Redeeming Scratch

Last week at this time, during Easter holidays, I was on my way to Negril for the entire weekend and I had it all planned out. A friend of mine, my boyfriend and I, were all going down for the weekend and it was supposed to be fun. I had all the activities planned out, it was going to be perfect but the best laid plans shall always be doomed.

The itinerary for the weekend was as follows:

Friday: Get into Negril and go snorkeling along the cliffs on the West End. Have some dinner, go to Rick’s maybe Margaritaville and have fun.

Saturday: I got us some really cheap passes to Sandals Mobay and we were going to go for the day, where we would be able to take full advantage of pretending to be tourists.

Sunday: Head back to Kingston.

On Friday everything started out well, we got off to a late start but that was fine. We got to watch “The Price Is Right” and “The Other Half”, which I love, before we left. I’ve always wanted to snorkel along the West End just by Pickled Parrot because everytime I’ve been it’s looked great but everytime I get to Negril, I’m working so I never have time to go swimming over there. Finally, I’d have my chance. We got to Negril around 3:30, paid the landlord and headed out to the cliffs. Being the terrible swimmer that I am, I’m only really comfortable snorkeling because I have a ready air supply and fins make me swim fast but sadly due to an incident in Antigua, which I find too traumatic (or embarrassing) to speak about, my mask and snorkel are no longer with me. So I had to borrow one that snapped the minute I put it on my head so no snorkeling for me. I just kind laid around in the water and ever so often borrowing my friend’s mask so I could peer down. About a half an hour into this excursion, I felt a sharp stinging pain on my neck that was rather unpleasant, so we decided to get out at that point and instead sat and watched the sunset. Heading home to shower and change for dinner, I began to feel a little tingly but thought nothing of it. By the time we went for dinner I was all out scratching myself from head to toe and begging that the pain would stop. I have never itched so much in my life. Even now, a week later I am still getting intermittent itching and wondering when this torture will end. So that night while we ate dinner by the seashore, ever so often I would stick my hand up my back and scratch. Needless to say the plans for Rick’s and Margaritaville were not going to happen. We instead made our way to a gas station and bought antihistamine that didn’t work. I think I must be jinxed. Downing DPH Elixir like it was going out of style, I stayed up all night scratching every which way and lathering on lotion in some misguided attempt to make the itching stop. Obviously Sandals was out the next day and I instead spent it sleeping because the itching had gone down a little bit. Things did, however, pick up on Sunday.

Because I felt bad about ruining the weekend I thought that before we left for Kingston we could return to the scene of the crime and spend some time out of the water looking for dolphins, in yet another misguided attempt on my part to see them. I do this every where I go. If you see me peering out of the window of an airplane that’s what I’m looking for. If I’m on a boat, it’s what I’m looking for and so far I’d only been granted one break in Turks, where I was so happy I jumped into hurricane turbulent waters so that I could get a better look at the dolphin. On this particular day we were just staring out at the sea but getting hungry so we were going to leave soon, when a glass bottom boat man came by and offered us a ride. Hoping to salvage the weekend I agreed and if we saw nothing I knew that at least we’d see fish but we didn’t see much of that either. On our way back though, my friend nearly gave me a heart attack and yelled, “I see a dolphin”. All three of us jumped up and started searching and sure enough we saw a dolphin sauntering along. There were no tricks, no acrobatics but it was definitely worth seeing and made all the suffering not exactly alright but bearable. May you will get a chance to see a dolphin in the wild and not in one of those captive programmes that charge $200 for 2 minutes while keeping them penned. Scratching ignored, it helped redeem the trip for us all.