August 23, 2003 - Miami Herald: Jamaica RPCV Annette Fromm talks about island's breezes -- and men's teases

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Jamaica: Peace Corps Jamaica : The Peace Corps in Jamaica: August 23, 2003 - Miami Herald: Jamaica RPCV Annette Fromm talks about island's breezes -- and men's teases

By Admin1 (admin) on Saturday, August 23, 2003 - 11:34 am: Edit Post

Jamaica RPCV Annette Fromm talks about island's breezes -- and men's teases

Jamaica RPCV Annette Fromm talks about island's breezes -- and men's teases

Film captures island's breezes -- and men's teases

A recent story about how some Jamaican men behave toward American women took me back to when I lived in Jamaica (Jamaican beach boys a tourist temptation, July 20).

I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Kingston. I taught at two teacher-training colleges.

In those days, some of the downtown hotels offered topical revues for entertainment. I was told that one show, Smile Orange, was hilarious, telling about relationships between nationals and tourists in Jamaica. The play was made into a film, but I never got to see either while I lived there.

When I left Jamaica, I took a trip to New York City before settling into the routine of graduate school. One day, out for a stroll, I noticed a movie theater's marquee. It said: Smile Orange.

I was one of maybe six people at the matinee. Though my companions slept through much of the movie, I was thrilled to follow the story set at a fictitious hotel on the north coast of Jamaica.

A young waiter had recently joined the hotel staff and was under the tutelage of an older, more-experienced waiter. It was the start of a new season at the resort. His learning experiences were juxtaposed against those of a recently arrived charter group from America.

Every conceivable character had taken that flight. There was the greedy American who interpreted ''all-inclusive'' to mean everything offered on the menu at one sitting. To his wife's embarrassment, he forced the waiter to bring him every food item and made a thorough pig of himself.

Another character was the self-conscious overweight young woman overlooked by men all of her life. She caught the eye of the rookie waiter. The lilt of the phrase, ''You're looking good tonight, Miss,'' sounded so familiar. The lines continued as he swept this young woman off of her feet and into his bed.

The film is based on a work by Jamaica's leading playwright, Trevor D. Rhone, and is available on tape. The play still is staged in many places, including Trinidad and England. Rhone has said, ``When writing this play I was, relatively speaking, very young and very cynical. I saw hordes of North American tourists invading my country to the ultimate detriment of us Jamaicans. Smile Orange was my comment on this situation, which after all these years has changed very little.''

This delightful and revealing film should be shown on every Air Jamaica flight carrying visitors to Montego Bay. Tourists would be introduced to some of the customs of Jamaicans who work in the tourist industry. Visitors may be better equipped to respond to small talk and compliments; they will understand one small part of the culture in which they are taking part.


Miami Beach

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Story Source: Miami Herald

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Jamaica



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