When it rains…it pours in Jamaica

Photo by GLYSON Thomas from Pexels

“What is going on?” I wondered while finding shelter and looking up at the Sangicor bank, thinking someone must be out of their minds. “Were they watering flowers up there?” Donald quickly stepped into the building next door, the IBM building where he works, and I followed. I was trying not to get wet by the person who was emptying buckets of water from the tower. As I look out the glass door, I saw that umbrellas were going up, and while others run for shelter. In fact, the big drops of water were actually coming from the sky and it was sending people scattering.

I watched as the wind blew the palm trees in an attempt to uproot them. “From no rain to lots of rain, lovely weather” a woman walking into the elevator said aloud. The puddles were now forming. Then, it seemed, someone turned off the faucet. The rain slowed down, and so did the pace of walking. The puddles are the only remnants that the rain was falling. Clouds parted and the sun was out again, at its zenith.

I leave the building to get lunch at the Juici beef restaurant. When it was my turn, I ordered a patty with coco bread and a soda. I take a seat alone by the window. The rain was pouring again. There is no floodwater drain so the water flows on to the sidewalk. I would not be able to cross the street without getting my feet wet. Traffic was building up. Police sirens ring but there is no space to get the vehicle through. Here in the restaurant, the calmness and the slowness of conversations is the complete opposite of the mayhem outside.

“She almost fell because she is barefooted” A woman behind me commented. I look outside the window to see a woman holding her flip flops in her hand while trying to keep her balance. The rain still falling with the same velocity as before and the water build-up on the sidewalk is increasing. The Jamaican flag across the street hangs limp  on its pole now. Another woman slips and a security officer catches her. More umbrellas come out. A customer and I share a joke as we watch a man trying to measure the distance of the flowing water between him and the sidewalk. He took a leap but missed the sidewalk. His feet now soaked in spite his efforts. Others chose to walk directly into the water. Now, more people are carrying their shoes and slippers in hand while walking barefooted on the sidewalk. The rain slows and I watch the water on the sidewalk disappear.

“Excuse me” a restaurant worker said as she mops the floors. I lift my feet for her to mop underneath, and watch her return the table to its original position. I see the water on the sidewalk dries, almost instantaneously. The sun comes up as bright as before and the dark clouds pass. Another server knocks on my table. Instinctively I lift my belongings so she could wipe the table. I look out the window and see the wind causing the Jamaican flag to sway proudly, and I take this opportunity to walk out into the Jamaican sunshine.

Categories: Jamaica, Travel

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