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My first Impressions of Jamaica

by Angela Tait
(The Hague, The Netherlands)

Jamaica Independence Article/ Story Contest - Entry #06 - My first Impressions of Jamaica

In 1967, a young teenager by the name of Gela is about to embark on a journey of her life.

Gela is a first generation product of the Windrush migrants from the West Indies. She is 15 years old when her mother, miss Murie suddenly announces with pride, “Gela, it is time to meet your family in Jamaica.”

It is a bleak Thursday morning in the month of August I recall: we are making the journey from Brockley railway station - south east London to Gatwick airport.

I am about to board an aircraft for the very first time. I am excited but also a little apprehensive. Within a blink of an eye - I find myself sitting in the somewhat lonely area of the first class compartment of a British Airways flight bound for the Caribbean island of Jamaica.<

Some hours later, I am recovering from my slumber only to realize that the aircraft is making a landing. I hear the voice over the intercom say, “please fasten your seatbelt.”

After what seemed like an eternity, the aircraft door is suddenly flung open and I see a flurry of passengers boarding the plane?

There must have been such a panicked look on my face, because the friendly airline hostess quickly reassured me that - it was usual for some flights to make a stop in Montego Bay.

Within an hour we are about to land in Kingston. For some strange reason, the aircraft appeared to be hovering over the island before making its descent. I could hear some passengers gasping in amazed wonderment.

Realizing that there must be something to see, I quickly change my seat in order to take a look. My eyes were not prepared for the beautiful sight that I saw!

It was nightfall - early evening by my calculations - and there below was an exquisite formation of what looked like a tailless dragon: draped by a mesh of twinkling silver lights. The island of Jamaica looked like a galaxy. A beautiful artistic tapestry of ‘Christmas’ lighting. That image to this day has been imprinted in the deep crevices of my mind like a tattoo seal.

The second impression of Jamaica hit me like a thick heavy windstorm. I was unprepared for the force of such intense heat which I experienced as I made my way out of the aircraft.

My whole being was engulfed in a blanket of heat which, more-or-less stayed with me for the entire six-week holiday. By the time I reached customs I was perspiring from: my feet, my hands, my neck and my head…not to mention other parts of my anatomy.

The airport lounge not only created a somewhat lasting impression but the experience itself was a little frightening.

There were some skinny-winged objects flying around that appeared to be attacking my persona with much unwelcome relish. So much so, that I was forced to resort into my Irish-cockney (London school girl) slang: “bloody Nora, begoren bejezus!” I was starring with horror at ‘giant’ mosquitoes!

I tried in vain to arm myself with potions and lotions but, the scars from these winged enemies stayed etched on my lower legs for decades, yes, decades.

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Comments for My first Impressions of Jamaica

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Aug 03, 2022
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Captivating story
by: Lesley

Very descriptive and wonderfully written

Aug 02, 2022
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It really drew me in.
by: Emma

I wanted to read more!

Aug 01, 2022
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Want more!
by: Beata

You did take me to Jamaica, Angela! Would love to read more about your journey!

Jul 30, 2022
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Trip down memory lane....
by: Anonimous

What a great story! I also still have the marks on my legs.

Jul 29, 2022
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Love it
by: Anonymous

Great story.

Jul 29, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Back to the Future
by: Patricia

Reading this chapter I felt I was being led by the hand of the author into her past and was left wanting more. Cannot wait for the next chapter.

Jul 29, 2022
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Looking forward to reading more
by: Diane

Pity it was so short! I was waiting to taste the food! Great job and getting your readers to want more.

Jul 29, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Rich and inviting read
by: Caron

I could see feel taste and smell Jamaica - well done and well written

Jul 28, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Excellent!
by: Anonymous

This makes me want visit Jamaica!

Jul 27, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
A stranger at home
by: Martin

It got quite interesting beginning, the bird's eye view description of the inland is quite intriguing. This is a story one would want to read to the end.The contrast in people ,culture and environment must be a shock for a young girl. Looking forward to read to the end.

Jul 27, 2022
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starstarstarstarstar
My first impression of Jamaica
by: Monique

I would love to read more. Eonderful writing. Keep om going 👍🏾

Jul 27, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
delightful
by: Anonymous

A wonderfully nostalgic look on the excitement of that first trip. Lovely

Jul 27, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Inspiring
by: Meni

It's great to tap into Angie's childhood memories. You really relive those memories with her. Great job Angie, looking forward for the continuation of the story.

Jul 26, 2022
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starstarstarstarstar
Love this article
by: Anonymous

Really enjoyed this article! I have never been to Jamaica but
this article stimulates my imagination to explore this rich cultural island.

Jul 26, 2022
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Great read
by: Peter Inghels

Left me wanting to read the rest.

Jul 26, 2022
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starstarstarstarstar
Lovely Recollection
by: Anonymous

The writer took me back to my first own experience of arriving in Jamaica; the view of the island from the plane as it descended, the heat...the mosquitos. I really enjoyed reading this and it re-awakened beautiful memories.

I vote for this entry

Jul 26, 2022
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by: Justine

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