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Tun han', mek fashion

Friday, March 02, 2012    

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I don't know about you, but today, I commit to being as happy as a fly in a full rubbish pan. I shall not walk, but will skip everywhere I'm going. Its a choice, and I choose to be be blissfully merry this weekend, so don't panic when you see this oversized child skipping and singing down the street. Join me if you can.

There is an old Jamaican saying "weh yuh grow... a wha yuh know", and thanks to my glorious summers in West Kingston I learned a lot. Some very helpful and others... well, let's just say they help my street credibility.

I recently needed an envelope and stopped at an office and asked for a used one (all about recycling). The receptionist was so helpful she dug through and found several, but they all bore the company's logo and she was adamant that those were inappropriate for my use. Poor little naive child. I told her to remain clam, hand me said envelope and a strip of cellotape and I proceeded to operate.

By placing the cellotape over the printed section of the envelope and by applying a little pressure, I was able to lift the print off clean and I was on my way leaving this young lady with her jaw on the floor. Those of you at work reading this article, please don't waste your employer's good, expensive stationery trying to see if this technique works. Mi know oonu.

For years ghetto people have been improvising aka going green and didn't know it. We jus call it 'bruk'. I went to the laundromat and discovered that I didn't have enough fabric softener. Okay, honestly, I had used the last of it and stretched it with some water from the last wash day and didn't remember to replenish the stock. The cycle was fast approaching rinse and all I had was the dead fee for the two loads. I ran next door to a restaurant on the plaza and asked kindly for some vinegar, poured it into the machine and my clothes were baby soft and smelling fresh. The attendant in the store couldn't believe, obviously she grew up privileged.

I'm sure she would faint if she observed some of my more skilful friends boiling an egg in a juice box while the 'boat a run'.

We moan and gripe daily, especially near pay day, about all the things we wish we had and how hard our lives are. Truth is, the majority of us have never rolled out a toothpaste tube to get to the last dregs to brush our teeth or cut the tube open and used the brush to scour the inside. How many of you have had to recycle cooking oil or eat fry flour for dinner? When last have you added water to a condiment bottle to stretch the contents? Patched a shoe at shoe repair store so you can get couple more strides out of it? Rubbed baking soda under your arm when the deodorant is finished?

Ghetto living may not be all fun and games, but it teaches you survival skills you will never obtain at a university.

Let's give thanks for all that we have and are because as bad as you think you have it, millions the world over would give a limb to be in your position. Have a wonderful weekend. Send me your helpful hints and tips at elvachatalot@yahoo.com I will publish them soon. Follow me on Twitter @ElvaJamaica

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