Monday, February 09, 2009

Jamaican Holiday


Saturday afternoon I related, in a telephone conversation with my World Traveling friend Dave, a story about my experiences on my first trip to Jamaica. This story tied in with a Blog that I wrote about two weeks ago.

I finished writing this Blog Saturday afternoon, but did not post it because it tied in with another Blog that I was planning to write. But the other Blog should follow (for continuity purposes) this Blog and not precede it. If you understand what I am trying to say here, you are as off kilter as I am.

The Blog:

The first time that I visited Jamaica was in January 1987. At that time, I was working 70 plus hours per week and my partner told me that I should get away from the business for a while and take a vacation. He told me that I was burning out and that it was time for me to recharge my batteries. It was a slow time for our business, so I agreed.

My eldest daughter was working for a travel agency, so I called her to set me up with a 5 day vacation, leaving on Sunday and returning on Thursday. I was thinking Fort Lauderdale or even the Bahamas (I had been to the Bahamas before). But she said “No Dad, go to Jamaica”.

So I called the seventh “Love of my Life”; she was at home watching Soaps. I said “I have good news.” She replied quickly “Call back in 20 minutes when Days (The Days of Our Lives) is over.” and hung up. I was a little bit put off, but I knew better than to push the point. We had lived together for nearly 4 years at this time, and I knew her ins and outs and ups and downs. I called back 25 minutes later.

I told her that we were going to Jamaica on Sunday. Her response was “Great, we’ll have to go shopping for new clothes tomorrow.”

When we left BWI Airport it was 18 degrees and when we arrived in Montego Bay it was 80 degrees. We had changed clothes in the airplane lavatory and stashed our winter clothes in my carry-on.

The first thing that you notice when you enter Customs at Sangster Airport is a large wall size sign that list about 10 to 12 slang terms for Marijuana (number one is Ganja). At the bottom of the sign it was clearly stated that possession of the above substances was illegal and punishable by imprisonment.

After we cleared Customs we moved on to the lower level Baggage Claim. From there we went to our tour operators Kiosk about 25 feet away. While waiting in line, we were approached by a man who asked if we wanted to buy some Ganja. We figured that it was a set-up, and said no, and that we didn’t use drugs. That night we were approached on the beach by another Jamaican trying to sell us Ganja. We said no thanks.

The next morning we were walking to the Resort's Restaurant that served Breakfast and we notice several employees of the Resort smoking Ganja. After breakfast I questioned the Desk Clerk about this. He laughed and said that as long as we did in private it would be “No Problem, Mon.” He also cautioned us about trying to take it out of the Country.

The following day we took a trip to Dunns River Falls. On the way there I noticed a large field of Hemp plants, visible from the road. When we arrived at the Falls our Tour Guide (the guy who walks you up the Falls) was a big Jamaican man in his forties. While waiting for the tour group to assemble he lit up one of the largest joints that I had ever seen. He asked me if I wanted a drag, I said no but the 7th Love of My Life (pictured above) took him up on his offer.

After we returned to the Resort we were again approached with the offer of Ganja for sale; this time we accepted. Two days later we left the remainder of our stash with a $50J (about $8 US) as a tip for the maid.

The Beach Bum

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Blogger alfredo_tomato said...

Pot is too good of a political issue. They keep it illegal just as they keep abortion legal, or the embargo on Cuba. Politics.

Mon Feb 09, 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger The Curmudgeon said...

I don't know where the impetus to keep (and keep on ratcheting up) the drug laws comes from. Most people I know would favor legalizing at least the 'soft' drugs -- marijuana, for example. It would relieve a lot of pressure on our criminal justice system. But then there's the famous story of the woman in New York City in 1968 who couldn't understand how Nixon got elected. "I don't know anyone who voted for him," she said.

Wed Feb 11, 11:32:00 AM  
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