You are not logged in.

Announcement

Welcome to the one and only Spiceislander Talkshop.

#1 Dec 04, 2019 10:33 am

New Historian
Active

From green to white

In the seventies, Jamaica was ganja and ganja was Jamaica. Ganja permeated every inch of Jamaican life: large sections of the population were involved in one way or another in the trade: smoking it, growing it, reaping it, distributing, packaging, processing, retailing, financing and exporting it – ganja was a vast and well-organized agro-industry. And some people made a good living out of it – very good. “Everyone knows” which current-day giants of business earned their starting capital in the ganja trade – and which hotels they bought. Although you won’t see it in any economic statistics, ganja keeps Jamaica afloat. And high.

But in the eighties things changed. With the JLP in power and kowtowing to Uncle Sam the government had to do more than pay lip service to the moribund Ganja Eradication Programme. Eradicate ganja? In Jamaica? What a foolish notion. But with money, material and manpower pouring in from Washington the Programme started to take effect: the ganja trade took a huge hit. Most hated of all were the American helicopters flying overhead and spraying toxic pesticides onto hundreds of acres of the purest sensimilla plants, making everyone for miles around cough for days.

At around the same time, the Colombian cocaine cartels needed a new route to get their product into America. Previously they’d used the out islands of the Bahamas, but that became compromised when Carlos Lehder’s operation on Norman Cay got broken up by the DEA. Jamaica was the perfect answer: getting product into Jamaica through its porous ports was a breeze, and for the outbound leg they could easily piggyback on the existing ganja trade. Every year Jamaica exported by boats, small planes and Air Jamaica, thousands of tons of marijuana to the United States, in a well-oiled logistics operation. So it was no big deal to add a couple of kilos of this new “white lady” into an existing ganja shipment. It didn’t take long for the dons to realize they could make the same money on one kilo of coke than they could on fifty of ganja, for the same risk. Goodbye ganja, hello you beautiful white bitch!

Offline

#2 Dec 04, 2019 11:21 am

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: From green to white

From Wikipedia

On January 16, 1996, Jimmy Buffett's Grumman HU-16 airplane named Hemisphere Dancer was shot at by Jamaican authorities, while taxiing in the waters near Negril. The Jamaican police believed the craft to be smuggling marijuana, though Buffett claims their main interest for taking the trip was for eating Jamaican-style chicken. The aircraft sustained minimal damage, with only a few bullet holes. The plane had been carrying Buffett, as well as U2's Bono, Bono's wife Ali and their children, Island Records producer Chris Blackwell, and co-pilot Bill Dindy. The Jamaican government acknowledged the mistake and apologized to Buffett.

Bono told the Belfast Telegraph that the experience was terrifying and he thought everyone was going to die. He explains that the authorities had been shooting everywhere, comparing the incident to being in a James Bond movie. The shock of the whole event made Bono cancel the remainder of his family's Jamaican trip, immediately taking them back to Miami, Florida.

Buffett wrote a song about it.

Jamaica Mistaica

Some folks say that I've got the perfect life
Three swell kids, lots of toys and a lovely wife
I fly, I sail, I throw caution to the wind
Drift like a stratus cloud above the Caribbean

But every now and then, the dragons come to call
Just when you least expect it you'll be dodgin' cannonballs
I've seen too much not to stay in touch
With a world full of love and luck
I've got a big suspicion 'bout ammunition
I never forget to duck

Come back, come back back to Jamaica
Don't chu know we made a big mistaica
We'd be so sad if you told us good-bye
And we promise not to shoot you out of the sky

It was a beautiful day, the kind you want to toast
We were tree top flyin' movin' west along the coast
Then we landed in the water, just about my favorite thrill
When some asshole started firing as we taxied to Negril

Just about to lose my temper as I endeavored to explain
We had only come for chicken we were not a ganja plane
Well, you should have seen their faces when they finally realized
We were not some coked up cowboy sporting guns and alibis

Come back, come back back to Jamaica
Don't chu know we made a big mistaica
We'd be so sad if you told us good-bye
And we promise not to shoot you out of the sky

They shot from the lighthouse, they shot from highway
They shot from the top of the cliff, they had all gone haywire
We're catchin' fire, and there wasn't even a spliff

Well, the word got out all over the island
Friends, strangers, they were all apologizin'
Some thought me crazy foe being way too nice
But it's just another shitty day in paradise

Come back, come back back to Jamaica
Don't chu know we made a big mistaica
We'd be so sad if you told us good-bye
And we promise not to shoot you out of the sky

Here is the song...

https://youtu.be/PsKZewdhDtk

Last edited by Real Distwalker (Dec 04, 2019 11:29 am)

Offline

#3 Dec 04, 2019 11:33 am

New Historian
Active

Re: From green to white

I cannot abide Buffet with his fake-ass lame-ass "Jamaican" muzak.

