Sunday, December 18, 2005

Partying in Jamaica? Get there EARLY

Welcome to the Silly Season in Jamdown....aka the party till you drop season....Christmas in Jamaica is not only a time when families come together, but because family members come from all over the world to be here, it is also a time when parites (sessions) abound. In the world of reggae/dancehall music, Jamaica is the place to be during the christmas season, many overseas based performers and selectas (disk jockeys) come down for non-stop partying it seems....

So i had a party filled party on friday night, followed by two parties and a stage show(concert where various artistes perform) on saturday night!! We arrived at the party on friday night at 2 am (yes folks that is not a misread!) and the venue was empty....the party flopped may be your next thougt, but you would be very far from the truth. The thing is patrons did not begin to arrive until 3:30 am! Some of the selectors who were also billed to spin records did not arrive until 4:30 am....the man who was throwing the party (he should have been the first one there right?) didn't make his entrance until 4:20 am! We left the party, which was still in full swing, at 6:30 am!!

On to saturday night...the concert, dubbed "Welcome to Jamrock" with Damian (Junior Gong) Marley as the headliner was billed to start at 9 pm and started promptly on time....night noise laws in Kingston require that parties end by 2 am (unless the police in the jurisdiction are suitably compensated), and ended on time. We then moved unto a staff party we had visited earlier where we had "dinner". Following this we moved on to the next party (session) and arrived there at 3:30 am...still a little early as the selectors were just getting warmed up! I again left this party at 6:30 am and headed home to catch up on some sleep!!!

This partying trend of mine is obviously not going to continue....i refuse to get to a party so ridiculously late (early?)....anytime before 4 am is a waste of time! Am i really to leave my home at that hour for a fun "night" out on the town? I think i will stick to clubs (which are just marginally better where the time thing is concerned by the way!), where i can at least be leaving at 4 am, instead of arriving!!


Friday, November 25, 2005

Role Reversals in Kingston City

My Trainer and I got to talking while i was at the gym and he told me a story about a young woman (she had just started university) from out of town who he has been dodging. They were introduced through mutual friends who jokingly made reference to his sexual prowess. Well the young woman showed up at his apartment for a bath presumably because there was a water lock-off at her place. She had no towel, no change of clothes, nothing....but he proceeded to allow her to use his facilities pointing out the clean towels and where she could find soap. It seems in the time needed for her to take a bath (she didn't want to just shower), she forgot where the towels were kept and of course had to go looking for him (naked) to again request his assistance. While he insists that nothing happened on that occasion, and that he avoided her for about a week thereafter, she again showed up at his place and this time proceeded to literally shock him (with both action and words) while pleasing him.

His face actaully recounted the shock as he told his tale.....he said he is again trying to avoid said young woman and cannot believe that our young people (girls) are so sexually advanced.

Now as he was coming to the end of his story, my cellphone rang. I saw that it was a young man who i had met at a club, and with whom i had only spoken on the phone but had never seen since the original meeting. He gets over the initial greetings and then proceeds to ask if I could send him some credit (most people here use their cell phones on some pay as you go system for which the purchase of credits is necessary). I told him that i am not sure how that works and he proceeded to tell me hot to get it done, but unfortunately he was out of credit and so i should return his call. After my trainer and i laughed a while at the audacity of the young man, i returned his call. His story: He needed to make an important phone call, but he had no credit and since he was already home, did not want to go back unto the road to get some. I of course told him that it would be impossible for me to help at that time as i was not dressed to go shopping (I always leave the gym in my workout attire). He basically said bummer and hung up.
Now this is someone who is not anywhere near my list of friends and who is filed squarely under acquaintance. Under what conditions exactly was i going to purchase credit for him? And why is some man that i barely know asking me to buy him credit?......I am still waiting on him to suggest when he would have repaid me!!!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Roadblocks to Success

SO i have embarked on a weight loss project in which i am attempting to lose a relatively large chunk of weight and so I have began "dieting". This word i put in quotations because it is actually a misnomer as i am more attempting a lifestyle change in eating habits as opposed to a short term change solely for the purpose of losing weight. I am of course, also hitting the gym! My new eating regime calls for 5-6 small meals daily, eaten every three hours and i am also employing what is referred to as the zig zig technique of calorie restriction, where I reduce my calorie intake to 20% below that needed for weight maintenance for three days and then consume my regular calories on the fourth day. I must admit that i have gotten good results so far.

