Read 3550 times

Re: Vacation in Jamaica
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2018, 09:56:12 pm »
The first time I went to Jamaica was 1986. I was offered weed before I cleared customs. I demured, cleared customs from an agent who didn't look too friendly then grabbed my bag and got on the bus. We were staying in Negril that time, I can't remember the name of the resort but it was nice and the staff were very friendly.

Once everyone was settled on the bus, before we left for the resort, the driver stood up and faced us and asked, "Alright mon, who wants herb?"

Several hands went up. It was US$5.00 an ounce. A darn good price.

The vacation was fun and we were told not to go outside the resort at night. It was on a beach but there was a public beach across the road. We went there once and were so hassled by vendors it felt threatening. So, we stayed in the resort and the staff were super and we felt their hospitality and warmness was honest. ither that or everyone of them was performing an Oscar calibre level show.

So, it sounds like things haven't changed much in 30 years.

Personally, I blame the Jamaicans. The buck has to stop somewhere and blaming "the other guy" doesn't work for me. I come from the Janet Reno School of Responsibility.

Jamaica is dangerous, for all tourists but especially whitey. If they had a quantum shift of personality more tourists would leave the resorts and spend their cash in little shops and spread the wealth around. As it is, even Jamaicans don't go out much after dark. And Kingston, that place is not much more than San Quentin without bars.

The BVI's are a much nicer place. Personally, I've been to 15 or 20 islands down that way - I was a yacht skipper - and for my money the British based islands are generally superior in every way than the Spanish based islands. My personal favourite was St. Maarten. That place is magical. There was something quite special about crossing the street from France to The Netherlands.

Tortola will always have a special place in my heart too. I've had a few beers with Bomba at his Bomba shack on Capoon Bay, and the Bomba  Full Moon Party...fuhgeddaboutit. I wonder if he's still alive and driving that gigantic cadillac with the handpainted bonnet?

First of all, if you want to blame any Jamaicans for this problem, blame the ones in the high classes and the political elite. They are the ones who created this problem of denying Jamaicans from not enjoying their own island.
Second, you are right that most Jamaicans don't go out at night. Because of they the criminals who hide out in the night to rob people will always wind up being the winners as long as most Jamaicans fail to take back the night.
Third, Jamaica can also be dangerous for a black tourist who speaks good English. Yes I know that the crime rates in Jamaica are bad enough and the murder rate is at 1,100 in 2015. (That's really bad for an island of 2.7 million people). But if you think Jamaica is all that dangerous, think again. South Africa has higher rates of crime and rape, Mexico is plagued with cartels, and you don't want to go into Syria.


This saddens me. I was born in Jamaica but raised in the US. I haven't been back in almost 20 years. Unfortunately, the only time my family ever goes down there is for funerals. Most of my family members (that I speak to) have moved to the US, Canada or the U.K.

My JA passport is just sitting there gathering dust which sucks because it's such a beautiful country. I have great childhood memories but also some bad ones. Armed robbery and all that. The crime was bad then and it keeps getting worse. It's dangerous for innocent locals AND tourists of any color. It's dangerous for me and I'm Jamaican. To make matters worse, I have a thick NY accent and don't speak much Patois so I'd be considered a foreigner making me an easy target because they'd think I have money. The corruption is so damn awful and it seems like nothing is being done.

Do you think that the problem of crime and violence in Jamaica can be solved easily if Jamaica elected a leader with the same traits as Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte?
He didn't reduce crime. He just nationalized it.

So in that case, the Duterte tactic will not work in Jamaica.


  • sh9wntm
  • Veteran

    • 198

    • February 23, 2018, 03:23:39 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Vacation in Jamaica
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2018, 09:44:56 am »
If you go anywhere outside of the tourist resorts, Jamaica is a nightmare. I went there last year for 2 weeks. If you walk into the city areas, you can see how slummy it is. My friend and I are both relatively imposing guys over 6 feet tall, and we felt sketched out walking around at night. Even during the day, we had Jamaicans following us, begging for money and others trying to sell us weed and swindle at every turn.

Nigril is probably the safest bet.
Montego Bay is good in private areas. Find a private/ paid beach.
Kingston is really dangerous. 3 people were robbed outside of our hostel. One was an Austrailian man walking alone who had a knife to his chest. The other two were 2 women walking during the day.
We did farming in a small village, and eventually had to leave because it was too sketchy. The local villagers were trying to prostitute their daughters to us. It got weird fast.


Re: Vacation in Jamaica
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2018, 09:50:09 pm »
If you go anywhere outside of the tourist resorts, Jamaica is a nightmare. I went there last year for 2 weeks. If you walk into the city areas, you can see how slummy it is. My friend and I are both relatively imposing guys over 6 feet tall, and we felt sketched out walking around at night. Even during the day, we had Jamaicans following us, begging for money and others trying to sell us weed and swindle at every turn.

