It was nine o’clock in the morning and I felt like the sun was resting on my forehead. I had just walked out of the museum and I was now going back up the road, the same one since reaching the center of town. It was getting steeper but I seemed to be the only one who noticed. Around me, people were getting ready. Wood fires were crackling and yams and other vegetable lay out by the calabashes; some were starting up the jerk grills. Others were hanging up “Jamaica” tee-shirts and displaying red-green-gold souvenirs onto tables. I kept walking up and was greeted along the way. I saw a group of men sitting in the shade, talking and people-watching. There were low-level buildings to each side of the road; some were homes and some were restaurants. You could never see all this from the long drive up the hills.
I kept walking, further up, feeling my back more than my thighs thanks to my Nikon gear. I passed by more grills and piles of unpacked items by stalls along each side of the road. I started eyeballing the pieces of “festival” (cornmeal fried dumplings) that lay neatly on aluminum foil on one grill, looking crisp and hot. I hadn’t had breakfast since we hit the road at 6 a.m. from Negril, and just barely a half cup of coffee. The bumpy roads through the parish of St. Elizabeth and the long way up the hilly interior of this town had drained the little morning energy I had. But before I got a chance to approach one of the grills, [Continued—>] Continue reading