Saturday, February 23, 2008

"Once you go to Jamaica, you know Jamaica"

Hello "Mixed Race America" readers--I have returned from my trip to Jamaica, and I'm not sure where to begin. I feel like I could write a week's worth of posts based on the things I saw and the experiences I had, and which I'm still digesting and mulling over.

Interestingly enough, the day after I returned, I saw a commercial sponsored by the Jamaican tourism board that showed images of happy American tourists (or perhaps I should say "white" tourists who may be from Canada, the U.S., Europe, Australia, or New Zealand) amidst verdant landscapes and beautiful waterscapes, much like this image below (which I found on the Jamaica tourism website):

[The thing about this image is, yes it is a classically "tourist" image of Jamaica, but there truly ARE scenes like this--lush scenes of jaw-dropping beauty, it will make your heart ache]

The commercial showed various tourists enjoying vacation-related things that one will find in Jamaica: reggae, steel drum, fishing, dancing, frolicking in the water and on sandy beaches, all with a cover of Bob Marley's "One Love" playing in the background and a tagline that reads: "Once you go to Jamaica, you know Jamaica."

And this is the question I have been asking myself, even without seeing this commercial: now that I've been to Jamaica, do I feel more Jamaican? This is the question my cousin posed to me on both the first and last day of my trip there: do I feel Jamaican? Have I found the missing piece of the puzzle I've been searching for? Do I now, know, what it means to be Chinese Jamaican?

I can't give a simple answer to any of these questions--and I will be writing more about this in future posts. But for now I will say this: I have gone to Jamaica and I do feel, now, in a way much different than before, that I do know Jamaica in a way that I never did before.


Brian Hunt said...

Welcome back! I look forward to you writing all about your trip.

Jason Clinkscales said...

That's sort of the way I feel when I go to Philadelphia... okay, not really, but considering that most of my extended family calls Philly home, I tend to envy those who experience the feeling of finding a piece of family history outside of the hometown.

Welcome back.

Tami said...

Welcome back. I can't wait to read more about your experiences.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the well wishes and for welcoming me back! I feel like I have this new blog family and that leaves me all warm and fuzzy!