With rivulets of water pass by my window, my thoughts stream by.
Last Sunday, in a bit of haste, I rush out of breakfast, and head for the airport. I make my first flight – American Airlines – Boston to Mia, and begin to focus a bit on the business before me. I am to present a product for my company to a customer in Jamaica.
I arrive in Miami and meet up with my colleague and friend Eric who is leading the charge with the charge. Eric is what I would refer to as a Seasoned Traveler, and knows the best each airport has to offer. We end up in the Admiral’s Lounge and take a break before heading down to the Miami to Kingston flight. I grab tea and snacks and we catch up.
As the hour ticked by anxiety for the next flight rose, and we headed down to the gate. We were ready to go, but some nut job cut 18 Customs Seals on the plane (the ones under your seat cushion), so they had to take on a drug sniffing dog, and reseal the airplane.
The anxiety crumbled, and we finally departed late. We arrived in Kingston, passed safely through Jamaican Customs, and were met by Michael. Michael is a local driver in Kingston who works closely with my Employer. The warmth with which we were met was not limited to the weather, it included Michael. (If you need a good person to drive you around Kingston, please send me a note). Michael connected me with Cutty, our host, and he invited us to the Office at 8:45 AM.
Michael drove us to the airport, and we began the process of checking in. The first rooms were smoking. It was a no-go. We asked for other rooms, and magically the manager upgraded us to Suites. The suite I received was larger than my apartment (minus the second bedroom), and all for the same price.
A bit famished we met in the Lobby, and headed to the poolside bar, we picked up virgin daquiris and Red Stripes, and Jamaican Jerk Chicken Nachos. The nachos were fabulous. The drinks refreshing, and we agreed to meet at 8:00 AM for breakfast.
We parted ways. Before I met back with Eric, I tossed and turned a thousand times, I had time zone anxiety, the switch going one hour forward tends to throw me off. I jumped up, ironed my clothes, and headed down to meet Eric at 8:00 AM.
The Courtleigh, where we were staying, had excellent food and a full continental buffet. We picked food, sat down, and chatted. It was a fantastic way to start the day.
15 mins before our arrival, we began walking down to the office. The office was “a brisk walk” away, it turned into a one minute walk. We arrived early, and found guest badges waiting for us, and our host Cutty setting up for our arrival.
We began our day with an introduction to Island time. Island time is beautiful. You plan to start at 9:30 so you tell everyone to arrive at 9. At 9:30 everyone arrives. It’s amazing psychology.
Our customers arrived, fascinated and full of vigor, learned about the product, played with the product, and joined us for lunch in the cafeteria. The caliber of the attendees was so amazing, it made the day go by so effortlessly.
Day 2/3/4/5 was no slouch either. We met so many customers, leaders and amazing people. I cannot thank them all enough.
At the end of the day, we would sample local cuisine, try new things and recap the day.
If you are in Kingston, try Sweetwoods. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kingston-Jamaica/Sweetwood-Jerk-Joint/100372496365
We ended-up ordering about 4 lbs of Jerked Lamb, Jerked Pork, Jerked Lamb Sausage, two festivals, and yams. We ate it with Scotch Bonnet sauce. It was amazing.
If you want to try a refreshing drink, try a Lime Sqwash.
If you want to try something uniquely Jamaica, try June Plum Juice.
With the bulk of the week done, we headed back to the airport (thanks to Michael), and headed home. I arrived at home at 1:30 AM Saturday. Exhausted, but grateful for the experience. I can’t wait until we go back to visit the customer (which they have gracefully asked we do).
Thanks Cutty. Thanks Eric.