Dear Usain & Bob

Anna
Usain Bolt, wherever you are, I owe you. I also owe Bob Marley but what with him gone I think it’s fair to write that one off. Traveling through Asia has been that much more interesting because of you both. It’s already an interesting experience being Black in Asia, but when I add to that the element of being Jamaican then things get epic. There is never a shortage of conversation as strangers are somehow emboldened by the announcement and always have a myriad of questions. Thanks to you, the first thing I get asked half the time is “Can you run?” Thanks to you, the world thinks we are a nation of athletes. You are single-handedly responsible for every conversation with a taxi driver where I have to do the pose and explain that my Jamaican-ness doesn’t guarantee athletic prowess. In fact (and this part I always leave out, because duh, we have a reputation to uphold) the only race I ever ran was in grade 8 because red house was down one runner and we needed someone – anyone apparently – to fill the space. They may or may not have had to wait a while for me to finish before starting the next race. The strangest conversation was definitely the one with a Grab taxi driver in Manila who was curious to know what you eat. It wasn’t easy explaining to him that being Jamaican didn’t give me an all-access pass to your diet and exercise regimen. I winged it though (yuh still eat yam, banana, potato and dem supm deh?) Doesn’t matter now anyway, because that’s what I told him.   As for you, dearly departed Bob, I should thank you for that epic night on the beach in Bali last year – 2 hours of uninhibited singing with strangers from all over the world (a French couple stopped by at one point, there were my new friends from Spain and London, the teenagers from Canada and our resident guitarist – an elderly local who knew the words to every single one of your songs including songs I’d never heard of despite him speaking only limited English). It was magical. Earlier that night I took to the stage in the spirit of bravery (because when else do we take crazy chances like singing a duet with a reggae band on stage in a bar full of foreigners and locals?). Here’s hoping what happens in Bali stays in Bali. I’m mildly optimistic as I haven’t seen it on Youtube yet. Between us both (and all my friends who’ve seen the clip from my phone), it wasn’t my best performance.  I didn’t do Lauryn’s part justice, but in my defense, I was inebriated and the lead singer doing your part threw me off (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). Still, it was crazy fun and I have you to thank. There’s also the free drinks bartenders give me when they learn I’m Jamaica. The most recent case was a bartender on Jeju island in South Korea. It was an Irish pub (give me a break, options were limited and my friend and I needed a drink) and after hearing where I was from the song choices changed for the rest of the night. After the fifth track – No Woman No Cry I think it was – I felt mildly concerned for anyone not enjoying the music, but then, who would that be exactly?? You are Bob Marley, after all. Seriously though Usain and Bob, between the two of you, I owe a debt of gratitude (because, really, that’s all I can afford. This travel life ain’t cheap). I’ve mentioned to friends before that being Jamaican seriously supersedes being Black when you travel in Asia and with every country I visit I find this to be even truer. So consider this post me paying my debt publicly, for all the drinks I’m yet to drink and all the good times I’m yet to have. Mannaz an’ respek!

Hi, I’m Anna

A girl who traded in her cushy 9 to 5 to pursue a life of travel and passion. Words are my superpower (and also how I pay the bills these days). I love pasta, binge watching Grey’s Anatomy and anything that allows me to flex my creative muscles. I talk travel, dream chasing and living on purpose here on the blog.

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10 Comments

  1. Yvette

    How could you forget the chicken nuggets for Bolt? That would have been fun trying to explain that one them. Awesome article Anna. Jamaicans large a faarin. Keep having fun on your journey 😁

    Reply
    • Anna

      You know I completely forgot!?!?! Probably for the best because I’m not sure how I’d explain it.
      Thanks Yvette 🙂

      Reply
  2. Candy Purpose

    Loool.. Was worth the read! I’m looking for that youtube video to pop up soon lol and the sports day part had me hollering !

    Reply
    • Anna

      LOL. Thanks Candy.
      Never! Video deh pon serious lock dung.
      Unless some random tourist recorded it… we may never know…

      Reply
  3. Sheneka

    Epic! This reminded me of the time I was in Texas with Chem and Natz and the taxi driver started singing a Bob Marley tune and talking about his love for Jamaican women. Lol.

    You are so right. Being Jamaican is way more awesome travelling because of legends like Bolt and Marley.

    Great article:)

    Reply
    • Anna

      Thanks Shen!
      It gets me every time. We really are legendary 🙂

      Reply
  4. Tansy

    I’m living vicariously through your blogs and you your words always manage to add life as if I am there and sharing the experiences with you.

    I love that you are having a great time and being so warmly welcomed by strangers nonetheless.

    I agree with the other comments and implore you to continue to bask in these experiences and share so that we too can imagine, smile, laugh and be amazed.

    God speed goodie😂.

    They say long live the king but I say long live Usain and Bob? Ok…long live Bob’s name them.

    Reply
    • Anna

      LOL. Just the name mama.
      It’s not always rainbows and butterflies but the good times definitely make up for the bad. Enjoying it for all of us! Thanks for your unwavering support :-*

      Reply
  5. Summer

    Couldn’t agree more!! Being a Jamaican abroad makes you feel like a superstar! Really enjoyed reading this Aunty Anna 🙂

    Reply
    • Anna

      Thanks Summer! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

      Reply

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Hi, I’m Anna.

I traded in my cushy 9 to 5 to pursue a life of travel and passion. I talk travel, dream chasing and living on purpose here on the blog. Hope I can inspire you to chase a dream of your own!

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