We make a big pretence in the Caribbean to be this sophisticated person of the world, very much at home in the metropolitan areas to which many of us migrate but in fact we’re country people. In the heart of big-city Port-of-Spain, for instance, we have a place doing a roaring business selling home-made soups from conch to channa; many of us have our wedding reception in the yard, and in Barbados, every evening, you can go to an area right in town where there are scores of vendors selling local food at a roadside place; the traffic is so heavy the police have to come out and maintain order.
We save up money to fly kites at Easter, or play mas’ during Carnival. Outside of town, it’s a common thing to see folks attacking their food with bare hands – no knife and fork, thank you. When our cricket legend Shivnarine Chanderpaul came to my house for buffet dinner in Cayman, I saw him with his plate of food, looking around, somewhat lost, so I said to him, “You okay, Shiv?” He smiled: “Yeah, I okay….but you gotta gimme a spoon.” Country man all the way; no knife and fork…..