Dear Editor,

I took a trip earlier this year on my way back to the airport, I told the taxi man that I’m never coming back “home.” He looked like he wanted to cry and went off on a rant blaming the police for making the country unsafe. I remember one thing he said that stood out; “if you did not come back home, how I would get the US$25 that I get this morning.”

I meant what I said. Sincerely, but I could change my mind.

It was a completely different country that I saw. I felt like I was being watched every step of the way. I felt a latent unease the minute I landed at the airport. Once out and about my “discomfort” increased dramatically. I won’t say much more on that. I spoke to a few younger guys that I knew and I was shocked at the glorification of “badmanism”, unbelievable. They literally worshipped the Don. I’m talking country bush bush.

Upon my arrival at the airport, the custom officer asked some very rude and intrusive questions; like why I had so much “things.” I’m a computer tech guy and businessman so I have all types of gadgets that I need. He also went on to question me about why it took me so long to return home — seven years. He wanted to find out exactly the district I was staying, which I found quite odd. He seized a pair of pants I had because they are not allowed in the country — ridiculous.

I have relatives that I’m close to still there but I don’t think that is enough reason for me to return. Next time I need a vacation I’ll go elsewhere. Jamaica is not the only place in the world with sun and sea. I just feel sad about the whole thing but at this time, I don’t feel like ever returning there again…ever.


Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/I-am-not-coming-back-home#ixzz2jOosemRt


  1. I love JA, I go sometimes twice a year, and yes it is ruff down there, the ppl dem beg u, when mi go down town mi don’t bring mi phone, your friend dem who live pon fimiyaad and all the other dancehall sites, as soon as mi reach dem naked and waan clothes, shoes etc. But the worst of all this is customs, we need fi talk bout customs. MET, dem ask mi bout every piece a clothes and shoes and bad inna mi suitcase. Wen mi tel the woman one a mi bag was $5, she go pon amazon an show mi di bag, hear har” Michael Kors, is not five dolla cuz it is going for nearly $300 on this site,” mi tell har mi get it pon sale. This likkle girl an har boyfriend a come down fi vacation an she have some accessories,some likkle forever 21 stuff dem sieze it an tell har it value ove $60,000 JA, and if she waan pay fi it, she walk out leave it. Tell mi I came to sell, I was like “What kind of sales woman would I be if every shoes and sandals is a size 9, and every clothes is one of each and all the same size?” It ruff, wid customs. But wid all dat said, and mi pack fi go back Christmus, nuh weh nuh betta dan yard, I have traveled to many different countires and states within the US, but no where I feel more at home than when I am in Jamaica. I live for the last 25 minutes of that plane ride wen u can see the country and it all looks do beautiful and peaceful, and the pilot says, “flight attendant plz prepared for landing.”

    1. Yes I hear se dem going pan internet go check price mi neva si nothing so low down yet and all this money they are collecting the country still nah reflect it

      1. Mi nuh know why Jamaican down there tek dat shit, is the only country that is so over taxed yet it is not reflected in the country, schools, roads,etc waan fix, no real social programs to help the ppl yet so much tax. Mi nuh see how u fi buy $100 credit a digicell and pay $150 fi it, an the ppl dem nuh rail up. don’t get mi started on digicell.

      2. Mi nuh know why Jamaican down there tek dat shit, is the only country that is so over taxed yet it is not reflected in the country, schools, roads,etc waan fix, no real social programs to help the ppl yet so much tax. Mi nuh see how u fi buy $100 credit a digicell and pay $150 fi it, an the ppl dem nuh rail up. don’t get mi started on digicell.

    2. A bad mind di dutty custom gal and bwoy dem have cause dem caan buy Michael Kors. Mi go way fi vacation already and when mi come back di gal look inna mi suitcase and see some sweety and light up like christmas tree and say how she love dem sweety deh and beg mi some. Ole rass hole licky licky bad mind bitch.

    3. The first time I went they charged me $80 US saying it look like a sell me a sell. When all I had was clothes for myself and my two kids. Just like the sender, I too had a very bad experience after years away and it started in the airport. I sue the same thing I wouldn’t go back but being at work and seeing my white co workers taking vacations there and coming back going on and on about how awesome their trip to JA was. I definitely plan on taking my kids to an all inclusive hotel in the near future, live it up like a tourist and hop back on the plane. Kingston mi nah reach. ( don’t even plan on making family members know)

  2. Lee Wayne , this is bullshit, almost every country you go to, if ur randomly selected to screen , you gonna get similar treatment. When you go to the U.S. they strip search you , question you the same way, sometimes the treatment is even worse. Every Country you go to you always gonna see badman,battyman you name it. This was just a bad xperience for you. JAMAICA is not the only place with sun and sea, i agree, but its not the only place you gonna get this type of treatment.

