Little less than an hour later, the pilot came over the intercom and announced that we were going to be landing soon. I did a thorough mental check of things on my person, a review of what was in my bags and of course, thought of ways to protect the loose cash I had on me. Unlike my trip to Japan, I wanted to ensure that I didn’t make the mistake of not having money on me when I arrived in Jamaica. Earlier that morning, I grabbed some cash from the DFW currency exchange, feeling immediately richer upon receipt because of the denomination of Jamaican Dollars (e.g, $10 USD ≈ J$1300 JMD). This wouldn’t last long.
The plane coasted gingerly into Montego Bay a little after noon. Even with the sun beaming down, the scenery was remarkable and clashed with the internet’s sheltered and myopic descriptions of Jamaica’s as some kind of “gangster paradise”. I had to check myself, take in the fact that people likely say and think the same things about New Orleans, and of course, pick my jaw up from the floor. The island pulsed with color, revealing its crested contours as the piloted made gentle, sweeping arcs which ultimately brought us to a safe landing at Sangster International.