Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mosquitoes and Me

Everybody who knows me, know that mosquitoes don't bite me...somewhere somehow in some conversation it will come up and i will make it known. If i am standing with a group of people and they are all being bitten, I am standing there quite calmly, accusing them of lying because i feel nothing. Of course, the general consensus is that i have 'bad blood', because it seems mosquitoes only bite those with 'good blood'. Well it seems my blood must have gotten a whole lot better lately, because the mosquitoes have taken to me with a vengeance. Of course, while i am happy with the improved status of my blood, it just happens to coincide with the outbreak of Malaria that we are facing in Kingston.

I now have aromatic mosquito candles, insect repellent, my trusty vape mats....and still i am being has gotten to the point where i don't even care anymore...i just nonchalantly comment to those around me...."darn these mosquitoes"...of course i am keeping a watch for flu like symptoms and will certainly take myself off to the nearest hospital or to my mommy in Mobay if any were to manifest. I can be sure of good care in mobay because my mom is a well liked and respected nurse at the major hospital there....thank god for mommy! Still i wonder what's the flying range of mosquitoes? and Kingston (hell Jamaica!!) is so damn small, can i be content knowing that i live on the other side of the city from the most affected communities?

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Jamaica....the Tourist Mecca

Tourists love Jamaica. I know its not the sand, sea nor sun...quite a few places have this - extremely beautiful beaches, and a lot of them have better infrastructure - roads, airports, transportation......but still tourists love Jamaica. Now the Spanish (Spaniards, Mexicans, Dominicans) have realized this and are literally taking over the North Coast, our main seat of tourism; and when the build they do not go small, I am talking about 3000 rooms, 2000 rooms, 1500 room hotels. Pretty soon the north coast will be like Miami, in that if you don't speak spanish, you won't be able to communicate with 50% of the residents.

Now why do the tourists love Jamaica....THE PEOPLE....yup, i know you don't believe it, but the very same people who pillage and murder each other (ok, alright, the majority of us are nice) is the the same people that keep the tourists coming back (and a lot of them do)! They talk about the vibrance of life here, the fact that there is a speaker box on every corner and the sounds of reggae/dancehall blasting from every shop, shed and fowl coop in sight; the fact that a domino table set up on the sidewalk can be the seat of entertainment for hours; the fact that we are gonna approach you and 'beg u a smalls' and even if we don't get it, we will assist you and smile same way (; the fact that the girls walk around in little and nothing and gyrate their bodies in the most fascinating ways while creating new dance moves that take over the world. Yes, tourists love Jamaica.

Montego Bay is the known capital of Jamaica's tourism. It has the majority of hotels room (at this time) and a population geared around the needs of the tourist. Let me describe Mobay briefly to you. There is 100 feet of flat land in from the sea, most of which is reclaimed land. The airport sits at one end and sewage ponds at the other end. The rest is beaches, hotels, clubs, restaurants and shops all geared for the tourists. The rest of Mobay is all uphill and this is where the Jamaicans live, in mainly small, hastily developed, unplanned communities, lacking in infrastructure and order which they then attempt to urbanize after the fact. Mobay also has a lot of migration into it from surrounding parishes, everybody trying to get a piece of the tourism pie and of course there are high levels of unemployment.

I say all that to say this, Montego Bay is spiralling out of control...within the last month, there have been three multiple murders recorded. It seems when they go to kill, the just make a big party out of it, and kill as many as they are able to stomach in one go. Already, the murder figures for this year have far surpassed those of last year and the we still have a month to go. Luckily for us, the killing is kept on the hills and the 100 feet of flat land remains pretty violence free, but how long is this going to last, and what happens when the tourists no longer like the tourism capital, and does anybody listening to the news make a distinction between the 100 feet of flat land and the hills?

Anyway I must big up Jamaican tourism interests, cause they must be doing something right. I remember just the other day (maybe 5-10 years ago) when we welcomed for the first time ever 1 million stop over visitors in Jamaica in one year. This year, they are projecting that we will see 3 million stop over visitors!! Considering that Tourism and Bauxite are the only money earners in Jamaica, this is an extremely good thing.

