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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    269

    Default Bourdain Revisited

    I watched "No Reservations" and owe my review to "acranger," a member who regularly posts and responds to posts on the Couples website. Did anyone see the episode regrading Jamaica? I watched it yesterday and took notes on the facts (unique, typical, and interesting) that I discoved. You can decide if this is the type of tourist you would be!

    1. Tony visited Kingston, not Ochie or Negril
    2. Have you had Festival Fritters (odd shaped doughnuts)?
    3. Kingston has Jerk chicken vendors (many) on the main strip
    4. Tony gave tribute to the ever popular (my gosh I love them) beef patty that he believes cannot be duplicated) I tried to make some at home once...not a good idea mon!
    5. The commercial break where I lived was for a resort ("The old British Empire!" as Tony stated in a good way!)
    6. The cave Tony ventured into was referred to by him as, "The stupidest escapade of my career!" It contained 1,000's of bats, stray cats, and 2 inch sized cockroaches.
    7. Have you visited a local fruit market such as the one in Kingston? I did twice, they did not mind that I was there, the inside was clean and neat, the outside had garbage everywhere, it was the same on the show. I remember feeling bad because I didn't buy anything. Most of the locals rent the space for about a week to sell their fruit, then return home.
    8. Have you visited a public city beach? I have twice, once on a layover from a cruise. You had to pay a couple of dollars to enter and I felt safe but not like the beach at a resort where I felt more uninhibited. The second visit was at a free beach on a boat cruis from a resort. I was asked to stay on the boat because my two peice bathing suit was causing a stir. I looked around and everyone had on their clothes even though they were at the beach.
    9. As Tony stated, the locals do not generally go to the beach except on Sundays...(No worries man, I am a tourist who will go to the beach everyday at my resort to fill the void!)
    10. Have you visited a prison in Jamaica or a dance hall? Tony did!
    11. The Blue Mountain portion of the show made me want to go on the tour! (Rain in mountains for 6 weeks) Have you been there? Am I missing anything? I have not gone there nor to Appleton Rum/Y.S. Falls or swimming with the Dolphins. I have done Every tour except those 3!
    12. Finally, if you are a Bob Marley fan, you are supporting the Rastafar movement to a small degree! Cool! though my relation to his music does not stem from Jamaica, it stems from my living room as a child, my mom played his music and cried when he died.

    This is a light hearted review! I enjoyed the show for what it had to offer, even though I will forever love quality resort life (I'm on vacation and feel like it when I am there)!

    One love!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,334

    Default

    I think your review is great. He went to the real Jamaica, not the resort areas that are setup for tourism. Maybe one of these days we will go to Kingston and see it.
    Irie Mon

  3. #3

    Default

    I am a fan of Bourdain. No, the show wasn't all about some of the prettier spots, but I enjoyed it, nonetheless.
    Lew

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    694

    Default

    Actually, I have been "Loose" in Jamaica once before. This was about 6 years ago, on a Carnival Cruise stop. We did a little shopping, then took a cab over to Margarita Ville. Wish we had brought swim suits, nice beach there. After lunch, we went back to the ship via another cab and got our suits and were going to go to the "recommended beach". Our cab driver checked the price, and came back with the news; "Mon, they chage 35 bucks, dat way too much. I know a betta beach". So he took us to a (Sorta) Public Beach that cost $5 each. Beautiful beach with hardly anyone there. He told us he'd be back at 5:00 to take us back to the boat on time. After about an hour or so, we decided to get drinks at the bar that was ON the beach. My Lady Friend at the time, told me to go get her purse. Aaa, what purse?? "You didn't have a purse when we got to the beach". This is now an "Oh CRAP (I'm keeping this clean) Moment"!! Not only is all of her spendin money and credit cards in that purse, but so are our boarding passes needed to get back onto the ship. "CRAP CRAP CRAP (still keeping this clean)"!! BUT, at 5:00, here comes our cab, unloading another couple. James, our driver, gets out and says; Oh mon, you lady forgot her purse"! Nothing, I mean nothing is missing from the purse. Needless to say, James got a BIG tip!!

