|Advice for the foreigner when walking around in
Jamaicans definitely have preconceptions of foreigners, mostly that
they have tons of money, and that it's "fair" that they
should get some of it. If you are traveling to Jamaica, here's some
Never give them money until you have what you are buying in your
Always ask the taxi driver how much before you get in the taxi.
Route taxis are usually around $50 Jamaicans or $1.00 US.
You can generally trust Jamaican people just like any
people, but if you are staying in a resort city, like Montego
Bay or Negril, the bottomfeeders and parasite people come out of the
woodwork. They will wait for you just outside of your hotel, or on the
beach, as "ripping you off" is their profession.
Some call them Rastabums. Picture giant mosquitos, buzzing in your ear,
following you, trying to get their blood-suckers in you. While you are
trying to walk down the beach, you will notice in the distance, rastabums
positioning themselves to get right up in your business. "HEY MON!"
right in your ear, over and over, until you don't even want to ever
come back. As you walk down the beach, they will call at you from their
beachhuts. "No cost to look", they will yell at you, and try
every trick imaginable including intimidation and even threats. -- It's
As you walk down the beach, you will also notice a few poor lost souls
(Tourists who haven't learned the ropes) sitting with them, trying to
think of an exit strategy.
While you sleep, you will still be hearing "YAH MON!" echoing
in your head from the incessant badgering. Then you will spend the rest
of your vacation in your hotel. -- OR, you can adapt your behavior.
The worst thing you can do is look like the smiley faced American
or European. This is almost an insult to them to see you. They
have a severe jealousy and even hatred for the rich sheltered
foreigner. The first thing I learned, was to walk around with
a dead serious look on your face, almost like your suffering,
like either your mom died, or you have a bleeding ulcer. There
are many white Jamaicans that live without any problems from the
To them, it's funny and cool to mess with the foreigners, to rob
them of everything, to trick you into giving them any money at
all. If they give you anything, they will expect money.
Some of these con-men even want money for talking to them, even though
you did everything to avoid talking to them in the first place.
Never make eye contact unless you have to, keep your eyes on the road
and your destination.
If you are with a friend, and someone starts yelling at you, immediately
turn to your friend and act like you are trying to make an important
point, even making hand gestures. And just act like you don't
understand them, and can't even hear them.
If you are with a local, they will almost always leave you alone.
When they yell at you, don't even look at them, if they come up on you,
keep walking. Try everything you can to not say a word to them. Don't
look angry, look serious, and keep moving. Like your mom needs your
help, and nothing in the world is going to stop you.
I would suggest meeting people that work at your resort, and asking
them to take you to see "Real Jamaica" because if you just
stay on the beach and around your resort, you will miss the real culture
of the country. You will also think that Jamaicans are all Rastabums,
and this is not the case.
I would say only about 1% of Jamaica's are tourist predators. I met
many more real Jamaicans than the pressure salesman scoundrels.
It's hard to imagine how many tourists have been so turned of
by the hustlers that they decided to never return to Jamaica because
of them. Imagine the other effects as well, like permanent prejudice
of Jamaicans (These conmen are mostly who the tourists meet, so
they think most Jamaicans are this way), and the economical side
effects, millions of dollars lost to legitimate business, and
Put up signs on the beach or in the resorts telling tourists to avoid
the rastabum. Make it illegal to try to sell something to someone after
they say "No" one time. Tell people to report anyone to the
police that continues to hound tourists.
Round up the worst of the huslters one at a time, then put them
on work duty in the middle of Jamaica, or put them on a special
expedition to the Antarctic, just kidding.
Jamaica Tourist - Traveler Advice
Jamaica is a beautiful place, once you get away from the rastabum areas.
Make Jamaica a more beautiful place, Get rid of the con men, and boost
the world's opinion of Jamaica, while helping the economy of Jamaica.
Make it illegal to follow or continue talking to a tourist after
they say a key phrase like; "No thank you, I'd like to continue
on my own now".
Make it illegal to try to continue to try to sell a specific
product or anything after someone says "No", "No thanks",
or even waves their hand or shakes their head in a gesture of "No".
It's just impolite the way they don't take no for an answer, even reverting
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