The first impression counts - and that also goes for your first encounter on a visit to a country you have never been to before. When I exited Kingston airport, I was gently approached by a Jamaican who offered his services to take me to the city. During our ride to my guesthouse, we had an animated discussion about the situation on the island, his private life with his wife living in New York where he could not go because of some problems with obtaining a visa, and the impact of the economic crisis on tourism on Jamaica. It would prove exemplary of the many Jamaicans I would meet during my stay. While walking around Kingston market, I heard someone behind me calling me, and since I was taking a picture, I was afraid that she was about to tell me I should not do that. Instead, I looked into the smiling face of a Jamaican woman who asked me to take her picture - with her friends. Before I realized, we were having a discussion about our respective countries.
There was the street stall vendor, apparently selling sweets and cigarettes, smoking a joint. When I approached, he lifted a cloth on his stall where his real articles for sale were: ganja, the ever present marihuana smoked around the island. Even though he was talking with a blurred voice, and was difficult to understand, we had a friendly talk. There were the many kids - some of whom in their school uniform, happily posing for pictures and fighting to be on the picture. School kids often dress up in the colours of Jamaica: green and yellow. Seeing their beautiful faces, their smart eyes, and their bodies full of energy, one wonders what will become of them in the future.
You generally meet proud Jamaican reggae men in the streets - more often than not greeting you, giving you a fist greeting, calling at you from across the street, offering you ganja, booze, or women. Jamaicans seemed very open to me, and they are easily approached and accessible. Many times, they are very funny, sometimes, they are openly aggressive towards each other. Women would call me in the streets of Kingston, calling me Whitie, and making gestures of kissing me; Jamaicans are very straightforward and open about everything related to men-women relationships. But there were also the Jamaicans taking good care of us at some of the sights of the country, which they proudly showed us. While the visitor is curious about the Jamaicans and their oftentimes exotic appearance, the Jamaican is curious about the visitors to his island all the same. This is a guarantee of interesting encounters all the time, which enrich your visit to Jamaica.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Jamaican people (Jamaica). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Jamaican people. Read more about this site.