A couple of emcees for one of the beach bars were spraying college girls with tequila filled super-soakers when we made it to Negril beach. I immediately knew I had guessed wrong about getting a more human experience in Jamaica. It was so hot that I felt that if the group grinded too vigorously they catch fire. Bypassing the crowd and danger, I took to the beach to see what it was about. It was just about noon when we arrived any without any cloud cover, the white beach nearly blended in with the ocean that shimmered with the quality of mercury. There seemed to be so much one could do: horseback riding, parasailing and gliding, riding wave-runners, sand sculpting and other sand-related activities, swimming, and not to mention getting super soaked. I just wanted a coconut but had to show “respect” to get one.
At some point, I got separated from everyone. It wasn’t even some point, it was 5 min in. 7 Mile Beach in Negril is, well, 7 miles long. It’s a vast, beautiful place where you can actually interact and be with the natives who go to the beach as a source of both business and pleasure. I saw a number of people drinking from coconuts on the beach. I’d never seen something so seemingly refreshing in the moment, like a pint-size oasis. As I made my way to the water, an artisan grabbed my hand and asked me to buy a wool bracelet she claimed to have made from scratch. I politely declined and she then insisted that she had 4 children to feed and pleaded with me to buy. As I left the area, partially searching for my party, partially searching for my coconut, the artisan cursed to herself bitterly and with equal speed, put on a smile to sell again to another passerby. This is the jerk chicken all over again, I thought to myself. Not five steps later, I ran into another fellow who refused to leave my side, no matter how much I expressed that I didn’t want what he was selling (another bracelet, same as the artisan before).