“I’ve always been West Indian.”

I’ve been back in London for 3 days now and I already have 2 new pet peeves about being home. No, one of them isn’t the fact that I have not seen a blue sky this entire week, even though that annoys me too. Sigh, keep reading to find out…

  1. My actions and choices are not consequences or after-effects of my travels.        I have to mention this one first. My personality, interests and fashion sense have not changed because I have lived abroad, rather, they have been heightened. I did not travel to France completely uncultured and unaware of the mélange of cultures I would encounter. I’m sure that may be the case for some foreign exchange students, but not I. When haven’t I wore massive hooped earrings with a headwrap? When haven’t I listened to Zouk or Bachata? When haven’t I spoken another language other than English at home? By suggesting that the way I style my hair and the music I listen to is solely a consequence of my year abroad assures me you didn’t notice the many sides of my personality. Kirsty is a multi-faceted queen. My small repertoire of French Caribbean music has grown, (as it should have) but my sense of style hasn’t changed. You are so used to seeing me in hoodies and jeans, you had forgotten I like wearing dresses and cropped tops. That’s because England has summer for only a week.
  2. Don’t insinuate I knew nothing about the West Indies before I moved there.       I’ve been West Indian my entire life. My parents are Jamaican, loud and proud ones at that. From birth, I’ve been raised within a dual, British and Jamaican-Caribbean-West Indian culture. It’s this dichotomy that makes me such a well-rounded and open-minded person. I was lucky enough to travel numerous times to Jamaica during my childhood and I have never felt separated from my heritage. I’m good at “spotting” West Indians. Sometimes it’s the accent, the way they talk, the way they dress, I mean, I’m from London. My people are everywhere. Have I learnt even more about the W.I? Of course. I specifically know more about the smaller islands such as Guadeloupe and Martinique as I stayed in the F.W.I to fully immerse myself in the French language. Don’t try to invalidate my earlier encounters with my culture. Don’t try to “hype up” the influence of my newer ones.  It’s all the same to me.

3 fitting words for this post; Rant, Changes, West Indian


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