That of course was until this week so called "restaurant week" in kingston. Many restaurants have reduced dining cost appreciably as a promotional gimmick. Now i could not let this opportunity to enjoy some fine dining pass me by and i have already visited three of the participating restaurants for a combination of lunch and dinner. I also have a dinner tonight put on by the professional society to which i belong. This is my roadblock along the path to weightloss success, this can derail my plans, sending me spiralling back into unhealthy eating habits and weight gain. But will i allow it to? No i will not. Though i have sampled some desserts and plan to do so tonight also, i have been extremely conscious in what i choose to eat and also the portions that i eat. I have eaten at most half of what i have been served as an entree and have not overindulged on dessert either. Of course, the scale will tell the true tale when i do my weekly weigh in tomorrow, but until that time i will be confident that i have successfully manoeuvred around these roadblocks, albeit with some sideways movement, and continue down the road that i have so chosen.

In life, many roadblocks are thrown into our paths, but effectively negotiating them and continuing on our journey is a demonstration of the determination and will power that one needs in order to succeed.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Life Continues

Wow, its been quite a while since i have written anything to these pages and there are no good reasons or excuses either...i have just been lazy.

Well life continues amidst the violence that surrounds us everyday. Though life may be relatively normal for most of us, we cannot continue to ignore the plight of our brothers and sisters that have had their lives turned upside down because they have lost a loved one. There has been over 1, 400 reported murders in this country since the start of the year, a figure that has surpassed the record set last year, and a figure that i fear results in Jamaica having the highess murder per capita worldwide. Pretty scary stuff.

We of course generally believe that "sumpin haffi inna sumpin", that is, those murdered are in most cases connected to some wrongdoing in the past or disrespected someone with the means to carry out the ghastly act. Now if this belief is what has us sleeping well at nights, we better start tossing and turning, because it won't be long before shit comes knocking at our doors.

In the last couple of weeks it seems the police has made an increased effort in the war on crime, and i use war, because the weaponry that the criminal gangs possess, suggests nothing less. Twenty guns were discovered last week in a shipment from the united states....high powered weapons and rifles and automatic handguns with assorted ammunition......WAR!! Just think about the numbers of people that could have been killed by a stock like that. Its not only mind boggling, its heartbreaking. My heart is slowly being broken by this country i love so much! A country on the edge of destruction, due firstly to partisan politics and now to the drug trade, poverty, disillusionment and hopelesness.

I pray we will find our way back and i am sure this is the wish of the estimated five million jamaicans around the globe.

I felt a little like preaching this

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Wow...more rain. Kingston has been getting daily showers of rain for what must be at least a month now. Its almost impossible to believe that earlier in the year we were worried about drought conditions. Since Dennis and Emily did their sideswipe of the country earlier in the year, we have probably only had two weeks in which there was no rain. I cannot take it anymore. The worst part of the rain is our laughable drainage systems. Our roads turn into little rivers when it rains...and with the continuous rains and now supersaturated soil, everything runs on the surface so that 15 minutes of rain equals mini floods all over the capital.

If ever we forgot that we were third world, the haphazzard, unscientific construction of our roads, leaves us with no doubt in our minds. My cry is that the National Works Agency (NWA) must be extremely embarassed every time it rains, i know that i am. But as with everything else, politics dictate the awarding of road construction contracts, and so i fear we will be driving on a prayer whenever it rains for many years to come.

To top it all off, this long weekend with a holiday on Monday, is normally a party till u drop weekend. This was more like, try to keep dry and watch nuff tv weekend...and if u feel like, catch up on some work. Me, i am gone to do just that.....until next time....

Monday, October 10, 2005

Birthday Girl

I celebrated my birthday this saturday...and yes i am thirty something. I had an interesting day, no cake, no fanfare, just a little pampering and a couple of friends who were going to try and get me drunk since i have never experienced that state. I really tried, but you get to a certain stage and you just cant go anymore, how do people do that to themselves? I mean, the bed spun for about a minute when i tried to go to sleep, but there was no hangover, nothing. I am a little

My best friend called and we spoke for like forever, one thing we discussed was of course men. We are in the same boat, thirty something successful (?) women with no men. She proceeded to tell me that there is nothing like a Jamaican man, but i must be prepared to get cheated on...WHAT?? Are u saying this is the fate of the majority of Jamaica's women? Is this what i am going to have to settle for? In this age when diseases abound, this is what i have to look forward to? So is what good for the goose, good for the gander?

We then tried to name out men we knew that we were SURE were good. Unfotunately we could only come up with like five between us and that would be out of say 50....10% what horrible odds.

Men speak up, is it that only 10% of men dont cheat? (Bear in mind that my survey was entirely unscientific!)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Jamdown gonna Lead

So September will go on record as one of the bloodiest month's ever..... It can also be highlited as the month when we realized that Jamaica now tops the world in murder per capita, with some 60 murders per 100, 000 people, beating out Colombia and South Africa who were once ahead of us, but whose murder rate have been steadily declining, while ours steadily climbs!! It seems we are under the impression that this is a race with some reward for the eventual winner!!!

