When Shawna Kay left Jamaica, she took many of the customs with her.
You know how most Jamaicans wash early on Saturday mornings before heading off to market? Or, how we use blue cake soap (before Vybz Kartel changed it) to lather our white clothes? Or, how we eat Saltfish with Ackee? Or, cook rice and peas on Sundays and sometimes soup on Saturdays?
Not those customs. I am talking about simple practices like combing one’s hair, brushing one’s teeth — bathing.
Shawna Kay didn’t know that some of these practices weren’t as
popular common in China until she had the following conversation with a student:
Student: You always smell nice. Do you bathe every day?
Shawna: Y—Yesss. Don’t you?
Student: I only bathe once per week.
Shawna: Really? Why?
Student: I get very tired after I bathe. Plus, most times I don’t have time. I am too busy.
Now, don’t think for a second that Shawna Kay was judging the habits of the Chinese. She was sure they didn’t ALL have the same unsanitary practices. That would be like saying ALL Jamaicans smoke weed or ALL Asian men have small — hands.
So, no, she was not judging. It’s just that cultures were beginning to
crash clash and she didn’t like the collision.
Shawna Kay avoided eating out and prepared most of her meals at home, but this day in particular, she allowed curiosity more so than hunger to get the better of her.
She entered the restaurant and looked around. The setting was similar to many of the others in the city. Plus, the place appeared clean. She allowed her eyes to roam. They passed over tables that were tidily arranged and lightly decorated with fresh flowers. They passed over a chandelier which hung loosely from the ceiling. They passed over pastel drapery against the windows and stopped on a framed photograph. A photograph which revealed a daintily embellished, well garnished, delectable dog.
The head was seemingly baked and honeyed over with a shimmering sauce. The feet appeared barbecued and was decorated with shreds of lettuce and the meaty parts of the dog seemed to have been minced and dressed with a dollop of creamy mustard sauce.
Remember what I said about newness? When it wears off, the blinders come off. Shawna Kay was now seeing clearly and for the first time in her life she wished she couldn’t trust her vision.
She was forlorn, but not for long. Before she could slip in depression the most amazing, unbelievable, unthinkable thing happened.
Before going to China, Shawna Kay had toyed with the idea of finding true love, but not once did she envision that it would actually happen. Initially, she couldn’t believe it. But, there was no other way to explain the warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of her stomach or the smile that met her ears when she thought about …
Yes, Shawna Kay fell in love with Jamaica.
What on earth were you thinking?
It took 5 months abroad, for Shawna Kay to realize she truly loved “yaad”.
She missed the sea. She needed the sun. She craved the chaos that happened everywhere ‘cept a line at the American Embassy. She wanted to go home.
And so, in October, 2014, she bid China adieu and headed straight back to the land of Marley, Bolt and Miss Lou.
Disclaimer: If there was an anticlimactic end to this blog, please note that is YOUR fault. I did not promise you any Chinese-type love affair and I will not assume liability for your expectations.
Joking. Feel free to cuss me out. But, keep your subscriptions. I am working on a love story for you.
If you liked Shawna Kay`s story, then maybe you will want her to tell you more about her experiences her own way. Check out her blog here.
Until Next Time:
Keep liking, keep sharing, and keep commenting and as per usual:
Live, Love and Laugh a lot!
A Piece Of Mine © 2015