Soon

marley tosh

When it comes to Later you just got to love the Jamaican perception of time; or lack of it by American and British standards. It’s like when you have to be some place at 2 o’clock and your friend who happens to be a yard man ( Jamaican) promises to take you to your destination, you call him at 12 he says “yes man, me soon come” but arrives at 1:45 to take you to your 2 o’clock appointment.

Never show up to a dance hall or party before 11pm. Virtually nobody will be there. You may even be there before the D.J. You ask where everyone is. You get an answer, “them soon come.” Then perhaps people start to trickle in around 12:30, if not later.

You call a Jamaican restaurant order something to be delivered to you; you ask “how long will it be?” The response is “soon.” An hour and a half later you call the restaurant to see what happened to the food. You get the answer “it’ll soon come.”

So now you see there is emphasis on the word “soon” it is an idiomatic expression that varies in usage depending on the person and how they use it. For example, a child may say “daddy when are we going out?” daddy will respond “soon” three hours pass and the child asks the same question and gets the same answer. Since children are persistent the child will ask again and again and each time they get the same answer, “soon.” The child will come to learn that when his father says “soon” it means never.

Otherwise another child’s father may give the same answer and follows through with the action perhaps in a couple of minutes, hours or a day or two.

In essence when you hear a Jamaican use the word “soon” there is no time limit when it’s going to happen, or it may never happen at all. Even Bob Marley & Peter Tosh had to complain about that behavior…

Soon Come
Everytime I call
They tell me that you’re soon come soon come
I call you at your home
They tell me that you’re soon come
I don’t like hanging around
Or to be pushed around
I’ve got feelings for you know
I don’t like the soon come soon come
I call you on the phone
They tell me that you’re soon come soon come
I even call you at your home
They tell me that you’re soon come soon come
I don’t like hanging around
Or to be pushed around
I’ve got feelings for you know
I don’t like the soon come
I call you on the phone
They tell me that you’re soon come soon come
I even call you at your home
They tell me that you’re soon come soon come
I don’t like hanging around
Or to be pushed around
I’ve got feelings for you know
I don’t like the soon come
Stop, you coming
Soon come
I’ll stop your soon come and come soon
Soon come
Don’t like it
Soon come
Stop, you coming

Advertisements

9 Comments »

  1. I had this same experience in Belize. Aside from soon come, it was always ‘right now’. ‘right now the bus is coming ‘ or maybe in 5 hours, but eventually. 🙂 personally I like the laid back attitude

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reminds me of our time in Spain. Mañana time is what they called it. My dad taught us to always be 10 minutes early and if you were late for church, no problem, you will be early for the next service lol. My kids were raised the same. So…late friends were an adjustment to my character. Not proud of it, but I simply told them an hour earlier then I wanted to really meet. If it didn’t improvise, I think I’d still be waiting.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s