There were some especially disturbing incidences in the past month. There was an incident where three people were murdered, two women and a less than one year old baby and another where a man fired indiscriminately into a crowd at a football game, killing three patrons, including a 6 year old child. Once upon a time, women and children were spared the wrath of the gun, this is no more.

We are bringing in more policemen from Britain, first world expertise if u may, but as somebody in the media noted, they don't have much success with the "yardie" gangs in Britain, so what will make them have any at all with the "yardies" in yard....afterall, this is their playground!!

As the days go by, I get more disillusioned. I am however, not ready to give up on this beautiful island I call home!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Single Girls Need to Look Good?

Not that i wasn't concerned about this before, but there is a certain comfort that comes with being in a long term relationship. I no longer have that. I have actually battled weight issues since my university days when i went from 'chicken back' to a full fledged 'chicken'. Unfotunately my five month sojurn into pregnancy didn't help either and i put on more weight which had seemed impossible to lose. However, during my year abroad, i lost a lot of pounds and returned home looking svelte and hot!!! These pounds, i searched for and took back and probably found a few more here and there, especially after surgery. I am again seeking a way to get rid of them and so joined the much heralded Gymkhana located at the Hilton Hotel in New Kingston.

I have never seen so many bodies that look so good! Talk about inspiration! Well i started on Monday and have been every day except one. The thing is, i really feel on a high when i leave and this continues way into the next day. Is this the start of a gym obsession? I certainly hope so!!! Will i get that hot bod that i am seeking? I certainly hope so. I have also started playing tennis again and i am aiming for at least one tennis session weekly. My first session back was really good given that tennis is such an unforgiving sport, punishing even the slightest betrayal with a loss of form. I wasn't even as tired as i expected to be.....though i slept for like half a day once i got home.

Well it is friday, and though i have no idea where i am going, some mates and i are hitting the town...Kingston here I come!!!!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Broke & Happy

I am approaching the end of my second month as a single girl and what have i learnt? The bills are a lot bigger when you no longer share them. Though the utility bills are reduced somewhat, the sum total is a whopping increase in living expenses..mine has actually more than doubled. But what the hell, at least i am happy right?

And happy I am, I cannot remmeber a time when i have enjoyed myself more. As i struggle to make ends meet (lol), i hit the town regularly (and mind you, dateless) for some of the most fun times i have had in a long time....some times its with my "friend plus" as others have dubbed him and sometimes its just with friends. Its a pity though that when the nights are done and a new day has begun, the reality of life in Kingston hits again.

Not only is our murder rate spiralling out of control (an average of 150 people monthly are killed) and most of us believe that many murders go unreported, but so is our inflation rate! Actually, the electricity company announced a rate increase that is due to inflation. Now correct me if i am wrong, but i thought things like the increase in electricity rates drove inflation and not the other way round. Are we then caught up in a viscious cycle from which there is no escape? Our inflation rate for the past financial year was reported at about 13% and we KNOW that it is forever underestimated!

How are we going to survive? Will we be able to survive?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Demanding Women??

Last week the dominant topic in a weekly magazine was "Are Jamaican Women Demanding?" I read the comments with interest and found of course that the men all agreed and for the most part the women disagreed. People's definition of demanding didn't coincide either and i would have loved if the originators of the feature had included a definition of "demanding". I must say we are NOT demanding......just a LITTLE effort and attention is required.

I say that to say this.....i was all set for my date last friday, and being the considerate woman that i am (not wanting to send anybody into bankruptcy), i suggested that we see a movie....I was quickly informed that there was no money available and we should just "hang" instead. I suspected too that "hanging" would be at my little bachelorette pad.....of course i declined. Was that being mercenary or demanding....i dont think so.

I have a friend, my very best friend, who lives in miami. She is a nurse, has a bachelors degree in computer science and a masters in information systems and has recently qualified as a real estate agent. She owns a lovely two storey, at least 2000 sq. ft. home, complete with pool in the backyard. A dream home. She is also single. She went on a date with a 30 something young man who had just completed his engineering degree and then reported that she wouldnt be seeing him again as he had no prospects. I asked her to explain.....she went on to say that this young man shares rented accomodation, complained about life while repaying student loans and looked like he was headed nowhere fast. I had to agree with our age (lol) we cannot become financial providers for any man.....Any man we choose to become involved with must bring approximately equal or greater assets to the table or at least look like he is capable of doing so in the future.