I am ending on a happy note today!

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

No One Untouched

I had a dilemma.

I am attending a wedding on Saturday in Montego Bay, the wonderful second city where I attended high school, and i have a beautiful outfit in black and white that i am planning to wear. I however mentioned it to my mother and she was mortified about my choice of colours. I then polled the opinions of my friends and the people on a message board that i frequent. Thank god the consensus is that i can happily and comfortably wear my black and white outfit to the wedding. Hopefully the bride wont be upset, or think that i am trying to upstage her (why would this even enter one's mind?), but what i am sure of is that if i do get Mr. 1600 miles to the altar, i really don't care what you wear. (J/k Mr. 1600)

Unfortunately one of the first person's i spoke to sounded rather upset on the phone and i commented on this. She then told me that she had lost a close family member the night before in a much publicized triple murder in Montego Bay. I barely had words to say. I imagined myself in her shoes, i commiserated, i grieved! She indicated that she would be heading to Mobay for the weekend, same as myself. Two friends heading to the second city, but while i would be celebrating a new beginning, she would be mourning a life lost.

I then realized that whether its someone you know, or someone related to someone you know, the majority of us are impacted sooner or later by this war that rages across our shores.

Will it ever stop?

Can we stop it?

How many more lives to be lost?

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Good to be a Journalist?

Though i hate to say it, life in Kingston seems to become more hazardous as the days go by. I still have to give thanks that i have never had an incident (knocking on wood), however the caution with which one must approach everyday life must only be exceeded by that of someone living in a nation at war.

The headlines this week were dominated by stories in which journalists featured prominently. In the first, a well known and loved radio talk show host was hijacked and kidnapped on the grounds of the much secured, though obviously unsecure, University of the West Inides (UWI) at about 7 pm in the evening. He overheard phone conversations which indicated that his motor vehicle was to be sold (a buyer was waiting) and he killed. His saving grace however was that they searched the vehicle and came upon his gun licence, and hence learned his name and that he was the beloved 'Ragashante'. At that point they indicated to him, that they would not kill him and actually took him back within walking distance of UWI where he was left in a field. It is obviously good to be a journalist.

A photo of the Prime Minister doodling during a debate in which a no confidence motion was being brought against her government, made it to the front page of one of our daily newspapers. See Article and Doodle here! Frankly i have no comments on the incident at hand as i am still unable to comprehend the PM's obvious disinterest in the nation's business. It however resulted in the banning of journalists from certain areas in the Nation's know those areas where it may be possible to catch a doodle on camera.....I am now thinking that its not so good to be a journalist afterall.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Things Fall Apart

This title is very apt for a number of goings on in the society today.

Lets start with the most interesting......The People's National Party (PNP), the governing party in Jamaica are being accused of taking 'gifts' from a multinational company with which the country does business. Now in my opinion, no matter how u look at it, acceptance of such a 'gift' was inappropriate for a number of reasons. It was paid just around the time a new contract was being negotiated, the 'gift' is greater than the money earned by the country in any one year from the partnership, the gift horse, Trafigura Baheer, is not allowed under european laws to give 'gifts', the 'gift' was paid into a personal account rather than that of the party...and last but not least, Trafigura has insisted that it gave no 'gift' but had a commercial agreement with the body to which the money was paid....SOMETHING STINKS IN PARADISE!!

Anyway the local newspapers are covered with stories about this item so u can click any of the links below for more details - The Jamaica Gleaner, The Jamaica Observer and The Jamaica Herald. is reported that seven person were killed in one community within the past two weeks. The latest being that of a bus conductor who parted a fight between two girls (students in uniform), one of whom returned with men who dragged the conductor off the bus and took him to a nearby premises where he was shot in the head three times. The young lady was reportedly upset beccause the conductor had prevented her from stabbing the other girl. Things fall apart?

