Jamaican Girl Meets Canada

Moving away from home is HARD

Coming from an island that is smaller than Toronto, I was SO EXCITED to come to Canada and have all these universities at my disposition and first world experiences. Not everything was as I expected; I quickly realized that Canada is HUGE. It was nothing like my little island which seemed so big when I lived there. Everyone knew everyone in Jamaica and it took a hell of a long time to get used to the exceptionally freezing cold. I think the thing I miss the most about being away from home is wearing shorts whenever I felt like it, the carnival parties, the food and the beach that was never a far drive.

People assumed I knew all about weed

Listen, not all of us look like Bob Marley, sit under coconut trees and smoke weed. I’m pretty hard to offend, and there’s nothing wrong with asking a few questions if you literally just don’t know about something. I mean, I’m the foreigner here and I had a ton of questions when I first came here. I was never a smoker, and back home, I was pretty lucky to have both parents who provided me with everything I needed and then a lot more. I never thought smoking was okay growing up, and now that I’m older and a lot more mature, I can appreciate that people do things for different reasons. If you wanna' light up, go ahead…more fiya! So, NO I do not know everything there is to know about weed, but I know enough ;)

 

Once people knew I was Jamaican I would get the ‘OMG, that’s so cool SAY SOMETHING IN JAMAICAN!’

DON’T BE THAT PERSON. But honestly, it’s pretty funny especially when it’s a drunk person at a house party (circa my first year at Guelph, 2015). Also, we speak English. I may have an accent (duh), but we do speak fluent English, it’s what we’re taught in school. We do have a creole called Patois, pronounced ‘patwa’, and this is where it gets tricky. This creole is a mixture of Spanish, French, English and African languages. This is where you’d hear words like ‘gyal’ for ‘girl’ and ‘wah gwan’ for ‘whats up’. Please do not think that Drake actually knows how to speak like us, I love champagne papi as much as the next girl. But just, no.

 

Long Distance Relationships aren’t as easy and Nicholas Sparks-like as you’d like to think

Nope, distance sucks man. Some things you learn the hard way, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Kudos to you and your beau if you can do it :)

All of a sudden, I was a ‘minority’

It was the strangest thing coming here and realizing that when you referred to someone as ‘brown’, it meant that they were of Indian descent. Back home, I’m considered ‘brown’ literally because of my skin colour…it's pretty brown haha. My family did some ancestry tests, and we found out that we’re African, European, West Asian and Middle Eastern. Wild right? Back home, most people are of African/European descent. So, Caucasians were more of the minority, but it didn’t really make a difference because we all grew up together. My closest friends range from super mixed like me, to ends of other racial spectrums. Our motto is ‘out of many one people’ and believe me, it really is.

Canadian ‘beaches’

Beaches to me are white sand and blue water (salt water)

Going home is the absolute best

Being able to travel to a different country for my education is great, and I’m VERY lucky. But there’s really no place like home <3

 

(my family owns a farm, so sometimes these little cuties go where they shouldn’t be)