It’s January and I found myself in Montego Bay Jamaica, hundreds of kilometres away from the cold UK weather, primarily to get some sunshine and possibly sample some authentic Jamaican homegrown wholesome non-genetically modified rump. And maybe some authentic Jamaican cuisine along the way.
During the short 10 minute taxi ride to the hotel resort where I was staying (and throughout the holiday), being a Nigerian I could not help but notice some similarities, between my people and black Jamaicans – physically and in some mannerisms. This is not so surprising considering what went on during the era of slave trade, where my people were forcibly taken from the west code and landed all over the Caribbean. So effectively we are very distant cousins.
First thing that struck me was the driving. We drive the same way. We disregard the road traffic code governing roundabout approach for example; and on which side to overtake a car on a dual carriage road (or a single carriage road for that matter). Only difference is that in Montego Bay, the roads are in a better condition that in Nigeria and swerving around other vehicles is not as precarious when you have roads full of potholes.
Then there is “H” factor. The Yoruba tend to add “H” to words beginning with “E”, like “Exercise” becomes “Hexercise” and “Excuse me” becomes “Hexcuse me”. For Jamaican’s they use H (or not) in a different way – it is replaced by “A” in Jamaican speak. So “Happy” becomes “Appie” and “Have” becomes “’ave”. Oh and when we are both vexed we get “Hangry”
Don’t get me wrong, I love these idiosyncrasies and more. They make us stand out from the rest of the world and when we visit each other’s country there is a familiarity that transpires into kinship, which makes us feel right at home. A young lady at the checkout counter in the local supermarket was intrigued by my accent and when I told her I was Nigerian, she was pleased to meet someone from the “motherland”, gave me hug (no discount), then proceeded to joke about my kinta-kinte accent. Yup we throw shade alike too.
This similitude also manifested itself on Grindr and Scruff. (Yes despite warnings of rife homophobia in Nigeria and Jamaica, the major Gay hook up apps more than thrive in both countries).
When I went home to Nigeria last May, I switched on Grindr to check out what might be on offer. The opening line from most of the local talent was “Where are you?” It was like I owed the guys money and they wanted to collect. In Jamaica, it was no different. “Where are you?” was the opening gambit.
Living in the UK , I was a bit taken aback by that type of “greeting”. I am used to folks opening with “Hi”, “Horny” or getting straight to the point by sending body shots. I was warned to be cautious as people create fake profiles and lure unsuspecting tourists into traps that may lead to not so happy endings. So there was no way I was going to send my location to anyone, without getting a feel of the person.
Another similarity I found was that guys don’t send body pics unless you specifically request for them. In the UK the response I get when I type “Pics?” is a deluge of naked pictures. Not so in Jamaica and Nigeria. You must say “Nude pics” or you get in return pictures of guys in their Sunday best.
I put this down to the homophobic situation in both countries. Men have to be careful of how they share their pictures online as they don’t know who is on the other side. It could be a set up. But I feel that situation will change pretty soon, albeit a lot quicker in Jamaica than in Nigeria. Though both countries still have the old British colonial buggery law in their legislature, Nigeria has gone a step backwards by actually banning same sex marriages and gatherings. In Jamaica, though the definition of marriage has also been constitutionally amended to ensure that only heterosexual marriages are recognised, they have not banned same sex gatherings. As a result, the 3rd Annual Gay pride event will be held in Montego Bay later this year. The ones held previously had the support of the local authorities as they sent the Police to guard the proceedings, in case some homophobic sub-humans missed the memo.
Anyway, after sifting through the myriad of pictures with guys in their Sunday best, I finally got chatting to one local hunk that was not too averse to sharing revealing pictures. He said his name was Rashaun. He was dark skinned, handsome, had an athletic build and bountiful pert rump you just wanted to marinate in spices, grill and make it last for days.
The message exchange was quite salacious. He was quite graphic about how many which ways he was going to suck me off and ride my dick from here to eternity and back. Think Scandal. Fitz Grant and Olivia Pope in the phone sex scene.
Though I took all his testosterone-fuelled promises, (which in my experience tend to quickly dissipate after climax) with a pinch of salt, I still found myself strangely aroused by his messages and I wondered if this was “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” in Montego Bay those many years ago. Intrigued, I agreed to meet him the following evening in the hotel lobby.
Come the appointed hour he messaged me to say he would be outside the hotel in ten minutes. As I walked past the hotel lobby entrance doors, I made it a point to say hello and smile at the security personnel there, in case I need to call out to them for help, if this meeting was a set up.
I met him outside and he looked exactly like his pictures and then some – his batty was slamming. Thankfully I was wearing a pair of baggy shorts and this hid my keen interest. We chatted for a bit and when I felt comfortable enough that my interest had ebbed enough not to be noticed as I walk through the lobby, I suggested we go up to my hotel room where I hoped he would fulfil his earlier promises made during our Grindr chat.
As we approached the hotel lobby, the female security guard stopped Rashaun from going in? She was one of the guards i just greeted a few minutes before. I knew she was
fat well-built, but I did not realise how tall and menacing she was until she got up and looked like she was ready to lift Rashaun off the ground and throw him over the fence about 10 feet away, if he didn’t stop walking. She looked like she just missed out on qualifying for the Jamaican female Olympic shot put team. She reminded me of Latrice Royale without the grace.
I explained to Latrice that Rashaun was with me and that we were going in for a drink. She told me that as Rashaun wasn’t a guest at the hotel, he would need a pass to get into the hotel and that the pass would ONLY grant him access to the lobby area and the bars. This was the hotel’s policy to safeguard it’s guests. (Interest ebbed a bit more)
I told Rashaun to hold on while I go to reception to organise a pass. My plan was to get the pass, then take Rashaun to the bar, get a drink then take him round the back way (no pun intended) and up to my room without being detected.
The reception staff confirmed Latrice’s story regarding the area of restriction and saying it would cost “200 dollars”. I took out my wallet and handed the receptionist a 500 dollar note, expecting some change back. She looked at me and smile and said, “Sorry Sir, 200 dollars US”
WTF??!! What kind of Jamaican bootay blocking fuckery is this?
Interest rapidly receded at this point.
Though the local currency in Jamaica is the “Jamaican Dollar”, the preferred transactional currency in the tourism industry is the US dollar.
It then dawned on me why Rashaun during our conversation, wanted to know if I had a pass organised. In all my travels I have never had to get a pass to invite anyone up to my room let alone have to pay for one. And I thought it would be the same here. And not at 200 USD??!!?
Interest now definitely shrunken, I took back my 500 Jamaican dollar note the receptionist, thanked her and went back outside (mentally rolling my eyes at Latrice as I walked past her) to Rashaun and broke the news to him.
I apologised for wasting his time and he was a bit disappointed but took it with good humour. He could have been taking it upstairs in my room.
We said our good byes and I bowed my head in sorrow as that ass walked away and melted into the dark night.
There goes my groove……….