  5. #5

    Default Off Deh Beaten Path or "Back a Yard"

    Great Stories here, Just back from several nights at CSA.
    But, I recall a few years back, getting a Route Taxi driver to head out to the SAV area, 20 KM from Negril. Nice roads and a clean little colonial town. On the way back, we pulled off the road to a bitty Rum Shack. I promised the driver a beer and we ordered one (just one each)! Dragon Stout, like a Guiness beer and in a bottle. It was cool and frothy. The treat was a snack of thick smoked slabs of Ham leg sandwiched between two soda biscuits and with a little mustard. Crunchy, salty and smooth; it all went down. I still remember that real treat. One needs to connect to the people and the land here. yah mon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    732

    Default

    I've been from Port Antonio to Treasure Beach and everything in between, but I have not been to Kingston. I enjoyed seeing what I know is the real Jamaica, most of which is poor, but rich in other ways! Every city let alone country has it's rougher area's... don't I know it, I live in a suburb of Detroit.

    I did not particularly care for that episode of Bourdain, and I am a fan, I felt it portrayed Jamaica in a negative way, like many of the cruise ship guests that venture into Ocho where the vendors and the lack of cleanliness give JA a bad reputation. I was hoping he would venture into areas other than the Kingston, like Boston Bay where jerk orininated, The Trident Castle or Port Antonio. Show places like Treasure Beach that are not real frequented. Some of the lesser travelled Falls, like Reach, Somerset or Mayfield.

  7. #7

    Default

    I am a HUGE Bourdain fan, I saw this episode and got what he was trying to do but thought he went a little off the deep end.. I think with all the fluffy travel shows that jump from resort to resort and from one scheduled tour to another he wanted something more REAL and I enjoyed most of it although I think he went farther than he needed to in making it the REAL Jamaica. You can get off the beaten path and see some very interesting things in Jamaica without visiting prisons and caves full of bats and their feces. Perhaps exploring the south coast, west end of Negril, and some of the other little towns (Lucea maybe, that town is my favorite to pass through) would have been a little better portrait of the country without just showing off the more "touristy" areas.

    Just my thoughts..

  8. #8

    Default

    I can only speak for Negril...but there are similarities here that fall right in with Budain's findings...all it takes is a bit of adventurous spirit and the right connections to discover:

    Festival = similar to a hush puppy, think cigar in shape. Slightly sweetened dough deep fried and served with something hot and spicy as a balance for your tastebuds. They also make a wonderful dessert if dunked in a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. You can find Festival Mix at the ValueMaster grocery store in the town center...just add water (similar to boxed pancake mix)...comes close enough once you're home.

    Jerk chicken = in Negril, vendors set up their roadside barrels and start the chicken mainly in the late afternoon and through the wee hours of the morning. In busy spots in local towns (usually where you find the 'car park' or taxi area), jerk chicken is strictly a night time food. It's a known fact that you never order jerk chicken at a restaurant, unless that is there specialty food. Barrel vendors cook over coals, but there is a spot on the beach side of the road, near the town center (Bourbon Beach) where it's done more authentically...the chicken is marinated overnight in spices, cooked over pimento wood sticks on the outdoor grill...usually you'll see the chicken covered with a piece of zinc (same material used for roofing on the little wood houses and shops) to keep in the moisture and smoke 'flavoring' from the pimento wood.

    Some vendors have bottles of catsup and bottled hot sauce for you to throw on yourselves, some vendors whip up special recipes that make a mean sauce for just about anything and can be purchased to take home if they have extra, or if you let them know in advance.

    Jerk chicken is purchased by quarters, halves, or the whole chicken if sharing with friends.

    Beef Patties = the "fast food type" can be found in the town center (Juicy Beef)...but there are other spots too that put those to shame (though they are the cheapest). Niah (in the Waves Events Yard) and Miss Sonia (on the beach road) make their own dough, roll it out by hand with an empty rum bottle, stuff them full, and then cook them over wood fires. The fast food pattie is thin, Niah and Miss Sonia make patties that are more like calzones, with nice chunks of whatever stuffing you asked for, rather than something ground up and indistinguishable.

