One distinct problem kept on rearing its ugly head in my upcoming trip to Canada; when I suddenly realized a solution to this prevalent issue! It hit me like a ton of bricks and I quickly took pen to paper (or just started typing 😒) to jot down this revolutionary tip in the hopes that masses of people shall sing songs of praises to my name for decades to come. So here it goes with a drumroll, please!
The number one travel tip of all time for Jamaicans is NEVER EVER EVER tell any other Jamaicans that you are about to travel. There are no exceptions to the rule! There are only three possibilities to ever come out of this revelation.
1. They will ask you to please carry up something for dem.
2. They will ask you to bring back something for dem.
3. They will ask you to carry up something for dem AND carry back something for dem.
Don’t believe me? Just test my theory, but don’t say I didn’t warn you! Go to lunch with your friend tomorrow and when there is a slight lull in the conversation casually mention that you are going away next week. Now, the dazed and dreamy look ur friend has seconds after your confession is really them thinking about what they need at the moment. If you didn’t already mention it they’re going to casually ask where you’re going. Note, if you say Miami, game over buddy! I mean the truth is, no matter where you say they’re going to want something brought back for them. Even if you’re going to timbucktwo chances are you’re gonna hear ‘bring me back a chocolate nuh’. Now dependent on how smart your friend is, will determine the manner in which they ask you. Simpler (or more demanding) friends will ask you then and there and risk an instant turn down. Craftier and more seasoned friends will call you a few moments before you board the plane and tell you that they had something mailed to your hotel (that you have no idea how they got the address for) and DO and just carry it back for dem. Besides it’s so small you can’t even see it (until you get the package and it happens to not be able to fit into your hand luggage).
So I’ve touched a bit on the carry down situation but you’re prolly asking what’s the problem with the carrying up stuff situation. Well, the main issue is that it’s 99.99% always some food (or in rare cases birth control pills or medical supplies that don’t sell in farin). Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind carrying up the occasional banana chips for my starving friends; but for some reason, people think it’s acceptable to ask others to carry fried fish and KFC for dem! I AM NOT LYING MY PEOPLE! I’m not sure why anyone thinks it’s ok for your clothes to smell like mango months after the season is over?!?!?!
Funnily a few years ago I was coming off a flight to Orlando and directly after picking up you’re bag an immigration officer stood up by the exit ushering people to come forward. Before they got up close to him he would shout out ‘ackee’ or some other fruit in an accusatory tone and when they surely nodded their heads he would send them to the x-ray line. To my surprise, nothing was shouted to me as I approached him. When I got up close he looked at me and asked ‘are you Mexican?’ and when I responded that I’m Jamaican I got the ‘ackee’ question thrown at me! And profiling isn’t a thing right!
Anyways enough of me rambling and more to the solution which of course is not to mention to Any Jamaican that you are going to touch any form of farin! I have a number of ways to get you there:
1. They have these neat little inexpensive phone packages now where you can ‘roam like you’re home’. When your bestie calls you simply tell them you’re at home. When they insist they’re coming over tell them you think you may have a cold. If that doesn’t work and it’s getting extreme tell them it’s really crabs. No one wants to catch crabs!
2. You’re the type of person who likes to post your trips on social media. Okkaaayyyyy no prob. There is a revolutionary concept called slow release. Save your picture of a lifetime and post it as soon as the plane touch back down in Jamaica and all threats have been diverted. When they question you about your trip explain that it was for a business conference and you didn’t even have 5 minutes to go to Target for them (even though you found time to do a full beach photo shoot that you just posted to Instagram)
3. You’re the type of person that simply can’t slow release your pics. You’re all YOLO and here and now and you’ve had one drink and the posting spirit has hit you. Well in that case when they PM you simply revert to the end of tip number two and blame it on a work conference. You didn’t even know about it because your boss snatched you in the middle of the night. You almost thought you were being kidnapped in fact!
So we’re reaching the end of the road and you’re thinking ‘Matthew, this doesn’t seem real, how could you even know these things will happen’. I’ll tell you how I know!!! because I AM A JAMAICAN. Sadly I am part of the problem and not a part of the solution! Just Mek somebody seh within earshot that they going somewhere (anywhere) and I will always need something I never even knew I needed. I once (no joke) asked a girlfriend of mine to carry down a microwave for me 🤣. There is always something I need and can’t get and wish Amazon would just deliver direct already! Funnily I’ve asked for things that are sold in supermarkets and pharmacies right here in Jamaica. Headache pills, Milanos, eye drops, for some reason we are just ingrained. We just wanted our tings to come from farin (forget the logic that the ones in our local pharmacies DID come from farin).
And by the way, in case anyone was wondering about my upcoming trip to Canada and having any funny thoughts about it. Well, that was a lie. I am not going anywhere and can’t carry back anything for you (unfortunately)!