It’s not often I am high at 8 o’clock in the morning, but our long journey home begins with a cab ride from Strawberry Hill to a small airport where we get a plane to Montego Bay to catch our Virgin (economy) flight.
The driver is a rasta and the cab smells very strongly of ganga. Actually it isn’t an unpleasant smell, much nicer than tobacco. The road is windy and so I take deep breaths so as not to throw up. Big mistake. We chat about love, life and religion. I love his attitude. He calls his girlfriend his “empress” and tells us never to fight with each other.
“Sex is the answer,” he says. “You have found freedom through love.”
I carry on breathing deeply and agree with everything. By the time we arrive I am more relaxed than a Jamaican on holiday. This is just as well as the next thing I know we’re hurtling through the sky in a tiny plane which lurches every time it hits a cloud and I can’t get my seatbelt to work.
Thankfully once in Montego Bay we head off for a relaxing lunch and final swim at Round Hill, a lovely spot founded by Mr Pringle. He recently died but his legacy lives on; they serve Pringles at the bar.
Back to Montego Bay airport for the nine-hour flight home in economy. By now the ganga has worn off and I am dreading it with the same intensity I dreaded childbirth.
“Why are you so late?” snaps the charmless person in charge of security.
“Because I was having lunch,” I feel like answering. In fact we’re there an hour and a half before take-off so I don’t know what he had to complain about. I’m the one that had to leave a coconut ice-cream half-eaten.
We check in and are told we have been upgraded to premium economy – yippee. Off we trot in better spirits. Once on the plane it seems there has been a classic bit of Jamaican confusion. We have been allocated seats that people are already sitting in. I have a hunch a miracle is about to take place and pray silently to Jah.
Sure enough. Premium Economy is full. There’s only one thing for it. Into Upper Class we go. As I sip my champagne I look around for a Colin Firth look-alike. Not one to be had sadly. Never mind, I am free through love and Jah is on my side.
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007