Lastly, tomorrow i shall call off the agreement to purchase the much loved apartment. It seems in the opinion of the valuator, it is worth at least 2 million less than what it is being sold for. Unfortunately for me, this is the opinion that the bank relies on and therefore i would not be able to obtain enough money from them to cover the deal. I am still hoping that the sellers will reduce their price substantially, but really i know this is a wild hope. So, as soon as this post is done i am off to go view some apartments advertised in the paper today. Hopefully i will fall i love with those and things will be put back together again.

Wish me luck and since its also my birthday...i am hoping that the stars are on my side.

Blessup until next time!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Silly Season

Ahhhhhh the silly season is here, not christmas! GENERAL ELECTIONS!!

Our system of government, handed down by the british, consists of an upper and lower house. The lower house is elected by the people in a general election...there are some sixty constituencies and at the end of voting, whichever party wins the most seats, put forward their leader as the next prime minister. The upper house is then chosen by those parties that were lucky to get a seat along with a few independents thrown in to make things interesting.

Historically, in Jamaica land we love, with elections comes violence...and i am talking violence that results in death. There has been no date announced for an election, but it has basically been confirmed that one is soon to take place..........and so the killing begins....of course mainly in depressed communities severly loyal to one party or the other. Based on the rhetoric being thrown out, if you know the community is loyal to the other party, you have no right to go campaigning in this area! Now if i were to write my thoughts on this, i would have to do so in all caps, and i dont want to be i will leave it for you to comment on. Already there have been deaths and attacks in more that one community and we the level headed people look on and wonder when will they learn....the people they are fighting over live uptown beside each other.....what the hell are they fighting for??

Unfortunately they are fighing for something....they are fighting for the scarce benefits that come with voting for the party in power..they are fighting so that they aren't left out in the cold if they vote for the wrong party, they are fighting so that they can 'eat a food' for the next 5 years when their candidate wins...We all know that its the type of politics we practice that leads to the violence, but when are we going to find the courage to create change?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Home Ownership - The Jamaican Way

Ha! and u thought i wouldnt be back for a while.....

Well i was encouraged to write about the trials of home ownership in JA....I was asked to do an entire blog, i compromised and decided to dedicate an entire this blog.

I have started the ball rolling towards ownership of a largish (by jacan standards) one bedroom apartment in Kingston. I wasn't really seriously house hunting as i had plans to save some more first for the deposit etc, and then to really start looking early next year. My mom however was very adamant that i look now and that i get something now, as prices were just going to escalate even more and get even further out ot my reach. I promised her faithfully that i would look around, but unless i found something i REALLY liked, i wasnt going to stress myself....As luck would have it, i found something i REALLY liked on the first day of searching....the second apartment i saw....small but inviting kitchen (and those who know me, know that i really need the invitation), smallish living room, big dining area (the present tenant had a dining table, plus exercise equipment and still had space left over, large bedroom, large walk in closet and a tiny, newly renovated bathroom. I was in love (for the second time this year :))!!!

So i expressed my interest to the owner and suggested a slightly lower price than was advertised....i got the feeling they really liked me (i am a very likable person) and though i think i may have been able to get it at an even lower price, i decided one morning after chasing down ANOTHER lizard in my rented flat, that i just had to have it and called and told them i would take it. So then the process began.

The mortgage company will finance up to 95% of the purchase price, but u must have your 15% deposit up front, then there are closing costs of approximately 6% of the purchase price, then there are lawyer fees of 3% of the purchase price, then there is stamp duty of 5% of the purchse price (thankfully i only pay half), then u have to get the place valuated and seen by a land surveryor, then u have to pay half the cost of the agreement of sale........basically the purchase price is just the beginning and once you have the deposit, you also have to make sure that you have another 6% of the purchase price on hand to start the ball rolling.

I am now at the stage where i go into the mortgage company to get the loan approved. I have no doubt that it will be, but cross ur fingers for me and hopefully by Janauary i will be in my new home.

And, i am sure there will be further posts bemoaning the length of time that the process takes, mainly because of the government agencies that regulate the sale. But i will surely keep you all updated!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Owning a Piece of the Rock

Is it a blessing or a curse?

