Saturday 19 September, 2020

How to spot a Bajan traveller in an airport

If you’re standing in a line in an airport around the world and you are praying to see a fellow Barbadian, there are some telltale signs.

Now these indicators may not be unique to Barbadians but a combination of three or more can almost guarantee you that the person is Bajan or has Bajan family.

1. They have pretty strips of fabric or ribbon tied onto their travel bags, valises or suitcases. 

2. You may spot them making sure they have chewing gum to “chomp when de plane tek off” or they have cotton wool in their ears for the same reason. This protects their ears or eardrums. Don’t question their alternative facts.

3. They say things to their children like “Keep yuh tail quiet nuh” or “You ears like flint!”

4. When they spot long lines you may hear, “What de RH?!”

5. If something drops from them one too many times, expect a “Jesus Christ man!”

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6. When people used to travel with extendable bags, the person unpacking and repacking because of overweight at the end of August in JFK, was probably a Bajan.

7. They may wear ‘rasta slippers’.

8. The accent, of course, is a dead giveaway.

9. If they are traveling in the winter time, they are bundled-up from the time they set foot at Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA). We're talking scarf, jacket, stockings, and look sharp - boots too!

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10. They used to have a mobaton of bags to check but with the baggage fees and restrictions, now it’s hand luggage that tells them apart sometimes. You see them with a handbag, a box of liquor and arguing with the guard that they can't count the plastic bag with the fried chicken and drinks they just bought to eat pon de plane. "Dis aint a third piece of hand luggage big man".

11. They dress up fancy or rock what they think is the latest trend from over-and-away. Do you remember when newsprint clothes were a thing and you could see a whole family from baby to granny dressed in different colour newsprint jeans suits? Or when they all came back wearing jelly shoes or Chinese slippers?

12. They travel with food – ready to eat or frozen. If you spot Chefette rotis, Jamaican patties, foil wrapped goodies, sugar cakes, Shirley biscuits or any kind of Rum. Once I even heard an American Customs Official ask a Bajan traveler who said she had nothing to declare, ‘So where’s the rum and fish? How you do your family like that?”

What else helps you spot a Bajan traveller in an airport?

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