|Wednesday morning found us slipping into a new port -- Falmouth, Jamaica. On our last cruise, we had docked at
Ocho Rios. Falmouth is a small town further west on the north coast of Jamaica and is busting at the seams
as it expands to support the brand new cruise terminal that is being built there.
As we slowly came into port and finally docked along side a brand new pier and terminal area still heavily under
construction, we could see the faces of this old Jamaican town.
Close by, we could see the new face -- the face of the future as the terminal area was a beehive of activity to
support the growing economy based on being a key cruise ship port in Jamaica. Looking further away, we
could see some of today’s problems like the abandoned condo complex, just an empty concrete
shell of failed dreams sitting out on a peninsular of land and then the tent city and
shacks of the poor on the outskirts of town.
Then we could see Falmouth’s past as we saw her beautiful old stone churches and brightly colored government
buildings, etc., all showing that she was a proud city, even though she was small and poor.
Justice was rearing to go ashore -- almost like a pilgrimage -- to see the birthplace of one of his favorite
singers, the late Bob Marley, the “King of reggae music.” After a quick breakfast in the Windjammer Café,
we all headed for town.
Within the new cruise ship terminal area were hundreds of local vendors set up selling everything you could think
of that related to Jamaica. Justice was almost overwhelmed by the vendors and all of them hawking their wares.
He and his buddies had seen a taste of these while at Labadee and had walked through the craft area set up by
locals there but that was a controlled environment.
Here at the cruise terminal area and then especially when we left the fenced in area and started wandering
around in Falmouth itself, he saw just how aggressive some of the vendors could really be. To be honest, this
sort of thing bothers the heck out of Deanna and me also. Some times, it can become unnerving, almost scary.
However, with his grandmother leading the charge, so to speak, he got into the buying spirit while we were still
there in the terminal area by first watching how she started haggling with a local vendor over the price of a
wooden face carving that he had picked out for his brother Garrett.
He just stood there and watched with a look of amazement on his face as he watched a professional haggler
almost make a local vendor cry and give away the item for sale just to make her go away and not influence any
other potential buyers who might be watching all this.
Then he spied a cool t-shirt -- large, multi-colored one with a picture of Bob Marley on it -- for himself and
bantered a bit with the seller to get the price he was willing to pay for it. Feeling good now about buying things
from these vendors, he started looking for a souvenir for his mom and soon found
a neat looking beach bag for her.