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When I first found out what we were going to work with I directly started to think about which country I should choose. First I thought of England or maybe USA but it was to mainstream to me, it seemed like everybody was going to write about these two countries and I didn''''t´t want to be one of them. I kept on thinking, in how many other countries English were the main language? The answer was: Many! All over the world people are speaking English and almost every country has English as second language. You can say that English is the most international language!
The alternatives were many and the decision was hard, no doubt about it. But finally after some thinking I did choose Jamaica.
The reason why I chosen Jamaica was mainly because I didn''''t´t know much about it. The few things I did know were that the father of Reggae, Bob Marley, was born there and so also the genre Reggae. I doubt I´m not the only one who knows this but again this is also the only things people know about Jamaica . So I thought this was a great opportunity to learn something about a country that many people only know by the surface. I believe that there are so much more than that and I will gladly share what I found out so sit back and relax and enjoy my journey...

The Journey

Day 1: I´ve been to almost every corner of the world and now I want to try something new, but what? Jamaica a friend suggested.
Jamaica? I thought.-Why, of all places around the world would I go there? I asked him.
-Well, as you say, you have been to a lot of places why can´t you just try a place where you don´t know what to expect?
-Okay, what the hell I''''ll do it, nag nag, how much for the ticket?
-Wait a second... Hmm lets see, a two-way ticket to Jamaica costs about 23000 Swedish crones (sek), the god news is that hotel is included.
-23000Skr! What th.. Do you think I´m made of money huh? I''''ll hope the flight takes off from Östersund for that price!
-Yes it does and it lands in Kingston, Jamaicans capitol city.
-Ok. So when does the flight leave?
-It leaves first thing in the morning so you better start packing.
-Ahh shit, I hate to get up early...

Day 2: Everything started in the wrong way already from the morning, I couldn''''t find my toothbrush and I started to run out of time. After what seemed like hours of searching i finally found it under my bed, I have no idea how it got there. I headed for the airport after the worlds fastest breakfast.
When I arrived at the airport everything was as it always is at an airport, people are rushing from one place to another carrying heavy bags, someone with a delayed flight tries to get some sleep but without success. I look at the departure board and realizes that I will have to join him, great. Fucking snow.
After 3 hours of waiting a speaker voice finally declares that my flight will take off in 30 minutes.
Inside the plane I''''ll find out that I have a windowseat. At the same time as I make myself comfortable another speaker voice says that the time in Kingston right now is 5 o´clock in the morning and the time here in Östersund is 12am, this means a time delay of –6 hours in comparison with Östersund. The flight will take 10 hours so we will arrive at about 3pm local time.
After the message the aeroplane makes its way out to the start track, I fell asleep just after the take off before I even took of my safety belt...

Day 3 (infact its still day 2 but make it 3): The bump from the wheels hitting the ground woke me up, first I got scared but after a while I was convinced that I was not going to die.
Outside the plane it was hot, really hot. I´ve heard later that it is about the same temperate (30 degrees) all year around in Jamaica and barely no so called things as seasons.
It was cold inside the terminal, almost too cold and they must have boosted the air conditioner to the maximum. I headed for a cashier to exchange some money. I''''ve got 4500 Jamaican dollar for my 500sek and after some very simple math my conclusion was that I got 9 Jamaican dollars for every 1sek.
After I got my money I went outside with all my luggage to catch a taxi which was easily done. I told the driver that I was going to the “Strawberry Hill” hotel, which was included in the ticket. He knew the place directly and took off at a high speed. From what I could see inside the taxi the traffic seemed very busy and people didn''''t´t take any notice about the speed limits, and the only policeman I saw didn''''t´t care much either.
20 minutes later the taxi arrived at the hotel. The fifteen floor high construction was really an impressive sight when I first get out of the taxi and it looked like its was made totally out of glass.
Two men from the hotel staff came forward to take care of my luggage and I didn''''t´t mind at all. After I got my key I went straight up to the room, which was at least as impressive as the building itself, nice!
I installed myself in the room and then I went down to hit the buffet of the hotel, the food tasted delicious and it felt like I hadn''''t´t been eating for ages! Now it started to get dark outside so I decided to head back to the room for some cable-TV and then try to get some sleep, its a day tomorrow too!

