It’s not very often that I post something that could deter people from exploring Jamaica but a good dose of common sense never hurt anyone either. Here’s a little story about something that happened to me in Jamaica recently which immediately sparked fear into my soul for a brief moment, which is very rare.
A long, long time ago I heard from someone (can’t remember who) that sometimes when you’re driving in remote areas you could be in danger of a roadblock setup. Bad people could block a road in some way in order to make you stop and then they would rob you. Although I’ve never been fearful driving around the island alone that ONE piece of caution has always been in the back of my mind.
Last month I was doing my usual driving in remote areas alone, somewhere around the red circle on the map below. I was on my way to a friend’s house in a small town to pick up some things. This particular road was extremely quiet. I hadn’t seen another vehicle in a good while.
As I drove along, minding my business and listening to a nice reggae mix a black car drove up behind me. I kept going my casual speed because I knew he’d pass me eventually. I drive cautiously on unfamiliar roads. Indeed, the black car pulled out to the side and proceeded to pass me, no problem. But once he got in front of me he put on his brakes and stopped, blocking the road so I that had to stop.
My heart sunk into the pit of my stomach and I went into panic mode. The first thing I did was lock my doors, then I shoved my purse under the driver seat and put both my cell phones down my shirt. There I sat as the driver side door of the black car opened, a man stepped out and started walking towards my car. I didn’t want to act like a freak so I kept my cool and cracked my window just in case he had something worthwhile to say….like, maybe tell me I had a tail light out or something. I had no idea what I was expecting but I was very fearful out there alone.
As the man came closer I heard him say, “Kristi, right?” I thought to myself, “What the heck?”
Then a lady stepped out of the car and I immediately recognized her as the mother of the person’s house I was headed to. The man was her son, the brother of the person I was going to meet. Oddly enough I’ve met this man before but it’s been so long since I’ve seen him that I didn’t recognize him immediately. I’m pretty sure it’s because my brain was clouded with complete and utter fear.
The reason they stopped is because when they passed they saw that it was me and knew I was headed to her house. They just wanted to know if the mother could catch a ride with me the rest of the way so that he could turn back and go home.
Anyway, I’m not sure what the moral of this little story is. It’s not meant to scare anyone from doing what they want to do but sometimes I get lazy about realizing that I’m in a foreign country all alone most of the time. I think nothing of exploring freely. But on these remote, desolate roads in the middle of nowhere we all need to keep our safety in mind. If this had been a bad situation there’s nothing I could have done to avoid it if it happened, except for cooperate and hope for the best.
While you’re out there enjoying Jamaica, BE SAFE!