I swear I think i am superwoman, three jobs PLUS trying to purchase a small apartment...which is why i need the three jobs in the first place!! The initial stages of making a home purchase in Jamaica is STRESS!!!! Right now i am not sure just how to describe my feelings, i think i switch regulary between excited, worried, elated, stressed, scared........afterall this will be the biggest purchase i have made to date and i will also be putting myself in debt for up to twenty five years. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this is a big deal.

And don't forget the hidden costs of making this purchase. The actual price agreed on is just the start. Lawyer fees, government taxes, valuations, surveys, the bank's! Well the process has begun, i have not yet signed on the dotted line, but lets hope that everything goes smoothly.....if it does, i may be in my "own" home by December!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Growing Up

I haven't blogged in a while mostly because i have been extremely busy. Busy with work and busy falling in love. I can admit that part of what has kept me from posting is selfishness....I did not want to share my joy with the world (lol). This may sound strange since you would think that with all these wonderful emotions flowing through me, i would be anxious to share my good fortune, but it may be my age or experience or my being a little scared (wouldn't wan't to jinx it now) that drove my actions.

Still here i am at last.

On the work front more responsibility, a little pay increase, bigger projects and more staff to supervise have really contributed to one of my busiest periods ever, add to that increased business trips (who is complaining really) and i wonder how i survive. Now to make matters worse, i am considering not one but two additional jobs for the remainder of the year. The two oldest tertiary institutions in the land have requested my services for this semster. My mom thinks i should do it (need di money if i am ever going to own a home), the mister is very supportive but is more cautious given the possibility of even more responsibilities in Job #1, and the boss is not exactly saying dont, but is insisting i give it some serious thought......especially since he is thinking of expanding the business to other shores......twelve weeks of this wont kill me right???

On the personal front, the most wonderful young (lol) man has entered my life. As i have posted before, i thought the options here were very limited and lo and behold this has proven to be true, as Mr. Man lives some 1638 +/- 5 miles away from me. This makes things very difficult but makes it all the sweeter when we do get together. Of course i am trying to take things slowly, but i really don't want to (lol), i told him its destiny (not too sure if he agrees), but he is certainly all i have ever wanted (and some). Sometimes i try to explain to him the similarities between him and my dreams, but i aint too sure he gets it. Anyway, at this moment, he loves me, i love him and nothing seems impossible.

I would promise to not wait so long before the next post, but i would probably be lying!

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Yup, that i am. So i drink coffee to get me through the day. Unfortunately this also seems to affect my sleep at nights, and therefore, the earlier i go to bed, the earlier i awake. I am definitely gonna have to stop drinking coffee.

My tiredness is as a result of increased work pressures, generated by an overabundance of overseas clients. I know these people are used to having someone assigned to their project who is always available for that project only. Unfortunately, my company operates a little differently and we are sometimes working on up to six projects at a time, the local clients will understand this, seeing as they operate in the same way. Our overseas clients - not so much!

I look into the future (with my all knowing eye) and see NO EASE UP for at least the next three months - *sigh*.

By the way, i work in the construction sector, and it is said that one of the best indicators of growth in the country is the performance of the construction industry. Well, we are obviously experiencing enormous growth because the construction sector is out of control, our cement makers cannot keep up, though that seems to be a problem worldwide. Now if only this could translate into real prosperity for the masses!

On a sadder note, Our 100 metre champion, Asafa Powell lost his world record to the american Justin Gatlin yesterday....What a depressing way to the end a stressful week!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Procrastination and You

Procrastination - The art of needlessly putting off for tomorrow what you could have done today. I have mastered this art. They say it's as a result of habitual carelessness or laziness. It is therefore a habit that i need to break especially since i do not consider myself to be either careless or lazy.

However i Procrastinate.

I now have so much work on my desk that it is going to take at least three weeks of harried days and late nights to clear it. But this time i vow to break the cycle which would normally result in yet another period of procrastination followed by three scary weeks.

This behaviour i am sure began in university, when papers and assignments were left until last minute, yet still managed to cop a good grade. I became the master of preparing excellent work under pressure and i still believe that i do my best work while stressed. There is however, only so much ones body can take and also i may just discover that i still do great work without a whip to my back.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Telephone Love?

