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#1 Feb 15, 2021 8:23 pm

New Historian

Shortages and cheap hookers

As if all the crime and violence in Jamaica of the seventies wasn’t bad enough, the economy tanked. With Jamaica staking a claim as the murder capital of the world, tourists stayed away in droves, and the country’s other money-maker bauxite was taxed almost to extinction. The result: shortages. You couldn’t get anything: rice, cooking oil, saltfish, flour - and most of all US dollars - were scarce as good gold. Your best friend was mister Chin the shopkeeper, or if you were lucky enough to know one, an Air Jamaica stewardess. At that time I worked for a shipping company and was mortally embarrassed when a seaman said: “Jamaica is an amazing place, all I have to do is take a gallon of cooking oil from the kitchen and I’ve got a hooker for the night!” Me did shame.



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