New Years Resolutions – January 1998

New Years Resolutions – Patois Translation

Well di New Years is ere again and nerely all a wi mek som pramiss har adder. Wi all nung seh a pramiss is a comfat tu a fule, soh wen wi mek all dem New Years pramise deh, wi really a fule wi self. Som sey dem a goh stap smoke fi di New Year, adders pramise demself dat dem a goh loose wait, dem a goh stap beat dem ooman, dem a goh bak a school, yu name it dem a goh cut it out a dem daily routine. Mi axe a fren wat it was dat she was pramissing fi stap du fi di new year, shi tell mi sey, she noh mek noh pramiss but all shi nung was dat shi ad to staat fi goh bak a school and shi ad tu get reid a di wutless bwoy weh shi is seeing. Never-the-less di ole papulation always swear bline that di coming Year dem afi kip, a New Year Resolution.

Well me fi one ave a prablem, each year mi pramiss seh me is going pan a diet, far mi fat likka mud fish. Mi di swear bline sey mi was’nt going tu eit any af di cake mi bake di year, but bwoy, wen dem dun bake dem smell soh gud mi eit a likkle piece, han a soh it gwaan soh till nung mi swear sey mi eit bout at least quather af a whole cake already. As fi di fambily dinner wey wi ave, mi seh mi was’nt going tu eit noh meat, soh mi cuk up som greens, (pak choi, wid mix vegetable) an som ackee han saltfish. Mi was successful in nat eiting any af di meat, but di way ow di bake chicken smell soh gud, han di am, wi staat fi tell mi self seh is fuleishness mi doing as is one time fi di ere, but dem mi staat fi tink soh mi neva giv in. Wi mus all memba sey God in all Im glory tek 6 days fi complete di worl han one New Years resolution won’t change a flipping ting.

Well, mi teif som stats fram a news paypa, written by Tony Robinson, who by di wey inspired mi fi rite dese tings. It show where a sample was taken fram Jamaicans fram all walks af life, and taximen was di fus ones dem axe question. Sixty five percent af dem pramise dat was going tu stap overchargin by ow di person luk, har by were dem is going. Di taximan seh “Half Way Tree tu Vineyard Town, 150 dalla, Half Way Tree tu Cherry Gardens, 300 dalla”. Seventy percent seh dem was going tu stap borin ina traffik line han also cut ot di nasty abbit af stapping anywhere pan di road fi let aff peopl no matter who bihine a dem.

Af di minibus, han far doese who ave visited our shores han ave gone pan a minibus, 55 percent relove seh dem was neva going tu bad drive a nex motoriss again!. Han if dem tuch a nex driver, dem han di ducta was’nt going tu jump out a di bus wid cutlass fi chap di nedda driva. Di ducta dem pramise fi stap fi pick up school children han fi stap tek people likkle pickney fi bi dem oomam. Dis dey sey wid one resolve.

Nung mi brave bredren tek a poll wid gunmen, dis one mussi di tek som du’in. Farty five percent af di gun mem dem resolve dat, if han wen dem buk inna sombaddy ouse, if dem affi shat somebaddy, dem ould du it inna dem battom and nat ina dem belly nar dem ed. When dem rabb anybaddy dem ould jus tek wat dem want and nat arm any unahm difensless person.

Nung if yu tink dat di poll wid di teif dem was tricky, chek di one wey dem tek af di liad dem! a dangerous breed a people!. Yu know weh dem afi sey bout Jamaican people, dat dem ould tell di devil imself a lie han im oulda believe it!. Lies buk up fren ship, it bruk out fambily, it bruk up business han it buk up relationships. Its a one af di mose deadliyess instrument af distruction dat evva exist. One af mi fren at di affice a sell har likkle guds pan di side and wen shi ready fi callect har money fi Chrismas, di girl tell har dat..”mi di ave di money up tu a likkle while a goh, but mi madda fall sick han mi affi use it fi pay dacter fee and medicine, and mi caan giv yu wat mi ave leff bicausen sey mi might afi buy more medicine fi har, check mi nex munt!. Liad, later ina di week a shi dat mi fren si pan plaza a Christmas shapp, “soh ow yu could’nt pay mi mi money and nung yu deh pan plaza a shap..” is she dat a seh,” is nat me, mi dere, is mi sister axe mi fi com buy sompting fi har….” liad, stap tell di lie dem man, yu too big fi dat, mi fren seh . Soh di liad dem resolve dat dem pramise fi stap di tell lie fi di new year, but yu know ow dat goh, if a liad tell yu fi walk..weh yu mus du?…run!!

