Wild Jamaica

I never like doing things like roller coasters until I’m on them. The same goes for the boat ride


I Take Care of You and You Take Care of Me

Connor and Deon were in Kingston–Jamaica’s capital city–out visiting their extended families on the island, while my family and I were in Ocho Rios. I worried for them, not because of Kingston’s more lurid reputation, but because they were choosing to drive the treacherous Jamaican highways unassisted with a car that had more in common with a ball of crumpled aluminum than anything drivable. The day before they left, we’d loosely–and very drunkenly–chatted about going with them, but it didn’t happen. Not wanting to waste the goodwill, on a whim we made plans to go to Negril on the western end of the island the day after Ocho Rios over breakfast.

I had heard good and interesting things about Negril. I loosely knew it was a beachy place that had a reputation for partying, though the same could probably be said for Jamaica as a whole. I didn’t quite know what we’d do when we got there, but I was sure we’d figure it out. It’s easy to get trapped in a sort of “western bubble” if you let yourself and I didn’t want that to happen again. Twice, I had been to the same tourist strip in Montego Bay. I wanted something a bit more authentic, something just short of slum tourism and something more than novelty stores. Negril would have to be the place. With that in mind, I corralled my family, summoned Alton for a quick meeting on the day’s itinerary and set a time for 10 am. This time, I was more direct to let Alton know that I wanted to do a bit of local shopping and or get better Jamaican food than what I got on the street. I wanted something he’d eat and to go to a place he’d go…you know, when he wasn’t a kid turning up at Margaritaville.