Is that being mercenary or demanding?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Single in Kingston

Having embarked fully on my new single life in Kingston, i set out to thouroughly enjoy myself. I envisioned many nights of partying, movies, plays.....really everything that the movers and shakers enjoy. I was however brought crashing back to reality when i was informed that there is a serial rapist on the prowl in my well to do, right smack beside the Prime Minister, Uptown Kingston neighbourhood. Definitely not great news for a single girl in the city. Rushing to get home before nightfall, arranging to be escorted home if i want to work late, driving with all doors locked and windows up at all times, locking myself inside once i do get home. This was definitely not how i thought life was going to be. Now i pray fervently that the perpetrator will be caught quickly and maybe just maybe, i will be able to relax a little and breathe a little easier.

Now i have been off the dating scene for a little while and i think the "game" has changed somewhat. I met a young man, spoke to him in person twice, maybe four times total, and was informed by him that he is now taking himself off the market (right), and i should do the same as he is sure he has found his soul mate(?) Now we have never been out on a date, never spoken for more than 15 minutes, he doesn't even know my surname and yet he wants to visit me in my bachelorette pad and had the nerve to get angry when i refused. Men no longer try to woo us? Even if their only aim is to get us into bed? Maybe i should have told him my age when he asked, maybe then he wouldn't have been so quick to feed me the bull (crap, shite, kaka) that he did...or maybe i am just too old to be once again, a single girl in Kingston!

Anyway, we have a date tomorrow.......I wonder how that will go?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

On Thieves, Hurricanes and Tennis Racquets

I just read through my last post and realized that i was planning a special home coming for my fast things can change in the space of a few days!! Well i did have a special day, but by wednesday of that week, we decided to go our separate ways...strangely enough, though i was upset for like 2 days maximum, i was really upbeat seems there was a lot of stress there (realized and un-realized) that just evaporated away. So i found a new apartment, moved out and set about getting on with my "new" life. Truthfully, we are still talking and reconcilliation? who knows? But what i do know is that i have set off on my life as a single girl after quite a few years of coupledom!!!

So i moved into my new apartment and i am waiting on all the parts to come together to make a whole...the furniture store is to deliver my new stuff, the cable company is to come do their installation etc. etc. etc. I am holed up at my office waiting on a call from any of these people so that i can rush home and let them in....I go out into the reception area and the receptionist informs me that she has been taking messages for me because she did not know i was still there!! I am extremely surprised and ask why and she proceeds to tell me, "well your car is not in the lot, so i just assumed.....", I rush outside, no car, everybody else rushes outside....still no car!! We figure that it must have disappeared like 15 minutes we call the police, we call the company bosses, we set off a citywide search.......5 days later, still no tennis racquets were in that car!!!!!!!

Anyway, the company rents me a car (bout half as nice as the stolen one) and i go about the business of getting my apartment habitable....only to hear that we can expect hurricane dennis on thursday. Not the best news for a single girl who has just moved into a new apartment that is on the ground floor....Anyway dennis turns out to be more bark than bite (this the jamaican experience) and proceeds to dump many inches of water on the island.....some of this water ends up in my new 20 square foot, sunken engineering analyses inndicates that this occured as a result of a local rise in the ground water table! Anyways after many hours of mopping, i again have a dry closet!!

Am I angry? sad? disillusioned? NOPE........none of these things!! I am quite happy...except that i really miss my tennis racquets!!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Forgive us O' G8 our debts

Life continues as normal here in Kingston....Murders continue, police corruption continue, domestic violence against women continue, and lo and behold our debts are still here!! When I first heard that the G8 was considering debt relief for the poorest nations of the world, I was sure that Jamaica would have been included! Yes I drove through Norbrook last week and yes i saw the FABULOUSLY architectured Mausoleums some people call homes....and yes i drove through Jacks Hill and gazed down in awe at the wonderful structures (homes?) within the Manor Park area, but still yet i was convinced that Jamaica would qualify. Unfortunately we did not, we were greeted with the news that the only "caribbean" nation to qualify was Guyana. Can u say green with envy? Maybe we can get some cheap(er) rice!!! Anyway, we will now watch with interest how Guyana manages their good fortune.

I am very upbeat today since my b/f who has been gone for like 12 days comes home today. He has finally qualified as an International Volleybal Referee and will return from the Panamerican Tournament (female) in triunmph. The national team........not so much!!! But hopefully they have gotten invaluable experience that will help them in their bid to qualify for the world championships. Today is also Father's day, so i am going out of my way to make this day special for him, which of course means i am extremely tired already, and its only 10 am.

Have to go now, cant talk too long, there are too many things to do!!!

