Working Downtown

September 16, 2005 at 10:55 am 12 comments

My current job (I like saying that… because soon I’ll be able to say ‘my new job’!) is based in an office in downtown Kingston. Now lots of Kingstonians from uptown have great problems with downtown. However, I’m different. I like working downtown.

Why? Well, several reasons:

1. The sea. Whenever I leave my office, I look down the road and see the Kingston Harbour. There is a sea breeze. It reminds me that I live in the tropics. I love the sea because of it’s moods – some days the harbour is still, some days rough, some days blue, some days grey. There are birds flying over it – elegant pelicans, swooping down to catch fish. There are young boys and old men sitting beside it catching fish. It’s a lot nicer than merely seeing building after building and busy roads.

2. The people. Now this is one that uptown people will laugh at as downtown is seen as being dangerous and unsafe. But the two main office areas in Kingston are downtown and New Kingston. New Kingston is where all the drug addicts hand around. In New Kingston, you get harassed all the time. I’m not saying that there is no harassment downtown, but I find it is a lot less threatening. Also, you get to meet some very nice people. There is the fruit man, who always has the nicest bananas and peels pine for you. There is the car park man who waves at you every morning. Then there is the old man that sits outside a building who always asks ‘is everything ok my grand-daughter?’ (Apparently his daughter has moved to Australia and he has never seen his real grand-daughters – how sad).

3. The wholesale shops. If you have time and energy, you can get some real bargins downtown! You need to know where to go and how to do it. Look confident. And keep your wits around you. If you notice that no one is going down the road ahead of you, then don’t go down there to find out what’s going on. One of my friends insists on putting her money in her bra for safety… And then you’ve got to learn how to shop. In the clothes shops, everything is hung up behind the counters. You yell for an assistant, you point at what you want, you hope they have it in your size, you push your way to the dressing room, you trust your friends to say it looks OK as there aren’t any mirrors, you hand it to one person to get a slip with the price, you take it to another person to pay and there you go. One new outfit. In other shops, you can get any brand of toilettries you have ever wanted – again, as long as you know how to point and shout. Yes, it is a hastle, but it is cheap. And on current salary… that’s a good thing.

4. Things to do. If you feel cultured, you can visit the National Gallery in your lunch time. It’s just round the corner, it’s cheap to enter and you often have the place to yourself. However, that is something that I have ceased doing, due to a bad experience attempting to date someone who worked there… ooops! But it is still an option for other people!

And finally, 5. The petrol. As everyone all over the world is currently complaining about the cost of petrol, one of the major advantages of working downtown is that the 3 cheapest gas stations in Jamaica are all very near my office. You can drive past them in a morning, decide which is cheapest that day, and buy it on the way home. Excellent.


Entry filed under: I haven't got round to sorting these yet!.

Thursday afternoon blues Keeping my wits…

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Berlinbound  |  September 16, 2005 at 12:46 pm

    Beautiful post and description of the area …

  • 2. Kingston Girl  |  September 16, 2005 at 4:22 pm

    thanks. as you can see, am new to this whole blog thing so it’s nice to get feedback

  • 3. Kara - Jamaican Woman  |  September 16, 2005 at 10:18 pm

    hi kingston girl…surfed over from my blog, where u left a comment. I liked this post especially because me and some friends are plannig a shopping excursion downtown this month end…i am a little scared to tell the truth…though i used to go downtown nuff when i was at uwi…will see how it goes~

  • 4. Mad Bull  |  September 16, 2005 at 10:42 pm

    Used to go to high school downtown…St.G.C. Used to work downtown for awhile… JPS on Orange St. They have since closed that office because they thought it was too dangerous to their employees. The area dons wanted to “protect” the employees, and so the doors were closed… They closed long after I left Orange St. though.
    I also did a little “roast” work downtown, at the U.D.C., right by the harbour.
    Downtown would be a really irie place, if one could feel safe down there.

  • 5. Yamfoot  |  September 17, 2005 at 12:18 pm

    You sound like you been speaking to Errol greene and he brain washed you!

    I interviewed him once for an article about the redevelopment of parts of Downtown and he tell me how it safe, and I can go walking around. I told him not in this life, though when I was working here full time, I used to go to Heffes on Princess Street quite a bit because they sold nice cheap fabric.

    It’s funny that I feel safer going downtown Port of Spain, where they have had all those explosions recently, but I don’t feel safe in my own country.

    Just a down right dirty shame.

  • 6. Kingston Girl  |  September 19, 2005 at 8:58 am

    I promise i haven’t been brainwashed by Errol Greene, Desmond McKensie, Victor Cummings…!

    In the day, in central parts of downtown, I do feel safe. Yes, I take precautions. But also friends have had wallets stolen in the plazas, people get car jacked at sovereign, my car was stolen uptown – everywhere has risks.

    I am a white, uptown girl. I don’t know if people see me and the novelty of me walking around downtown keeps me safe. But other ‘uptown’ friends of mine who’ve worked downtown (eg at Scotia Centre) have found that once they’ve got over their preconceptions, then they have felt safe shopping and going around downtown.

  • 7. Guyana-Gyal  |  September 20, 2005 at 8:17 pm

    I know downtown, I’ve been there so many times, I know Southside well. I will be back to read your blog, I’m just too excited about finding it and reading about my ‘second’ home.

    Can I tell others about this blog?

  • 8. Kingston Girl  |  September 21, 2005 at 8:34 am

    Of course you can guyana-gyal! The organisation I am currently with does lots of work in southside… interesting place!

  • 9. Guyana-Gyal  |  September 21, 2005 at 1:17 pm

    This post has been removed by the author.

  • 10. Anonymous  |  September 21, 2005 at 7:01 pm

    i used to work in scotiacentre myself. the sunsets behind the mountains were lovely, and the harbour was always a welcome breather from the stresses of work… great blogging keep it up.

  • 11. CoolDestiny  |  November 6, 2005 at 12:01 pm

    I too work down town and just love it!

  • 12. Gela's Words  |  September 16, 2006 at 7:17 am

    After years and years of working uptown, I just started working downtown. I still run uptown for things that I need cuz I can’t handle the parking hassle. I’m not too afraid of the Kings Street, it’s the other streets I dare not venture to. But if only they’d get parking I might start seeing it as an adventure, somewhere to checkout during my lunch hour.


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About me

I'm a twenty-something year old girl living in Kingston, Jamaica. These are some stories from my life.
September 2005
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