Nigril is probably the safest bet.
Montego Bay is good in private areas. Find a private/ paid beach.
Kingston is really dangerous. 3 people were robbed outside of our hostel. One was an Austrailian man walking alone who had a knife to his chest. The other two were 2 women walking during the day.
We did farming in a small village, and eventually had to leave because it was too sketchy. The local villagers were trying to prostitute their daughters to us. It got weird fast.

How about Ocho Rios? My mother is retired and living there, but on the street where she lives
nobody can mess around because there is a cop that lives in a house across from hers, but even
there you still got to be vigilant.
I booked an airfare there for the holiday season, and I also book a rental car when I get there, (I
don't have to pay for the rental car until I get there). Renting a car to get around Jamaica will make
me safer, but I will only be safer if I drive only during the day. So I am not going to be too paranoid
but I agree that Jamaica is very bad at public safety. This is why Jamaica is not listed as my
favorite destination compared to Thailand. If I cannot be safe in Jamaica at night, then I cannot
enjoy myself there that much, not to mention the fact that Jamaica is not a cheap place for a vacation.
Jamaica is a beautiful island, but what you need to understand are the historical background
root causes as to why things are the way they are in Jamaica. But every country with lower
socio-economic status tends to have this problem, some are worse than others.


  • sh9wntm
  • Veteran

    • 198

    • February 23, 2018, 03:23:39 pm
    • Seoul
Re: Vacation in Jamaica
« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2018, 07:34:16 am »
If you go anywhere outside of the tourist resorts, Jamaica is a nightmare. I went there last year for 2 weeks. If you walk into the city areas, you can see how slummy it is. My friend and I are both relatively imposing guys over 6 feet tall, and we felt sketched out walking around at night. Even during the day, we had Jamaicans following us, begging for money and others trying to sell us weed and swindle at every turn.

Nigril is probably the safest bet.
Montego Bay is good in private areas. Find a private/ paid beach.
Kingston is really dangerous. 3 people were robbed outside of our hostel. One was an Austrailian man walking alone who had a knife to his chest. The other two were 2 women walking during the day.
We did farming in a small village, and eventually had to leave because it was too sketchy. The local villagers were trying to prostitute their daughters to us. It got weird fast.

How about Ocho Rios? My mother is retired and living there, but on the street where she lives
nobody can mess around because there is a cop that lives in a house across from hers, but even
there you still got to be vigilant.
I booked an airfare there for the holiday season, and I also book a rental car when I get there, (I
don't have to pay for the rental car until I get there). Renting a car to get around Jamaica will make
me safer, but I will only be safer if I drive only during the day. So I am not going to be too paranoid
but I agree that Jamaica is very bad at public safety. This is why Jamaica is not listed as my
favorite destination compared to Thailand. If I cannot be safe in Jamaica at night, then I cannot
enjoy myself there that much, not to mention the fact that Jamaica is not a cheap place for a vacation.
Jamaica is a beautiful island, but what you need to understand are the historical background
root causes as to why things are the way they are in Jamaica. But every country with lower
socio-economic status tends to have this problem, some are worse than others.

Ocho Rios is nice. The whole town is a bit more tourist oriented, so it's absolutely better.

I had this image that everyone in Jamaica was cool Rastas who were very peaceful, but it turns out that's a very small minority of the population. In fact a lot of the locals don't like the Rastas and tried to drive them out a while back.


Re: Vacation in Jamaica
« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2018, 09:19:35 am »
If you go anywhere outside of the tourist resorts, Jamaica is a nightmare. I went there last year for 2 weeks. If you walk into the city areas, you can see how slummy it is. My friend and I are both relatively imposing guys over 6 feet tall, and we felt sketched out walking around at night. Even during the day, we had Jamaicans following us, begging for money and others trying to sell us weed and swindle at every turn.

Nigril is probably the safest bet.
Montego Bay is good in private areas. Find a private/ paid beach.
Kingston is really dangerous. 3 people were robbed outside of our hostel. One was an Austrailian man walking alone who had a knife to his chest. The other two were 2 women walking during the day.
We did farming in a small village, and eventually had to leave because it was too sketchy. The local villagers were trying to prostitute their daughters to us. It got weird fast.

How about Ocho Rios? My mother is retired and living there, but on the street where she lives
nobody can mess around because there is a cop that lives in a house across from hers, but even
there you still got to be vigilant.
I booked an airfare there for the holiday season, and I also book a rental car when I get there, (I
don't have to pay for the rental car until I get there). Renting a car to get around Jamaica will make
me safer, but I will only be safer if I drive only during the day. So I am not going to be too paranoid
but I agree that Jamaica is very bad at public safety. This is why Jamaica is not listed as my
favorite destination compared to Thailand. If I cannot be safe in Jamaica at night, then I cannot
enjoy myself there that much, not to mention the fact that Jamaica is not a cheap place for a vacation.
Jamaica is a beautiful island, but what you need to understand are the historical background
root causes as to why things are the way they are in Jamaica. But every country with lower
socio-economic status tends to have this problem, some are worse than others.

