Here is the thing about Jamaicans: They aren’t in a hurry for anything unless it’s getting to the finish line or driving to their destination. If you’ve been on the roads in Jamaica, that doesn’t even need any explanation. Everything else can wait. For a person who absolutely loves time schedules, this can be frustrating. Some examples from this weekend…
* I arrived in Jamaica after flying a red eye all night and spending an additional 3 1/2 hours in the Miami airport. All I wanted to do was fly through customs, get to the hotel, and take a nap. But the customs officers? They saw no reason to hurry. I waited over an hour in a line that in any other country, would have taken 15 minutes. 10 in Asia. I honestly felt like they were stamping in slow motion.
*I was headed to the track the day before the meet to do a shakeout and the schedule said a bus would be leaving every 30 minutes from 3pm on. I headed down at 3:30 and sat in the lobby until 4:30. Why? I have no idea, actually. I asked after about 20 minutes of waiting and was told bus is comin’. It came again an hour and a half later, and I guess that was close enough for them.
*I ordered a quesadilla from the bar and got it an hour later. No explanation.
*The day of the meet there was supposed to be transportation every 15 minutes. The bus filled up at 6 and then waited. 6:15… 6:20… Finally we asked what we were waiting for. Police Escort. Because there will be traffic by the stadium. Needless to say, the amount of time we saved waiting for the escort was probably not as much as what we lost sitting there waiting for it to show up…from who knows where. But like I said, when they drive they are on a mission. The trip to and from the track had me closing my eyes and praying to Jesus at some points. We literally drove into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road if our side was backed up, took to the sidewalks, narrowly missed sideswiping both people and cars… you name it. It was an adventure.
* My event was supposed to start at 8:15pm. I had an excellent warmup and was ready to go but they weren’t calling us, so I went to inquire. Turns out they had pushed our start time 20 minutes but didn’t tell anyone. When we finally did get out to the track, the men’s triple jump was in their first round. And so we waited. Over an hour later, we finally started. Did it take some of the wind out of my sails? Sure. But since the whole entire field had to wait just as long as me, that can’t possibly be my reason for not jumping better than I did.
All in all, I had a good time in Jamaica and it was an excellent meet to participate in, I just wish I would have competed better. I wish I could figure out island scheduling… but that probably isn’t going to happen. It’s obvious I can do a better job at rolling with the flow. Next week is Brazil, and on time or not, I plan on jumping well.