Early swim, breakfast at Seline’s: ackee and salt fish, calaloo (local leafy green, similar to spinach), dumplings, fried plantain, banana pancakes.
Walk to the west end of town to get cash. Enter “Jamaica time” — Jamaican banks are the slowest – four people in line could means one-hour wait. Snafu – my cards are refused. Why? Must go to “call center” to reach U.S. fraud dept. ($8 phone call) which reports that my cards are fine. Return to bank, wait again, cards go through fine. Took 90 mins to get money. We’d find this kind of thing all over Jamaica – seemingly simple things made frustratingly complex by polite but slow or confused employees. “Yeah mon, no problem.” Everything’s cool. No one has high blood pressure, but it’s tough for Americans to adjust, not have expectations that things will go as planned.
Road sign for a school play, “Ants Inna Ya Milk” — very curious about that one.
Man with machete on bridge. Did he mean us harm, or was he just carrying it to cut aloe or calalloo? The hustle is permanent, inescapable-you learn to be dismissive, which feels rude, or pretend not to see or hear. Everybody wants a piece of you. Everyone is your friend. Everyone wants to “hook you up.”
Hot afternoon rains keep us cool, air is beautifully balmy. Afternoon swim silver and clear, so much joy in the water with Miles, he’s discovering the soul-healing perfection of warm salt water. Rented a 750 hp jet ski for half an hour, took Amy and Paula for rides.
Dinner = seafood in fried rice, Red Stripe Beer, whose motto is “It’s Beer. Hooray, Beer!” Can’t argue with that. How many Red Stripes would we drink before the trip was done? Goes so perfectly with the weather. Later wondered whether Red Stripe would taste nearly as good in Calif.