I took the bus to Kingston on Saturday morning with an Argentinian guy, Alvaro, who I met at my hostel in Montego Bay. We took the local bus which doesn’t have a schedule and just goes once it’s full. Really full. Adam from our hostel walked us to the station and spoke in Patois to tell the driver we didn’t want a private bus. “No man no wan fi charter”. Something along those lines ha ha (soz). We were the last two to get on and the driver pointed to a space the size of my hand and said “sit there”. I sat on a tiny stool in the middle of the aisle with a cushion on the back in between two men. I spent the first 10 minutes of the journey just laughing at the situation. Then my ass got numb. One of the guys sitting beside me was trying to make sure I was comfortable and had enough space. We talked most of the way there and exchanged numbers. We got dropped off in downtown Kingston in the pouring rain then Alvaro and I took a taxi to the Reggae hostel where he was staying that night. I waited there until my Couchsurfing host came to pick me up. Read more about that absolute riot here.
After I escaped the Couchsurfing mad house I went back to the Reggae hostel and booked 2 nights there. But before that, I spent the day at the beach with the two Colombian girls. We took a taxi and asked the driver to take us to the beach. After half an hour we arrived at some dirty looking river and when we said this wasn’t where we wanted to be we were suddenly surrounded by 4 guys at the car windows trying to convince us to stay. He finally took us to the actual beach and we asked him if he could pick us up again in a few hours. Instead of leaving and coming back he came to the beach with us, went swimming and then tried to flirt with one of the girls whilst in the water. Good times.
When I got to my hostel at night I went straight to my room and slept for 12 hours. The next day I wasn’t really sure what to do until the hostel owner asked if I’d like one of his friends, Sunny, to show me around. Sunny took me around the streets and it was nice to experience real Jamaica instead of a touristy version like Montego Bay is. People in Kingston are way friendlier too. Except one guy who came and stood right in front of me, took a picture of my face then walked away. I assume it was because I’m white haha. Sunny and I bought custard apples from one of the street stalls and fresh coconuts from another, sat in a park for a while chatting then headed home.
Later that day I met a really lovely guy called Jamieson who lives in Kingston. He took me to a place called Devon House to get ice cream. Obviously 5 year old me couldn’t eat it as fast as it was melting and I ended up in an absolute state. I had ice cream running down my arms, on my legs, my bag and all over the bench we sat on. The scoop of ice cream was massive too which wasn’t helping the situation. Jamieson had to get me two separate lots of emergency napkins then a cup to put it in. So bloody embarrassing. After I had a mini shower in the bathroom sink, he took me up the hills to a viewpoint where you could see the whole city, just as the sun was setting. It was so pretty.
We took some pictures with his drone then drove to some more viewpoints. By this point it was dark and all the stars were out. So fab. We ended the night at a quiet little outdoor bar where we drank rum and Jamieson tried to get me to dance with him to Despacito. Denied.
The next day I had to leave to go back to Montego Bay for my flight. I got in touch with my friend, Brian, from the bus and it just so happened he was going back home to Montego Bay that day. I got on the bus with him and this time got a seat right up front near the driver. After the 3 hour journey Brian invited me to his place so I didn’t have to pay for another full night at the hostel as I’d be leaving at 3am for my flight. His house was like an absolute mansion compared to the places I’d been staying in. He let me shower and nap there and his friend picked me up and took me to the airport. Super kind. That’s what I mean about not letting one bad experience destroy your trust- a lot of people really are lovely and want to help without asking anything in return.
Although my trip to Kingston started pretty badly I am so glad I didn’t let it deter me. The last two days in Jamaica totally made my whole trip and I made memories that I will never forget. I’m on the flight to Florida right now where I will spend the next two weeks before heading home. I’m sure there will be many shenanigans to follow.