WHAT TO KNOW
When I was living on and off for a few years in Lucea, Jamaica doing a volunteer program through my college we were prepped on several aspects of what living there would be like for us and what specifically would be very, very different. That was many years ago. Since then I’m sure times have changed drastically but recently I came across some notes taken from that time period:
-When you answer the phone at night it is polite to say “Hello Goodnight – Who’s calling”
-Don’t feel bad if you are served dinner first and when you are done the children eat after you. Suggesting they eat first may insult your host
-If you see a cluster of Jamaicans wearing white it is not a wedding but a funeral
-Beware of stray rabid dogs
-You may be nicknamed ‘whitey’ or ‘spring breaker’ wherever you go but don’t be insulted
-No ganja smoking allowed in movie theaters
-Don’t be surprised if your Jamaican host mother sets an extra plate at the table for the angel on your shoulder
-Bob Marley is for your parents generation (aka respected but not cool)
-If you pick ackee from a tree – make sure the yellow pulp is ripe or it could cause vomiting or death. Ackee tastes and looks like scrambled eggs.
-The best fish to buy is from the children that come to your door in the early morning holding them from a string
-If you take a taxi don't be startled that you may have to sit on a strangers lap (male or female). Taxis are few and far between so are shared by several people.
-That chicken in the yard is not a pet. You may hear it being strangled later for your supper
-Don’t take photos of Rastas without asking first. Some fear it captures the soul