Rockers – The Best Movie For Jamaican Slang and to Speak Jamaican Patois

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Man, it has been a long time since I last watched Rockers, but I decided to watch it again recently and it reigns supreme as the BEST movie to learn Jamaican Slang and Patois. It stands out among the other Jamaican films produced before or after.

Rockers is the 1977 film by Greek Director, Theodoros Bafaloukos filmed in Jamaica about a band of Rastas that love reggae, having fun and fighting the forces of Babylon aka the “uptown top rankings”. The movie follows drummer Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace as he gets into different adventures everyday with his rasta friends. Some of his friends are reggae legends such as Jacob Miller, Burning Spear, Gregory Isaacs, Lee Scratch Perry and many more greats. Any movie with such legends would not be complete if it didn’t performances by some of these artists. Both Lee Scratch Perry and Jacob Miller do performances that are brief, but invaluable. The soundtrack alone makes the movie worth watching.

Although the movie is fun and has great music, there are several other reasons why its a shining star among Jamaican Movies. The introduction is classic. The movie starts out with a scene of Nyabinghi Drumming, one of the foundations of Rastafari Culture and Reggae. From there, the movie gets started and one of the things that people learning jamaican slang and patois will like is that the entire movie is in Jamaican Patois. Not only do you get the accent, pronunciation and words, you also get the body language and context of certain things. Now, the movie was filmed over 25 years ago, so some of the words are dated, but the essence of patois and rasta is still well captured in the movie.

This is the type of movie you watch every day or two to get familiar with the sound of Patois and some of the expressions. For example, CHA Mon…you can read that in a book, but to see the context in which that phrase is used can only be capture in person or on film.

This is the best movie to watch if you want to have a good time, learn Jamaican Slang, see rastas and hear classic reggae.

Jamaica Golf – Even Though It’s Not Known For It’s Golf, Jamaica Still Has Some Nice Courses

Are you looking into a Jamaica golf vacation? Even if you plan on doing many things while in Jamaica, you need to at least hit the links once or twice, as the golfing in Jamaica is second to none.

Obviously, you can’t beat the weather there, and combined with the immense amount of tourism the island receives, it was only a matter of time before upscale golf courses followed.

Most Jamaica golf courses (there are only 10 to choose from) are conveniently situated right next to the resorts you will be staying at, so you don’t have to stress about driving hours to get to one. Also, you will never have to go through any unsafe areas of Jamaica in order to reach them, as the nicer courses are easily accessible from where you will be staying.

What are some of the best Jamaica golf courses you can play? While there are many, some of the more upscale ones you need to play, particularly if you don’t visit Jamaica often, are the Caymans, the Half Moon Golf Club, and Iron Shore, just to name a few.

There are only ten on the whole island, remember, and these are among the best, so start with these, and also check with any friends you know who can recommend you other ones to try. As long as you stay on a golf resort, you can be reasonably sure you will be playing an upscale course.

No matter where you play, I’d recommend you find a Jamaica golf resort that has a golf course right with it, as you often times have to be a guest of the resort to play it. Also, these resorts usually much more to do than just play golf, so if you are concerned about bringing any non golfing members of your family, rest assured they will find plenty to do, whether it be fishing, boating, and any of the other outdoor activities Jamaica offers.

I’d also recommend you get a caddy when you play, as these are very knowledgeable about the courses, and can tell you everything you need to know about each hole, as well as reading your putts, cleaning your clubs, and all the little annoying things you’d usually have to do on your own.

No matter where you decide to play, I hope your Jamaica golf experience is enjoyable and has you coming back again and again for more.

Carry Me Ackee, Go a Linstead Market

If you’re driving via A1 between Ocho Rios and the south side of the island, you could take a quick detour and pass through the town of Linstead, in the parish of Saint Catherine, Jamaica, which was made famous by its bustling fresh produce market and popularized in the Jamaican folk song, Linstead Market.

Jamaica’s most famous and largest produce market is Coronation Market in downtown Kingston. But Linstead developed as a market back in the 19th Century when coffee and pimento wholesalers conducted business here. Farmers from the surrounding rural communities would come to this central spot to sell their produce. It was once one of the most popular markets in the whole island and the town of Linstead grew up around it.

This area is very rural and the farmers’ hardships gave birth to the folk song Linstead Market. “Carry mi ackee go a Linstead Market, not a quattie wut sell, lawd wat a night, not a bite, wat a Satiday night.” Today we sing it in an up-tempo manner without really understanding that this was a sad lament by a mother who couldn’t sell enough at the market to feed her children. This market lady made no money because not even a quattie’s worth of her produce had sold (a quattie was the British penny ha’penny, a small copper coin of very small value) and she was going home empty-handed after selling all Saturday night. This Jamaican folk song would be in the category of the up-tempo Dinki which are designed to cheer someone up and make the best of a bad situation (such as following a death).

While Linstead Market has declined in importance because many Jamaican towns and villages have their own markets today, it still has a reputation as one of the best spots to get fresh farm produce. You can find vendors hawking every type of produce that grows in Jamaica, but nowadays there is a wide variety of other items like herbs, spices, clothing, shoes, soap, etc.

So, go ‘a market in Linstead and, while you’re there, check out the town’s lovely churches. Most have been ravaged over time by several hurricanes and an earthquake but have been repaired or rebuilt. The original Anglican Church was built in the 1600s. The Jericho Baptist Church dates from 1835.

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All Inclusive Jamaica Vacations

One of the better ways for you to enjoy your trip to Jamaica is getting an all inclusive vacation package. This is because these kinds of vacation packages can offer you the utmost convenience and comfort while you are enjoying the Jamaican sun. However, an all inclusive vacation to Jamaica is not for everyone, as there are some limitations to what you can do on these kinds of vacations. Given this, you need to be aware of what you can expect on an all inclusive vacation so that you could assess whether it is the right vacation package for you.

In an all inclusive vacation, you can expect to have “cash less” vacation, because even before you leave for Jamaica, you would have been able to pay for everything you need for the trip. This is because when you pay for the vacation package, the payment for your meals, drinks, tips, government taxes, activities, entertainment, gratuities, airfare, and accommodations are included in the price. In some resorts, you can expect that the price of the vacation package also include other services, which include spa treatments and day care services for guests with children.

Apart from being affordable, one of the biggest advantages in an all inclusive vacation is that you do not have to bring a lot of extra cash during the trip since you would not have to pay for any major expense during the trip. However, there are also some disadvantages in going on an all inclusive vacation especially for those who want their Jamaican vacation to include activities outside their hotel or resort. One of these includes the fact that in an all inclusive resort, you would usually have to spend most of your time in the resort because everything that you need to enjoy your vacation is located in the resort. Another drawback is that you can expect to eat at the same restaurant and see the same show every night if you go on an all inclusive vacation.

If you are planning to go to Jamaica, you may want to consider getting an all inclusive vacation package. This is because doing so can provide you with a hassle free vacation that you already pay for almost everything you need even before you get on an airplane to the island. However, there are also some disadvantages in getting an all inclusive vacation package to Jamaica, which you should also consider so that you can assess if it is the right vacation package for you.

Real Estate in Jamaica

Purchasing Jamaica Real Estate from Afar…

There must be something about this country Jamaica, because it still attracts holiday homes for the rich and famous with the likes of supermodel Naomi Campbell; actress Jane Seymour, rock star Keith Richards and couture designer, Ralph Lauren being amongst the homeowners who have been, or still are, homeowners in Jamaica. Jamaican properties – still very much sought after.

As for Jamaicans in the Diaspora; wherever they may have settled in life, always have a deep and enduring connection to their homeland and it would be fair to say many of those who left the island and lived many years overseas, still want their very own piece of “the rock”. It’s a given! The all-knowing, all-seeing Jamaican ‘grapevine’ has it that not only do members of the diaspora want to visit their Jamaican homes as often as possible but they all strive to come back home eventually and stay.

Wherever more than two Jamaicans are abroad, they gather, they form associations and clubs. Real estate in Jamaica must be one of the many hot topics up for discussion especially for those nearing retirement age. Retiring members of the diaspora are increasingly buying up real estate and houses at a rate set to send up the prices. International mortgage financing is now readily available providing mortgages for foreign nationals, returning residents and investors and can be had in all the major world currencies as well.

This time last year in Florida, Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) hosted a workshop specifically to provide information about accessing a mortgage in Jamaica and other property and investment opportunities available. The expo was staged specifically to foster greater relations with the Jamaican Diaspora and to assist in its members achieving their dream of coming home, to their own homes.

Not to be outdone, the Jamaica National Building Society’s (JNBS) Florida branch organized an ‘open’ meeting for Jamaicans resident in that state in October 2011, specifically to facilitate Jamaicans overseas to discuss, ask and get answers to all and any questions about real estate investment in Jamaica; at the same time highlighting the Society’s new mortgage rates. Presentations were also made by Jamaican real estate developers as well as a representative from the National Land Agency (NLA).

According to JNBS’ General Manager, Earl Jarrett, JNBS is very aware of this ever-growing interest in Jamaican real estate from Jamaican nationals in the diaspora which has resulted in the formation of partnerships with real estate developers, the NHT and the NLA as a response to the burgeoning overseas market for land and homes in Jamaica. The NLA has gone the extra mile providing an innovative ‘iMap’ (Jamaica application) which allows persons anywhere in the world to access land boundary information in Jamaica, via the NLA’s website. JNBS, for their part, are at the ready with their Joint Financing Programme in collaboration with the National Housing Trust.

The interest, the market and the buying trend is there. Jamaica Real Estate, with all its ups and downs, is still considered a real Caribbean bargain as prices for real estate can be much higher in countries such as the Cayman Islands and Barbados and, for Jamaicans in the Diaspora, well, there’s just no place like home!

Cruise Routes of the Caribbean

When it comes to cruise destinations, the Caribbean is at the top as far as being on of the most sought after destinations. There are in excess of 50 islands that can be visited giving the tourist a really great variety of tropical and exotic scenery. As well as that, there thousands upon thousands of unspoiled beaches and crystal clear waters to cool off. The very fact there are so many islands makes it possible that you could go on a cruise each year and not have the same route making each cruise holiday different.

These following 4 Caribbean routes are usually the most commonly found:

Route #1: This is the Eastern Caribbean Cruise Route from Florida which sails to the Key West Sea the tropical Islands of the Bahamas and then to the neighboring Turks and Caicos Islands and to the Virgin Island including Puerto Rico. This route is the most popular cruise route among all the other Caribbean routes.

Route #2: The Western Caribbean Cruise Route. This starts from Louisiana, Texas and Florida toward the Western Caribbean Cruise routes touring the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. From there you stop over to the island of Cozumel and after that onward to Jamaica and then down to the Central American beauty spots of Honduras and Belize.

Route #3: The Southern Caribbean Cruise route. This starts from Puerto Rico’s main port at San Juan and goes to the Lesser Antilles and the Netherlands Antilles and Curacao finally ending up towards the west in the island of Aruba.

Route #4: The Long duration Caribbean cruise. This is basically a hybrid of all the above cruises. It can start and finish at any of the above routes taking all the above or a selection of those. For this reason it will be a longer lasting cruise which does not necessarily finish from the same destination it started from.

5 Top Travel Tips For the Best Jamaica Vacations

Jamaica is a unique place with a mystique and allure unlike any other Caribbean Island. Jamaica vacations are popular for people from all over the world who want to experience the culture and lifestyle or at least what they believe those things to be.

Travel to Jamaica is a wonderful way to enjoy a vacation and each year more and more people visit “The Land of Woods and Water” for some fun in the sun. Jamaica is unique in many ways and the popular idea of a laid back “No Problem Mon” attitude for everyone can lead to issues for some visitors.

In order to help make your vacation a little nicer we are going to list a number of top tips and advice for Jamaica vacations for anyone from a first time visitor to a long time friend.

Tip #1

Bring your camera and use it wisely

Everyone loves a vacation but often times many of us are having so much fun we neglect to record it on film or camera and as time passes so do those wonderful memories. A digital camera with enough batteries and memory cards to cover you time here can help create and maintain a lifetime of good memories but be careful. Everyone may like looking at your pictures of Jamaica but not every Jamaican wants their photo taken. Be kind and ask before taking photos of people in public. Be polite and honest and you should have no problem but on occasion you will find someone who is adamant you not take their photo and its just better to ask then offend.

Tip #2

Plan your trip before you arrive and verify everything

Jamaica is a great place for a spur of the moment vacation and you can easily visit the island with little or no planning at all but in order to best enjoy your Jamaican vacation we suggest you lay out some basic plans for how to spend your time along with the more important things to do in any for of itinerary you think you need. You do not have to over plan your vacation but it is certainly wise to organize some aspects including accommodations, transportation and tours. Things change often in Jamaica and the wonderful bed and breakfast you stayed at on your first visit may not be the same place it was just 2 years later. Proper planning can help avoid these type of disappointments and make for a better vacation experience. Some of us get so into the laid back lifestyle we never leave the hotel and we end up not doing half the stuff we wanted to and that leads to regrets and hopefully more trips but a little planning and you can make your tours blend into your airport transfers and make the most of your time in Jamaica.

Tip #3

When in Jamaica, do as Jamaicans do!

Everyone has their idea of the perfect vacation and we would never judge your vacation preferences but many visitors to Jamaica miss out on the wonderful cultural experiences of the “Real Jamaica” outside the walls of the all inclusive resorts and far away from the “Fake Jamaica” some of these places offer. There is nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy the beautiful facilities of these walled fortresses but take a day or two to enjoy life outside the compound. Book a tour with a local Jamaican or drop into a local Jamaican restaurant and dine like Jamaicans do. The real beauty of Jamaica can only be found by living Jamaican.

Tip #4

Respect yourself and others, mon

A vacation is often a well deserved break we give ourselves each year and sometimes some of us take the well deserved part a little too serious. Some people come to Jamaica with the idea that someone owes them something. These people act as if the world is theirs and the people around them are there to do whatever ridiculous request they can come up with because “I’m on vacation”. It’s an attitude like that which will lead to a horrible vacation. treating people like slaves in a country with such a horrible history of slavery won’t get you very far no matter what you paid them.

Tip #5

Buy Jamaican Build Jamaica

Jamaica is a part of what was once called the Third World. The politically correct phrase is developing nation these days but the harsh reality of the economic conditions make it feel like another world in many ways. Jamaica is a beautiful country with a wealth of natural resources and beauty but things are not good for the average Jamaican. Tourism is the driving force in the Jamaican economy but very few Jamaicans own the large prosperous hotels and resorts. most Jamaicans work for the tourism industry as drivers, maids, servants and entertainment staff and hospitality jobs are about the only legal way any Jamaican has to make money on the tourist that arrive here. If you have the opportunity to do so we suggest you travel to Jamaica and live with Jamaicans. Find a local resort or hotel that is Jamaican owned and spend your money with a business that will keep that money in country.

When you are in Jamaica take a chance and spend some time with Jamaican people and spend your money in local craft markets restaurants whenever possible so that your valued tourist dollars make it into the community at large. Jamaicans will appreciate it and build a better Jamaica.

There are a slew of other tips and advice one can take with them on their Jamaica vacation but these five will make it a great vacation for you and Jamaica.

Jamaica Real Estate – Hidden Investments With Substantial Returns

In Jamaica’s existing economic dilemma Jamaica real estate seems to be, if not the single best investment opportunity in the country but many argue in the Caribbean. Most investment managers will always cite that real estate should play a crucial role in planning of an investment portfolio. This is specifically because property rarely losses value and normally appreciates at a steady pace. This had been true of the North American realty until early 2008 when property prices crashed leaving many owners holding mortgages well in excess of property values.

Though this scenario was the precursor to the plethora of foreclosures across the USA, this problem was not felt in Jamaica. Property prices continued their steady rise of at least 3.5% per annum. Despite cumbersome legislature which seemed designed more as a hindrance to the buy and sell process, property sales were still on the rise. As more and more global investors have taken up some of the many offers in the Jamaican realty market, there is still some lack of real transparency and due to such a high demand, prices have still remained buoyant.

In Jamaica, property investors who are seeking short-term returns often target developments. These investors purchase pre-construction (i.e. before the dwelling is completed) and then quickly resell the property within a few days after completion, earning significant returns on their initial capital investment.

Others that are planning ahead for retirement, might have much different investment objectives in mind and hence invest in already developed properties to garner rental income revenues and still earn based on capital appreciation of the property. When the property has substantial equity, the investor can access that equity to purchase another lot of residential property, repeating the cycle as they go along. However the prospect of investing in Jamaica properties is certainly not as easy as it may seem initially.

Barrier to entry into the market include the sizable capital investment required ranging from JMD$8 million to JMD$14 million (just about USD$120,000). On the open market in Jamaica that price could purchase a two bedroom apartment or townhouse.

Another of the major risks in Jamaican real estate investing is purchasing in desolate location, there might be no demand or little demand because of factors such as crime, water and power supply and communication hindrances.

Jamaica property Investors should stick with the Kingston and tourist trafficked environs such as Montego Bay and Negril where U.S. dollar rentals are much more possible than in any other region island wide.

Though regardless of your property and real estate investment objectives, one must not forget there is a cost to own property. While investing in the stock market or mutual fund market, Jamaica real estate has operating costs, these include monthly maintenance, property insurance, ongoing repairs, Jamaica property taxes and management fees if you utilize a property manager.

Jamaica Real Estate

You would expect that Jamaica real estate prices would be quite high, considering the posh hotels and resorts, the elegant restaurants, and quite frankly, just the brand name ‘Jamaica’, but actually it is not so!

Leading realtor, Andrew Issa, was quoted as saying that currently purchasers get more ‘bang for the buck’ on real estates as opposed to other Caribbean islands. Meaning that you get a lot more real estate for the money in Jamaica.

There should be no surprise therefore, of the increasing number of foreigners who are showing heated interest in Jamaican properties. I recall a recent article in one of our notable newspapers, the Jamaica Observer reporting that over 55% of all real estate transactions in Jamaica are completed with overseas clients!

General Manager of JN Real Estate Signature Homes and Properties, Jacqueline Peat-Smith, not so long ago stated that “demand, especially from people returning home from Britain wanting to build primarily in Trelawny, St James, St Ann, St Thomas, St Catherine, Manchester, St Mary and St Elizabeth, was far outstripping supply.

Admittedly, we had some concerns of bureaucracy in the past, but with concerted pressure on the government from real estate developers, tremendous work has been done and the process has gotten a lot smoother.

Very soon, it is expected that Jamaica will solidify its position as having the best real estate properties in the Caribbean. Mr. Issa identified the huge investments that are being made in the country’s infrastructure as the driving force.

He stated that “the infrastructure upgrade that is taking place will drive our market. The airport upgrades, the highways and the new water system for the North Coast all are coming together to improve the country”, “plus, we are blessed with the most beautiful island in the Caribbean. We have an authentic history, culture, and people.”

In terms of the high-end resort market, the Palmyra Resort development in Rose Hall, Montego Bay and the Chris Blackwell’s development, Goldeneye in Oracabessa, St. Mary stands out.

Jamaica real estate is still the jewel of the Caribbean, and will remain so as we propel our country forward.

Go Off the Beaten Track in Jamaica and Discover Two Hills Falls and Park

A vacation in Jamaica accommodation rentals provides many opportunities that you will find hard to discover when you stay in a hotel or all-inclusive resort.

Staying in Jamaica villas, cottages and apartments allow you to meet many local people who are not putting on a tourist show. They are real people living real lives, which you will be sure to find interesting. And these contacts open up all kinds of avenues for you to enjoy the kind of Jamaica vacation that is truly unique, not one that has been packaged for hundreds of people at a time.

Consider doing things that take you off the beaten track away from all the tourists and attractions that are manufactured for entertainment. Find a driver who will take you on a journey into the countryside where you can slip back in time and get a glimpse of the real Jamaica.

In South Trelawny, there is a place called Two Hills Falls and Park that is just about an hour’s drive from Silver Sands villas. It is an exciting drive which starts on the North Coast highway but quickly finds it way into the hills, passing through sugar cane fields and picturesque towns. Places with names like the Queen of Spain Valley, Wakefield, and Dromilly.

You will see old country houses showcasing English architecture from another century. Gingerbread eaves and rusted zinc roofs under the hot tropical sun as brightly coloured washing pegged out on makeshift lines flutter in the breeze blowing through the tall coconut trees.

There is a hand-painted sign nailed to a utility pole on the edge of a dirt road, advertising the Two Hills Falls and Park. From here a dirt track takes you down through banana and coconut trees to a rustic old bridge made from odd planks of wood and posts buried in the Martha Brae River.

Now the exciting sound of the waterfalls can be heard. Across the shaky bridge, there is a picnic area cleared and again very rough benches and tables have been constructed under tall fruit trees like the starapple and jackfruit.

While Two Hills Falls and Park is not spectacular like Dunn’s River Falls, it is a beautiful spot where one can picnic and swim in the river. There are areas for fires and camp-style cooking.

Be warned, there are no bathroom or other facilities here. This is an unspoiled beauty spot that you can enjoy without having to jostle with crowds of tourists. If relaxing on the bank of the river with a cold drink, waiting for your jerk chicken to cook sounds like fun, then Two Hills Falls and Park will be just your cup of tea. But go there on your next stay in Jamaica accommodation rentals, because who knows when this undeveloped beauty spot will be converted into another mass tourism attraction.

There are small farms all around and if you are lucky, you may meet Donavon Beckford, one of the local small farmers, who will be happy to show you his ground. Perhaps some of the ground provisions and fruits served to you at Silver Sands villas were reaped from Donovan’s small farm.