Sunday, March 18, 2007

Jamaica ! The Land of Wood and Water

Now become motor vehicle and manslaughter.

This piece, written by a Jamaica-based Canuck, Stefan Stewart, is blunt about what a tourist who ventures outside the resorts can expect. Don't expect to read about it (excepting the 'homophobia') in the Indie or Guardian. Mind you, I don't think you'd get many articles like this in them either. The Jamaica Observer probably doesn't feature Julie Bindel a great deal.

Harassment: Outside of the resorts, regular harassment can be expected to varying degrees. If you are white, and driving around, expect to hear regular yells of "White man!", "White bwoy!", "Joe!", "Jakes!", etc, in most districts, whether urban or rural (this does not apply to Kingston and the corporate area, where the population is more mixed - it primarily applies to the western half of the island). Ignore all of this and keep on driving - you'll get used to hearing it eventually, and it will then be less irritating. When walking or bicycling (and we do not recommend this), things can be more intense. You will be approached by people who are very insistent that you stop and talk with them. If you do not, you will be accused of disrespecting them, and berated in an intimidating way. If you do stop, tremendous pressure will be put on you to give them something (money). You cannot win either way. Keep in mind that they are unlikely to chop you, so don't fear for your life, but it is not particularly enjoyable having to put up with that crap. Bottom-line: don't walk - drive.

Homophobia: If you are gay, don't even consider stepping foot on the island.

Crime and Tourism - What to do: It is possible to visit Jamaica successfully, without being cooped-up in a resort, if you are an experienced traveller, have your wits about you, are cognizant of the risks, and can tolerate the harassment. On this last factor, harassment, we must note that if you are white or oriental, it will be a constant factor. If you cannot put up with blatant racism directed at you because of your colour, do not visit the island.

Outside of that, the Jamaica Caves Organisation is an interesting site.


Anonymous said...

The expressed sentiments are true. Jamaica and the Jamaicans give the English-speaking Caribbean a bad name. Jamaica and its lousy, violent culture have become a generic description which is applied to all parts of the West Indies. May I recommend other parts of the Caribbean such as the Turks and Caicos Islands, Barbados, Grenada and Dominica; these islands and their inhabitants are charming and delightful.

Laban said...

I once had a colleague, born and bred in England, whose grandparents were Jamaican. Preparing for his first holiday there he was just as twitched about crime as any native Brit would have been ...

Anonymous said...

Half of my family are of Jamaican origin and it has to be said that the natives are among the least pleasant people on the planet. The country has metamorphised into an ugly monster and it is completely unrecognisable to the first generation migrants of the postwar period who have returned to live there, and find themselves barracaded into secure compounds. The island itself is quite stunning, but it is part bete, part belle.

They do appear to be behaving at the minute for the Cricket World Cup, but having said that the Beeb's journalism is a bit selective and does tend to be economical with the truth.

Laban said...

I've read of a few cases where elderly chaps have decided to retire 'back a yard', finding that it's not like it was in the 50s when they left and being killed by some bad boy for their money.

Anonymous said...

Another failed country. Just like the homeland. African states just can't seem to function.
Nearer home, we have over the last six weeks seen the slaughter of young black men by other young blackmen.

What is going on? Many want to aspire to higher things, yet many others just want to kill.

Anonymous said...

Thomas Thistlewood (that undeservedly obscure Anglo-Jamaican) wrote a long, long journal. The entry for May 26, 1756 (he details his treatment of a slave):

Had him well flogged and pickled, then made Hector shit in his mouth

300 years of that would piss me off too...

Anonymous said...

"300 years of that would piss me off too... "

Fair enough, and for a long time I think the liberal-left thought of black crime in the UK as a kind of 'war' against the former slavers. As much as we could expect.

Recent events have shown it is just plain old dirty crime.