Saturday, November 10, 2007

Okay, Back to Jamaica: Day Three

Amanda's comment has me realizing that I must have been busier than I realized. I have some catching up to do ... again!

Monday in Jamaica

We woke up early, of course, so we could check out the red flag and see if we would be diving. NOPE, it just wasn't happening. The water was still too choppy to get the boat through the channels and the water was just way too messed up. Guess we'll go shopping!

Not "We" exactly, Frank went to eat breakfast and I hurried to the room to get dressed to go into to town, that's Ocho Rios. Ocho Rios is the closest city and and a popular stop for cruise
ships so it is filled with shops just waiting to make you offers on the latest souvenirs. We boarded the bus at 9 am and were in Ocho by 9:40. They were all waiting for us. The bus driver takes us to a souvenir shop where nothing is priced .... ugh! You have to ask and then the deal making starts. I did get some good deals though, 4 t-shirts for $20; some hats for the boys and beach towels for the girls. The next stop was a shopping center called, "Taj Mahal." The buildings are painted with India themes and it is pretty appropriate name as most of the store owners are from India or Pakistan or somewhere over there. I'm not really sure their ethnicity except they were definitely NOT Jamaicans. The workers were, but the owners were not. I guess all are accepted as long as you employ the Jamaicans and add to the tax base.

Jamaican Craft Fair

The next shopping center was across the street from the Craft Fair. Otherwise known as the "Hi, My Lady, Will you come look at my shop," stop! This area is about 4 blocks and I managed to walk through it spending only $14 and that includes $2 for a bottle of water because it was so hot and humid. The ladies would try to convince you to buy something by fanning you. It almost worked! I was so hot and their little "stores" were just barely big enough for me to turn sideways in and they were open air - on one end - and dark and hot at the back. I did manage to get a picture of an adorable little boy eating crackers. His grandmother told me I should tip her for letting me take his picture. I gave her sixty cents ... literally all I had other than a twenty ... and then I asked her his name. I'm not sure if she was just protecting him or if she was telling the truth, but she told me she had too many grandchildren to remember his name. Oh my, I thought, that is just awful, did she even know the child. Then I thought maybe she just didn't want to tell me. Who knows? Anyway, he was a cutey and definitely knew that the camera lens was made to be smiled at.
All the shops had pretty much the same things as the stores, trinkets, bracelets, key chains,
jewelry and paintings. There were a few actual "Crafters" there. I caught one photo of a painter who had some really neat canvasses; a lady beading jewelry; and a woodworker carving masks.

Making New Friends

While on the bus ride back to the resort, I met a really nice couple, Dolores and Mike Frith, of Concord, California. They were really cool and Mike is a diver. He told me about diving off the coast of California in the colder rough waters of Monteray Bay. Sounds a lot like Jocassee, only he seemed to enjoy it (?)! The lived in San Fransisco, too, so they gave me all kinds of great tips for visiting after I told them it was the number one place in the US I wanted to visit. The recommended coming in October during Fleet Week because you can see huge boats in the Bay and said it was actually one of the warmest times of the year. Now I can't wait to start planning that trip, though I don't know if I can swing California and Jamaica in one year ... may need a
second job, both of us!

Sushi Bar

Monday night we had dinner at Munasan, the newest addition at the resort. The restaurant is open air, but covered, and features two dining choices, hibachi grill or sushi. We chose the sushi bar, of course. Our Chef was Edwin from the Philippines and he was great. We also met George, from Georgia, easy enough to remember. Turns out George was also there to dive.

How funny is it that normally we only meet divers on the boat and this time even though we hadn't been on the boat yet, we had still managed to meet two divers!

George is the General Manager at a Cracker Barrel in Brunswick, Georgia. He had been trying to get in his last cert dive off the coast of Northern Florida for the past few weeks but bad
weather hadn't made it possible so he, like the rest of us, chose Jamaica and Breezes because the diving was included and the waters were so clear and warm and CALM! Poor Guy, the yucky waters followed him here. Oh well, we still have days left, so maybe the waters will get better. Anyway, we all talked for a while and enjoyed huge boats of all kinds of sushi and sashimi. So much so, that we were stuffed and decided to turn in for the evening after we were done.

Crossing our fingers and saying our prayers, we fell asleep with visions of underwater fishes and beautiful corals dancing in our heads ...

1 comment:

amanda said...

haha. thanks for updating. it's very interesting to read.