Thursday, November 30, 2006

My kind of 'Welcome'

My nostalgic recollection of the spliff-tastic two-man 'Beach Party' I shared with Mad Irish Dave has started me thinking back to my (thus far, only) visit to Jamaica. Well, that and the recipe for Jerk Chicken which Yahoo has unaccountably been splashing all over its e-mail for the past month or so (all readers seem to be agreed that it is a very bad Jerk recipe!).

I am in fact laying plans for a reefers'n'reggae party to celebrate Marley's birthday next year - having recently reminded myself of the date from the Internet (during one of my increasingly intermittent periods of access): an ideal way to chase away the chilly mid-winter blues.

I spent barely two weeks in Jamaica, at the end of my undergraduate career; but it was one of the most intense, most vivid, most diverse experiences of my life (the first time I'd ever been in the tropics, in the Third World.... very nearly the first time I'd been anywhere overseas!).

I was immediately impressed very favourably by the attitude of the island when I encountered a large 'welcome' banner draped across the exit lobby of the airport. It did not say - as you would expect in a stiffer, more prosaic, more strait-laced country.... in almost any other country in the world - "Welcome to Kingston, the capital of Jamaica", or "Welcome to the beautiful island", or "Welcome to Norman Manley International Airport".

No - it said, "Welcome to the home of Red Stripe beer!"

I thought to myself: "I am going to like this place!"


The British Cowboy said...

This reminds me of a party I attended at the Hi-Lo Jamaican Eating House. I really really did not want to get ringbolted that night, or at least not quickly, and so I eschewed the rum for beer. I asked for a beer at the bar, and the bartender began to pour a Red Stripe. I stopped him and asked if they had anything else, thinking that Red Stripe would not be the best for a "light" evening. He smiled and said they did, and instead poured me a pint of Crucial Brew. Not too sure how the party ended to tell you the truth.

Anonymous said...

I don't think they make Crucial Brew any more. That was an 80s phenomenon. I never liked the taste very much, but I approve of the concept of a beer that's actually strong enough to get you drunk in a hurry. And, I must say, it think it is the BEST NAME for a beer ever. I rather miss it, for that reason alone.

Anonymous said...

Froog, I had no idea that the Jamaica jaunt had such a big impact on you. I am pleased and touched as I know that you are - unlike me, oh Arctic Gnome - not a great fan of heat and humidity...

I recall that I greeted you at the Arrivals Hall at Norman Manley International with a Red Stripe and you said "what - no 'Crucial Brew'?" I had to announce to you sadly that in the home of D & G no such thing was solely a British marketing ploy.

Mind you, the JAMAICAN Red Stripe was/is so bloody strong you don't need Crucial Brew, I vaguely recall...

Happy Posthumous Birthday, Bob. Have a good party Froog and raise a bottle to me...20 odd years ago who would've thunk we'd be where we each are now...Remind me again - where exactly is that?