Sunday, June 05, 2005

On the Edge of War

This between the Private Sector and the Government/Police. Why? There are accusations of hypocrisy, among other things, being slung by both sides, all stemming from the private sector led move that i mentioned in the last post. In my opinion, all parties mentioned must shoulder some of the blame . The government of course has a responsibility to ensure that social mechanisms are in place to stem crime, and they have also helped to fuel the problem with the "don" era and more. The private sector too must accept some responsibility cause they spearheaded the rise of the "extortionist" era. Then there are the police who were once extortionists themselves. But no matter at whose feet the blame lies...we all are now responsible for finding solutions to the problem at hand - these violent criminals who seek to run us from our beloved homeland!!!

Last week's big story was that of a gang of men along a main road who would jump out of side roads, shoot into vehicles driving along the road, and then run back into hiding. It seems this was a ploy(?) to get police and soldiers into the area. Of course many persons were injured and there was one reported death from these actions and the public was advised to stay away from the area. A soldier was also killed after the lawmen responded as expected.

Now onto personal matters, i restarted work this week! It was so difficult and to add to the stress of work, my boyfriend's father died early Sunday morning in hospital, some seven weeks after one of his son's committed suicide. Believe me, u can only imagine the stress that the family is going through. I probably spent a total of 20 hours at work this week. I expect that next week will be better and i will be lobbying for additional help in my department. You would not believe the amount of work that sat there awaiting my return...whew!!! I will also start back some light gym work next week and by the middle of June...TENNIS....its on now folks...

Anyway, as mentioned before, life in Kingston may be more ordinary than you believe, and i am going to get ready now to hit the beach at Hellshire just outside the capital to buy some fry fish and festival, and then go to watch the national volleyball teams in training before returning home to get ready for work tommorrow.

selah...but i will return!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Its All Over!!

So I thought i would be here alot more, since i was home and doing nothing anyway...but it seems that if you do nothing, then you have nothing to talk about.

Well yesterday the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) organized a work stoppage to bring attention to the levels of crime in our society. For the most part people complied but there were also some hostility to the move because many people are of the opinion that if a well known businessman had not gotten killed, they would have sat down and done nothing. Of course, whether you agreed with the PSOJ or not, one thing everybody agreed on, is that the action is not expected to lead to any new solutions or any lessening of the violent crimes. All that aside, the greatest shock to me was the fact that 600 jamaicans have been killed since the start of the year 2005. Five months....30 jamaicans a week....and the worst part is that i hear that some of these killings are just random to bring up the murder rate......NOW IF THEY ARE NOT CRAZY THEN I GUESS I AM. I hope they like it when a STATE OF EMERGENCY is declared and the same police that they complain about actually get the backative to shoot and kill; because they CANNOT believe that the powers that be are going to sit back and watch total anarchy reign....well maybe its me that does not believe that!

So what have i been doing? NOTHING....but starting next week i can start light exercises and the doctor said tennis can restart in the middle of june....You think i am happy...yes i am!!!! As soon as I am finished here I will give my coach a call and give him the good news. And that's not all, starting next week, I also go back to work. Now that i am sad about, I thought i would have been bored stiff for six weeks and dying to get back to work...NOPE, not at all, I want another week!! But i will go back and i will become stressed in exactly 2 hours...I had a backlog of stuff to clear, that i did not get through and there are a million things piling up on my desk awaiting my return.

Well I am off to grand ole Paris (figuratively) for the French Open!!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Anarchy Reigns!!!

So i had this plan to make a post entiled "Are The Peacekeepers Here Yet?".....that should have been done like 2 weeks ago, but i was lazy as usual. That would have been when we were sure that all hell had broken loose and we had the highest number of murders in any one week, not to mention the west indies cricket team were making us feel like fools against the very last bastion of organized racism......South Africa.....

But that was all before this week began. Now we are absolutely sure that there is war as there seems to be an organized effort to exterminate police men, in some sort of retaliation for the killing of a "don" (community leader/head criminal) in one of our more volatile communites. Unfortunately for law abiding citizens, for whom the police is a buffer between them and us, we have to consider it a war against us as well. No matter how we berate the police ( for extrajudicial killings, bribery, general corruption), they are the force mandated to keep law and order in our society and to wrestle back power from these criminal gangs.

Three policemen and a security guard were killed in the space of about 12 hours in Kingston between last night and this morning. The only bright spot that was that two of the assasins were also killed in one incident because luckily they were plain clothes policemen nearby who saw what was happening and proceeded to engage the men in a shootout which thankfully the police won. It was reported that a 9 mm gun with 105 live rounds of ammunition, yes 105, was recovered from the men. Another policeman was killed when the police station was attaked by men with high powered weapons, and yet another who was on his way to work on his motorbike.

