You’re Jamaican when: You can’t go out in rain

The rain has been falling here faster than any wet bank holiday weekend in Blighty and the Jamaica landscape has once again been transformed from parched and barren to green and lush. The problem with rain is that if you go out in it, you’ll likely get wet and this is a problem for many. I find my gardener asleep in the helper’s room. Tiptoeing away, I forget about him until three hours later, when I venture out looking for secateurs so I can cut flowers from the garden. I find him in the same position as when I left him only this time he’s snoring loudly. Is everything OK? I ask, worried he isn’t feeling well. He wakes with a jump, then starts laughing, telling me that he was just resting his eyes and presumably he meant his legs too as they’re stretched out on the desk. It’s raining miss and mi can’t get out in the garden without getting wet. You know your skin is waterproof, I tell him. He laughs. Then he tells me with a serious look on his face, mi no wanna get wet. You’re our gardener, I tell him, and we’re in the rainy season. Mi know, mi only hopes it stops next week, so mi can get out, mi not sure about how wet it gonna be.  I should point out that in England this rain would be referred to as drizzle with the exception being it’s still 27 degrees as opposed to 10 degrees and blowing a gale. The strange thing is, this isn’t laziness or unwillingness to work on the part of our gardener; in 40 degree heat he’ll be happily toiling away for hours on end. The fact is Jamaicans just don’t like rain. He then sits back down and opens the newspaper, for the time being he isn’t going anywhere and neither is the weather.

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