In addition to the excitement and randomness of driving in Grenada – which is really best done on a scooter – there is an orchestra of peanut gallery that lines the roadsides and makes for quite an entertaining journey. It’s kissy face culture in Grenada!
As a white female, I attract quite a bit of attention in Grenada whether or not I want to. One of the incantations of this attention comes in the form of the following soundtrack which accompanies me when I drive around:
“Can I ride wit you baby?”
…and the ever-present kissy face sounds…
I’m not exactly sure what any of my potential suitors would do if I actually responded to their calls; as if I might jump off my scooter right there and then and leap into their arms.
And yes, I’ve been temped to do it just to see what would happen, as I suspect they’d be so surprised that it would turn into a big joke.
But I haven’t done it. (I’m too chicken).
What truly amazes me is that even when I’m on the scooter with my partner (who is a strong man you might think twice about pissing off) – the orchestra of cat calls from the roadside continues unabated!
So now my suitors’ odds are stacked significantly against them with my partner right there, yet they still feel it’s worth a try.
You’ve gotta commend their tenacity.
So we’ve found the perfect way of responding to these ever-present road-side calls:
My partner blows kisses.
But driving and riding around Grenada is a much more interactive (and pleasurable) experience than simply fending off men.
Grenada is a small island, made up of smaller communities. It doesn’t take long to become a familiar face, especially if you live outside of the major towns (as I do), and you are simply friendly and open, willing to lime, engage in some small talk, and provide a helping hand if it’s needed.
Thus, in my morning ride to the gym, I get smiles, waves, beeps, and hellos from no less than half a dozen people I know or recognize – sitting on their porches, walking along the road, manning the fruit or rum stands, or driving on the roads. And this happens wherever I go.
It’s a heartwarming experience, every time I leave the house.
I’ve also noticed a transition recently; the ratio of kissy faces to heartfelt waves has shifted.
Instead of getting the hey-there’s-a-white-chick-on-a-scooter kissy face…
…I get the hey-there’s-that-white-chick-on-a-scooter-I-recognize wave and greeting!
It’s the little things.
Editor’s Note: I wrote this piece prior to having my scooter accident, and although I’m currently relegated to Grenada’s buses and walking, and despite the accident, I still very much loved my scooter days.