May God help us all!

So my question remains...... ARE THE PEACEKEEPERS HERE YET?

Friday, April 22, 2005

I am Back!!!

So...i think when last i was here i mentioned that i had surgery scheduled for monday morning. Well thats done, things went far, and i was back home on Wednesday, a day earlier than planned. I will now be at home for the next 5 weeks recuperating. I woke up this morning feeling almost as good as new. There was absolutely no pain, i could stand up straight instantly and walk around normally.....whew....i almost dont feel like the invalid that i Definitely won't be playing any tennis any time soon.

Well this was just a small update to let you know that i am alive and doing well....I will save all the unpleasantries (like the West Indies Cricket Team) for another time.

Take care y'all and i will see you again real soon!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Another Week, Same Story

So today is the day i am to be admitted to the hospital. I think i did mention that i am having surgery tomorrow morning. I am a little nervous, but i have been there twice before, the only difference is that the times before was at the hospital that my mom i KNEW that EVERYBODY was looking out for me. Anyways, i wont be able to blog for maybe two weeks....but thats nothing new huh? Tennis will aslo get killed for at least three months...i hope the little skill doesn't take a sabbatical!!!

Did i finish all the stuff i was to do at work? OF COURSE NOT! I actually still have work with me now....i am gonna try and do some and then drop it off later for completion by others......well I tried!!!

The budget was read by the finance minister this week...they raised taxes!!! Our general consumption tax (GCT) was raised by 1.5% to 16.5%. This is a tax applied to most goods and services and was originally supposed to replace income taxes. At the time of its inception, and it was 10% then, income tax was reduced from 33% to 25% , but this has not been reduced since. Now I am all for upping GCT to about 20% AND reducing the income tax to about 10 - 15%, because afterall with GCT the impetus is on you whether to spend or not, while with the income tax we have no choice. Plus the GCT nets a wider range of people than the income tax, cause alot of people do not file taxes. Only the relatively few people who are on the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system, where the employer takes it out of your salary before it even gets to you, are burdened with this tax. Let me add that they did up the threshold for income taxes, meaning that a greater number of people in the lowest income brackets will not have to pay any income tax. This benefits everyone because people in the higher income brackets do not pay taxes on the threshold amount. Of course for me, that probably means an extra $100 a month (insert eye rolling smile here!!!). Whew...that was a mouthful.....

Someone in the public eye, can't remember who, made the statement " There can be no peace without justice." A very profound statement that embodies day to day life in Jamaica. There is certainly no peace here. A young man, witness some years before to his mother's and step father's murder, was executed at one of our busiest intersections at the busiest time of the day - 8 am. He was travelling in the back seat of a cab and was shot three times when it stopped at a traffic light jut metres from where i work. Two men on a bike rode up behind the cab, one man got off, walked up to the cab, and shot the man through the rear windscreen. Strangely enough the police held the two men sometime later, and then eventually had to release them due to lack of evidence. I for one hope they turn up dead somewhere.

Elsewhere, on this same day, a peaceful by-election was taking place in the Jamaica Labour Party stronghold of West Kingston. I dont think there was one report of violence in this election which was of course won by the JLP in a landslide.

Remeber that police/army operation in Spanish Town, well not one weapon was found, a few people were detained however, lets see what comes of that. Another area was put under curfew after completion of that first operation. I hope the police have better luck? here.

I think this may have been my longest post to date. I am actually tired....i have to go...and I will see you all again soon.


Saturday, April 09, 2005

Action At Last!!!!!

So this week had one of the most interesting events that i can remember. The police and soldiers carrried out a sneak operation in one of the most violence ridden communities in Spanish Town. They went in at about 4 am in the morning and imposed a 96 hour curfew and is doing house to house searching among other things. Students and workers with valid ids are allowed to enter and leave, everbody else is on lockdown!!

I for one agree with the proactive action of the police force and hope that some good comes of the operation. My discussion on the subject has not turned up one person who is against this move. At first it was reported that the community was also supportive and then suddenly their political representatives are crying foul, and saying that the communities are being victimized. Please remember that this was one of the three communites mentioned last post with more than 50 murders since the start of the year. Of course, the rhetoric has turned to those politicians who in their zeal to represent, actually misrepresent!!!

My fingers remain crossed.

