“I want to go hiking up in the hills,” I said.
“Oh my. What do you want to do that for?” said my cousin.
“Because it’s there. Because I like hills. Because the Maroons used the trails to escape slavery.”
“That’s work my girl. You’re on vacation. Why not just relax yourself by the beach? Watch the waves. Swim a little. Relax.”
“I am relax, but the hills are calling me.”
“So you want to walk in the hot, hot sun, just to get to the top of the hill? And then you walk back down again? My girl I won’t be doing that with you. No mam, I walk enough already. I’m not going to hot up myself and sweat up myself. That’s not fun.”
“It is for me. Who can come with me?”
“You best book a tourist trip. I’ll ask Mr. Thomas to check out the details.”
“I don’t want to do it that way. When I go hiking in Canada I am the only Black person in the group. I’m in Jamaica, I want to hike with a Jamaican group.”
“The only one I can think of is those English people them. After forty years in England they come back to Jamaica a bit different. Some say mad. They are the ones you see walking up and down in the hot sun for exercise. You know what they say about mad dogs and English men. Add the women too in Jamaica.”
“Come with me just for a bit. We won’t go far.”
“I’ll come only if we take a taxi drive. You can feast your eyes and your clothes won’t get sweaty. Better yet, let’s just go to the beach. That’s how we Jamaicans relax.”