Offline

#4 Dec 04, 2019 11:39 am

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: From green to white

I knew that already. Buffett is for pasty white people like me looking for watered down, entry level island music while we sun by the pool at the Holiday Inn Express next to I-95 in Sarasota. 

The post wasn't really about Buffett's music, however.  It was me adding to the conversation you started by adding a relevant anecdote regarding the trouble that comes from the drug war.

Bono was there too. smile

Last edited by Real Distwalker (Dec 04, 2019 11:41 am)

Offline

#5 Dec 04, 2019 1:33 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: From green to white

Big lol RD! And to respond to your substantive point, those were dread days for true, they were lucky to escape unscathed, one wonders if they'd given advance notification they'd be landing a seaplane off Negril beach.

Buffet's Margaritaville in Mo Bay is a Mecca for young loudies on spring break, drunkenly heading head first down the water slide and paying way over the odds for poor quality ganja and "others". The ugly side of tourism. If you ever go to Negril, which I would recommend, stay far from the mega all-inclusive hotels and try one of the ex-hippy hangouts down by the cliffs.

Rick’s Café: what a gem, in the early days hadn’t been ruined by the hordes yet. Built around a deep horseshoe-shaped bay, with high cliffs on three sides, it was the chillout spot to end all chillout spots. We’d set up camp for the day: joking, laughing, swimming, eating, drinking, smoking, horsing around, invariably ending up with a spectacular Rick’s Café sunset. The thing to do at Rick’s is jumping off the cliffs, or, if you’re brave or stupid enough, diving. I dived off the high cliff once, and felt no pain. So I dived again - and had a headache for the rest of the day! Jamaica being Jamaica, there was no such thing as safety precautions, and if you jumped a few degrees in the wrong direction, you’re dead. 

“People ever fall onto those rocks?” I asked the attendant.

“Yeah man, nuff man dead,” comes the laconic reply. It was indeed a frighteningly long way down (35 feet, to be exact).

https://www.insideedition.com/headlines … -each-year

Offline

#6 Dec 04, 2019 1:47 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: From green to white

Country-Country is my family's go-to place in Negril: wooden cottages on 7-mile beach, locally owned, great friendly staff and wicked local food! Highly recommended.

https://www.countryjamaica.com/

Offline

#7 Dec 04, 2019 5:13 pm

Real Distwalker
Active

Re: From green to white

In Army paratrooper training there is a 36 foot tower.  You have to jump out of it with your parachute harness attached to a kind of zip line.  I was told that it is 36 feet high because that height is psychologically the most fear inducing.  Below that is less for obvious reasons and greater heights start become hypothetical to your brain or something.  So, yeah, diving from 35 feet is pretty brave.

Offline

#8 Dec 04, 2019 10:00 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: From green to white

"So, yeah, diving from 35 feet is pretty brave."

Or more like: stupid! Ah youth, how did we ever survive it?

Offline

#9 Dec 06, 2019 2:16 pm

New Historian
Active

Re: From green to white

Before Expat jumps on my arse, I think I posted this Rick's Cafe before:

One day at Rick’s I swam across the bay and climbed through a hole in the rocks to the other side of the bay, looking for a bit of solitude. I found a perch and sat down, smoking and idly watching the waves crashing against the rocks below. After a while, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something white, washing over the rocks. I looked closer and realized to my horror it was a man, desperately trying to cling onto the rocks. But every time, a wave would wash over him and drag him back out to sea, over the corals. His back was a welter of hideous scrapes, oozing blood. He looked up at me, utter desperation in his eyes, able only to mouth the word: “Help!”

I climbed down over the rocks, no easy feat without shoes, while struggling to keep my balance as the surf crashed around me. I grabbed him on an incoming wave, but he slid out of my grasp, and again the coral did its damage. With the next incoming wave I shouted for him to grab onto me, and did he ever, with all his might! There was a real danger that both of us would be dragged off the rocks, but I managed to hold on, and half-carried him to safety.

He was overjoyed to be rescued from certain death, and blurted out his story. He’d swum around the headland from the other side of the bay, and couldn’t get back against the current. When I came, he was just about at the end of his tether, and facing a painful death. I told him he should get himself to hospital, quick, because he was badly cut up, but he wouldn’t hear of it.

“Shit man, you saved my life! What can I get you?”

“Well, how about free drinks for me. And my friends. For the rest of the day.”

“Sure man, you name it, what a guy!”

Twenty minutes later they packed him off to hospital in the back of a taxi, screaming.

But he left his credit card.

Offline

Board footer

Powered by FluxBB