So I just completed my second to last week of work (and tennis) before my 6 week layoff. Unfortunately, there is still so much work to do in my final week, that i am extremely stressed right now. Not even 2 hours of squash thursday night, plus 1.5 hrs of tennis this morning is helping. Yes you read correctly. I played squash for the first time ever this week. Four of us had a little company lyme, three of us were playing for the first time. I lost 9-0 like a million times to the one dude who plays regularly, but i was able to eke out victories over my other two compatriates!!! Maybe i should give up tennis for squash!!! But then who wants to be running around a little room chasing an even smaller ball!!!! It was good fun though. My tennis is probably the best it has ever been and i am gonna have to take at least 3 months off....STARTING ALL OVER AGAIN IS GONNA BE TOUGH....BUT I'M GONNA MAKE IT!!!!

Well gotta go now, i have a full day of work planned, see you next week!!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

On the Edge?

The past week was an interesting one to say the least. On one hand there is all the revelry that comes with Jamaica Carnival and on the other the violence that continues in sections of our society. There were some interesting statistics in one newspaper this week and i will quote it unchanged. The following can be found at the following url:

"Jamaica's homicide count stood at a frightening 411 at the end of March, according to police crime statistics. Three of the country's bloodiest divisions ­ St. Andrew South, St. Catherine North, and St. James ­ have contributed to just under half of the number of persons murdered since January."

St. Andrew South: 56
St. Catherine North: 69
St. James: 40

And to top it all off, there was a prison break attempt at our largest correctional facility on the very last day of the month. Four people were killed in the melee.....three prisoners and one correctional officer (prison guard). Someway or other a handgun got into the hand of a prisoner just after the start of visiting hours and he fired at the guards who eventually returned fire. Does this sound like WAR????

So i have been watching alot of tennis this week at the Nasdaq Open.....via my tv of course. Venus is always my sentimental favourite but she came up just a little short vs Sharapva this week. The finals is later to day, Sharapova vs Clijsters and i expect Clijsters to take the crown. I have already played tennis today and will go back this afternoon to play another dreaded guess the sabbatical is over.....wish me luck!!!!

I have also been trying to work a little harder this week. Work is extremely stressful, too much work and too little time and too little human department needs another person desperately and to top it off, i will be out for 6 weeks starting in the middle of April. I plan to do a relatively routine operation but the recovery time is listed as 6 weeks. I think they may provide me with a laptop to help me (them) get through the recovery period!!! I dont think i can sit at home for 6 weeks doing absolutely nothing but watch tv anyway!!!! I would go crazy!!! I expect my internet usage and thus my phone bill (yes i still use to triple during this period!!!!

And i cant tell the last time i went out!!! Hmmmm too much work and no play, does not a happer person make!!!!

I am gone again for now....i am sure you will see alot more of me very soon!!!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Its a holiday!!

Well hello again!

Today is a public holiday in Jamaica and so is Monday!!! Yes, you calculated right, a four day weekend! Most kingstonians are gone to different parts of the country for this weekend - Negril, Mobay, Ochi!! Its a big lime! I happen to still be in kingston but should be headed to Montego Bay on saturday afternoon. I will hit the beach on Sunday for the entire day. The beach at rosehall beach club must be the one of the best in the world!!! Yes i said it..IN THE WORLD!!! Its also the week before jamaica carnival and soca parties abound. I will however spend my weekend resting and relaxing because work has been very stressful lately and i expect that to continue when i return next week. Of course, i did take some work home with me. If i didn't i would feel extremely guilty for the entire weekend.

My boyfriend, his daughter and I are going to watch The Pacifier in the early afternoon and will probably spend the rest of the evening watching DVDs. I will probably attempt to do some work during our DVD watching period.

Tennis....well you know that i have taken a sabbatical from games....well i did play a tiebreak set to ten points with my coach yesterday and got 5 points off him......he was not amused!!!! I may soon return to my game playing ways......right now i am kind of feeling how Sharapova must be feeling after her 6-0 6-0 loss to Davenport!!!

Sigh...let me move on to the sadder aspects of life in Jamaica!! I finally saw another statistic on our murder figures. Up to wednesday the number of murders stood at 388 people, 147 more than the number of people killed up to the same period last year. Approximatley 1400 people were killed in Jamaica last year. Please also note that some murders are not reported and are thus not part of the official figures. At what point is the UN going to dispatch peacekeepers to our fair isle???? The government's new initiative is to use the defence force (soldiers) to beef up policing. While this may help, it really cannot work unless its on a sustained basis. And of course this may only be dealing with the symptoms of the disease instead of trying to get to the actual cause!!! Of course i certainly dont mind if when i am sick there is some medication that makes me feel better even if i am not cured.

Well i am out of here for now.....but see u all soon again.......

Monday, March 14, 2005

Life Mimics Music??