    Cave = there is one to explore about 45-60 minutes from Negril, in the community of Roaring River...the bats are sound asleep when you go through there, since the cave is closed at night. No cats, no roaches...but a cave within the cave for a mud massage and meditation, and an underground swimming hole, where the water will be shades of turquoise, gray or purple, depending on the time of day you're there and the amount of sun at the time you go. One of these days, I want to make the underground trek to the village...two to ten miles (depends who you talk to) of underground pathway that once was used by slaves escaping from their British owners.


    Local Fruit Market = there is a small lane in the town center with some fruit/vegetable stalls, but the biggest open air market is in the capital city of the parish...Savannah-la-mar, about 40 minutes from Negril. Friday is the "big" day, but portions of it are open Monday through Saturday. A good experience for those who are interested in the culture and life away from resort towns.


    Public Beach = from the town center all the way down to Hedo....or, the beach on Bloody Bay, though you may not stop anywhere there for food or drinks unless at the Office of Nature, since all the other facilities are all-inclusive properties like Couples Negril. The main beach in town is dotted with places to stay, as well as tons of little places to eat and drink, ranging from "tourist" spots to places geared more in price and menu offerings that locals patronize (but anyone is welcome!)

    When you walk the main beach, there is an understanding that if you come up to someplace that catches your spirit, stop for awhile. Once you order something from the bar or something to eat, you're more than welcome to use the lounge chairs and fresh water shower. Stay as long as you like, sample as many places as you like...make a day trip out of the experience without having to spend long hours riding in a vehicle to get there!

    You will find Jamaicans on the beach in Negril 24/7...but yes, Sundays are family outing days, as are national holidays, and naturally more people turn out in the summertime during the week as children are out of school. Again, you are welcome to mingle...no one will mind, no one will bother you. Sample some jerk chicken, steam roast fish, grab some cold drinks from the coolers, enjoy the tunes from the often one story high set of speakers, play in the water, chat with residents...life doesn't get much better than this for a simple day in Negril.

    Dancehall = you'll need a local resident to let you know if any street parties are going on, but the Jungle Nightclub, Scruba-Dub and On The Rocks have good dancehall music mixed in with R&B dance music (Jamaicans by and large love it.) You can catch dancehall tunes at the public beach park by the roundabout on Sunday nights.

    Prison = yep, Negril has a jail..the all-inclusive you DON'T want to stay in...though you might want to visit the bar inside the station, just to say you did.

    The Blue Mountain coffee plantations are a l-o-n-g ride from Negril...compromise by seeing the beans fresh roasted over an open fire here and visit the Blue Mountains when staying in Ochi. That side of the island and the Blue Mountains is a stunningly beautiful area, just too far from Negril to even consider as a day trip.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    269

    Default Thank You!

    I thought your review (response) was lovely along with all the others. I think it is wonderful that you have captured some of the spirit and true essence of Jamaica. I have never been to Negril, only to Ochie. We were planning to go to Couples Negril or CTI. We decided on CTI! I can't wait for that one week out of a year! I think next time we will definately try the Negril side! I think what I love about Jamaica, besides the weather of course, is that it is a completely different way of living!

    Enjoy your trip!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Road Gypsy, thanks for the most informative post. We are headed back to CSA in February for our third visit. Last visit we did spend some time in Lucea and loved it. I am looking forward to using your post to make our third trip even more memorable. Thanks again .

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    694

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Road Gypsy View Post
    I can only speak for Negril...but there are similarities here that fall right in with Budain's findings...all it takes is a bit of adventurous spirit and the right connections to discover:

    Festival = similar to a hush puppy, think cigar in shape. Slightly sweetened dough deep fried and served with something hot and spicy as a balance for your tastebuds. They also make a wonderful dessert if dunked in a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. You can find Festival Mix at the ValueMaster grocery store in the town center...just add water (similar to boxed pancake mix)...comes close enough once you're home.

