December 18, 2010
Thursday, I contacted Clives transport to reconfirm my 3 am pickup for my ride over to MoBay on Friday morning December 17,2010. The drop off is to the Knutsford Express Transit Yard/Bus Park. I am going to Kingston to spend time with Amy. I met Amy 3 years ago and lucky for me she has taken me under her wings, and has been educating me on the true culture of Jamaica. It is so refreshing hanging with a person who knows the runnings and is not a hung up on the bar hopping , sand gravity having, boring with not a clue tourists that have been coming for years, but only know where to purchase, the cheapest bokkle of Appleton, the coldest Red Stripe and where the men hang out, and which club has the crowd each night. Ladies you are almost 60, time to go somewhere and sit down and stop hanging out with the children.
Better yet take a tour or two, get out and learn a likke Jamaican culture, most foreign women wonder why Jamaican women want nothing to do with them, they don't realise that the way you carry yourself and how you flex is something that does not go unnoticed. Respect yourself, you may garner Respect. Walk around in a spaced out drugged out, drunken state , you get nothing. It's your vacation, and your business do it however you choose but remember all eyes are most times on you, observing, and sometimes judging. Most people in Jamaica have an old fashioned view of life, and a woman most definitely can not do as a man can here.
So after going to sleep early, around 9 pm Thursday and having a hard time getting to sleep, the phone rings, its Clives driver, calling to reconfirm the time for pickup, I thought it was for 3 am come to find it is for 2:30 am, big difference, since the alarm was set for 2 am. "Goodnight, Good Morning"( me)"who is this",( he)"can you say good night, good morning"? after realising this person was not going to speak his mind until I greeted him ( me) "good night, good morning", funny when LeeAnne used to say this I thought it sounded stupid, not a lot of them but a few older Jamaicans greet you this way. I wanted to throw the phone against the wall, this is one of those time when I wish for an old fashioned house phone, it sort of defeats the purpose to slam a cell down, since the person doesn't know you slammed it. He was calling to say he would be here at 2:30 am but would call before hand for directions to my Yard. I could have chewed a brick, but I finally drifted off, and 2 minutes later the alarm on my phone went off. I have a clock in the kitchen, no watches, and a cell phone that I use for the infrequent times I need to know what time it is.
We get up, T makes my cup of tea, I shower again, get dressed, finish packing and I'm ready, when the call comes, I hand over the phone so that T can give him directions to the Yard. He partially knew where he was coming because as we came out the door, he is zooming past the gate, a hey Yo, he backs up, I and my luggage are packed in, goodbyes, and see you on the other side and off we go. First thing I need money from the ATM, its decided we will stop in Lucea a small Town in Hanover Parish, which has a clock in the town square, that every Juta driver points out as the clock sent from Spain to the island of St. Lucia, but it mistakenly landed here and Jamaica sort of forgot to give it back. It is a very nice town square with a very nice clock. Funny we just discussed the fact that he worked near but never went into the town, I have been through the town but never stopped. So goes life in Jamaica, people live in a Town/Parish and never venture to other parts of the Island. So we head out coming down the beach road plenty of activity, lots of folks out, I'm thinking why are these people up and out so early, next it occurs to me, it is still Thursday Night/Friday morning, the people are still out partying. Jerk barrels, drink and cigarette vendors and vendors with anything else you might like. Tonight/this morning it is the Jungle, a place truly for the young uns, but I am sure there are bunches of senior citizens hanging out too. Looking, searching, longing for sweet trouble. A place that until I had to meet Carey (owner Negril Escapes) to pick up my Season Pass for the Winter Concert Series, I had vowed to never set foot in. Almost made it .
Driving down Beach road past Jamaican owned small, nice hotels, past foreign All inclusives, past the private/public beach, past Rhodes Hall Plantation, in Orange Bay, Past Green Island down the coast road to MoBay. I am sleepy but when in a car I hate to miss anything so I chatter away to the driver (forgot his name) who turned out to be a nice fellow and not as old as his demanding voice from the night before sounded. We get to Mobay and there is still a lot of activity going on also. Watching young people as well as some older ones interact is funny at times, the mating calls, the hook ups, the techniques are interesting, a likkle something for everyone, satisfied customers.
Of course I'm hungry so I ask him to stop for Jerk chicken and Wata for the bus ride, because I know the Jerk Center in Ochi will not be open when we arrive. Good choice. We get over to the Dark, unlit, closed Knutsford Yard, and we look at each other and shrug, now I am thinking this man is not leaving me here and he is thinking what to do, so he decides that since he is in town early he will go over to the airport and sign in, on the transfer driver's list, possibly to be the first in line which would be good ,because that sets his day for making some good money, alas, this office is closed too, so back to Knutsford, which by now is open, we unload me, I go in to purchase my ticket, go back out and speak to 2 guys sitting there who turn out to be my bus driver and his conductor. This is of course the first trip of the day, after embarking we are informed there will be a slight delay, so at 5:15 am we pull out. Knutsford express, is a wonderful and inexpensive way to get from MoBay/Ochi to Kingston and back it goes through Fern Gully, to Walker Woods (home of the Walkers wood Jerk sauce factory) through Monegue, across FlatBridge, Spanish town, into Kingston. It was probably started with businessmen/women in mind but now every one rides and it is a very good deal. Mobay/Kingston $25.00 US/2000JMD Ochi/Kingston $12.50 US/1000JMD. From Negril with Clive $25.00 US/2000JMD. $100,00 plus tip round trip. This is a wonderful way to get to Kingstown and a very beautiful route, once daylight hits. Now there is a cheaper way, this is by local bus, but thats an experience I will discuss later.
Knutsford goes from Mobay to Kingston with one pit stop in Ochi. This is at the Jerk Center, on DaCasto Drive. Pretty good Jerk Pork and Festivals.
Inside the Knutsford Express. It also has a restroom on board.