Monday, January 12, 2009

Who Are the Jerks at a Jerk Center?

Events of Thursday, January 8, 2009

Location: Jamaica

Today will be our day off. Lack of sleep, and heat, adds up - we need a break today.

No water at all in shower - I use a small cup to pour water from the bathroom sink to shower in. Joy.

Our first stop is a drive to Ochos Rios. We stop along the way to take scenic pictures and visit historic sites (Columbus Park, Queen's Highway). Queen's Highway is so named because in 1953, Queen Elizabeth visited Jamaica and dedicated the new highway. Makes sense.

I make the mistake of wandering into a jewelry shop in Ochos. They offer me "fruit" punch...yowza. The punch burns my esophagus all the way down - I didn't realize "fruit" was synonymous with "rum" in Jamaican. It is almost 100% rum - not much punch. The only "punch" is what it does to my senses - the next thing I know, I am offered a seat in the jewelry shop and being shown sapphires. Yikes. I eventually leave the jewelry shop, my credit card a little heavier, my bling a little brighter. DH will be thrilled to see what he bought me while I was in Jamaica. Do you think they know what they're doing when they ply the tourists with "fruit" punch in jewelry shops???!!! They're not stupid.

We leave the shopping area and head to a Jerk Center for lunch. I look around to see who they consider the "jerks", but only see tourists. Hmmm....I think the Jamaicans are telling us something. Anyway, we sit down to have some Jerk chicken - but yowza - it it too spicy for me. Loaded with habanero pepper sauce - so I settle for french fries and "festival" bread for lunch. I will never be a true Jamaican if I can't handle Jerk chicken....sigh.

After lunch, we head to Dunn's River Falls to do some climbing. Funny story here. DH and I visited Jamaica in 2005, while on a cruise - and decided to climb the Falls. We were with a LARGE group from the ship, and had a guide. The guide puts us in a long line and tells us we must hold hands and form one long chain while climbing. He plucks me out of the line, and puts me at the very front - right behind him. I have the guide in front of me, and DH right behind me. I swell up with pride, assuming that he has put me at the "lead" due to my natural leadership skills. At the end of the climb, which was amazing, I ask the guide, "So, did you put me at the front because I'm an amazing leader?" He said, "No - I put you at the front beside me because you looked the most scared." So much for appearing brave!

Since I've climbed it once, I opt out this time - and assume the role of "official photographer". I do get in the water along the way, and enjoy the fun with the group.

After heading back to the dorm, we enjoy a delicious dinner of pumpkin soup and conch chowder. I am really loving that conch. Afterwards, I attempt to get the OU/Florida National Championship game on TV - but our TV is not dependable, and alas - no football game. Darn.

All in all, a nice relaxing day.


No comments: