Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Conversations I Have Had: Jamaica Edition

Riverton Community Center, Kingston, Jamaica

I rely heavily upon the map of Kingston while I am here. After a few days I get used to the place, only to forget it all again once I leave. Therefore I was disappointed to find it had gone "missing" from the car. So I set out to find a new one at the bookstore.

Me: Excuse me, do you have street maps?

Bookstore employee: Street maps?

Me: Yes, of Kingston.

...Blank look...

Me: Maps with the names of streets. So I don't get lost.

Employee: No, we don't have any street maps.

Me: Oh.

Employee: We only have road maps.

I went to visit our partner in Seaview Gardens, a rough and tumble neighborhood of Kingston. I had never really been out to visit the community before, so two of the formidable community liasons, Miss Effie and Carolyn, took me around. We stopped in at the local police station.

Me: Do you have enough police to handle to problems of the community?

Sargent: No man, we need more.

Miss Effie: They need a lot of things here. They need a new car, a new fence...

Sargent: Yeah man, we need a new kitchen.

Miss Effie: They really need a new bar.

Me: A bar? I'm sorry. What's a bar? [Thinking, this can't really be a bar, like, for drinking.]

Sargent: A bar, man, for drinking. [Pointing to 2/3 bottle of Appleton Rum on his bookshelf.]

Miss Effie: Yeah, for when they don't have anything to do.

Sargent: Yeah, we really need one.


Laurie said...

I am drinking Jamaica tea as I read this post. It's either absurdly funny or absurdly pathetic that the authorities need a bar in town.

Christina said...

These are awesome. You should really put a book together someday: "Leslie's conversations from around the world". Or something like that, preferrably catchier. Maybe "Conversations I Have Had: Leslie Speaks to the World". Well, I'll work on it...