Thursday, June 2, 2016

Day 6: From Paradise to Paradise

For the second half of the week, we are residing in Negril. Negril is tourist central. Its what you imagine when you think vacation Jamaica. What best way to start out our Negril visit than to go to a souvenir store! (right) The store owner is a good friend of Kay's so we all got a huge deal on merchandise. It was the perfect time to stock up on gifts for fam and family.
I guess I had an I'm-an-naive-American target on my head because as soon as I left the store I was approached by a local Jamaican. Internally, I was squirming because I know not to talk to strangers. I tried ignoring him but that did not work at all. So I figured "Fine, I'll politely get myself out of this situation."
Looking up, this guy had a beer and leaf thing in his hand. Already sketch. I forget exactly what he was saying to me but it was something along the lines of do you know what this is and smell it. OH. OKAY. No thank you. Officially sketch. By this point he had put whatever it was in my hand and wrapped his arm around me to face the bus. As I turned, I posed for a picture, creeped out of my mind, as Jane and Melanie were taking photos through the window. Luckily, he let me walk away by making me promise to ask my friends if they wanted any. Say no to drugs, kids. 
Anyway, that happens a lot on the beach too. Lots of tourist roll through, easy prey, and get hounded by local Jamaicans trying to sell things. They see white Americans and venture over to try to sell whatever they got. The property we are staying at (Whistling Bird) is fine fortunately because if you just say "No, I'm all right" they leave. Even if they don't, our security can come to handle it.
The Whistling Bird is like living in a cottage in the jungle. There are tree frogs everywhere making so much noise. The cottages are amongst the trees and leaves you would totally imagine in the jungle. A path that connects to each cottage leads to an open space where the sand, bar, and dining table is. Just beyond this is the beach with generally calm bath-like water. Compared to Taino Cove, the Whistling Bird is much more "natural" in the literal sense of the word. Taino Cove felt like a house. But both are incredibly gorgeous properties and I am so grateful to be able to have experienced staying in both areas of Jamaica.  
~Monica Williams

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