Ocho Rios is nice. The whole town is a bit more tourist oriented, so it's absolutely better.

I had this image that everyone in Jamaica was cool Rastas who were very peaceful, but it turns out that's a very small minority of the population. In fact a lot of the locals don't like the Rastas and tried to drive them out a while back.

You are dead on right about the Rastas. Not all Jamaicans are Rastafarian, most of them are fundamentalist
Christians, which explains why Rastafarians are hated in Jamaica. In fact, Sir Alexander Bustamante the
country's first prime minister (listed as a Jamaican National hero), hated Rastafarians. In the 1960's he
hired Edward Seaga (Who later became the Jamaica PM from 1980-1989), as one of his henchmen to help
wipe out Rastafarians in the early years of Jamaica's independence and perhaps pre-independence. This is
a truth that most Jamaicans don't know. So how the hell could Bustamante be Jamaica's national hero
regarding his human rights record on Rastafarians? You see, I am a Christian myself and I may not agree
with all the beliefs of Rastafarianism, but these biased, hateful, stigmatizing attitudes that several Jamaican
Christians have towards Rastafarians is just so disgusting to a point that I feel so damned embarrassed to
call myself a Christian. But you see, Jamaica is the place where Rastafari was born because their teachings
were inspired but another Jamaican national hero by the name of Marcus Garvey. Rastafarians believe that
Ethiopia is their spiritual home and that the late Hale Selasie I is their god because prior to WW II, Ethiopia
was the only and largest independent black country in the world, and all the other predominantly black countries
in Africa and the Caribbean including Jamaica were under Western imperial colonialism (also Liberia and
Haiti were exceptions). When Marcus Garvey advocated the back to Africa movement amoung all black
people in North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean, Garvey preached a lot about Ethiopia as being
an example and inspiration for black independence. This is why the Rastafarian movement started. But you
see, most Jamaican Christians who are either old or legalistic continue to have the imperialist mindset
which is why many of them think they know themselves but culturally they don't know themselves and
neither do they embrace their true African cultural roots. But today there are a lot of Jamaicans of the
younger generation (mostly Christians) who are coming to their senses and now realize that many of the
cultural teachings from Rastafarians are very true. Yes, you will also find Rastafarians who are pretty
arrogant in their ways. Extremism exists in all different groups of people, religious or political.
So now you see why so many people in Jamaica are not so peaceful. Yes, the Rastafarians are a
pretty peaceful people in Jamaica, but most of the violent behaviors in Jamaica are caused my those
who call themselves Christians. People who suffer from cultural and racial self-hatred are the ones who
tend to have this problem, particularly those who are living in high-poverty environments. Poverty
creates these vicious cycles. There are Jamaicans who have overcome these cycles by working hard
to go to school to get good jobs and even learn skilled trades. Many of these Jamaicans have sought
opportunities to use their hard work and skills to earn their tickets out of Jamaica to live in more
prosperous and safer countries like Canada, USA, and even Japan. The ones that remain in Jamaica
try their hardest to make Jamaica more progressive, but when several Jamaicans carry on with the
regressive attitudes it becomes a harder burden for ambitious and successful Jamaicans.
As for Jamaican national heros, I think it's time for Bob Marley to be added to that list, plus his
face should be printed on the JA$5,000 bill.


Re: Vacation in Jamaica
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2018, 04:07:43 am »
In 2 week from now I will be in Jamaica.
It will still be a good getaway from all this craziness I have to deal
with in the Indigenous reserve schools I teach at here in Canada.
But I don't want to have to deal with any craziness happening
down in Jamaica either. I got no time or energy for that.


Re: Vacation in Jamaica
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2019, 01:26:08 pm »
I just completed my 10-day trip here in Jamaica.
One thing I have learned is this, never book a trip
to arrive in Jamaica with a rental car on Christmas Eve.

Otherwise I had a good time. I finally had a chance to
visit Mystic Island and the admission there is pretty
pricey.

On New Year's Eve I went to central Ocho Rios,
and unlike 3 years ago I have never seen that place so
busy! There was a crowd of people who went to see fireworks
at Ocho Rios Turtle Beach to welcome 2019. The Fireworks
were great in fact, it was my first time seeing fireworks in
Jamaica. And January 1st, 2019 was the first time they ever
had a fireworks display in Ocho Rios. A lot of people came out
for that, and everyone had such a great time filled with the
community spirit. Not to mention how they blocked off a section of
Main Street in Ocho Rios that it made the place look like Walking
Street in Pattaya, Thailand.

Well, I don't know when I will return to Jamaica. I have been here
every year since 2014, so I may not return to Jamaica until 2020.