Of di ladies weh dem interview, 45% a dem seh dem was resolving tu fine a gud man for di New Year!..Di bess mi can sey tu does ladies is dat, live fi yu self han stap depen pan man fi yu appiness. Som ooman complain dat dem man wont chat tud dem, ” honey ow was yu day, mine di full a pere crosses, furse, as mi ketch ian di affice Suzzie han me ketch up, nex, wen mi dey pan mi way ome, mi car tire get flat”..di man jus grunt…Well, dere is a way fi resolve di prablem, get a gay man, im will identify wid yu prablem, wen yu finish tell im bout all di tings dat appen tu yu, mi sure im will seh, “me tu di ave di same prablem. Cum mek wi talk bout it. Gay friends mek gud company, dem gud fi talk tu and dem will identify wid yu prablem. Friendship wid gay people always last farever, and dem is gud convasationalis.

Nung those people who lib bad wid dem neighbours, sixty percent af dem pramise dem will stap cuss dem neighbours. Som people mus stap lib fi 15year beside people a nung know dem name. When crosses tek dem all dem can du is bawl out murder, far dem can’t call dem neighbour name. Di Bible seh? love mi neighbour, but it distinctively seh, don’t covet yu neighbours wife. Soh som man mek fi dem New Years resolution fi stap check dem neighbours wife. As fi baby fathers, dem resolve fi begin fi pay maintenance money tu dem children, and wife pramise fi stap nagg dem usban. Mose paliticians pramise fi keep all dem pre-election pramise, dat is di time mi cum tu mi senses.

Di Reggae Boyz was di inspiration of di year..dem was successful in creating armony between di people af Jamaica, neva in mi life mi heva si people af all walks af life in unitly as wen wi di ave di final World Cup qualifyer at di National Stadium. Dem di mek mi proud…dat mek wi also ave di bes election heva. Mi expec seh di paliticians dem will tek a leaf out a di ress af di country buk and try fi du all dem can fi mek life bearable as dem passible can.

But mi dears, dis New Years resolution ting tek nuff discipline, and noh fi people who frickle minded and can’t mek a pramise a kip it. Soh lets see wat is wrong han fix it han mose importantly, mek it begin wi “me”.

More time..walk gud mi fren!!!

New Years Resolutions – Standard English Translation

Well, its here again, the New Year has arrived and nearly all of us has made ourselves some promise or other. We all know that a promise is a comfort to a fool, but we still continue to make promises, fooling ourselves into thinking that we will keep them. Some people promise they will stop smoking; yet others promise they will loose weight; stop beating their women; promise to go back to school, you name it, they promise to cut it out or add it to their daily routine. I asked my friend what was her New Years resolution, she told me she had to go back to school and she had to stop seeing the worthless man she was seeing. Never-the-less, the entire population always swear blind that the coming New Year was a time to make resolutions.

I, for one, have a problem, each year I promise I have to go on a diet as I am far too fat, and I swear blind that whenever I bake fruit cakes I was not going to eat any of it this year. So much for the resolution, as soon as the cake came out of the oven they smelt so good I had to eat a piece of it. To date I have had about a quarter of an entire cake. On Christmas day, most Jamaicans gather to have family dinners I resolved that I would not have any meat kind, so I ended up having pak choi and ackee and salted fish. At least I was successful in not having any meat, but the baked chicken looked and smelt so good I had a hard time convincing myself that I should really not have any even though it was once per year that this event took place. We must however, remember that God created this earth in 6 days and making one New Years resolution in one day won’t change one damn thing.!

