Trip Reports

The Other Side of Tourism – Part 17


The plane landed on schedule at 5 o’clock. I disembarked at Newark, and waited for two hours until the blue light flickered showing no more baggage. My suitcase was not there — and no rum to drown my sorrows.

I put in a claim for my lost luggage at the office located in the airport. By the time they finished processing the application it was 8 o’clock.

I took a bus to Penn Station (since I didn’t have any suitcases) and then decided to transfer to the bus that stopped right outside my building. I saw it coming, I picked up my hand-luggage, waited for it to stop but it sailed past my flailing hand, right passed me… what more could go wrong? They said bad things come in threes, they don’t. By the time I got home (I couldn’t hail a taxi) it was 9.30.

I pushed my key through the lock imagining the worst. One consolation was that my home was safe…untouched, just as I left it, and the other consolation (the most richest of all) was that I had arrived home safely. I could still smell the sweet scent of pine I had administered before I left for Jamaica to deter potential cockroaches that may have wanted to occupy my apartment in my absence. I listened to my messages — my usual callers. I flung my hand luggage on the floor, looked in the fridge and raised the bottle to my mouth swallowing greedily (why bother with etiquette?).

I went into my bedroom and I lay prostrate on the bed… home at last. I really could appreciate isolation because it was under my control. I switched ringer off the phone.


Jamaica was, and still is a very beautiful island, if you do not allow the culture to intimidate you, and if you can compromise, adapt and appreciate it with all its idiosyncrasies. It is advisable to go with someone though, someone who can distract you from the ‘real world’ and show you the world of magic. Someone you can have fun with and who will not take the adventure as seriously as I did.


About the author

Myrna Loy