Day 4: I hadn''''t´t ordered any wake up call so I woke up at almost lunch time. The hotel were not serving any breakfast at this time, it was just to except facts. I took a walk around the environments of the hotel to find some food.
The hotel were inclined outside the city core and out here the differences between the rich and the poor people were big. Most of the villages were simple and usually made of planks but here and there big and modern buildings like the hotel popped up from nothing, the contrast was striking.
All the walking made me become more and more hungry, it was time to get to the centrum of the city for some food.
Grabbing a taxi was not that hard and we were soon rushing through the traffic. On the way I noticed that the ramshackle houses more and more were replaced with big shiny concrete beasts as closer to the centrum we came. After 10 minutes the taxi arrived at the Kingston high street. The first thing I did after paying the driver was to look after a restaurant but I couldn''''t´t find any. I became even more hungry and my stomach was screaming. Now it was a matter of life and death! There must be something eatable somewhere in this city, haven''''t they invented McDonald here yet?! Finally I had to ask one of the citizens for direction. He told me that nobody in Jamaica and especially not in Kingston eats at restaurants because its too expensive and therefore there aren''''t many restaurants at all.
-Okay, but where do you people go when its time to eat? I asked him.
-We go there. he said and pointed at one of the booth along the street.
-What is that! I bursted out.
-That is the place where you are going to still your hunger in the nearest future, have a nice day! he said and walked away, apparently felt wronged .
I followed his advice and bought a chicken-stick from the booth he had pointed at. The taste wasn''''t that bad at all, actually it was really delicious and definitely something that I will try again.
After that improvised lunch I sat down at a café with a coffee in my hand and took things slow. I sat there for a moment and just looked at people, I had expected some more rasta plaits and funny caps with Jamaican colours but maybe I would see more of that outside the city. Something that I thought was really astonishing was how people seemed to take everything slow. It wasn''''t any rush anywhere and the word ”hurry” didn''''t´t seem to exist for them.
It was time to head back to the hotel when the sun turned red but this time I didn''''t´t take a cab. I wanted to try something new so this time I went on one of these bicycle taxis that were circulating around the city, the construction of the seat was not one of the most stabile things I''''ve been sitting on but it would do.
The trip back to the hotel took almost an hour this time but it was still an impressive achievement by the driver who held a very good average speed the whole way. I ate dinner before I went up to my room to sleep, its been a long day...

Day 5: Now I''''ve been in Kingston for 2 nights and I wanted to discover the west part of the country. My friend had told me if I want see all the goodies of Jamaica I better get my as over to the west side right away. And that was exactly what I was going to do. I was going by bus but i didn''''t´t really know how long the trip was going to take because I didn''''t´t know how big the Island was ( yes, Jamaica is an island for those who didn''''t´t know). A voice from the speaker (why all these speakers?) inside the bus declared that the Island is 250 kilometres from west to east and about 100 kilometres from the south to the north (at the widest points). That meant the journey would take about 4 hours before we finished in Nagril.
4 hours later it hurt in every part of my body, its an understatement to say that the ride was a bumpy one, the roads in Jamaica are terrible.
Nagril is a much smaller city than Kingston and it only contains about 50 000 people in comparison with the capitol city where it lives over 500 000 people.
But it´s easy to find a hotel and an hour later I''''ve found the perfect one, it was named “Nagril resort” and there was a beach just outside. After checking in I run straight to the beach to get some sun before it became dark, and wow the sand was totally white and the water was really blue, awesome!
After a while the sun went down and it was time for dinner and then bedtime...

Day 6: Ahh, this was going to be a great day I could feel it, the sun was shining and the wind was perfect. I rented a bike to discover the nearest environments. everything was exactly as I expected it to be which meant that it was cool. The rainforest for example was at least as green as I thought it should be and there were palms everywhere, this was such a fantastic landscape!
I felt so happy at the end of the day that I could barely fall asleep at all...

Day 7: I decided to go to a museum that I saw yesterday, someone clever had named it as “The Museum of Jamaica”. Inside you could get information about almost everything in Jamaica. The historical department told me that Jamaica was a nest for pirates for nearly 300 years until the British colonised all the Caribbean islands at the late 17th century, they brought English to Jamaica and English is still the main language. They also brought slaves from Africa to work in mines and other things like that. Most of the people living in Jamaica today is related to those slaves.
After 1961 Jamaica was no longer a British colony and declared its independence.
Today the tourism is very important for the economy of the country which is not that good and there is a lot of corruption (washing money!).
I was exhausted after the museum visit and I just relaxe...

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Inactive member [2006-12-03]   Jamaica
Mimers Brunn [Online]. https://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=7249 [2023-02-05]

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