    Jerk chicken = in Negril, vendors set up their roadside barrels and start the chicken mainly in the late afternoon and through the wee hours of the morning. In busy spots in local towns (usually where you find the 'car park' or taxi area), jerk chicken is strictly a night time food. It's a known fact that you never order jerk chicken at a restaurant, unless that is there specialty food. Barrel vendors cook over coals, but there is a spot on the beach side of the road, near the town center (Bourbon Beach) where it's done more authentically...the chicken is marinated overnight in spices, cooked over pimento wood sticks on the outdoor grill...usually you'll see the chicken covered with a piece of zinc (same material used for roofing on the little wood houses and shops) to keep in the moisture and smoke 'flavoring' from the pimento wood.

    Some vendors have bottles of catsup and bottled hot sauce for you to throw on yourselves, some vendors whip up special recipes that make a mean sauce for just about anything and can be purchased to take home if they have extra, or if you let them know in advance.

    Jerk chicken is purchased by quarters, halves, or the whole chicken if sharing with friends.

    Beef Patties = the "fast food type" can be found in the town center (Juicy Beef)...but there are other spots too that put those to shame (though they are the cheapest). Niah (in the Waves Events Yard) and Miss Sonia (on the beach road) make their own dough, roll it out by hand with an empty rum bottle, stuff them full, and then cook them over wood fires. The fast food pattie is thin, Niah and Miss Sonia make patties that are more like calzones, with nice chunks of whatever stuffing you asked for, rather than something ground up and indistinguishable.

    Cave = there is one to explore about 45-60 minutes from Negril, in the community of Roaring River...the bats are sound asleep when you go through there, since the cave is closed at night. No cats, no roaches...but a cave within the cave for a mud massage and meditation, and an underground swimming hole, where the water will be shades of turquoise, gray or purple, depending on the time of day you're there and the amount of sun at the time you go. One of these days, I want to make the underground trek to the village...two to ten miles (depends who you talk to) of underground pathway that once was used by slaves escaping from their British owners.


    Local Fruit Market = there is a small lane in the town center with some fruit/vegetable stalls, but the biggest open air market is in the capital city of the parish...Savannah-la-mar, about 40 minutes from Negril. Friday is the "big" day, but portions of it are open Monday through Saturday. A good experience for those who are interested in the culture and life away from resort towns.


    Public Beach = from the town center all the way down to Hedo....or, the beach on Bloody Bay, though you may not stop anywhere there for food or drinks unless at the Office of Nature, since all the other facilities are all-inclusive properties like Couples Negril. The main beach in town is dotted with places to stay, as well as tons of little places to eat and drink, ranging from "tourist" spots to places geared more in price and menu offerings that locals patronize (but anyone is welcome!)

    When you walk the main beach, there is an understanding that if you come up to someplace that catches your spirit, stop for awhile. Once you order something from the bar or something to eat, you're more than welcome to use the lounge chairs and fresh water shower. Stay as long as you like, sample as many places as you like...make a day trip out of the experience without having to spend long hours riding in a vehicle to get there!

    You will find Jamaicans on the beach in Negril 24/7...but yes, Sundays are family outing days, as are national holidays, and naturally more people turn out in the summertime during the week as children are out of school. Again, you are welcome to mingle...no one will mind, no one will bother you. Sample some jerk chicken, steam roast fish, grab some cold drinks from the coolers, enjoy the tunes from the often one story high set of speakers, play in the water, chat with residents...life doesn't get much better than this for a simple day in Negril.

    Dancehall = you'll need a local resident to let you know if any street parties are going on, but the Jungle Nightclub, Scruba-Dub and On The Rocks have good dancehall music mixed in with R&B dance music (Jamaicans by and large love it.) You can catch dancehall tunes at the public beach park by the roundabout on Sunday nights.

    Prison = yep, Negril has a jail..the all-inclusive you DON'T want to stay in...though you might want to visit the bar inside the station, just to say you did.

    The Blue Mountain coffee plantations are a l-o-n-g ride from Negril...compromise by seeing the beans fresh roasted over an open fire here and visit the Blue Mountains when staying in Ochi. That side of the island and the Blue Mountains is a stunningly beautiful area, just too far from Negril to even consider as a day trip.
    .....Good info.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    135

    Default

    There is a private beach in Montego Bay (next to a graveyard!)it used to cost $2-3 each and had toilets, a beach bar and snack bar but the last time we went it had closed.

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