Jamaica Tourist Information

December 12, 2004

Jamaica is a beautiful country with many beautiful, hard-working people. There is, however, a major problem with Jamaica, the Hustler. The Hustler is a guy that trolls the beach, or more commonly sits in one place waiting to try pressure you into buying anything that you do or don't want. The first two times I went there, the Hustlers were tormenting, with their incessant begging and cheating.

I'm not talking about Rastafarians, most Rastas don't bother anyone else, they live humble lives in the hills. I've heard as many as 60% of Jamaicans were either Rastafarians or Rastafarian sympathizers. But I would believe that less than 1% of Jamaicans are Hustlers.

The first time I went, I started thinking that all Jamaicans were Hustlers, but the next time I went, I got to see another side, a non-tourist town (Lucea), which only had one guy that followed us around, and he really wasn't even begging.

The beautiful white sand beaches of Negril, Jamaica

This time, I wasn't a smiley-eyed, happy-go-lucky, foreigner, like I was before, and it paid dividends. The locals seem to disrespect the happy tourist. I learned this last time, as the days went on, I slowly started loosing my patience, and the locals slowly stopped their harassment.

This time, I wasn't harassed even once, when someone started, I looked them dead in the eye and said emphatically, "No thanks!", I didn't have any problems.

I got it down to a science this time, navigating through people without looking at them.. It worked well to act like I didn't understand, or that I couldn't hear them right. Remember, I'm only talking about the hustlers, not the regular Jamaican people.

How embarassing it must be for the average Jamaican to have their national image degraded by these human-sized mosquitos.

In the taxi, on the way down to Negril, I was talking to the driver about a movie idea I had. I call the movie "Jamaican Batman". The movie is about a local that gets so sick of the Hustlers that he starts taking the law into his own hands, and just starts beating the hell out of them. He doesn't dress up or anything, but he becomes a sort of super folk hero to Jamaica. I told the driver that, Jamaican Batman isn't "fair". If he thinks you look like a Hustler, he's going to punish you. He is caught by the police, but the sheriff, in a touching moment, lets him go and tells the public (Who loves him) that he must have escaped. The sheriff sees him again on the street, and just nods and continues on.

The driver loved the idea, and told me that he wanted to be Jamaican Batman.

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