October 20, 2008


Well, here I am in Jamaica. I'm at an all-inclusive resort. So I'm feeling kind of removed from reality. Although the ocean is just a stone's throw away, most of the activity takes place right in the resort, around the swimming pools, the large cafeteria where people eat and of course around the bars. That feel kind strange, to be right next to the ocean and to pick up a feeling of disregard for it.

Yesterday my sister and I, with a combination of accident and willfulness, wandered over to the little tin-covered huts on the beach at the edge of the resort. We were a little curious and as we walked over, several Jamaicans approached us and beckoned us into their little shops. The security person at the edge of the beach, (and I'm not talking about a big beach, the resort was still easily in sight) asked for our names and room numbers, which we gave him.

It was a little unnerving to be the only people available who had any money to buy anything. We surrounded and guided from hut to hut and given the hard sell on many items. I hadn't taken any money, but my sister bought an anklet. The real reason I went over was to try and find someone to braid my hair, instead of having it done in the resort. A woman who seemed to be in charge gave me a business card. I told her I wanted to come back tomorrow afternoon when it was too hot to be out in the sun. She said ok. A young man persuded me to take a painting I really liked (drummers in the picture, music pictures get me everytime) and pay him tomorrow when I come back.

Well, that meant today. I have to confess that if I hadn't taken the picture I might not have gone back because I felt a little afraid. Another woman had stopped me and asked me to bring food from the resort. So today, I emptied all my ziplock bags, brought some food to my room and filled the ziplock bags. I took a shower so my hair would be wet. My sister, who is tired of traveling and feeling guilty and so just tries to avoid interactions like this (believe me she has given planty of food and money away) said she was going to take a nap. So I sucked it up and headed over.

TO BE CONTINUED (sorry, out of time at the internet cafe)

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