17 Apr

Happy Sunday, ya’ll!

I’ve been in Jamaica for over a year now (I think I just like sayin’ that) and I’ve learned…well, something.
Here are some Pearls of Wisdom:

-Fruit is always in season and it’s delicious!

-Roosters do not crow only at dawn (although I wish they did).

-It’s routine – regardless if you know their name– to call people by:
1) Skin color or Ethnicity
2) Occupation or Current activity
3) Unique feature or Body part
Eg; Black man, Mr. Chin, Driver, Tall man, Big woman, Brown girl, Red shirt, One eye

-The louder the music, the bigger your cock.

-The ‘load basic html’ buttons were designed for developing countries.

-A letter/package with your name on it makes you the most loved person in the world!!

-Chicken tastes better when you saw it running around the day before you eat it. I can’t tell you why.

-No matter how many people are on a bus/taxi/coaster they can (and will) fit more.

-Stuffed animals are dirty, hard, decorative, and not to be snuggled.

-In patwa, three and tree are pronounced exactly the same. This gets confusing during a rousing game of word association.

-Everywhere – market, taxi park, a full bus – can turn into a place of worship with the addition of a preacher. Or a vocal man who thinks he is a preacher.

-A ‘salad’ is not green but rather, pale. It consists of a spoonful of shredded cabbage, grated carrot, plus a pinch of sugar.

-I can bathe with one gallon of water.

-It is normal for black, ‘fluffy’ women to wear skintight shirts with white pop-starlets screened on them. (what?!). Yes, Jessica Simpson, Shakira, Ashley Tisdale (who?) all s t r e t c h e d until they are barely recognizable. – I won’t pretend like I haven’t worn shirts like this at points in my life (I am a Britney fan) – but the contrast of big black womens bosoms distorting young blond airheads is pretty incredible. This being true, I’d like all of you to rest assured that when you see a shirt for sale that has a picture of someone really trivial/obscure pasted onto it (most likely because it was misread how popular said pop-star was going to be), it will be worn somewhere in the world and it will make a person who understands the absurdity of the situation laugh.

-If asked, say you’re “de pon da Gully side”.

-It is NEVER a good idea to be too lazy to refill the water bottles and put them in the fridge (see primero blog-o when I drank the last of the cold water). You never know when the water is going to cut out.

-Underwear can be worn inside-out for added longevity before washing.

-Popcorn is a cheap, fun vegetable.

-There is no way not to stand out if you’re a white person. This means nothing can be done under the radar ie, nonchalantly; nod head to music, scratch an itch in your nose, fix a wedgie.

-Wearing a ring and saying you’re married does not deter persistent Jamaican men. Wearing two rings also does not work.

-Laundry is best washed early in the morning so that 1) You don’t die of heat exhaustion and 2) It has ample time to dry before afternoon rain. Mold is terrible to get rid of. And stinks like death.

-If you have a dog she is going to try and eat poop; act accordingly.

-Don’t give your number out to women you’ve just met on a bus, they might text it to their son/brother/cousin or obsessively call you.

-Given the choice between spilling copious amounts of salt ALL over the floor or *catching it just in time* and sacrificing only a teeny amount of sugar in what seems to be one spot — spill the salt.
-In a very related ‘pearl’, ants are sugar FIENDS.

-If the right side of the road has too many potholes, drive on the wrong side.

-Mosquitoes are not, as I previously thought, a “dusk” bug…as in they only come out in the evening. I’ve been bitten by 8:30 AM, 1PM and Midnight.

– “It was raining” is an acceptable excuse as to why you didn’t do something/go out (as long as it did really rain for a few minutes on the day in question).

-Bring your own toilet paper.

-Sometimes your text messages don’t really send…sometimes they send x100…sometimes only half is sent; coming off like a jerk, psychopath or having ADD is to be expected.

-Always charge your phone/ipod/computer when the battery is low. You never know when you might be without power for an extended period of time.

-Oh, and don’t bother to quickly dry your soapy hands and then excitedly rush to the phone when you get a new text message – it’s probably just Digicel…again.

-Saying, “I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer” doesn’t get much street credit (I know, I’m surprised, too). Not only do Jamaicans not know what Peace Corps is, they are often not familiar with the verb ‘volunteer’.

-Don’t pet the dogs. Better yet, avoid dogs.

Sure, it’s a work in progress. But all this after a year?!
Try not to let your head explode.

Until next time:

Make good choices, play word association, eat your salad, don’t buy ridiculous pop t-shirts, and fill your water bottles.


14 Responses to “Pearls”

  1. Cindy Masera April 17, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    I love your blog and Pearls Sammi! I just found this on fb. Keep up the good words. You are an amazing writer. Something I wish I was better at.

    • Sammi Travis April 17, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

      Eeee!! yay!! Thank you!!! Thanks for commenting! And the positive feedback! I tried calling you yesterday at the shop – Dave said you weren’t there. (I always get SO shy when he/anyone answers. I never say it’s me! What a punk!) Anyway, I called Nico and he said you were hosting, like, 10 BOYS at your house!!!!!! How cool! I bet that was awesome. He suggested I try calling today?? Does that work for you?? Imma try right now… Love you.

  2. deekers April 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm #


  3. Laurel April 17, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    Dear Sammi,

    What a fabulous blog! I love that I’ll be able to easily keep up with what you’re doing. I love reading about your Jamaican adventures!


    • Sammi Travis April 17, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

      Yay Yay Yay! How lovely to hear from you! Thank you so much 😀
      Hope everything is going great with you and the boys!! LOVE you ALL!!!!! xx 🙂

  4. Rachee April 18, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    “If the right side of the road has too many potholes, drive on the wrong side.” HAHAHAHA SO TRUE! This always freaks me out!!! Especially when you’re driving along the outside of the mountain cliff..they either need to re-pave these roads or make them wider so I can avoid a heart attack! Ahhh reading these makes me miss Jamaica so much! The good and the not-so good!

  5. Nick Kirk April 19, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    Cwack me up, you cwack me up! fix a wedgie babe hahaha… This is the best blog update ever 🙂 Thanks for bringing so many smiles, giggles, bursts of chuckles, and fits of laughter to my life.

    Love you,

    • Sammi Travis May 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

      Thanks for reading and responding babe.
      I’m so flattered that you’re taking the time to read my blog when you already hear all of the stories anyway! You are very good to me 🙂
      Love you more than words,

  6. overcoming social Anxiety September 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon everyday.

    It’s always interesting to read through content from other authors
    and use a little something from their sites.

    • Sammi Travis November 30, 2014 at 6:01 am #

      Such a great comment!!
      Thank you for visiting!!

  7. room air filter September 21, 2014 at 9:24 am #

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This
    is a very well written article. I will make
    sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful
    info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.

    • Sammi Travis November 30, 2014 at 6:02 am #

      How wonderful to get this comment from you!! Msn eh? Sweet!!
      Glad you visited. You’re welcome back anytime 😉


  1. Jamaica: Second Hand (Part Two) | Simply Intentional - February 18, 2012

    […] Pearls- a fun list of wacky cultural things and advice for being in Jamaica […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: