Montego Bay, JAMAICA
Jamaican Dollar (JMD) 109.79 = 80p
With people from all over the world arriving into the UK for the Olympics, I was off for a short stay in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
It is a fairly expensive island, on par with many popular tourist destinations.
So in order to accomplish my mission I head to the local supermarket to do my credit crunching abroad.
Whilst browsing in the supermarket I hear commotion a few aisles away, inquisitively I rush towards the noise, which is getting louder and louder. I arrive in the electrical goods section, where I witness and hear 90% of the supermarket staff and all the shoppers (I kid you not) SCREAMING as they cheer on Team JA for the final Usain Bolt (relay) race...get this - watched on the supermarkets FOR SALE TV! LOL, a memorable moment.
The atmosphere was amazing, the noise was deafening. As the noise fades and the crowds disperse I'm beaming with a sense of pride, about my Jamaican heritage... With a warm, reminiscent feeling I'm drawn to my upbringing - born in the UK yet fully exposed to my culture - the memories, the mealtimes, the music all come flooding back.
With these memories it’s apt and even special that Jamaica is also celebrating its 50th Year of Independence (from the UK). The supermarket is awash with Jamaican crafts/50th Anniversary/Team JA memorabilia.... Rasta hats, (with woolly dreads), tea towels, flags, beach towels etc, all are above budget, but smaller items such as key rings, water bottles and mugs etc are 80p and under. I couldn't resist a little memorabilia 50th Anniversary JA flag and fridge magnet (though honestly, who knows where they'll end up, on my return to the UK!!)
For 80p I could have also bought (I looked, I saw but definitely did not sample:
Cow skin
Cow foot
Pig foot
Cow head!
Minced chicken
Cow, pig or Goat bones
Turkey neck
Much more appealing to my taste buds and within budget:
A tin of Ackee
Salt fish
2/3 Plantains
A box of Cornmeal porridge mix 
Hard doe bread
Small bun (don't forget the cheese)
Mightily Malt
A small bottle of Wray & Nephew rum
And a Stones alcoholic Ginger Beer, etc
Whilst I didn't purchase it all... I'm heading home, beaming and looking forward to a big cook up. That said, I sincerely hope none of my items purchased will give me a starring role in the TV programme 'UK Border Control'!
"........Jamaica, Jamaica......"

Article by Dawne B / 17th August 2012


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