So i am still single and on a quest to find true love....uhmmmmm or something like that. I have met quite a few young men who seem interesting enough and though my extremely busy schedule has prevented as much face to face interaction as i would have liked, i figure there is always the phone. The only thing wrong with that scenario is that i really am not big on the phone thing.

So i met a young man whose first transgression was to call 6 times daily (egad!!) what are we going to talk about so many times......i think he finally understood that i wasnt up for that and he eased up somewhat. He now calls like every other day, i guess on his off days would be my turn to call, but i am honestly fearful of calling him (i just cant afford it). He has now progressed into the marathon caller. Please note that i have still not received a land line and thus all phone conversations take place via cell phone. This dude is actually responsible for my now using the ear piece with the phone, as the phone gets so hot, i can no longer hold it next to my ear.

The last phone convo we had lasted for 47 minutes.......though i did indicate that the phone was getting hot, that we had already covered some of the topics being brought up, that i had to go eat my dinner.....the conversation just would not end. Actually i am starting to believe that maybe i am not as interested in this young man as i thought, cos surely, if i were then his calls or long conversations would not become tiresome....and the thing is i really like when he calls, but after the first 15 minutes, i am ready to call creeeeeeee.

Catching Up

Wow.....i haven't been here in a while. This is mainly because the move described in my last post resulted in me having no phone and therefore no internet, dialup, dsl or otherwise....i am now working on getting wireless broadband so hopefully the drought will end soon.

So many things have happened since my last post........Jamaica has since gotten its first female Prime Minister - she will be sworn in tomorrow, while our school girls are being recorded while performing sexual acts....... we swept all the sprint events ( i mean every single one) at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, James Blake has made it into the top 10 of the ATP tour, Martina Hingis is proving that she is back.....and i have begun loc'ing my to come.....maybe jus maybe.

Its really been a crazy three months...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Men: Cant live with them, Cant live without them!

My christmas vacation was quite tiring...I spent it in florida, lyming shopping and having a general good time with friends!! I visited the MGM studios in Orlando...what a colossal wsate of time.....only two rides of any note, and we could only get on to one of them - The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror- and a terror it was...i may scan a picture of what i looked like during that ride!!!

So i returned home ready to move house and restart work! I actually moved on the first day of work and took half a day off to do so. The movers were late and completed the move well into the evening, leaving me with lots of "little" stuff to move and numerous trips from my car, up the 21 steps to my new abode. By the time i called it quits for the night, i was dead tired. All i could think of was a hot shower and my bed, which thankfully i had made up well in advance. I grab all my bathroom stuff, rush into the bathroom and pulled up short. What did i encounter??? the biggest croaking lizard i have ever come across in all my years, just hanging out over the bath tub.

Now i am afraid of lizard but not in the deathly afraid category, so i calmly backed away, put my stuff down and went searching for the insecticide. I take some tentative steps toward the lizard, spray him and the dumb creature runs up into the roof instead of out the wide open window right beside him...I step forward again and spray aggressively this time, the lizard now runs toward me instead of away from me....of course at this time i run screaming from the bathroom all thoughts of bathing gone from my mind!!! When i could finally breathe normally again, i called my mom who i knew would understand considering her enormous fear of them. I then called my ex (who for a minute there i was wishing wasnt my ex and therefore would have been honour bound to come get rid of this monster) and he proceeded to laugh at me. I could barely hang up the phone before the tears came...(sorry sometimes i do cry)!

By this time i understood that there would be no shower, nor any sleeping in my freshly made bed and i cried for the loss of these things. I proceeded to the living room where i made my bed on my sofa (which was thankfully in the middle of the room away from all walls) and thankfully only dreamt once that the lizard was actually in my pillow. Suffice it to say i could barely make it to work the following morning and i was dead on my feet for the entire day!!

I couldn't help but think that it's situations like these when we single women really miss having a significant other who whatever their fears, would put on a big bold front and rescue their damsel in distress!!!