Getting Directions from a Bajan

Getting Directions from a Bajan

Experiences in Barbados by the Wandering Travel Writer – Erika Young – Her Happy Trails.

Getting directions from a Bajan is similar to listening to someone explain a story in a different language or maybe like having a toddler tell you about their new toy. They know exactly what they are saying and look at you as if you should too.

I’m speaking clearly, why don’t you understand“?

Now looking back, his instructions made sense only if you’ve walked the path before or possibly were born and raised here. Oh well..off to the market we go!

Last year I can remember arriving around 9 am and having slim pickings, so this time I’m on it bright and early.

“So go out the back gate and turn right.”

(Back gate of the yard? the neighborhood, the round-about?)

Since I didn’t see a gate in his yard (turns out there is one…oops), I walked out of the front door and headed in the direction he had pointed. So far so good!

His street started to bend so I looked left and behold, a gate! I think. The rickety linked fence stared back at me with a locked, rusted, jagged prison guarded resemblance. Hmmm…I don’t know about this. Eh, let’s go for it!

Side note, probably not the most brilliant idea to hop this trap wearing flowing pants during a windy island day. No need to worry, I survived.

Follow de road

Got it.

Walk till you see the fountain and turn left.”

Ok, easy enough (there was even a cute little arrow confirming for me).

Step two, success!

No thanks, I’ll keep walking.

I’m not sure if it was the euphoric state of mind I developed while walking in silence or only the view that was before me (probably a combination of both), but at this moment, all was in alignment. This is a small piece of what I believe people mean when they suggest to “stop and smell the roses.”

Getting to the market was my goal, but this, was just as magical.

Back to the directions.

Once you get to the golf course, don’t follow the road, take the pedestrian path over the hill.”

Well, this looks very “pedestrian” welcome. Not much of a hill as I was expecting, but off the main road is what he said, so here I go!

He didn’t mention a split in the path. Uh-oh.

As I continued along the footpath things just weren’t feeling right. So what do I do? Keep walking.

Not looking good my friends

A sign! Can you see it? If that says “Hope St.”, I’m on the right track!

Wrong. I now have the confidence that I shouldn’t have faith in my current route. I did a 180-degree turn and headed back towards the main road. As I approached the first split, my eyes zoomed in on the “hill” he must have been speaking of. Yep, according to my burning thighs, this was definitely more of an incline than the golf course!

Here’s a quick shot of the view once I reached the top.

When was the last time you stopped to smell the roses with your eyes open?

Smell with your Eyes Open

It may not seem like I’ve been gone for long, but I should have been to market by now. Early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the first girl gets to pick the best veggies before they’re gone!

Although I don’t mind getting a bit turned around (in fact most of the time, I love it!) today I was eager to be there on time for the broad selection of organic tropical goodies! Awh, look at this. Help was parked at the top of the hill. Thank you, Universe!

These two kind gentlemen not only helped me along the way but drove me a stretch to show me the next turn on my journey! If you look at the bottom photo, you can see that he stood and watched until I was on the clear path. Angels.

Once I stepped foot on the broken dirt path, things started to look familiar. What’s this? I’m finally here!

With fingers crossed, I held my breath rounding the corner like it was the first day of school and I was the last one to class. Am I too late? Did I miss out on the very thing I came for?

It turns out everyone was on Bajan time this morning which means,”It’ll start when we’re ready.” All righty, so my hour late arrival was an hour too soon. Lovin the island vibe! What to do while I watch everyone set up their booth…have a seat at the cafe and absorb it all!

SIDE NOTE: The currency is about half the dollar, so the iced coffee below would be around USD 4.

Slowly but surely, stands arose, and the market was in full swing! You may recognize some of the products and people if you’ve been following years past. The Holders Market was a part of the post, The rest of Barbados in a coconut shell!

Can you feel me smiling yet?! The music fired up as I headed on my way back home.

The walk back was just as entertaining as the adventure to get there. Easier on the mind, but not so much on the body. Who knew after years of breaking them in, blisters would appear from my favorite sandals! I got these beauties in Vietnam as you can read about in this post – Lady lady, where you from? Good thing I love to feel the earth under my feet!

Look who it is! Greeted with a smile, I walked over to give them the requested update on my Holders experience. I couldn’t tell if the smirks I was receiving were from a joyful reconnection, or only being entertained by this crazy girl! Either way, they didn’t hesitate for a photo and certainly didn’t decline my offer of toasted coconut chips that I had brought from the market.

I’ll leave you with my final stretch in which I came across a cheeky little friend. Tourists think they’re cute (because they are) and locals believe that they’re thieves (because they are).

About Totally Barbados (Edit profile)

Brett Callaghan is the founder and managing director of Totally Barbados. I specialize in writing content for the tourism industry for my island home of Barbados. I help companies build strategies to grow online businesses with SMART marketing, advertising, and social media goals.