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AS BAJAN AS FLYING FISH: Life’s a Gas in Barbados


rhondathompson, [email protected]

AS BAJAN AS FLYING FISH: Life’s a Gas in Barbados

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My name is Hallam Williams and I’m a gas attendant at a gas station. I not sure but I think Hallam is some sort of Moslem name. I’m from Wellington Street area, in The City, the heart of Barbados.  I wouldn’t leave Nelson Street and go nowhere, wouldn’t trade my carbon dioxide and toxics for nothing. I tried living in the country little bit; it get cold too quick and to me it boring! Town is fun! Always some sort of action to enjoy yourself – nightclub, something. My family is not a big-big-big, elaborate family, but it big enough. I got two sisters, one from each side – sister from my father’s side and a sister from my mother’s side. I’m the only boy. I ain’t got no children yet. Planning for it, but it takes time. I talking to somebody right now, but I wouldn’t say I have the girl lined up yet.  I went to Wesley Hall Boys’ Primary, in King Stret, and St Leonard’s Boys’ Secondary. I never got licks! I was looking to educate myself and move on. This is not a rebel hairstyle. I got it out of a movie called The Last Airbender. Is a martial arts film. It was actually a tattoo on the boy’s head but I thought, “I going cut my hair like that.” I play every kind of sport as a boy in The City: road tennis, football, table tennis, cricket. Okay, we didn’t have dunks trees to climb but we had the old Esso jetty to run and jump off into the sea. Enjoy weself to the fullest, spend a whole day ‘pon the beach, come home swizzly and white. My favourite movie is The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith. It shows you that no matter how hard life is, it got light at the end of the tunnel and you got to believe in it and pursue your life.  Religion is a real funny topic. A lot of wars get fight over religion; lot of people lost their life over religion.  I wouldn’t say Christianity is my religion; Rastafari is my religion. I believe there’s a father up above but I don’t tell myself I got to go to church to pray to God. I believe in Adam and Eve. Science believe this world was created from a lot of gases and then this Big Bang and grass started growing. It makes sense in a sense but to me it’s still stupid. Look all around you. Somebody got to be doing these things; it couldn’t be happening just by itself. If God made everything, the question is, who made God? As far as I concern, God is the creator of us and we got to worship He. Everybody got a higher authority. I got my supervisors, my supervisors got them boss. God could have a higher authority but I’s a man and I got to deal with He. If He got to worship somebody higher than He, that’s He business. When I frustrated and vexed and got problems, I just zone out, sit in my own world by myself and listen to a good Jay-Z CD. Let everything pass along. Next day, you back to normal and gone again.A man try to challenge my musical intellect couple weeks back. I was, like, “That’s Jackie Osbourne.” He was, like, “Man, you know this music?” I was, like, “You crazy? My grandmother was blasting this music non-stop, B!” I’ll listen to any music but I don’t dance. I could tango a little bit to please the ladies, give them a little bump-and-grind if needs be. But jumping around the place and thing? That ain’t for Hallam. I’m a gas attendant-slash-cashier-slash-whatever. You could put me anywhere and I could work but I’m a gas attendant. A gas attendant literally just pump gas into your vehicle. We do basic checkups like oil, water, tyre pressure. Take cash. Keep and make your drops. Calculate how much money you got and how much gas run.  The best thing about the job is meeting different people every day. Watching them drive out with a good smile, yes, that boy fill up my tank and make me feel good with a, “Have a nice day”.  There really is no bad part of the job. Once you like what you doing, you going to enjoy it. We have eight-hour shifts. The graveyard shift goes from 10.30pm to 6.30 next morning.  The graveyard is the more cooler. On Fridays, is be busy, but other times you get a chance to sit down.  The party people coming from a night out, got a couple’ drinks in they head and they bad, getting on rowdy. But, once you understand people, you could deal with them. Take a deep breath and realise that body just having a bad day. A lot of people will come in and “I ent see Hallam”. And they drive out. Go to another station.  A Bajan is a unique person you could identify anywhere in the world just by the way they are. You don’t have to be born in Barbados to be Bajan. Anybody that love pudding ‘n’ souse on a Saturday is a Bajan. Barbados is my home. It is all o’ we home. This is what we got to advertise to the world. Other places got singers and so on. Barbados got Barbados. People does come from all over the world to Barbados – and they don’t want to go back where they come from because Barbados so sweet. People is tell theyself, “I living in Barbados next seven, eight, nine, ten years. Breed and bring more people into the world in Barbados!” They not leffing!

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