Go with the flow or don’t go at all

Go with the flow or don't go at all

Categories: Jamaica

Published on May 17, 2022

Written by Theres

I am sitting on the back of a motorbike, going up a steep and bumpy road. I am having severe difficulties leaving my eyes open as the rain is pouring down on us like crazy. We are on our way back from the centre of Port Antonio to the hostel where I am staying at. To reach the hostel, which is located on top of a hill, you have to deal with a good amount of holes, puddles, stones, rocks and mud. 

That’s the road leading up and down to the hostel

The guy driving is called Devon. He works for the hostel owner by bringing hostel guests up and down the hill with his bike. I am absolutely amazed how Devon is able to drive so easily on this kind of “road” which is so full of obstacles without even having his eyes protected from the rain (as he wore no helmet), while I can hardly even open my eyes.

Half way up the hill we suddenly stop. I don’t know why until I see him heading towards a small bar which is partly hidden behind trees and bushes next to the road. Being soaking wet from the rain I follow him into the bar where I spot two chairs in front of a counter. There are no people, not even a bartender. Like in so many other bars in Jamaica the walls are full of Wray and Nephew and Magnum (brands producing popular drinks) posters showing girls with huge asses in tiny bikinis doing sexually suggestive poses. 

Devon explains to me that this is his bar and invites me to sit down. He gives me some rum and a spliff, treating me very nicely. So there we are sitting, drinking and smoking, while looking outside the open door watching the heavy rain falling noisily on the ground. Of course I had no idea we would stop here to have a drink and also I have absolutely no idea how long we will stay here. A very typical situation in Jamaica which I experienced more than once or twice. Sure I could say something and tell Devon that I would actually like to return to the hostel soon but I already know that wouldn’t make a lot of sense as obviously, Devon wasn’t ready yet (of course I also appreciate his hospitality). When will he be ready? Nobody knows, probably not even himself.

Fortunately, that’s not something you always have to know. Just be aware that in Jamaica even if you are sitting somewhere for three hours already that won’t necessarily mean you are ready (to leave). Consequently, all you need to do in this moment is to relax, let things happen, go with the flow and to not try to control the situation. Sounds like a difficult thing for a German but here in Jamaica you don’t have much of a choice anyways. If you don’t go with the flow and try to control things you will just become frustrated. 

Living in the moment is precious

The best thing you can do in moments like these is to be open to whatever comes next. And also to be patient, be spontaneous and be able to do nothing. Trust me it’s worth it. You will experience things you would have never planned, thought of or dreamed of. It took some time for me to understand that and even more time to really live it. But now as I do, I am having the best time of my life while I sit here in the middle of nowhere talking to Devon about our lifes, enjoying the sound of the rain and realizing that it really doesn’t take much to enjoy myself. 

I know at some point he will ask me, “ready?”, indicating that it’s time to leave. I have stopped wondering what triggers that sudden urge to leave at a particular point in time a long time ago. I guess it’s just the (for Europeans) unpredictable, very easygoing Jamaican flow he is naturally going with which tells him to do so.  

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