Well here we are in‘ Jamaica Man’ and we hire a taxi from a woman who has the accent down pat. She is a Christian (I’m thinking most of the island is catholic because of the symbolisms). I’m trying to recall why she told us that. Maybe we mentioned we were sinners or something?
Ah well I forget.
We did get into the important stuff , like is it a sin for women to sleep around? Turns out it is fine ,’ as long as you are happy man’ ..hmmmm , what would be the point if you weren’t?
Anyway this leads to a discussion on men and how most are no good on this island. Most of the women (she told us this in confidentiality, because she liked us ) on this Island have turned to other women because the men are lazy and no good.. ‘if ya know what I mean, man’.
What are the chances you think ,that she is gay? She is doing a mans job (there’s hardly any women in the tour guide field , and they need to go to school and be certified for this) and she gets no respect. Well hardly any. We don’t really care what way she swings (and sometimes I feel the same way) but I like to press her. Turns out we will never know..
We decide to take in the Dunn Falls, which is very famous, but we only heard about it this morning on the way out to explore the island. We want to do some snorkelling as well , this is an hour away.Sharon and I said ‘screw it’ back at the wharf where everyone was haggling for mini buses (12 people to share the 150.00 return trip) , when we lost two people (who would share price with us for a tour taxi cab).
So we bite the $150.00 bullet and have her to ourselves. Now this is right up my alley because I want to know everything about this island.
I want to know about education , healthcare and what do you eat for breakfast. Turns out to be a boiled egg (eggs are plentiful) and some plantains. Food is VERY expensive , she has two children a girl and a boy 14yrs and 9yrs. They take some biscuits and juice for lunch and supper could be some kinda sausage and rice.
Fruit is plentiful in season but vegetables are very expensive and imported, we are talking lettuce and tomatoes here….and every kind of regular veg , not even exotic kinds like ummmmm asparagus? They only eat vegetables on Sunday “which is maybe some lettuce and tomato made into a little salad”. wow !
They eat a lot of goats and we see them grazing everywhere along the roads, oxtail is a delicacy and 10.00 a lb. wages are around 50.00 a week, average rent is 300.00 for a small.. small (by our standards ) apartment. The rich are rich and the poor are really poor. I cannot even imagine NOT eating vegetables every day, we really take so much for granted (on the other hand.. grand-kids would love it).
Everyone needs to pay for schooling.. even the poor !!!!! Nobody gets off scot-free, I press her, saying what if you have absolutely no money what-so ever, and she says the government will work out a payment schedule but you WILL have to pay !!! 350.00 per child per semester.. omg !
When you are sick in the hospital the doctors are free but if you need medication (and who doesn’t in a hospital) you need to pay for it and it is very expensive. She wishes they could pay for the doctors and get free medicine.
Gas is eight dollars a gallon but no one can really afford cars ..they take taxis (funny huh?) . They get their cars from Japan. Main industry is tourism.. geeze.. they have such great weather here why can’t they grow stuff ? She says the Jamaican mentality pits neighbour against neighbour, they don’t like to see one of their own get ahead. ( Really?) Hurricane Sandy devastated the banana crops but they are slowly coming back.
To be continued