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Today, I took the last step in getting a police record–collecting a form that stated I’m not in the police data base. It’s good to confirm what you believe😊👍🏾

I took the drive to downtown Kingston on one of the strangest recent mornings. I headed out just after 9am, after the morning rush, but all roads were jammed. Part of a major north-south route, Constant Spring Road, had collapsed!

Constant Spring Road: It’s hole, alright

I managed to dodge it all, by opting to go over the hills, and bypassing all the trouble. When I got downtown, I managed to find parking about 30 seconds from the Jamaica Constabulary Force office. I stated my business, and went first left, then right, to the desk. As I got there, the official was explainging patiently to a lady that things might not be working as expected: we’d just had a weekend preparing for a hurricane, and most government offices had been closed for the first two days of this week. Still…The first conversation I heard went as follows:

Official: “You paid for 24-hour service?”

Scowling face lady: *glares*

Official: “I explained that I’m just filling in for the regular officer here, so cannot tell you exactly what the situation is. We had disruptions but I hope it is ready.”

Scowling face lady: *glares harder*

Official: “We’re only humans.” (I was tempted to sing the song, and turn the office into a musical.)

Snap out of it!

I handed in my receipt, and quipped, “By the way, I’m an alien.” The young official smiled. She took the paper and told me to take a seat. The room was fuller than last week, perhaps reflecting some backlog. Anyway, after about 30 minutes, I was called, signed for my report and was on my way.

The day had begun strangely, with another dark, cloudy sky. Hurricane Matthew had not wreaked havoc on Jamaica, but was doing so on Haiti and The Bahamas, but we were getting huge thunderstorms and solid short showers. One had hit earlier, on the way to school, and another had hit while I was waiting. When I walked outside, everyone was huddled in the doorway. Thankfully, I just had a few steps back to the car.

But, I had to run another errand: I’d promised ‘Bunny’ that I’d bring him some tee shirts. I headed off into the grid of lanes downtown and found the right street. I knocked on a makeshift door, and a man asked whom I was looking for; I explained. He said he’d go tell Bunny: “Bunny! A elder waan see you!” Moments later, I was stepping into a ‘yard’ that led past some spaces used as rooms. 

It was hard to figure out what the building used to be, but it was now ‘home’ to several people.

I pushed past the washing and met Bunny putting on a shirt as I approached his door. He looked surprised but smiled. “I’m a man of my word,” I said, and handed him two tee shirts. He took them, thankfully. He asked about the car, which was fine. Nothing else to do, I headed back to my car to dodge more rain. My man, who had hailed Bunny asked if I could give him $200 to buy a ‘hurricane rum’; I gave him a friendly lecture in economics 🙂

I glanced at a pile of garbage that looked like it had been washed there over the weekend, when we’d had flash flooding. A few young men stood near the pile. I was curious, but just left that where it was.