Day 2 June 8th 2013 Runaway Bay ??? Spanish Town Kingston
In what has to be one of the most extremely rare moments of my life, I woke up before 7 am on my own. I don’t think I’ve done that since I was a little girl excited to open up my Christmas presents.
After eating a big breakfast at the buffet and agreeing to venture down to Kingston for the day, we headed to the pool. I went for a swim, got a cocktail from the pool bar, took some pictures with a snake wrapped around my shoulders (there was a guy walking around with it) and then took a nap under the sun. Tiff joined a group of people playing volleyball. Once a while, I’d hear a familiar voice yell “good job guys!” “nooooooo!” “awwww man!!” She was having a good time.
Shit.. It’s 11:30 already. We had agreed with Tiff’s dad to meet at the hotel lobby at noon the previous day. It was 12:15 pm by the time we were ready to go to Kingston. Tiff called her dad from the hotel phone. He said he was running late, and then the call abruptly disconnected. We headed to the other side of the resort to the entertainment area. We started playing table tennis, and then it was 1 pm before we knew it. “He’s probably waiting for us.” “Yeah..” We hurriedly went to the hotel lobby, and then waited. He would arrive two and a half hours late.
Tiffany grew up in Spanish Town, and still has family there. Her dad said we could make a few stops there to briefly say hi to them since it was on our way to Kingston.
She told me that the area changed a lot. “Those buildings were never there.. This road has gotten worse..” The first stop was her dad’s house, where I met his family. Then, we stopped at her grandmother’s place. The door to the house wasn’t locked, just as the previous house we went to. Her grandmother was lying in bed, enjoying the breeze coming through the window. She needs hip surgery, but refuses to get one because she thinks she’s too old for it. I asked her what red fruit was hanging in the trees in her front yard. “It’s ackee.” She told Tiff to bring some ackee back with her. “No.. we have this in the States too.”
Tiff’s aunt came to the house. “I recognize you,” she told me. “Really?” “Yep.. I have seen pictures of you.” She went to her room and pulled out Sean’s photo album. I had met Tiff’s cousin, Sean, back in senior year of high school when Tiff had a barbecue at her house. There were pictures of me and my brother that I’d never seen before.
The next stop was a marketplace. There were bodegas and people selling food and products out of their cars parked along the street. Tiff’s dad turned to me: “I bet Americans don’t sell things out of their cars… Do they?” “They actually do– just not flour and onions, but mixtapes and bootleg DVDs.” We met Tiff’s dad’s other girlfriend who was selling grain, fish, and vegetables out of a truck. I was intrigued by her dark complexion and light hazel eyes. Tiff went to some other place to talk to a little boy, and Tiff’s dad was somewhere talking to his friend, so I ended up standing alone next to the truck. I felt everyone staring at me, the only non-local-looking person there. “Ey.. China-gyal.” Oh great, in Spain I was chinita, and now I’m china-gyal. I put my shades on, which made me feel more secure since I didn’t know where to fixate my eyes. I’d make brief eye contact with some of the people that walked pass me, but I wouldn’t talk to them. Although I had been hollered at before (I do, in fact, live in New York, and also lived in Spain), this was a whole ‘nother level: one guy did a slow semicircle around me, took his shades off, retraced his semicircle, whistled, and then walked away. I felt like produce under inspection by a grocery shopper. I was mortified, but slightly amused at the same time.
We hopped back into the car, and finally arrived at Kingston. It was 8 pm. The Bob Marley museum closed three hours ago. The mansion/museum at the Devon House was closed, but we could walk around the yards. Some of the stores, including the ice-cream shop was still open. I don’t remember the flavor of the ice-cream that I got; it was something similar to malt. Our last stop was Emancipation Park.
We returned to the resort at 2 am exhausted.