Category Archives: Words

On nomadism

I wrote this, elsewhere, three months ago:

I am a stranger. I am estranged. I am a person without a country, without people, without kin.

I rely more often on the kindness of strangers than the loyalty of friends. I watch those I love and loved and lost create lives in which I play no part. I am apart.

This, I think, describes the primary challenge of a Caribbean expat (exile?), genus young, gifted and alone.

It is the very definition of an existential crisis.

The last time I went to Tobago, and upon checking in to Toucan Inn & Bonkers, I proffered a Trinidadian drivers’ license [accepted nowhere in Manhattan as a form of ID], a UK credit card and a US address.

My tax lawyers disagree as to my country of residence, a question I dither over every time I am confronted with the question on immigration forms.

Trying to renew my passport, I am stymied because I don’t know anyone here who fits the criteria for a “recommender” [sic]: has known me for three years, is not a close relative, is an “accomplished professional.”

Need to renew my US visa – easier to do that in the UK than in Trinidad, where I will be asked to demonstrate my “strong ties” to the country [the better to prove I am not a potential illegal immigrant]. Which I can’t prove I have – no Trinidadian bank account, no property in my name, job based overseas.

So it go.

On the Bank Job and colonial contempt, briefly

Finally watched The Bank Job, the plot of which depends heavily upon the activities of one Michael de Freitas, better known as Michael X – black power activist, pimp, and murderer.

Michael X was born and bred in Trinidad, a fact which the film continually acknowledges. Am thus extremely irritated by the thick Jamaican accent adopted by the actor who portrayed Mr X, and by the similarly alien accents of other supposed Trinidadians in the flick.

Discrepancies like these irk me, but after several years of living in London and having to contend with such ignorance on an epic scale, I have ceased to be surprised.