Ezekel Alan

This blog is about: cotton candy, cold milo, midgets, mangoes, sex, aged rum – everything but writing my next book

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

I continue to enjoy the hilariously simple yet effective ways in which the Angry Pear conveys her daily experiences and emotions.

Angry Pear

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Is your country today better than when you were a child?

This is purely for my curiosity. I would like to know how Jamaicans and non-Jamaicans feel about their country, and whether they think things are now  better or worse than when they were children.

Poll for Jamaicans:

Poll for non-Jamaicans:

Usain Bolt

GOING BACK”

(A poem about choosing between going home to Jamaica or continuing to live abroad.)

Can I go back? Is there nothing to lose?
Does it really matter which way I choose?
 
Between living life on a cosmic scale,
Or holding on to the tip of its tail?
Ethnic oceans, seas dead and red –
Or women washing rags in the Rio Minho bed?
 
The world at your doorstep, galaxies of light,
New York in your backyard, Times Square bright –
Or the universe shrunk planetarium tight,
And a solitary star in the clear midnight?
 
To that fabled life, pure and true,
Mangoes and bananas and the morning dew,
To cawfee roasting and clothes on the line,
In my little village with not one street sign –
New York New York all left behind?
 
After being in Paris, Athens and Rome?
After seeing in Tripoli the ancient Hyperdrome?
After Thailand and Guatemala with such wondrous feasts,
And the African plains running with the Wildebeests?
After once or twice visiting the Middle East?
 
Will I indeed find
That peace of mind
With my barefoot planted on God’s own ground,
Can I call this place my resting home?
 
 
Times Square at night
 
 
Please share your thoughts in the comments box below. How do you feel about the place you call home?
 

Dear reader, I wish to assure you that I am sane

Yes, I have always known that if you write for others to read, then you have to be prepared for the criticisms that will come. So, when Disposable People was released, I braced myself.

I have gotten all forms of reviews and comments, both from folks I know and folks that I don’t know. From Amazon customers and Hall of Fame reviewers, other writers, bloggers, and a newspaper. One comment in all of this has stood out for me. It came from someone I have never met, and hope not to meet.

A friend of mine encouraged one of her girlfriends to purchase a copy of the novel, Disposable People. Her girlfriend did, and apparently read it, all the way to the end. She then said to my friend:

“Please tell your friend Ezekel that I hope everything in the book is true and that he did not make it up. I prefer to think that the story is true and he really had a f–ked up life. Because if this isn’t true and he made it up, then he really has a f–ked up mind. And if you know his wife, Semi-colon or whatever her real name is, tell her to sleep with one eye open until she gets his psychological problems looked after.” (Paraphrased).

insanity is a state of mind

(Photo credit: blakeemrys)

This one was priceless.

By the way, to the best of my knowledge I am sane, I think.

The sweetest things on earth

I don’t want anyone to ever get me wrong. I’m not a racist, narcissist, nihilist, bigamist, pacifist, communist, capitalist, or any of those things. I’m just not into ideology and fanaticism. I am, plain and simple, a foodist.

I love food, bad. And I think Jamaican food is one of the sweetest things on earth. I love food more than how:

a.          DJ Vybez Kartel loves bleaching cream

b.          Former Prime Minister Eddie Seaga loved cash

c.          Former Prime Minister Michael Manley loved women

d.          All of the above

(Correct answer: all of the above).

Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica, dur...

Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica, 1977 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have my top 5 Jamaican foods that I look forward to eating every time I go home. In no particular order these are:

1.     Roast yam and salt fish on Melrose Hill, Manchester.

I tell my wife all the time, “If an angel comes down and tells me that I am going to die and go to heaven, I’m going to ask if heaven has Jamaicans selling roast yam and salt fish.” Because if it doesn’t, I will be beseeching the good Lord to hold off on salvation a little so I can have some more of this thing on earth.

My only recommendation is that if you ever go to Melrose Hill, before you buy anything ask for a sample of the yam, because sometimes the piece that they try to sell you might be more bitter than

a.          Former talk Show host, Mutty Perkins, discussing corruption

b.          Sulphur Bitters mixed with Aloe Vera

c.          My wife when I come home late and drunk

d.          All of the above

(Correct answer: all of the above)

2.     Ackee and Saltfish with Roast Breadfruit at Faith’s Pen

I love it, love it, love it bad, and nothing can stop me from eating it. One of my aunts used to ask me, “You see any sign of running water there?” Implying that the cooks at Faith’s Pen have nowhere to wash their hands after they do certain things and, therefore, that if I eat the food then my belly would hurt me. Did she say my belly would run

a.          Like the river Jordan

b.          Faster than Merlene Ottey

c.          Like there’s no beginning and no end

d.          All of the above

(Correct answer: a.)

Well, I am 40 years old now, and my belly is still holding strong. These days I worry more about catching mad cow disease when I go to Burgher King and McDonald’s. And guess what? They’ve had pipes with running water at Faiths Pen for a few years now!

The Jamaican national dish of ackee and saltfi...

The Jamaican national dish of ackee and saltfish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3.     Boiled Crab at Heroes Circle

The spicier the better! The more sores the lady selling it has on her feet, the better! (Can anyone tell me if they still sell crab there?)

I remember the crab at Heroes Circle was wicked! It would beat out the roast corn and coconut some other vendors used to sell closer to Wolmers Boys school. (You never knew that coconut and corn could go together? That’s sad. I hope you’ve at least tried bun and patty, patty and cheese, ackee and saltfish with rice, etc.)

4.     Curried Goat at Ken’s Wildflower in Portmore

This is the best curried goat in the Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine area. Argument done! The only way you can get better is if

a.          Your grandma cook it herself

b.          You go to a ‘dead yard’ (house where someone recently died) in rural Jamaica and country people kill the goat and curry it for the wake

c.          An old Indian woman cooks it

d.          All of the above

(Correct answer: b.)

5.     Fish and lobster at Little Ochi, Alligator Pond

Every time we go to Jamaica I have an argument with my wife about this. She says Gloria’s is better, or even Screechy in Hellshire. I tell her that Little Ochi has fresher fish and they cook it better.

The argument usually ends shortly thereafter, with her calling me a

a.     Mule

b.     Horse

c.     Jackass

d.     Donkey

(Correct answer: you’d be a jackass if you don’t know that one.)

By the way, here’s another multiple choice for you:

My mother once forced me to go to a clap hand (Pentecostal) church with her. I didn’t want to go. I really and truly and honestly didn’t want to go with her. In church, the pastor was going around touching people on their heads and making them get in ‘the spirit’. After he touched my mom, and she got into the spirit, he moved on to me. Before he touched me he asked me the same question he was asking everyone else, “What is the sweetest thing on earth?”

Was my response:

a.     Salvation

b.     Playing games with village girls

c.     Eating curried crab with fluffy white rice

d.     All of the above

(Correct answer: I found out from my mother that day that even at 15 years old I wasn’t too old to get a whipping! I was lucky to be alive when she finished with me outside the church. Correct answer should have been a.)

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