Type A in Barbados

Type A in Barbados

You can take the girl out of a Type A culture but can the Type A ever, ever be vanquished from the girl? After living in Barbados for three years, I wonder. I’m not one iota more mellow than I ever was. Fortunately, here in Barbados I am blessed with frequent reminders of the beauty of living life less hurried.

I rushed my frazzled self into my nail appointment. I was on time, but the nail tech wasn’t. I fidgeted a bit, paced the shop, then sat down and flipped through a magazine and pretended to wait patiently. Even after she began working on my nails my thoughts were rushed, focused on all I still had to get done. A human doing, not a human being. I never even took off my sunglasses.

Before the first coat of polish, the fruit man came into the shop. The fruit man is old. He sells small baggies of grapes, strawberries, cashews, and peanuts as well as whole oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, and a few veggies. I am always happy to see the fruit man and buy his yummy offerings.

buying peas in Barbados

I surveyed the items in his box and asked the fruit man if he had any pineapple that was cut up. He took his small box of items and left the shop.

Oh, no, I’d offended the fruit man! I felt horrible. I castigated myself, Why can’t you ever ever learn???? Just accept life on life’s terms. Why do you need to demand other/different/”better”???  You want cut-up pineapple?! Cut up your own darned pineapple!

My second coat of polish was drying and I was making a mental list of all my to-do’s for the afternoon when the fruit man re-entered the shop.

As I was blowing on my nails, he walked over to me and presented his box of fruits again.

Alongside the other offerings and beautifully cut into tall, slender chunks and packaged in clear bagggies was juicy pineapple.

The fruit man had gone outside not in anger but to cut pineapple for me.

My brain stopped for a second. I took a deep breath; behind my sunglasses, tears stung my eyes. A spirit of calm came over me. Another human being had reached out and patiently, kindly offered the Type A lady in the sunglasses what she asked for.

I bought grapes, cashews, and pineapple. My bill was $5.

The Type A is learning, adapting … and maybe, with enough time and enough fruit men, changing.

17 Responses to “Type A in Barbados”

  1. Teresa Hancock says:

    Lovely sentiment Jane…. those small life experiances happen for a reason… as you saw for yourself! Hope we get to see the fruit man on our visit and slow down a little (or a lot!)! 😉


  2. Thanks, Teresa. You’re so right, these things happen for a reason and my day was better because of the fruit man and what he showed me about living life less rushed — and with kindness.

    Enjoy your stay in Barbados!! Relax and enjoy!!

  3. Stephen says:

    Get a knife!(search for the pun)
    Humans can be kind as is proved every day in this country of (mostly)kind people.

  4. Lois says:

    Jane – you are just like me. I’m definitely type A and I wonder how I would do long-term in Barbados. But you show me it can be done. Thanks for the great post.

  5. Lois, I thought you were a kindred (Type A) spirit … ! Such behavior works to our benefit at times and to our detriment .. often. Thx for writing.

    Stephen, you slay me … !


  6. Corrie Scott says:

    Great reminder to STOP and smell the frangipani 🙂

  7. 🙂 this made me smile

  8. Meg says:

    Wow, do I miss this lifestyle. Thank goodness you blog and I can dip in to your wonderful Bajan experiences. This also made me smile.

  9. Rainy says:

    Well said Meg about dipping into Jane’s world in Barbados. I love reading this blog and feel like Jane is a friend who lives in a beautiful world that I love.
    Her posts always makes me smile and long to visit Barbados again. It is like having a visit to the island from your home.

  10. Rainy, you are a love. Thank you for your kind support.

    Greg and I are leaving tomorrow for Italy for two weeks .. I am so excited! We are doing a house exchange … an Italian couple is coming into our apartment tomorrow as we head for their place on the coast of Tuscany. I will be over-the-moon excited the first ten days we’re away and then I’ll start getting homesick for Barbados .. always happens.

    Let me know when you’re visiting Bim again, Rainy. And take good care … xox Jane

  11. Alice says:

    But, what would the world do without us Type As? We are the ying to their yang.

  12. Margaret says:

    Your blog is great. It’s interesting to see my lifestyle through someone else’s eyes. Your video on driving is so funny, and true!

    Hope you enjoyed Tuscany. I had the pleasure of being driven through beautiful areas last year en route to and from Florence.

  13. Margaret, thanks for writing. Since my husband Greg and I went to Tuscany in early May I have been in my home in Barbados maybe 20 days total … I am terribly homesick for Barbados. There is such a thing as Too Much Travel, although I must say that we loved Italy so, so much. I am way behind on my blog updates, as you can see, due to being away more than here at home.

    Thanks for writing …. here’s to driving on the “other” side of the road!! xox Jane

  14. Cosmic Kip Bogdan says:

    Jane, what a nice story. Every town needs a good fruit man. My love and I are coming to Barbados for my 50th in early october and I truly want to make Barbados my home. Barbados was my parents favorite place to vacation when alive. Michelle, my love, who I really want to move there with me, is a bit less adventurous than I and has so many apprehensions about the potential move. This is my first ever blog read and I found it deeply satisfying. Type A, B, or C way to go on becoming a citizen of Barbados. Hope we will follow in your footsteps soon.

  15. Good luck! It’s not easy. Do your homework and contact an attorney if you need advice. I wish you the best … ! Jane

  16. Cecília from Brazil says:

    I love your story. Before I read the rest of the story I thought: the man wouldn’t be angry for so little hah I’m used to it maybe : ) I am going to BBD first time Oct13 and would highly appreciate your non tourist suggestions – anything, everything you can – please write me ingridok@mpc.com.br Many tks from Rio de Janeiro

  17. Jill says:

    Wow!!! Living life more humble! I love what you wrote. This is opening my eyes to what Bajan life is like. So beautiful . The locals are so patient with other ways of being. I was born and raised in New York and now live in Florida. I really need to calm down and just be.

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