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The Tide is High

January 25th, 2013 · No Comments

Misadventures Day 4 (on shore)

The boat docks in Falmouth, Jamaica by 9 am on Tuesday. We did not know what to expect, but ready for an adventure in a third world country. There is a “safe zone” all the way around the docks for the cruise liners. It is fenced in with security guards and check points for all of us coming and going. It is filled with shops, souvenirs, drug stores, food and drinks, but outside the fence is the actual real-life country and its very colorful inhabitants. There is a football stadium sized area known as the Craft Mall. It’s more like a tent city flea market. The dealers will literally grab you by the arm and drag you to their table of wares, all the while claiming it’s all handmade and there’s always a special price just for you! At one point a young lady dragged me deep within the tent city to her particular TV tray sized table of handmade goods. SIL became very nervous as the canvas walled aisles became more and more narrow. So we quickly retraced our steps and got back to the open street, however, this is where the Taxi Cab drivers descend upon you in droves. Each claims to be safe and licensed and trustworthy. The husbands decided to hire Dwight. We climbed into his van cab and began learning scary lessons of driving on the wrong side of the road!

Dwight started out as a great host. He drove us through Montego Bay, pointing out historical buildings, famous homesteads and celebrated patriots – currently Usain Bolt – fastest man in the world.  He took us to a great little beach with a funky bar and live music. We swam in crystal clear water, drank out of coconuts and sang Bob Marley tunes. Dwight then insisted we have lunch at his favorite spot – Scotchies – for the best Jamaican Jerk Chicken on the island. We sat under palapas (thatched roof gazebos) on stools made of beer kegs. A nice breeze and friendly islanders to chat with. We were enjoying our day thoroughly until we were ready to head back to the boat…suddenly, Dwight was not so friendly anymore or chatty or … coherent! None of us can confirm what type of recreational pharmaceutical Dwight was currently high on…but it hit him hard! Magic Mike sat in the front of the cab with Dwight. He has a CDL license, so I felt confident that even if we were on the wrong side of the road…Magic Mike would handle it! Our ride took about 20 minutes…20 harrowing minutes! There were times when Dwight slowed to a turtle’s crawl then suddenly sped up to a frightening jolt! There were times when he just plain stopped dead in the middle of the road, perhaps a quick power nap? And once we all screamed in unison, “Yellow Light!”  He tried to pass a truck but we begged him not to, so instead he just tailgated dangerously close around a hairpin curve. Then he just plain gave up following normal road rules all together and started driving on the shoulder of the road. It kinda looks like a regular driving lane, except for the dirt, rocks and random goats. He almost hit a few goats – yes, goats wonder around the streets and chickens- and some street repair workers gave us the hairy stink eye. Magic Mike grabbed the steering wheel at least 3 times to put the van cab back on the actual lane. All we could do was close our eyes and laugh hysterically.

Nervously and hysterically.

Safely back inside the security gates at the port, we toasted with an overpriced frozen fru-fru drink and celebrated LIFE!

To Dwight! Thanks for a memorable adventure!

To Mike! Thank you for keeping us alive to retell the tale.

Tags: Adventures

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