I had a great time and talked with quite a few Jamaican's as that is part of my adventure.
They have a few phrases that are said quite often down there and don't feel stupid to say it back to them as they like to hear it back!
No problem mon - They will say this and really mean it
No worries mon - true
Irie - this means everything alright, it is pronounced " I-REE"
Respect - They will usually hold our there hand like you punch each others knuckles. If you tip them they usually say this as "Thank you in the biggest way - from them"
"yeah mon" - this means "Hello"
Bye the way if you love Bob Marley as much as they do, sing a few lines and they will start singing right in with you, they love to sing raggae.
Jamaicans love to dance! Everywhere we go they are dancing and theyre damn good at it too. That is a big thing for younger people 35 and younger as you can ask them as they have dance offs quite frequently at nights which are till 5 in the morning. Ask them if there legs are "Frisky"?
Have fun with them as they respect you more than you respect them by the way!
Have a great trip !
Ok we have heard this saying many times, even here in the States. But what my husband and I came to find that what this saying really means is "Oh crap". We found that the only time this saying was used by the Jamaican people is when we were in some bad situations on our trip. Like when our excursion bus got a flat tire and the driver didn't know how to change it "Everything was irie", my husband twisted his ankle at Dunn's River Falls "Everything was irie", I bruised my whole backside cliff diving "Everything was irie". If you hear this saying expect that something isn't quite good.
English is the official language spoken in Jamaica, and all Jamaicans speak English. They also speak what is known as Jamaican "patois", which they claim is a local lingo blended with English, French, Spanish, and African tongues. To me it just seems like a lazy English with a heavy accent. There are books avaiable on the patois, but good luck understanding it.
As is customary in most resort destinations, tipping is expected and usually not so subtley hinted at. Even at the all inclusive resorts, tips are accepted by the staff although one staffer, as he was requesting his tip before we got to the resort, said that they were required to hand tips over to management, especially if you are seen giving the tip.
I always tip for good service, tips are probably a big portion of their income in places like Jamaica and the service personnel are usually quite good.
Not only do you HEAR Bob Marley everywhere you go, from transportation entertainment to Jamaicans singing his songs, but his picture on the side of a building?!?!?!? (center pic) This Marley mon is a Jamaican God.
Larry and I decided to step outside one of the 'downtown' market places for a breather and a drink. We were soaking in Ocho Rios life when this man walked up and climbed in the dumpster next to us. He was searching in there approximately 15 minutes before climbing out and moving on.
Hey, was that a cheeseburger remnant we saw you pull out of there??? (mmm we're hungry) “You, uh, you gonna eat that, mon?”
(On a more serious note, this is obviously a sad, realistic aspect of Jamaican poverty.)
Our experience with customs was rough. They rummaged through all of our stuff and gave us quite a difficult time. Just do what they say and it will go smoother....the guy next to us was freaking out and they ended up cuffing him. Just not worth it.
The special atmosphere of this land will absorb you with its beautiful places, its music, its nice people. First you have to learn its rithm of life. You'll hear people say to you 'Take it easy' when you are in a hurry, 'No problem' when you ask for something that may don't be done and 'Soon come' when you are waiting for someone who will come...sooner or later!!
Don't be too suspicious and you can meet a lot of real nice people. This guy looked like a businessman with his little bag. He opened the bag and showed us with seriousness his sample collection of bracelets made with braided threads. He told me that he earns his living by getting around the beaches trying to sell these bracelets.