30 Things I learned in Jamaica that I never knew I needed to know!

This post is part of the #BloggingAbroad blog challenge.


You come to a foreign country and hopefully you have researched some about the language and culture and even the food that are consumed there.  But this is never enough to get to the root of the culture.  There are so many things no books can tell you and you will just have to experience them for yourself.  Here is my list of things I never knew I needed to know in Jamaica!


  1. There is more than one type of Banana
  2. There is more than one type of mango
  3. There is more than one type of avacado and they call them pear here and other parts of the world
  4. There is more than one type of pineapple, known as pine here, also pineapple does not grow on trees
  5. An apple is not always round
  6. You must always have clothes for the road and clothes for the yaad
  7. Your shoes must be clean when going on the road
  8. A taxi can hold 6-7 people legally
  9. No matter how you show friendship it never looks like it does at home
  10. How long it takes for a dead dog to decay and the smell associated with it
  11. The multitude of ways to utilize cabbage in meals
  12. Bok choy (pok chow) is a breakfast food as is okra and fish
  13. A man asking you to marry him is not likely serious.
  14. A man asking you to marry him at first sight might actually be serious
  15. A mongrel dog is not a stray even when it appears to have no owners, it has owners somewhere
  16. Fighting chickens have their lower pants feathers shaved off
  17. I might be crazy for thinking chickens or dogs have feelings
  18. Church is an all day affair most times
  19. Cricket is as long and as uninteresting as baseball, to me
  20. Tea can be chocolate, coffee or any hot beverage in a cup and most jamaicans will ask if they can have some of your tea and not really want it, just want you to offer to share
  21. Rum and beer are good at 6 am
  22. What breadfruit is and that it is real
  23. A stranger will beg a dolla from you and have more money in their pocket than you do
  24. Styrofoam and plastics make good cooking fires! (Yuck)
  25. To actually be Jerk, the food must be cooked in a jerk pan. It is about the smoke not the sauce
  26. There are reindeer in Portland Jamaica, I cannot prove or disprove this
  27. The burial of a loved one costs more money than it did when they were alive
  28. A thief will break into a place an sometimes only steal the food
  29. Children are never protected, no car seat, no seatbelt no supervision
  30. Everyday someone gets beat down at school, every single day!
  31. Bonus: Akee must open on its own and the flower parts removed or it is poisonous!


These are not unique to Jamaica but I have learned them here.

#22 BTW breadfruit is the most amazing and simple food for the future there ever was.


#10 Dead animals can decay anywhere from 3-5 days depending on heat and if the vultures find it.

#24 People often do cook over burning rubbish and it smells disgusting.

#19 Cricket is long drawn out and if I liked baseball it might be fun but I do not and I find it boring and sitting in the sun is not my favorite sport.

#16 Cock fights are real and they do shave the bottom portion of the chicken, quite weird.


#25 A jerk pan is a kind of bbq and the secret is more the type of wood to make the coal and fire.



#4  Pineapple actually grows from a bush and if you cut the top of a pine off and leave some fruit flesh attached you can put it into the soil and it will grow again!


#3 so many varieties of avocado that one would never know if they never go outside the grocery store!


Some of these items seem crass and downright horrific, but in reality they are just part of the culture and these are just s few of the things I have learned.


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