Just driving from the airport in St. Michael to the neighbouring parish of St. George gives me a good idea of the Barbados’s layout.
“Bajans love their roundabouts,” K tells me as we pass the 5th such in less than an hour.
And indeed they love their roundabouts. Each roundabout is assigned to a company who is then in charge of its upkeep. Competitions were once held for the best looking roundabout but the practice has since faded. Still, it is Christmas and many of the roundabouts were splendidly decorated in the spirit of the season.
Another ubiquitous facet of the Barbadian landscape is the cane fields that seem to stretch on for miles along the island’s interior. Driving through the country (and I use this term reluctantly, as it reminds me of the annoying Jamaican dichotomy of Kingston/everywhere else) I pass a set of cane fields twice, going and coming.
But cane fields are also a quintessential part of Caribbean history. Not only do the cane fields of Bimshire stretch for miles, they also stretch for centuries back into the eras of colonialism and slavery. It may not be the happiest point of reference but I love the sense of connection we have as a people with a shared history, despite the differences in where we are today.
In fact, despite the absence of the hills that are so commonplace in Jamaica, I’m finding it very easy to feel at home here.