Ok...I know, I really should come here more often!!! I am really just very lazy!!! Spending all my internet time on some arbitrary bulletin board!!! LOL

Seriously now, in keeping with the title of this BLOG, we are in another state of anarchy...or it certainly sounds like it... Six people died in gunfights in Spanish Town, four died in another gunfight in August Town; a funeral which was attended by the Minister of Finance was shot up in Kingston...he had to run for cover; So did at least one of the English policemen (along with Bigga Ford) who went on the frontlines in Spanish Town. He reportedly remarked that the police were outgunned, those boys had AKs and automatic guns!!! And you thought Ele was joking when he requested that Aks be placed over di wall!!!

I am not sure anyone is tallying murders any more.. The total would probably send them into a state of shock.

And as unbelievable as it may seem, the majority of us continue on normally, watching the news to get our daily dose of Jamaica at war!!! You see, the violence tend to be localized in certain communities and once u avoid these areas you assume that you are safe!!! I think we will one day discover that in a nation at war, nobody is safe!!!

On to tennis!!! I am watching Aggasi vs Pavel at the pacific life open trying to catch some moves before my lesson tomorrow!! Unfortunately after a string of defeats (wont trouble you with the scores), I have requested of my coach that i play no more games until I think I am ready!!! Life's a bitch!! and then you die.......

Gone again....hopefully i will be back sooner rather than later!!!!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

It's been a while

I have not been around this side for a while. Just put it down to my being lazy.
I spoke about the murder statistics the last time i was here, I really must admit that they were so depressing that i stopped listening. There has been some decline in the weekly figures but it is still hovering in the high 20's weekly. Thank god the promised war for the murdered entertainer did not materialize; I cant imagine what the figures would have been like had that happened. The authorites had promised to bring in cops from Britain to aid us in crime fighting, i think the first set arrived in the island this week, and i know we all will be watching to see if there are improvements.

Life here has been the same as normal for the most. I have gone out a lot more than usual in the last two weeks, dinner dates, movies, sessions (pay parties!!). I am having a blast. Unfortunately, i am not doing so well on the work front. Promise to work harder this week.

Tennis not going so good either. Well thats not true, i am playing twice a week and getting better and better. Unfortunately i play a practice set every saturday and i keep losing that. But there is hope, because i am still playing better every week. For so long my tennis just consisted of just hitting with a partner and not playing any games. That is changing now, and you get to realize that its a whole different ball game. I have also started consistently going to the gym (again!!!). Trying to lose weight....damn its difficult, i want to lose at least 25 pounds eventually. Maybe i will keep you all updated.

Gone for now....and Blessup!!!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Statistics Statistics Statistics

Good Morning all!

I am up early this morning because i have my tennis lesson at 9!

It's a strange saturday morning, we feel that we are on the eve of something, not because tomorrow is the super bowl but because its the funeral of a dancehall "icon", a dancer called Bogle. He was killed almost two weeks ago at a gas station...and his friends have vowed revenge on all who they think killed him. They said they are just waiting for the funeral!!

The day, February 6, which is also the birthday of Bob Marley, has been designated as Violence Free Day in Jamaica. Ads have been running for the past month requesting that there be no violence on this day. Call me a cynic, but i dont think the people who perpetrate violence are listening. I cross my fingers and hope though...but i don't have much hope!

Now in the period jan 24 - 31, the statistics say that there were 30 people murdered in Jamaica. 30!!! They break it down further to say that like 25 were shot, 4 were stabbed and 1 was killed with a machete!! 30!!!! The week before, i think the statistics said 25. Now we await the start of the new week wondering if the madness is going to continue. A total of 120 people have been murdered since the start of the year!!! Please remember that this is a nation of 2.5 million people.

Gone again!! Hopefully the next time i write, i will have good news instead of bad!

Sunday, January 30, 2005


This is my first ever BLOG. I decided to create one after reading of life in Iraq on other blogs.

I am female civil engineer living in Kingston, Jamaica.

I sometimes wonder if we are at war too? The first month of the year has not yet ended and there are already more than 100 people who have died violently at the hands of their countrymen. If this aint war then what is?

Strangely enough life, for the majority of jamaicans, is very ordinary. This morning i woke up just before 7 am and prepared myself for my tennis lesson at 9 am. I play tennis twice a week with a coach. Hopefully i will enter some amatuer tournaments by the summertime. I came home, rested a bit and then went to a day spa for a facial treatment. I then went to my workplace and put in over 3.5 solid hours of work, before going home to watch movies. I find it very difficult to do analytical stuff at work during the week. There are just too many distractions!!

So now, I am sitting here at this hour watching movies with my family and waiting for the male final of the aussie open to begin. I'm rooting for Hewitt!!! We have decided to make it a sleepless night, although i have already fallen asleep at least three times....but i am up now and feel like i can go till morning.