Rasta1 Interviews RastaMermaid in Montego Bay
I have been corresponding with Rastamermaid via e-mail for couple months before we met. The last time I was in the mid-west, I wanted to meet her in her home town of St. Louis. However, that did not work out because I was only there for a short period and could not move around.
It was with great joy to wake up one morning and see on my facebook, Rastamermaid posted a picture with her having lunch on the Hip Strip in Montego Bay. I thought it was unusual for her not to let me know she was in Jamaica. I sent an immediate e-mail suggesting we should meet. She politely responded with her Jamaican number and a promise of two Red Stripe Beers. She told me that she thought I still was in the United States.
I called the number and someone with a thick Midwest accent answered the phone. I asked to speak to Keli. The person said this is her. I then explained I am trying to get in touch with rastamermaid, the writer on hubpages. I then realized it was her. It is unusual for Jamaicans to have strong foreign accents. I thought she may have left Jamaica a long time ago. So, we agreed on a time to meet.
All the time I have been corresponding with Rastamermaid via e-mail and hubpages, I thought she was Jamaican. I had stereotyped her into being a Jamaican. Even thought she was one of those Jamaicans who left for America on a way ticket. The reason I thought Rastamermaid was Jamaican was because of her Rastafarian mindset. Also her openness of self fooled me. Most Jamaicans are not afraid of opening up themselves to the public or strangers. The only thing I was not wrong about was her Rastafarian mindset.
An interview with Rasta : Rastermermaid gives her point of view of the meeting between her and Rasta1 (me)
So, I went to see Rastamermaid as planned. She greeted me with a big smile as expected. I immediately asked her, “You are not Jamaican, are you? You’re a Yankee” She smiled, as if she expected the question. She further busted out in a big laugh. This was typical Jamaican behaviour, but I was sure she was American. She then asked me who is a Yankee, while still chuckling. I explained a Yankee is the Jamaican nickname for anyone born and raised in the United States.
She then confessed she was born and raised in St. Louis. I then asked her why she did not have a thick African American accent as I had observed in East St. Louis. She then explained how she had went to a private school and about the suburban neighbourhood she had grew up in. Rastermermaid also told me about her expertise in doing American taxes.
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I then asked to see the balcony. We went outside. The view was incredible. We were on the highest possible floor. We had two Red Stripes. Outside was hot and toasty, just how I liked it. She asked me what gave me the impression of her being Jamaican. I told her it was because of her mannerism and how she was always open, cool and polite. We discussed a little about how the American society is more individualistic and less open. After a while, I noticed she wanted to leave the balcony and return to the comforts of the air conditioning.
Rastamermaid then started telling me about her dreams of settling in Jamaica permanently. I told her that is also the dream of Jamaican expats in America. I told her that there were a lot of Americans already living in Jamaica. However, she was already aware of the many opportunities that Jamaican held for foreign investors. She was already thinking of setting up a business in Jamaica to help American investors who do not know the culture or international business laws. I told her it is a good move.
I asked her how she got so intimate with Jamaica. She then boasted about her many previous visits and exploits. She told me about the people she had hung out with while in Jamaica before. She bragged about being lifelong friends with Emily Ennis, wife of Clive Ennis aka terror fabulous, who now manages Pappa Saan and many other gospel artist. We chatted about all manner of things and all types of conspiracy theories just like two real Jamaicans. Then I left and promised to continue the conversation.
Doctor’s Cave Beach
One day, while I was in the belly of Montego Bay. I decided to call Rastamermaid. She informed me, she was on the beach. So, I headed down to the beach and saw Rastamermaid and her friends from Jamaica and America partying (having too much fun). She introduced me to her friends. Rastamermaid had made so many friends while travelling to Jamaica before, it is not unusual to see people running up to her to say Hi. This is where I hang out sometimes and she seemed a lot more popular. I did get a little jealous.
I also noticed this guy that kept hitting on Rastamermaid. He was American or Jamerican. He was going hard and buying drinks for all of Rastamermaids' lady friends. She was laughing and smiling but the guy was trying too hard however Rastamermaid was still very polite. She was in the middle of everyone and they were all talking to her at once. In Jamaica we would call her a Don or a Boss Lady. At one point, I could see the managers peeping at her wondering who she is (I had to laugh).
It is so bad; Rastamermaid no longer even pays to enter the beach (They just let her through). She is so well connected, everybody tells her bye when she is leaving. I can see that they really love her.
She was able to cunningly ditch the crowd to talk to me. So we sat down to talk a little. I did appreciate that move from Rastamermaid. This would be the second and last time we would talk for the duration of her trip. I asked her about her MS. I was very surprised that she was so energetic and positive about her situation. Basically, she told me that it was her attitude that was bringing her through. The way how she explained it was amazing. Rastamermaid appreciates and enjoys life to the fullest. Basically that’s her cure.
It was a great privilege to have been in the company of Rastamermaid. She is a real people person. I have even adopted some of her polite mannerisms etiquettes. She has exercised more street credibility than most Montego Bay residents. Social ingenuity at its best.
Not Jamaican but a Real Rastafarian in every way possible.
Rastamermaid's: Profile Link