I plagiarized some statistics from a news paper article written by Tony Robinson( the person who inspired me to write the things I do) to better bring home my point about New Years resolutions. A sample was taken of Jamaicans from all walks of life and taxi-men were the first ones to be interviewed. Sixty percent of taxi-men promised to stop overcharging by the appearance of their passengers or by their destination. For example, Half Way Tree to Vineyard Town 150 dollars, Half Way Tree to Cherry Gardens, 300 dollars. Seventy percent of them promised to stop boring in traffic lines and also to cut out the nasty habit of stopping abruptly anywhere on the road to pickup and let off passengers regardless of who was behind them.

Of the minibus drivers polled, (some who have visited our shores and have taken a minibus will understand this) 55 percent resolved never to bad drive another motorist ever again, and if they touched another vehicle, the driver and the conducter promised not to rush out with their cutlass to chop up the driver. The conducter swore to pick up school children and to stop taking school girls as their women.This they said with one resolve.

Now the pollster was very brave in is next group. He collected data from gunmen,who resolved to be more compassionate in where they shot their victims. They promised to just shot them in their bottoms and not in their bellies or heads. Whenever they robbed anybody, they would take what they wanted and wouldn’t leave behind any casualties, if they were defenseless. The resolution was given by 45 percent of the gunmen sampled.

If you think the previous poll was tricky, check this one out. A sample was taken of liars, a dangerous breed!, I might add. There is a myth about Jamaican people, it says that, if they told the devil a lie he would believe it. Lies is a major instrument of destruction, it destroys, friendships, it destroys families, businesses, and it destroys relationships. A friend of mine at the office sells her goods on the side to enhance her meger salary, when she was ready to collect her money for the Christmas season, a patron told her, ” a had di money, but my mother fell ill and I had to use the money to pay her doctor’s fee and the rest that is left I have to buy medicine, check me next month”. Liar!!, but anyway, my friend gave her the extended credit and allowed her to pay next month. In the week of Christmas, my friend saw her on the Plaza Christmas shopping ” so how come you were not able to pay me my money and now you are here shopping”…The girl said ” It’s not my money my dear, my sister asked me to come up and buy something for her”…”Liar”, my friend said, stop telling lies man, you are too old for that!!”. So the liars resolved that they would try to be tell the truth for the New Year. But you know how that is, if a liar tell you to walk…what should you do?…run!!

Of the ladies who were interviewed, 45% of them said they promised to find a good man for the New Year. The best advise I could give here is that, ladies, you should live for yourself and don’t allow your happiness to depend on anyone. Some women complain that their mate speak to them, “honey, how was your day?..I did not have a good day myself, my day was filled with misfortunes. First, Suzzie and I had a disagreement, and later on my way home, my car tire got flat”. Her mate grunted. Well, there is a way to resolve that problem, find yourself a “gay” man, they make good company, they are more likely to identify with the problem the woman above had. “I too had the same problems…, come let us talk about it”. Gay men make good friends, they would be able to identify with a woman’s problems, they are forever friends, and they are good conversationalist.

For the people who do not have a good relationship with their neighbours, sixty percent of them promised to stop cussing their neighbours. People who live for 15 years in a neighbourhood and do not know their neighbours name should try to make a resolve to change that for the New Year. When trouble arises, the only thing they can do is to cry out for murder, as they don’t know the name of the person living beside them. The Bible distinctively said “love your neighbours as yourself” so for those men who love to check their neighbours wife must resolve to stop it in the New Year. Those baby fathers who refuse to maintain their children, those women who love to nag their husbands, must resolve to make a promise to change that. Most importantly, politicians who make pre-election promises must resolve to keep their promises. Now, this is the time for me to come to my senses!!! please!!

This is a good time congratulate the people of my country…the two best events I would like to highlight are the football event at the National Stadium, during the World Cup qualifying matches and the General Election which took place on the 18th of December. It appear that the the Reggae Boyz were successful in uniting the nation which carried over into the elections. They made me feel proud to be Jamaican. I expect that the politicians however, will do their best to make the promises they made during their campaign possible and to make the lives of every Jamaican as bearable as possible.

My dears, the New Years resolution story calls for lots of discipline and consistency. Its not for people who are fickle minded and can’t make a promise and keep it. So let us resolve to try and fix what is wrong and let it begin with me!

More time…walk good!!

About the author

Dulcimer "Peaches" Robothom