Stop grilling me

These tacos made me 😿👌 (at El Camino Real Philadelphia)

has anyone ever vacationed by themselves before? I have a TON of vacation time that i have to use or else I lose it, some cash coming my way  as well as a plane ticket that I bought but never used. Everyone I’d like to go with either can’t take the time or can afford it so thoughts? has anyone done it? where did you go?

"In Latin America I don’t have a sense of frontiers or borders. I’m conscious of the differences that exist from one country to another, but in my mind and heart it is all the same. Where I really feel at home is the Caribbean, whether it is the French, Dutch, or English Caribbean. I was always impressed that when I got on a plane in Barranquilla, a black lady with a blue dress would stamp my passport, and when I got off the plane in Jamaica, a black lady with a blue dress would stamp my passport, but in English. I don’t believe that the language makes all that much difference.

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Paris Review - The Art of Fiction No. 69, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A few weeks ago I was having a conversation about the moment when Bahamians ‘came into’ Caribbeanness: that you saw yourself as Caribbean. So much of our cultural and economic identity is tied up in a sense of transcending or ignoring the Caribbean. We’ll concede that we share aspects of a culture but we do not have a regional or political Caribbean consciousness (don’t mention Caricom to a Bahamian.) We also have a bit of a historical blindspot for pre-1973 Caribbean engagement. We mostly don’t really think about it. Not true for everyone of course, we have migration between the islands, Bahamians whose parents are from other islands or who have lived elsewhere.  But it’s still strong enough that so many people in the discussion said they only gradually- upon living elsewhere- realized or decided to be Caribbean.

This is mostly I think based on a society (and economy) run on fear and ideas of cultural/racial/economic contagion ( it’s what also drives our homicidal immigration discourse.) We prefer isolation to engagement- to keep ourselves ‘safe.’ (And there is something here too about whiteness in The Bahamas and race compounding this either willful or unconscious desire to isolate even stronger. And our historical engagement with America…..so much to unpack.) We are surprised, for example, to find out that other countries have Junkanoo. Or that Bahamian dialect sounds so strongly like Gullah.  Then of course there is the most impoverished definition of Caribbeanness: geography (poor Bermuda, they have it worse than us.)

I found Caribbeanness when I was in college, studying Caribbean history- the first time I truly encountered the Caribbean as more than geography- or maybe in expanding that geography. That is can function as a tag that denotes certain kinds of historical/contemporary processes- certain foundational similarities, slavery and it’s cultural and economic effects, diaspora as a constitutional and enduring element, a crisscrossing of routes of capital, people, religions, languages- now and then. This transcends a map. 

But outside of that, one of the ways I came to that was I started reading a lot more Gabriel Garcia Marquez- who always said he was a Caribbean writer. Not instead of a Latin American writer, since he didn’t conceive of it as a conflicting identity but with. His understanding of Caribbean seemed to come not just from the Sea, but from the idea that what constitutes Caribbean is the fantastical product of these shared historical processes. That magical realism is not mystical but earthy, grounded in “historical facts that the real world in the Caribbean is just as fantastic as in the stories of One Hundred Years of Solitude.” This is a continuing Caribbean fascination- our artistic embrace of Genre as most truthful (see: Junot Diaz, caribbean speculative fiction, Who More Sci-Fi Than Us.) He always insisted to in challenging that artistic or political distinction that would render him only Latin American and not see the Caribbean heart beating at the center of his fiction. 

TL;DR Edwidge Danticat said it better in like 3 sentences. 

(via beachcombed)

spot on commentary, what can I add to that other than I was glad to come across Marquez at a point in my adolescence when I was really confused about many things and actively seeking other perspectives and voices, fiction or otherwise.

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DYINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. but for real, this about to be me after work if I can make it through these next five hours.

Looking up my favorite restaurant at home and all the bad reviews are from gringos who are very mad that no one speaks English and that it’s not a fine dining establishment. What do you expect when you go to a mom and pop place in a Spanish neighborhood? Maybe this is a place that generates most of their business servicing people who are not white and English speaking so they can care less about your twenty dollars? Maybe you should have brought your cousins Spanish speaking gf along or something?It’s ok though, stay away since y’all can’t appreciate good food.

Bootleg oscar da grouch outside the doctors office. This is gun go well

sr