de flying ants out’, a Bajan will turn on the kitchen light, turn off the other lights in the house, then get a bowl of water and hold it up to the light bulb. How old were you when you found out 'flying ants' are termites?

14. Older people will peel an orange and hang the peel in the window to dry. Have you ever seen them use it to make tea though?

15. If you see a rock near the sink in a Bajan kitchen, chances are it’s a tool used for sharpening knives. Don’t just toss it outside without asking ‘a creshtun’.

16. On a Friday evening and Saturday don’t expect to see something cooking on the stove. Looking for home cooked food those days can get you met with a swift ‘Pots turned down’ or ‘Eat Joe monkey’, ‘cause Bajans does 'brek fuh themselves' on those days unless you have young children and even the pickneys may get some sweet fast food on those days too.

How else do you spot a Bajan in the kitchen?