I wasn’t at all surprised to hear that Canadians were being held hostage aboard a jet in Jamaica. I loathe that island and tell everyone who asks that they should go somewhere else for their vacation.
I’m not the kind of person who goes to a resort and plops there for a week. If you do, cool, I’m not judging you, but it’s not what I enjoy. I’m not much on hot weather getaways anymore anyway, having had more than my share in my younger years when I drank frosty beer and frolicked a lot more than I tend to frolick now. I like to explore and learn and discover.
I’ll spare the details of the horrible resort at Montego Bay and the rude and dismissive tour company that booked us there. But the island itself was a huge disappointment. Walking along the streets in Ocho Rios we were accosted at least a half a dozen times with an offer to sell us drugs and one strange and I’m sure filthy suggestion that had something to do with me! We didn’t ask him to explain. Montego Bay was a nightmare. The people were desperate and menacing and didn’t seem to get that our presence was good for their economy. That week there were 60 murders in Kingston. SIXTY. There was some political strife going on at the time and the two sides were warring over ideology.
I don’t need tacky tourist shops or the same food I eat at home. It’s about the adventure. But I do like to feel a lot safer than I felt in Jamaica. Even on a cab ride our driver took a wrong turn and we ended up at a blocked off road with a bunch of thugs at the end of it. My first thought was that the cabbie was in on some sort of scam and was turning us over to be robbed or even worse. But he was as frightened as we were and did the fastest U-turn known to man to get us out of there. Apart from one very nice dining experience and meeting a couple with whom I’m still in touch, the trip was an absolute bust, with obnoxious resort staff, substandard conditions and a predatory approach from the locals. I wouldn’t go back if it was the last tourist destination on earth.