Almost at the end of the family vacay. We are now in Ocho Rios at one of those huge all-inclusive resorts where every staff member is obliged to greet each guest with a perfunctory wide grin and "Good Mornin'/Day/Evenin', Mi'lady." The "Mi'lady" part is what freaks me out. I'm not anybody's lady, or at least in that sense of the word. Part of the all-inclusive deal is all you can drink alcohol and all you can eat food. It costs about $30 just to take a taxi into town, and so everyone stays on property. Hell, why leave the resort and actually see Jamaica when the best parts of Jamaica are here? Why venture into the crowded streets? Why have to drive through parts of the island that are poor? Come to a resort. It is safe. Clean. You're well-fed, well-pampered. Everyone wears a uniform. Its like any other resort in the world, but with steel drums. I hate it here.
The family is still chaos and endearingly so. I am managing to steal enough solitude so that I keep my sanity. Last night after an ill-fated attempt at the on-site nightclub (I don't do the electric slide. . .), I found a spot to watch the sea and smoke. Down on the shore, several honeymooners frolicked romantically in the waves, oddly illuminated in the electric blue fluorescence of the Sandals sign. As much as I wanted to go swimming I couldn't force myself to. Not in that light, not wanting to be the only single woman in the electric sea with people in lurve. My family was sleeping. I headed to the garden sat with my smoke and the moon loved my aloneness as much as I could.
Today is the family party. It is part reunion, part birthday party for one of the family matriarchs. 300 people are expected to show up. I saw the seating chart, Jamaican dignitaries, officials from the church, family from every corner. I look forward to the gathering. 300 people in a tent.
When I have more time I will write about how my uncle cleared out the entire beach in Negril with four sentences. He is a bit of a worried traveler. A little bit tense. Nervous. He is the one gripping the seat in the picture I posted above. The bus, at that moment, was parked.