Before my Jamaican friends back home kill me off for my title, let me just state right now that wherever you live in the world: Paris, France; Brussels, Belgium; Melbourne, Australia or Trench Town, Jamaica; there will always–ALWAYS, be pros and cons; even if you live in paradise. Trust me, go to a hotel for a week, and I PROMISE YOU; you will get tired of it in no time.
However, when you are privileged to live in more than one place, you get to experience different ways of life, in big or small ways. Take for instance: living in Kingston or Portmore, under normal circumstances, you can wash your clothes at anytime and know that there’ll be adequate sunshine and heat to dry your clothes in no time. Compare that with moody, disgusting, miserable
gyal girl weather in Mandeville. Even if the sun bright like Einstein’s IQ at 9am, you try yuh bes’ wash before daylight! Cause yuh know seh the weather in that place be so unpredictable that by 9:30am it’s raining cats and dogs; and take it from me–ain’t nothing worse than being at school with no boxers to wear cause the whole a dem deh pan the line wet up! Wait, that never happened to me! It happened to a friend! *Scout’s Honour*… 🙂
Soooo, as I (kinda) document what’s going on with the U.S. Chapter of my life, I know many people look at America, Canada and England as the places to be to make good lives for themselves. Due to how I’m yet to visit or live in Canada or England, let me talk about where I know so far; America.
CLEARLY conventional thinking would say America is a better place to live than Jamaica as it is considered a 1st world country while Jamaica is considered a 3rd world country. However, here are some glaring ways (in my opinion) that Jamaica would get the edge over America.
Ease of access to transportation (in a sense)
|See? Dem deeven have a bus stop! LOL|
This one applies mostly to those who don’t own their own vehicles in Jamaica, because in America, ANYBODY can buy a decent car real easily. People can get solid cars for $500-$1000USD ($50,000+ to $100,000+ JMD) with more ways to pay insurance premiums. But for my “Two Foot Turbo” friends, I have to give JA the edge on this one, because except for big Metropolises like New York City or San Fransisco where you can easily hop on a train or whistle down a taxi to go where you need to go; in most states, if you don’t drive, yuh salt! You can’t go anywhere without a ride to at least get to the train/bus station, whereas in Jamaica (and this could be partially due to it being a small country) you can get around easier on buses and taxis, although the government trying to kill off people with more fare increase costs (even though they’ve delayed it for a week). For most who’ve traveled to the states, y’all know if you don’t have friends or family to take you around, you gonna be stuck in the house the whole time, especially with all them highways virtually uhhh, everywhere! JA, you jump in a taxi and go virtually anywhere, at ANYTIME.
Cost of medical care (Medical + Dental)
|Courtesy of http://boomersint.org|
Lemme just start by saying: I don’t plan to get sick up here, and I may just have to come to Jamaica to clean my teeth. REAL talk. I don’t know if it’s because America has all the fancy equipment why they think medical and dental care must cost so much, but no rasta; unless mi get a job with insurance (or rich enough to buy it on my own–whichever comes 1st) dem place deh naa si mi a baxide. Before I came here, I balked at the opportunity to do an eye test for $2000 JMD. Imagine how I feel now when so far, the cheapest I’ve seen is $70USD!!! Looks like I’m coming back to JA to test my eyes. I feel like I will look for all the free clinics bout the place and start my own campaign for Obama Care… So, look out for me on CNN zeen? I’m not about this life at all. Clearly this is the place to be for optimum health care, but what good is it to me if I can’t afford it? Big up JA and the Free Clinics and Public Crowded Hospitals. Takes whole day, but patience will keep a $2000-$3000 private doctor fee in your pocket per visit.
Hair Care (Barber or Hairdresser)
|I swear this will be me shortly.|
Let’s talk about how I used to pay $500 JMD to trim AND SHAVE in Jamaica, and the cheapest I’ve seen in America so far is $14 USD to TRIM, and $22 USD to trim and shave. Yuh know who naa trim (again!) Orrrr, I may become a barber (still thinking bout it). I feel it for the ladies up here, ’cause it costs at least $50 to cream or style their hair. Thank God the ones I know could do their thing from in JA and so they link up with each other and sawt out their hair. America is the land of “Do-It-Yourself” or “get-someone-you-know-to-do-it-for-free”and I’m definitely taking that route with my hair. If you see me looking like the Caveman from the Vonage or Geico Ads, you already know why.
Process of Owning things (credit and such)
I REALLY hate this part. In America you have to build credit in order to own things. How does one build credit? By incurring and paying debts on record.
WAH KINDA BOLOGNA IS THAT?!
When you get here as an immigrant, this means real big important purchases cannot be made without credit; for example buying or renting a house or car, through an established agent/agency/company, and therefore you have to get someone to do it for you. Just check it out; many people up here have cars, leases and insurance in other people’s names just because of this. Imagine if you come and yuh nuh know nobody?! It’s annoying. Don’t get me started on how you can’t get stuff if you have bad credit. First they encourage you to incur debt in varied ways, and then when yuh cyaa pay dem naa sell yuh nuttin. Hypocrisy?
Also, this is in actuality a good thing, but it can be annoying as well: having proof of address when conducting business. When you just get here, this is very tricky, as you may be staying with someone for a short while, and this can harm your ability to get things done, like creating bank accounts, getting your driver’s licence (Haha still used the JA spelling, which is also better), among other things.
In Jamaica, once yuh have yuh good up, good up money, yuh can get anything! I guess, admittedly, in a way this isn’t ideal, but it sure feels better than all the red tape in this place!
Seasoning. Taste. Looks. Seasoning. Healthier. More diverse. Seasoning. Ummm… oh yeah! Seasoning!
|Curry Goat, rice and peas, plantain &
|Steak! Medium Rare.|