I decided to vacation in Jamaica this year after being away for a few years. I went with a friend of mine and stayed at the Renaissance-Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios. I had a wonderful time. At the hotel I enjoyed Jamaican cuisine, ox-tail, curry goat etc and I drank rum punches all day. There was a relaxed atmosphere and the service was excellent with one exception. Being a dark-skinned Jamaican travelling with a white american I experienced something that I did not knowingly experience while living in Jamaica. In most cases my friend was served first with a smile and I was asked second with less enthusiam. Also, in some cases I was completely ignored. At first I thought I was being too sensitive but a friend of mine who happened to be staying at the same hotel experienced the same treatment. It disturbed me, not because I was being treated differently than my caucasian friend while spending the same amount of money, but the fact that these are “my people” that are treating me this way. After being away for a while and constantly bragging about my backgound, heritage and culture this was quite dishearting.
On a lighter note, the entertainment was good and we frequented the club in the hotel called “jamaica mi crazy.” I had a wonderful time, the music was good and the DJ Sheldon was gracious enough to take requests.
I was fortunate enough to go downtown to a club downtown called (oops I can’t remember the name of it) it was great. It was more yardie style and they played the latest in reggae songs. I also went to see a play called “Fudgie”, it was toooooooooo funny. Of course they played the reggae song, Fudgie “here comes fudgie, gal from all bout seh dem luv di nutty buddy.”
Other than visiting relatives I think the best time I had was just walking downtown Ocho Rios and interacting with my people. It was fun speaking patois without having to translate and hearing phrases that I haven’t used in a long time. There are things that I can say in patois that I cannot fully translate in english.
My vacation ended way too soon and I enjoyed every moment of it. I didn’t buy any white rum and I’m still getting flack for that but I made sure I bought a fruit cake which was devoured in a few days. I have made it my goal to visit every year going forward because “nuh weh nuh betta dan yawd .