The weekend arrived. No specific plans made but as all weekends are going, things fall into place. I met up with two cousins on my father’s side. They came all the way to Kingston to spend time with me. One cousin, brought her two beautiful children with her, welcomed additions to the family and as cute and smart as can be. We met in Halfway tree at Mother’s. If you’re truly Jamaican, you know mother’s. It’s a place that is known for their patties mostly but as any fast food place, has evolved. They sell all kinds of other things now. To my surprise, I arrived at the designated mother’s restaurant’ and no cousins. I would rather not be anywhere completely alone waiting for anyone especially hearing all the crimes that do occur in Jamaica. At the same time, I must say that I have been getting around nicely and have been fairly independent in the last two weeks. On that particular occasion, I took the bus alone which took me to halfway tree. I had done this on my own just in the same week so I was getting used to it. The moment the bus arrived at it’s destination I called my cousin to tell her that I was walking to the restaurant. About 10 minutes later, no cousin. I was sitting by the entrance gazing outside anticipating that she went shopping and will soon return. I got a call asking, “where are you?”
“In Mother’s” I said.
“But I don’t see you, I am in Mother’s too” I did one more look around and certainly this store is not by any stretch huge so she should not have been hard to find. Clearly she was not at this mothers.
“Where exactly are you?”
“I can see clothes stores, and a sign that says York Plaza”
Not exactly sure what to do, I still asked, “do you want me to meet you somewhere?”
“No man, we’ll come there”
And I continued to wait not even sure how long it would be. Someone walked towards the glass where I was and waved to get my attention. Not actually sure what my cousins looked like as it had been almost two decades since we last saw each other, I took a guess that it had to be them. Two beautiful ladies and two cute children standing there. I walked out and embraced them. Still thinking it strange that they are no longer children but grown ups, like myself. We walked and talked as we got into a taxi. It took us to the famous Tracks & Records. Usain Bolt certainly spent a hefty amount on this restaurant. I have never seen a place filled with so many TVs. We were seated in a corner with our very own TV to watch, TVs were in the bathroom, in the waiting area and all over the restaurant. On top of that, the TV could be controlled by using our touch screen built into the table. You can separate the touch screens to four boxes, one per individual, or you can allow the entire table to be one screen or two. Since there were children, and even us grown ups were interested in doing our own thing. Some of us were into taking pictures with the web camera located on top of the TV and sending the pictures to our email accounts- which is controlled by the touch screen table. Others of us were playing matching games or other card games. Any game that could be found on the computer were given as an option. Then in case you wanted to learn about Usain Bolt or the Jamaican culture, there were apps for that. Youtube and google were also options. You basically had a computer at your fingertips. You can order your food from the table screen and you could call the waiter by clicking a button. This restaurant is the most futuristic I have ever seen. And from what I hear, this is not the only restaurant of it’s kind here in Jamaica. So who says Jamaica is totally third world! I have never had this kind of experience at a restaurant in any other part of the world I have been to, including Japan and South Korea!
So in my mind Jamaica is certainly leaping forward with large strides. That wasn’t the conclusion of my night but the beginning. After dinner, I went to the movies- Carib (is the name of the theatre). I watched fast and furious. We were late so we had a seat in the front row. Still it was a good experience. Of course that experience is as good as any other theatre experience. Although beware that there is an intermission or half-time during movies- an opportunity to use the bathroom or purchase popcorn. That came as a surprise to me when the movie stopped. I thought there was a problem with the screen. Aside from that, movie experience was fine.