Jammin in Jamaica

Don’t worry, about a ting

‘coz every little ting gona be all right

Singin don worry, about a ting

‘coz every little ting gona be all right

Rised up tis mornin

Bob

 

I feel right at home when I take my first step onto this land in the Heart of The Caribbean. The island sun feels good on the skin. It is busy and slightly chaotic but it somehow just feels right. It is ultra irie and Bob Marley is everywhere. It looks like Africa in the Caribbean and when I tell the Rasta I am from the Mother land, we immediately connect on a level much higher than the juiciest Jamaican spliff can make you feel.

Smile with the risin sun

Three little birds is by my doorstep

Singin sweet songs

Of melodies pure and true

Sayin

This is my message to you o oo

 

 

Here in Jamaica green yellow and red is as common as Spicy Jerk Chicken stands are on corners of busy streets. It is bustling with people trying to sell you their services, each one claiming to be a “certified” tour guide. I am glad I come from a place where you know when you are being ripped off. That helps when it comes to detecting the nonsense some people will tell you. We quickly learn that any price agreed upon, established for anything ranging from an entrance fee to the beach to a trip to Bob Marley’s house, is going to super inflate at a rate faster than Usain Bolt can run the 100 m dash. Everybody wants a piece of the jerk chicken and there seems to be very little regulation. I understand that the many hungry mouths are going to form buckets out of hands when a US$ is flashed, but local people should also realize that there is a big difference between a traveler and a tourist. Underneath the irie vibe there is this strange culture of expecting gratuities, a sad sense of entitlement. With that said though, I cant help but think about the following:

While, very fortunately for me at least, countries and destinations are starting to blur into one amalgamation of cultures, colors and local phrases, why is it that some places stand out so vividly against others? I think I have the answer. *

 

Don’t worry, about a ting

‘coz every little ting gona be all right

Singin don worry, about a ting

‘coz every little ting gona be all right

Rised up tis morning

jerk chicken

You eat humbly in Jamaica. Even Bob sings of how he shared oatmeal porridge. The best meal (and not because it was also the only meal) we have in Jamaica is a quarter jerk chicken shared between three little birds sittin at Mama Marley’s.

 

rasta1 

Rasta Man vibrations eya positive…

 

The catchy base line in the Bob Marley tune Sun is Shining is vibrating through the taxi and spilling out of the windows into the narrow street we are going down on in Ocho Rios. The driver stops and talks with someone and I am amazed at how fast the people can change from speaking English with a catchy twangy accent to Patwa, the local dialect. It sounds amazing. I love the Jamaican way of talking; they make everything sound irie. That is one of the reasons you end up buying things you don’t need when a Jamaican sells it to you. You are sold to the accent. I have seen Rastafarians everywhere in the world, but there is something special about hanging out with a real Rasta. The man with the beautiful and true smile we meet down at the blue green river is named Standing Still Bob. Or was it Still Standing Bob? It could have been Bob Still Standing and he is by far the friendliest Jamaican I meet on this trip. His entwined and intriguing dreadlocks speak of years of irie vibes and while he grinds his ganja in one hand he fist bumps me with the other, saying “Respect mon” in a tone mellower than the sweet smell of Jamaican Kaya. Bob has been growing his beard since 1988 and the longer we stand around chatting to the man the more he starts looking like Mr. Marley himself.

rastaman 3

Whether it was Bob Still Standing…

 

smilin Bob

…Bob Still Smiling

 

rolling a j

… or Bob Still Rolling, it is the sincerity of the interaction you have with people around the world that make you remember some places more than others.*

 

Blue Hole

The Blue Hole

We really want to go to Nine Mile to visit the House of Bob Marley. Of all the things I want to experience in Jamaica that one is still very high on my list. We can’t get there because it is too far away so we decide to visit the famous Blue Hole instead. It is beautiful. When you emerge yourself into the cool milky blue river water the heat from the surrounding jungle washes away downstream. Although time seems to go by slower than a burning roach it is not long before we find ourselves leaving as it starts getting busy with tourists.

 

DCIM103GOPRO 

Tourists wear rock shoes at places like this. Travelers wear smiles

United colors of irie

The united colors of Irie

 

I will come back here someday. I know it. It is in places like Jamaica where I would like to get lost. People don’t care if you don’t wear shoes here, you be how you want to be. There is untapped surf here too, in the Bull Bay area. There is also an abundance of beautiful beaches and natural mystics all around. You just have to look past the broke down parts. Off coarse you have to haggle your way, that’s for sure, because if you are going to be a tourist and follow the pack you will miss out on the feeling you get by being a traveler, especially in a place like The Heart of The Caribbean.

mama marley

irie fm copy

street

DCIM103GOPRO

Getting high in Jamaica 🙂

2 thoughts on “Jammin in Jamaica

  1. So i have decided to listen to uncle Bob and get on the blog tonight, and as murphy wanted it, 3 little birds starts jamming and i suddenly start reading this,IRIE ❤ Shaaaa, how blessed ye are to be experiencing a part of the world where reggae has its origin :)) So much joy :)) One Love and happy traveling xxx

  2. I missed this post before I went on my journey-Jamaica was definitely one of my highlights-would have loved to have had time to explore further form the town as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s