Jamaica: so simple and yet hard to fathom–a day in the life of an island

Jamaica can be a wonderfully simple place, where it’s hard to understand that life poses enormous problems. Sometimes, it’s better to just look around and see the best in the things that go on around you. Foreign direct investment has risen. Here’s an example.

This Turk arrived in Jamaica a few days ago and wants to sell doner kebabs

The government is working on a growth ‘strategy’. Most people just want to do a day’s work and try to provide for their families. Many show up early, set out their stalls, literally, and wait for customers to choose their wares over others.

Here to serve you every day

Sometimes, the offerings are not visually exciting, but looks deceive. Sometimes, the appeal is just that they’re available.

Fruit too pretty to resist

The PM announced that a dozen rest stop sites will be set up across the country in phase 1 of a three-phase programme. Some may find that odd in a country well-known for its road food. But, maybe there’s a twist that I’ve not understood. The idea is to spread the benefits of tourism. So, maybe, we’ll see more visitors driving themselves around the island–unlikely. Or, we’ll see more organized tours that land at these new sites. Who’ll gain and who may lose from this?

We’ve lost about one Jamaican a day in road deaths.

l just want to get to work
My cloth cap won’t protect me?

It’s not because people fall out of the back of pickups. But, when you’ve a many-mile journey to work or school and no public or private transport in sight, do you refuse a ride because you can’t get a seat with a secure belt? Some of our more vulnerable users are cyclists and motorcyclists, who live with casual island-life care and think of helmets as an optional extra. Protective clothing in the Tropics is never a high consideration. But, roads are tougher than bodies, in temperate and tropical zones. We cry poverty? We cry over graves.

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)

5 thoughts on “Jamaica: so simple and yet hard to fathom–a day in the life of an island”

  1. I am still trying to figure out what is the hidden agenda behind these rest stops? When a government is announcing with much bravado about building toilets on the road, it is saying to me that effective ideas are moving from the sublime to the ridiculous.


    1. A set of rest stops now line the north coast road. They are signposted and use existing eateries, like Scotchies, and usually an adjacent gas station. It’s making what many know widely known. What else?


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