Jamaica 2013 – Day seven

I woke to a text from Jeremy to say that Dad was pretty much back to his old self. Helen was still tottering around though, with no improvement throughout the day.

The main annoyance in the morning was the couple a few sunbeds down who played music on their mobile phone in competition with the music from the bar. I have very little insight into the mentality that drives such behaviour. Is it that people who do this don’t care if it bothers others? That they think others will love their appalling taste in music? Or what? And if you’re going to use headphones in public, get some that don’t leak sound. As I write this by the pool on Sunday, the bar music has been turned up, fortunately playing tunes l can mostly ignore, and a guy a few beds down has some overpriced Dr Dre Beats on his head playing rap music. Those Beats are a masterful triumph of style and marketing over function (lMHO).

I’m reminded of two stories. The first was one I read in the paper several years ago. A guy had been prosecuted in court for refusing to turn off his boombox on the tube. His defence in court was to play the offending tracks – The Beautiful South – claiming that as the music was so good, no-one could possibly object to it being played at any time. Needless to say, the judge had little sympathy with this view.

The other incident was in a popular picnic area by a river. A group of young people (of which I used to be one) were playing their boombox loudly to the British-ly reserved disgruntlement of everyone else. Eventually one man strolled over, said hello to the offending group, picked up the boom box, and threw it in the river. This was to the applause of the watching crowd, and the shock of the youngsters. The man then calmly took out his chequebook (this was a few years ago as well, nothing interesting ever happens these days) and asked how much it would cost to replace. That’s my kind of style.

While I’m at it, there’s also a story I read in the paper in the early days of mobile phones, when a man on a phone was talking very loudly to his lawyer for a long time. Then the train was halted in the middle of nowhere due to an incident. At this point someone on the train was taken ill, and the other passengers asked the annoying caller to phone for help. The guy then had to admit that his phone didn’t actually work. and he’d just been showing off. Some people!

At lunch, the entertainment team held a competition to throw rings over bottles. The bottles held slips of paper with prizes written on them. One person won a free trip to Cuba, although they would have to row themselves in a hotel kayak, and it would take about 3 days. I merely managed a display of un-coordinated ineptitude, although no doubt the announcer appreciated my limbering up hip wiggles.

In the afternoon l emailed the taxi firm taking us back to the airport, explaining Helen’s problem, and asking if there was a less bumpy, twisty-turny, god-forsaken hell-drive of a route we could take back, and also if they could provide some post WW2 transportation. They replied that there is a better route, but it’s longer, so they’ll pick us up earlier. No mention of the cattle truck though.

That evening dinner was outside on the main terrace, to the sounds of the live easy-listening band. I feel I must congratulate the keyboard player on getting the vast majority of notes correct.

Back in the room l squared up to the aircon, and discovered I could manually position the vents so the air wouldn’t blow directly on us in bed. It worked, but at some time during the night, the machine realised we were asleep, and surreptitiously re-started its to-and-fro indiscriminate spraying.

We watched a rather odd episode of Black Mirror by Charlie Brooker on the Nexus. In it the Prime Minister was held to ransom, and had to have sex  on live tv with a pig. At the end I went online to find out what it was all about. But the wifi wasn’t working. I fell asleep thinking about what I was going to say to the manager.

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