Jan. 3, 2013

Jan. 2, 2013

People want to love and be loved. We all want to be happy. I’ve been telling people that I’m tired of falling in love and getting hurt by my “romantic” relationships.

I am not tired of looking for my ONE LOVE. The Soulmate relationship is with a person I will recognize. This is not a romantic relationship, and often it is not about sex (unfortunately).

As for romantic love and sex, I’ve realized I adore falling in love and I still love sex. I will fall in love as often as possible and leave each lover behind quickly and easily (hopefully, without pain on either side). It will be nice to have a few lovers to whom I can return now and then after a few months (or more) apart.

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My current CS host, Tricia, is teaching me a lot. First, that I can be with/around other people without responding to them all the time. I rarely relax in public because I feel I must always be “ON.” Not true, as Tricia is showing me. (Andrea Meza from the Redlands, Florida, is also a teacher of this important awareness. This wisdom is based on not fearing life or other people. Paula Bussi, too, with her awesome ability to be real all the time shows me that I can be my true self when I am with others. This is much more pleasant and doesn’t tire me out.

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Stag beer, brewed at Carib Brewery here in Port of Spain, says this on its label:

“A Man’s Beer. It’s a man’s world. Rule it responsibly.”

(The last two sentences are almost hidden in tiny writing at the bottom, right corner of the label on the back of the bottle.)

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Here is a letter I just emailed to Pabst Beer Company (which makes Stag Beer) in the USA:

Stag Beer

Bunny Boswell <bunnyboswell7@gmail.com>
Greetings of the Season to you folks at Stag Beer,I am delighted to be visiting here in Port of Spain, Trinidad. I am from the United States (where I live and where I was born).I tried a Stag beer yesterday. Delicious!

I was perplexed to read a tiny little entry on the back label. It reads:

A Man’s Beer. It’s a man’s world. Rule it responsibly.”

How very silly of you to put such absurd words on the label of such a marvelous beer, especially at a time (now) when many  women (at least in the USA) are making as much money as men, are at least as well-educated as men, and are taking their places in Congress, the House of Representatives, and in all branches of the judiciary, the law, and the government.

These words show me that your company is not only hopelessly out of date, but that you are acting irresponsibly. You are giving men the idea that they are in control; fortunately, times have changed. Life has moved on, but you have not.

Women drink beer and read the labels. WAKE UP, Pabst! You have a long, proud tradition to uphold. Are you really going to go down with the patriarchal ship?

Sincerely and Happy 2013!

Karen H. Boswell, 3057 Court St., Simi Valley, California 93065, USA

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Jan. 3, 2013

Here is the reply I received today from Pabst Brewery (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA):

Karen – Thank you for taking the time in contacting Pabst Brewing Company.

We are sorry to hear about Stag Beer. After further research we are glad to say that this is NOT our beer. There is another company in the Caribbean that has a beer called Stag, and once i visited their website i do see that are go on the MANS world:
 “Living life to its fullest.” Its reputation for providing consistent quality and distinct superb great taste, sought by young adult males, earns this beer the legend – A Man’s Beer .”
“Stag – A MAN’S BEER.”
We are still sorry to hear of this.
Thank you – Consumer Relations and Quality Assurance

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Old age puts one above suspicion. It’s quite lovely. Younger women don’t instantly rise to the defense of their love lives when they see me. Younger men don’t assume I want sex. Well, this is a disadvantage for me since I definitely DO still want sex. Everyone regards me in a positive manner (except ageists and misogynists).

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Tricia, who has a Jamaican boyfriend, told me about the difference between Trini and Jamaican men. Jamaican men are much, much more aggressive than Trinidadian men, she said. Jamaican men are always trying to prove their manhood (hence, the constant demands for “respect” that I noticed). They are famous for cheating on their girlfriends and wives while absolutely forbidding these women to indulge in other sexual relationships. I read that Bob Marley was guilty of this same idiotic double-standard. He beat up his wife Rita after he learned she’d had an affair. At the time, Bob Marley was having extra-marital sex  whenever it suited him. He also had children with other women during his marriage.

Trini people of both genders are much more quiet, reserved and Westernized than Jamaicans (or Haitians or Dominican Republic people). Tricia is a rather traditional, conservative Trini woman, and she is loath to say anything bad about T&T (even if it’s true). I have asked her about race relations on the Islands with no results.

In Downtown Port of Spain, as well as in Tricia’s greener, more upscale Maraval neighborhood, I noticed that the large Indian population is very different from Trini Creoles. Their dress, foods, attitudes, and undoubtedly many other things reveal their ongoing efforts to keep their Indian culture alive in a foreign place . I saw skin lightening cream advertised in one store, and I know it’s not dark Trini Creoles who are using it.

T&T is a traditional culture (like Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic) and subservient women are the norm. Independent women are a growing part of the society.

Fashion is huge here, even among very poor people. (Clothing and especially shoes were also very important–again, notably among the poor people–in Haiti and the DR.) My CS host, Tricia, doesn’t understand the social movements in the US which led people like me to drop out of mainstream society, reject materialism and social status, and become the American version of the Traveller-Gypsies. (See Judith Okely’s book The Traveller-Gypsies).

The American Hippie “revolution” of the 1960s and ’70s is completely alien to people in countries like T&T (which enthusiastically embrace and imitate Western society). The Rasta movement is authentic only in Jamaica. Many Trinis get their dreadlocks in beauty shops; they are a fashion statement.

I think I sense quiet resentment from Trini men who undoubtedly regard my ass (in skin-tight pants) as way too independent for their good. I am an “uppity woman” and proud of it. Jamaican men regarded me as 1.) an old woman, 2.) a woman none the less, and thus, someone to be conquered in some way. Trini men simply expect women’s positive regard and acknowledgement of the men’s superiority. Oh, well. I have travelled far enough and lived long enough to know that all I can be is Me, and that I don’t have to fix or change anyone. A society takes a long time to change. The world is changing, and Trini society is changing with it. Stag beer’s pride in male dominance is quietly going down the drain as women’s education levels and earning potential is rising.

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I just read a book by Jill Conner Browne (she’s from Mississippi): The Sweet Potato Queens’ Field Guide To Men. Wonderful!

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I am not seeking out “Ultimate Experiences” when I travel. I plop myself down in a place, a neighborhood, a CSer’s house, and I see what life brings me. I get to know my host and observe and participate in their life. I don’t go out and find My Version of that place. I don’t impose myself on the place. I take what it gives me; I surrender to it.

Outside Hi Lo supermarket in Maraval yesterday, I saw a huge flock of about 100 corbeau (vultures) circling over the lush hillside above me.

The Creole accent is very strong in T&T. For example, San Juan is pronounced “Sawa.”

Both Jamaica and T&T have female prime ministers.

I will enter the Southern Hemisphere for the first time on Jan. 16. The Southern Hemisphere has less land and fewer people than the Northern Hemisphere.

$5.66 Trinidad& Tobago = $1 US when I entered T&T on Dec. 31, 2012. I changed my Jamaican money at the Kingston airport before flying to T&T.

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