Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just walking about like I have been here for years

Since I spend way too much time on my balcony, which how I could not I have noticed a sound that seems to occur every few minutes between the constant beeping and bumping dancehall music. Car Alarm Symphonies. Constant car alarms are being set off. Now, I am not assuming the worst (car theft), I am actually assuming that people either struggle with there clickers or that people just go crazy with the panic buttons all day. Because I cannot come up with any legitimate reason for car alarms to go off that often!

So after publishing last nights blog Holly & Jody linked (JA for got me) me up and rescued me from my ennui we went on a mission to surprise Anita by linking with her from school and canceling her driver! Then we drove around laughing and checking out different parts of Kingston. I felt like I was driving around Danbury with Brittney and Paul! They showed us a few more places in Kingston we can't miss and for some reason we all really love food so we end up talking about restaurants and foodie questions. One way to get to know another culture is by eating your way through it. Right across the street from the fortress that is the American Embassy there is a few guys cooking out of old oil drums that are sawed in half and turned into grills. Jody speaks fervently "You guys have to try pan chicken! And this is my favorite pan chicken guy!" Now you will never catch me saying no to street food cooked by piecemeal pseudo-oven devices. We park at the Shell and walked across the street looking right first then left which is an unusual sequence for me. Upon reaching pan chicken man Jody introduces us as his sisters from another country and that we should be taken care of. The guy tells us that he loves Jody and would do anything for him. Breast or thigh & leg? Pepper & Ketchup? Now on the grill there are at least 100 pieces of Chicken cooking you barely have to keep food warm in Jamaica its hot even at night during these months. Jody & I grab a Guinness from the cooler pan man opens them up and we drink on the streets of Kingston waiting for our chicken to get selected, chopped and topped. Lastly they throw on top two pieces (CAR ALARM sorry) of think dense white bread called hardbread I believe, also hence "pan" bread in Spanish. Given two us in tinfoil wrapped packages we go back to the car and head home. Now pan chicken is amazing. It is not jerk but it is a different series of spices and the ketchup is distinctly sweeter. A must try in Kingston, and certainly a re-do for us! Stuffed = Sleep.

It's pretty hard to sleep in here. The sun rises through the patio and bakes the room. I always wake up pretty hot and I keep the door open to catch a breeze. Usually the morning traffic wakes me up too. But I like it, compared to my room at home that can suck me in till about noon. Routine: Coffee, deck, cigarette, computer and amazing view of Kingston. Best way to wake up yet. I get an email from my boss Carmeta in NYC pointing out some germane organizations to find funding through for FURI. I spend the morning researching grants and pulling together some ideas and channels through which to apply for funds. I study again for the GRE's blasting through the analogies section. BRING IT sentence completion! I Skype a few friends, read the paper, deal with our electricity issue and shower and get dressed. I don't know what prompted me to motivate originally but I soon found out it was a good thing I did. My introductory BBM service for my blackberry expired. This has been the best way for me to communicate with people here so I better go "top up (purchase credit)" so I don't have a mini panic attack (I know pathetic). So I Google map the closest Digicel, sweet 3 streets away. Anita and I are addicted to Google since arriving here. So streets change quick in Kingston so of course the first turn I made was the wrong turn! After asking a for directions and walking through some hotel courtyard and a few parking lots I got to Knutsford Blvd where there is endless fast food, hotels, chain restaurants, and stores. Jucci Pattis, Island Grill, Tastee's, the BK lounge (burger king) and more. Now cell phones here are confusing, basically you get a Digicel SIM Card and you can do everything yourself from your phone, but everything requires a confusing code like *120*10*30# and you get 30 days of BBM. So I'm learning quick but I figure getting to a store one last time so they can show me the right way was worth it. Good forethought on my part because I ended up being there for over an hour. The counter is mobbed no one works in lines, you just shout over the person in front of you because the Digicel counter people are phenomenal multitaskers. People are shouting for credit anywhere from 100 to 1000 JA$ and the workers are printer slips tossing cash and fixing phone for inept users such as myself. Since I had BBM 7 day plan initially switching to BBM 30 was quite the hassle nothing I can do alone. Also you have to "batch up" which means take your battery out every other step to reset the phone. So... my Mac turns on faster then my blackberry so half the time I spent waiting for it to reboot. I also had to see two separate techs cause shit was going nuts on my phone! The storm 1 or 2 has also not been introduced to Jamaica believe it or not, they are barely compatible with Iphone data plans and Droid; what Droid? So most techs are confused by my phone not to mention that the screen is wrecked I am missing the pieces of the screen that cover the main buttons. Most techs who look at it tell me new phones are to the right. Well whatever my BBM is back. Walking home took me no time and I GRE'd it up and worked on my IRB package. Too much work, but tomorrow is Friday, so work stops when I leave tomorrow after our jerk party! Wait, doesn't sound to much like work anyways!

P.S. GRE words! Come on people give them a shot!


  1. thought i posted a comment the other day, but surprise... i must have done something wrong. so here i go again. love the view, glad to see you have settled into JA life so quickly, and hope while experiencing all the great thing you are being safe! will try to text you this weekend. still haven't straighten out skype yet...

  2. Peggy! miss you very much, but I am having a blast! I email a ton so if you want to email me its free! Xoxo

  3. I am so glad you have overcome your ennui and I fervently hope that you continue to do so!! jamaica suits you!! Love!!!

  4. Ah, GRE words. Way cool concept. Otay. Ennui generally means listlessness, sadness, malaise. Fervently is synonomous with excitedly, enthusiastically, etc. As to Germane, I may be wrong but I believe it shud be spelled Germaine? Maybe not. In any case, I think it means key or central.

  5. Alf's entry:

    ennui: boredom
    fervently: with intensity, passion
    germane: relevant, related

    Good work dad, alf & anna!

  6. Sorry bout the phone T - Thats partially my fault! :(

    Lovin' the blog! Keep it up, its fun living in Jamaica vicariously through you.

  7. mmmm I miss your bedroom.... lol It sucked me in long after you left the house haha! Love you!