Words by DJ Autograph—
If you have ever been to or are from Jamaica and have taken taken public transportation, you certainly will identify with the lyrics of the Caucasian female duo, The Word. In “Two White Girls Pon A Minibus,” the duo recaps their journey across the island of Jamaica on…yes, a minibus. I remember seeing this video quite a lot on our local TV channel JBC (now known as TVJ) while growing up in Jamaica.
As the title suggests, white tourists whether male or female are an uncommon sight on Jamaica’s public transportation, especially back in the ’80s and ’90s. The video for the song picks up on this as Jamaican passengers provide humorous responses to the girls’ questions about the trip. The video begins with the girls being pulled into the already packed bus by the ‘ducta; A passenger and the ‘ducta “boom fists” after the girls have boarded, presumably congratulating each other about getting these two particular passengers onto the minibus. The Word’s account covers issues like personal space–a precious commodity given the number of passengers crammed onto the bus—and what happens when it rains during one of these trips. The only thing the girls didn’t cover in their recount of their trip is the speeds at which these buses travel—sometimes in excess of 90 mph, on Jamaica’s winding country roads, no less.
Luckily, there are now alternatives to taking the minibus across and around Jamaica so tourists wishing to experience the local way of life don’t have to be subjected to this kind of…intimate…travel.