April 3, 2013

Jamaica


The first and most significant fact I learned about Jamaica can be summed up with the words “No problem”. I was introduced to this important concept as soon as I arrived on the island by the people who live there.

 For a variety of reasons, my daughter and I planned our trip literally a few days before going. Our travel agent just called us and said, “You’re going to Jamaica the day after tomorrow”. That meant I had no time to visit Wikipedia beforehand. That also meant that, when our bus had left the airport, I nearly screamed “We’re on the wrong side of the road!”



We spent one memorable week in Jamaica – basking in the sunlight. And that was the greatest joy because, when we left, the weather looked something like this.
                         
                               
   During our trip, we climbed Dunn’s River Falls. I can’t quite capture the level of surprise I felt when we all joined hands and started making our way up, pretending that we didn’t notice the cold water that was pouring onto our faces. I’ll have to warn you that I personally saw one tourist – who decided to break away and climb by himself instead of with a guide – slip and slide down two stones, landing on his side. I can imagine you wondering – did we sign the paper that said the park was not responsible for any injury that may occur? No, we did not sign any papers, because nobody gave us any. Everybody knows that, in Jamaica, there are no problems – so, why worry?



We went swimming with dolphins. I, personally, also kissed a stingray. For that, I was promised ten years of good luck. How could I miss out on such an opportunity? Then, when I told about this adventure to my mom on the phone, she was quiet for a moment, and then said “You always manage pull something like this.” (I was also told that, for kissing the guide who showed us the stingray, I would get 14 years of good luck. I declined under the guise that the stingray was just so appealing.) Swimming with the dolphins was a fantastic experience. Just being near these otherworldly creatures left an unforgettable impression.


I really liked a joke that one of our tour guides told me. In Jamaica, jerk sauce is very popular – on fish, chicken, or any other meat. And if a wife calls a husband a jerk in Jamaica, according to our guide, all that means is that he’s hot and spicy. The people that we met in Jamaica all had a sharp sense of humour and they were quick to react with a witty phrase. Almost like Russians. It would be interesting to see a battle of wits between the two. At least in my case, I kept having mini-duels with words. You can be proud of me – the people I spoke to laughed while clutching at their sides after we were finished talking.


One time, at an overfilled bar, the bartender refused to give me what I asked for. I had to sing a rendition of “Red Red Wine”. That was quite effective.


Every evening, in several spots around the resort, it sounded like somebody was swinging on a rusty swing. The sound was loud, persistent, and it wouldn’t let up for even a minute. No, it wasn’t a swing. It was the sound of loud Jamaican crickets. We imagined that they were even giggling as they were swinging.



I was told that, if I try Jamaican coffee, I will open my eyes for the rest of my life. I can attest to that. The coffee is not so much strong as it is fragrant. It’s as if you’re not drinking coffee, but something else .The flavour lingers on your tongue and you want another cup, and then another one.


   Jamaican rum is really very good. I think that the best and most delicious rum is the one you actually buy in Jamaica. The same can be told of Jamaican Red Stripe beer. Maybe those drinks taste differently after a day of pirating adventures, or maybe they just save the best bottles for themselves and the guests.


Our hotel was very crowded and, having been spoiled in Cuba, I completely forgot what it’s like having to wake up early to find a spot on the beach chairs. I had to remember that almost immediately. Having spent the first afternoon tucked in next to one of the bars, where I got to listen to the latest reggae hits all day long, I decided it was best to wake up at 6 am to go find a quieter spot.


We spent our whole vacation to the sound of reggae music. I have never heard so many songs about people’s mothers in my whole life. Mother-themed songs appeared under different motifs. Some of them were dedicated not simply to somebody’s own beloved mother, but to all the mothers of the world. I would say that almost every fifth song on the radio was about a mother in some way or another.


    Something that I will definitely miss is the ocean water in the Caribbean. If you put your hang into the transparent blue water, sometimes you will find some curious fish swimming up to you – red ones, black ones, stripy ones, all kinds of different ones. Some of the most excitable ones will poke you right in the finger. I never knew this could happen. The water in the Caribbean is like a big aquarium under a warm southern sky.




35 comments:

  1. My little island! I'm so glad you had a good time there.

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  2. As always...such beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing

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  3. Marvelous hollydays and landscapes....
    Best regards from France,

    Pierre

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  4. Bonjour Olga. It has been way too long. Just wanted to say: "OK. I am sold. I want to go to Jamaica too!" -- Maybe one day. I would go if only to try that wonderfully fragrant coffee (or the rum...) Locals sounds funny, and friendly too. I am happy you had such a great time, and could leave the cold weather behind. A bientôt... Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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  5. Beautiful photos of your holiday dear Olga, such a beautiful place, those river falls look wonderful...I must try some Jamaican coffee. Glad you had a great time, thanks for sharing.
    xoxoxo ♡

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  6. Looks like the perfect place for a break in the sun. I enjoyed that trip with you. Thanks. The weather here today is horrible! Have a good day. Diane

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  7. Love the photos! To see the blueness of the ocean, and the sea of colour from the local fauna. Makes my heart pine. I look out my window, and all I see is a blanket of white! Thank you for sharing. I shall think of the colour from your holiday, and know that soon I shall have colour back in my life also!

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  8. Awesome! Thank you for sharing your experience in Jamaica! It must be awesome to hear reggae music all week. It must be very relaxing there. :D

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  9. Hello Olga,
    it is weekend in paradise!
    Very beautiful pictures!
    Congratulations

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  10. It's sounds like a pleasent trip :) I wanna go there too, after reading your post !

    XX
    Anci

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  11. You are lucky, here it has been grey and rainy for weeks!!! Thanks for showing us your pictures!!!! Plenty of colors and lovely described, kisses

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  12. Wonderful! Your 'captures' and comments bring a taste of your special time. Thank you1

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  13. it sounds like your trip was amazing! that hike looks so crazy but i would totally have done it!

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  14. Спасибо, Ольга.
    Каждая фотография - отдельный объект для медитации. Очень умиротворяюще.

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  15. I see you were in the Caribbean again... good for you. Greetings from afar, Jorge

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  16. I really believe you will do much better in the future I appreciate everything you have added to my know-how base.Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed info you offer!

    Cccam Server

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  17. Estas fiestas tan entrañables, te dejo un abrazo con mis mejores deseos de felicidad,
    feliz Navidad!!, feliz año 2014!!.

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  18. Dear Olga ,

    С Новым Годом !

    greatings

    Megi

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  19. Hello Olga,
    that Jamaica is gorgeous! Here in Brazil in some regions have similar landscapes and climate. Your photos are excellent.
    a hug

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  20. Hi Olga, What a wonderful trip. sorry to call by and find you no longer blogging. I am back in blogland and after the demise of News From Italy, now writing Travel Tales. :)
    http://lindyloumactraveltales.blogspot.co.uk/

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  21. Buenas Fiestas y Muy Feliz Año 2015

    Saludos afectuosos.-

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