Tuesday, April 16, 2024

AS BAJAN AS FLYING FISH: Bajan plus Trini equals the World


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My name is Stan Hopson and I’m a restaurant bartender.    I’m from Worthing, Christ Church. I can, and actually do, walk to work in the St Lawrence Gap sometimes.      I loved school. My favourite subjects were English and history. I wouldn’t say I did well at school. I’d say I did good.     My mum was originally from St Vincent. She came to Barbados to study, met my father and that’s how I came along. She passed away from cancer ten years ago. My dad’s still around, so I’m not an orphan yet. I have three sisters. I’m the teddy bear to the sisters.     Cricket, football, volleyball: you name it, I played it. Not for my school though. I was more of an enthusiast.     I’m looking for that special person to settle down with, get married, have children and live a normal happy life. But I haven’t found her yet. I have options, though, in Barbados or abroad.      Hip hop, rap, that’s my music. Also R&B. Love calypso, too. Reggae. Alternative. Actually, I’m kind of versatile when it comes to music.  There’s so much soca talent from both Trinidad and Barbados, it’s really hard to say: “This person’s better”.     Guyanese people get a hard time in Barbados. I guess one person made it bad for all of them. You have Haitians and Mexicans going to America, to make something of themselves. Then you have some making strife for the rest of them. Same for Guyanese.     I don’t look at other Caribbean people in Barbados as immigrants. I look at all of us as one. We’re small territories and if we don’t pull together, we’ll all fall down. If anything happens, who’s going to have your back? Those same people you’re trying to push off will help you.    Be careful of your actions, because for every action there is a reaction.  I’m not a Christian but I seriously do believe in God. I pray but I don’t make it a routine.  There is definitely an afterlife. Somewhere there’s no worries, no stress about nothing. I can just sense that.   I believe you are the creator of your own universe. You can bring your thoughts to reality, once you have confidence within yourself.   Those science guys do draw a point with the theory of evolution. It makes you think, makes you explore. But, given a choice between science or Adam and Eve, I’d have to go with Adam and Eve.     I love tattoos. I have what they call ‘a sleeve’. I do a little pool party at home for relaxation. I live on my own. Gather my friends from school together. Drinks, food. Lady friends and guys. We play dominoes, cards, video games. Who want to watch movies watch movies.    28 Days Later was very creative. Films like that show you reality. Like in The Matrix, the system is trying to make you live in something, get up every morning to schedule – but if you go off that schedule, you’ll start to find your inner self.    I start work at 5 p.m. and finish around 10:30 p.m., 11 pm, or after 11 p.m. Because the kitchen closes at ten. I’m a restaurant bartender, not a bar bartender.  A lot of people don’t realise how powerful Trinidadians and Barbadians are within the Caribbean. So many people come from all over the Caribbean to these two islands. They are really powerful on their own. When they combine, they’re unstoppable. It’s like a new world order.    If a couple is at my bar together, I make myself invisible. I’m not following your conversation, but if you ask for something, I’m there!   People bring very, very, very, very personal problems to bartenders. People you’ve never met before in your life. I’m like, “Wow!” But I try my best to give good advice and make sure, when they leave me, they leave with a smile on their face. Make them a good drink. Listen to what they say. It’s all about service. If you do it well, they get back on their feet.     Today you can have a job, tomorrow, it’s not there.     The best thing about my job is showing my talent in making drinks and having a conversation at the same time. You turn strangers into friends.     I can be on the other side of the bar. I like a drink myself. It’s a good feeling. I do push-ups and sit-ups to stay fit. Sometimes a bit of jogging.   The bad thing about the job is people who are rude. They want their drink right now and you’re actually trying your best to make their drink right now and they see you making it – and they’re still asking for it!     A Bajan is cou-cou, flying fish, Banks, Mount Gay, definitely sugar cane. A very responsible, down-to-earth, spiritual, mannerly and respectful person. A person you feel comfortable having a conversation with. Like a Trinidadian. Barbados means everything to me: Beauty, home, roots, life. Everything, man.


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