Musings of Jamaica

Before I move onto Miami, which is more a series of visiting attractions anyway, I wanted to share my thoughts of what I learned from my wonderful visit to Kingston.

Mosquitos:  they’re blood thirsty!  Within 24 hours of arriving, I looked at both of my legs and saw lots of bites.  I didn’t know how many until I counted!  I had over 55 bites!  Towards the end of my visit, my cousin’s boyfriend shared about how he normally is the one who gets bitten by mosquito but not recently, then how he cornered this mosquito in the bathroom and proceeded to kill it, and this mosquito was so full of blood that flying was difficult.  Then he smashed it and “a pint” of blood came squirting out.  I yelled, “Hey, that’s the mosquito that bit me!”  Thank you for avenging me!

It always fits:  Many of the roads are pretty tight for two cars going in different directions, but no matter how tight it is, it always fits!  Some streets are as narrow as our one way streets, clearly not made for two lanes.  There were times when my cousin was driving, that there was probably one inch between her and the other driver, and it always fits.  One of the more memorable time was when she drove into the mission, while another person was driving out.  Of course I was making a face, like an accident was going to happen, but in the back seat, I hear my daughter say, “Mom, it’s okay.  It always fits!”  The other thing I noticed about the drivers in Jamaica is that they honk at each other a lot, which we don’t do here, but they aren’t mad at each other, like they ARE here!  They don’t say anything to you; they just honk and go their merry way, whereas in America, they may or may not honk at you, but you can tell by the faces that the drivers are angrily screaming obscenities!  It’s just much more relaxed.

Entrepreneuralship:  Several times a year, I make a contribution to an organization that gives out microloans to people in third world countries.  It’s amazing what types of small business people go into, from knitting gloves to raising chickens.  In Jamaica, people sell drinks, shrimp, fruits, placemats, everything by the roadside or in small little storefronts, fueled by the desire to earn money for them and their families.  Replace the people with different nationalities, Mexican and Chinese for example, and it looks just like their respective countries.  Sort of visually shows that we are all the same.  I remember when my dad suggested that he use his garage to sell things, not like garage sales but formal setting up shop.  Of course where he lived, there were strict zoning laws, and someone would call the police, but there’s this entrepreneural spirit that certain people have… that I don’t have.

Taking Life Easy:  it’s funny that I can type an email, have a conversation over the phone, and think of how to structure my next project all at the same time, yet… here’s a secret, I can’t really walk and talk at the same time!  In Jamaica, maybe because I was on vacation, I didn’t have to multi-task.  I got up around 9:00 in the morning, had breakfast about 10, hung around for a while, then left for our event of the day around 11:00, have lunch, do some other things, and get home by 4:00 to rest up for dinner.  Before dinner, we would have a drink (that’s non-alcoholic!) and talk at the table before dinner.  After dinner, we’d have dessert or more drinks and then talk some more before retiring back to our room about 9:00 p.m.  What a life!  On any given Saturday here, we would start off from 10:15 a.m. and probably not get back home until 8:00 p.m. and still have not accomplished what we wanted to do.  Although we always eat at the dinner table as a family, it would be good to establish some table time before and after dinner.

Food Consumption:  Umm, we eat a lot… I’m talking about quantity.  One of the great things about staying at people’s houses is to see how they live and especially to see what good things they do that you can adopt.  One of the things I’ve noticed is that we eat a lot of protein (whether it’s chicken or beef), and we eat a lot.  My cousin said that she can fit her clothes from 25 years ago.  Unfortunately, none of us can say that.  Their typical dinner might be a meatless pasta.  In my pasta, the main ingredient … is the protein!   One of the first things we did when we came home was to buy smaller plates.  It really does make a difference.  Yes, we get seconds… but we used to get seconds before too (on our large plates).  I know we are eating less.

What I’d Like:  My cousin has a housecleaner… who also washes the cars! – a gardener, and a driver.  When we came home, we all said, “I want a maid, a gardener, and a driver.”  Then Daniel and I looked at each other, “Hey, I am the maid, and you are the driver.”  Then we all looked at Caitlin, “Hey, you have a maid and a driver!” at which point she looked away and pretended she didn’t know we were talking about.

Moving onto Miami…

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. BarbisBlogPlace
    Mar 20, 2008 @ 20:03:00

    It sounds like you had a great time Rose.  The roads in Jamaica sound like the ones in the Philippines that used to scare me to death.  We had a driver there too because no one wanted to drive in the crazy traffic.  LOL
    I can’t wait until your next post to see what happened next.
    Barbi

    Reply

  2. munchies333
    Mar 25, 2008 @ 02:55:00

    Ah, that schedule in Jamaica is awesome!  Hehe… Not only does Caitlin have a maid and driver, she also has a party planner, personal tutor, cheerleader… I would think of more but I’m too tired. 😛

    Reply

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