Friday, October 12, 2012

Jamaica Story - Part Two: Things To Know

Things to know about Jamaica:

• The resorts and areas immediately surrounding the resorts are immaculate. But areas not associated with the resort are rural and uncultivated.

• Folks are still living in shanties.

• Folks are living on the beach in tents.

• Animals of all kinds walk in the middle of the road and your driver barely slows down to miss them.

• You will see the have nots as you travel to your resort.

• It is hot in Jamaica. And they don’t really believe in air conditioning. I could be rich if I had been given money every time I said I was American and I had to have air conditioning.

• You will fall even if no alcohol is involved.

• You will find the locals and the workers at your resort to be very friendly. No really friendly. So friendly they just walk into your suite like they live there.

• You will develop a reputation if you are single and only come out during the evening hours at the resort.

• All the good looking Jamaicans are in America.

• The sodas there are incredibly sweet. Thank goodness I brought my own.

• Even the liquor was too sweet for me to stomach. They like stuff way too syrupy for me.

• I drank Red Stripe beer with a straw. Yes, I got looks.

• The landscape of our hotel was marvelous, too bad they had a lot of damn lizards and you all know how well I deal with lizards.

• Curry goat tastes better than it sounds.

• Ackee and saltfish are delicious. Since I am allergic to eggs, Ackee tastes just like scrambled eggs to me.

• I enjoyed every single meal I had in Jamaica to the consternation of my sister.

• The activities coordinator will be your nurse as well.

• Nothing compares to a good, relaxing massage.

• I have friends whose sense of direction is challenged.

• It is best to warn your sister and best friend that you and Mary fight like dogs all the time and don’t be alarmed it is only temporary. Otherwise, your sister and her best friend will be shaking uncontrollably by your arguments.

• Doing Dunn’s River Falls at the same time as the Tom Joyner cruise made me realize I wasn’t old enough for the Fantastic Voyage. All I am saying is a lot of folks reminded me of my uncles.

• Some folks will find a way to gamble when they are on vacation.

• A sprained ankle doesn’t ruin your vacation, but it sure does slow you down.

• I really wanted to go to Kingston, but when your driver tells you point blank do not go, you figure you better heed his advice. He said the crime was too much for us to handle. All I wanted to do was see Bob Marley’s statute.

• Seemingly, our driver didn’t understand the need for soap and water. I made sure not to sit up front in the van.

• You will learn a lot about yourself when you go on vacation where some parts are built up by corporations, but the rest isn’t shown the same love. That my people bothered me most. If you come to a country set up these lavish resorts, why aren’t you assisting the rest of the country in improving their way of life?

• I am a spoiled American, who must have air conditioning.

• The group that was singing in the airport upon your arrival will not be singing when you leave.

• First class service is 100 x’s better than in coach. I am just saying…

This is what I wrote in my book club’s newsletter after the trip:

Even through the beauty of the resorts and the landscape of the Jamaican island, one could not deny the poverty and the filthiness of Jamaica. Don’t get me wrong, I had a wonderful and blessed time, but I was disappointed. People always return from Jamaica with these wonderful stories of how beautiful Jamaica is and they cannot wait to go again. However, they do not paint a true picture of Jamaica. Even when I spoke with those born in Jamaica, I too, dismissed their picture of dirtiness. I should have listened because they really knew what they were talking about. Resorts are all over the island and some of the resorts are truly beautiful as well as outlandish. Yet, once you pass through their gates the grounds become dirty. People are living in tents and shanties. It’s shameful that companies can build their beautiful resorts, on an island that is not their own and not help the people who live there. Children in the airport begging tourist for change because they are hungry. It is not right…

*The resort we stayed in while in Ocho Rios is no longer an all-inclusive resort and seemingly is only open for tours of the grounds.  Seriously, the grounds were gorgeous!

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