    1. CNN, you are right, last December I was going to Canada, on the bus there a white blond woman tell the bus conductor that she has no passport, the man said to her how u expect to go to a foreign country without a passport he told he good luck at the border. You know wen I went through customs, the “randomly” selected me for a search, mek mi tell u how dem treat me, an a go tell mi dem nah let me cross because the don’t know what I am running from or running to, I said I am a legal citizen of two countries why would I want to illegally live in yours? Then dem tell mi dem nah let me across cuz mi nuh have no money I said I have money on my debit card plus $50 in cash let me call my bank and u will see. Dem said “That wont help you.” I had to take a taxi from their border to ours, then jump pon a plane from Buffalo to JFK, a deh so mi nah go back. Mi rather my ppl treat mi bad dan white ppl treat mi like shit. So good luck to him travelling around the world while black, it nuh easy.

  3. it works both ways. You have people who when they come think that customs officers are idiots. They will say nothing to declare, yet have four suitcases. When it is checked , their personal items are in blocks of dozens. They will have a Mac laptop and Iphone’s etc and tell Customs officer that it cost $40 on sale !!! Hey, just because someone goes abroad, don’t take those who remain as idiots.

    In the USA, everybody pays their taxes, yet we hit out about paying it in Jamaica

  4. You must not travel a lot to because almost every country you go especially as a black man you going to see the same thing.

  5. If pants was of camouflage or looks like Police/Military it will be confiscated. In Jamaica unlike the USA, you cannot dress like a Soldier ( camouflage) as a fashion statement

    1. PMRM you’re correct.. It happened to me already. They took a hat from me for the same reason.. And they also said only Badman wear them clothes too

  6. As an employee of the “public sector” I’m bot here to defend but to shed a bit of light. The only garment that the customs department would seize / take are those army fatigue. Yeah the same soljah clothes dem, this is for security reasons because a lot of time unscrupulous individuals dress up like police or army personel and commit illegal activies so yes these items are not allowed. As it relates to the “place of stay” that’s just customary as they have to account dor individuals entering and leaving the contry. Jamaica is not the only country that ask you to state the place your going to stay and the duration of your trip…

  7. Well, the Customs Officers are always surprised when I step off the long-haul flight from EUrope wid only a likkle carry on. I always find it so amusing when they look in my passport and ask me how come I’ve been away so long and and have nothing to declare. Mi kindly tell them Europe too expensive, mi cannot afford to buy anything there. Now, dem realize I live in a European country and figure out my status because of passport and last name, but when dem check di one likkle piece of bag, nothing nuh in deh! The fact is, I maintain a home in Jamaica suh mi nuh need if pack nutten. Also, mi nuh have not a soul a Jamaica a wait fi mi wid hand long out suh mi travel very light! Lol… But, it is true that EVERY country you go to, you have to provide information about where you will be staying, for good reason. The writer of that letter look like him nuh travel fi at least the last seven years…so it’s his first trip in a very long time, not only to Jamaica, but anywhere outside his home country.

  8. da bredda yah backward bad bad and is not well traveled i see. every country u travel to, if u are questioned by customs or immigration, they will ask u where will u be staying and who are you coming to visit if not for outright tourism.

    u can tell di frighten fridays who feel like deh sh-it can mek patty true dem sort out now an can travel back to a foreign country after visiting jamaica.

    i don’t see his issue, cuz 7 years ago, jamaican youths were still glorifying badmanism, di road dem did bad same way, ppl did hungry and beggy beggy same way etc etc so why him a act brand new?

  9. America do the same thing.I was coming back home to america when the custom ask me if I have $10.000 dlr bringing back in the country I told her jamaica doesn’t use u.s.a currency and if I had that I would spend along time a yaad.she also wanted to kno who was picking me up and all manner if question, in jamaica the same set a question and digging up my suitcase looking for what I dont kno.I always tell the custom dem the truth cause mi cant bother mi just waa get home after reaching my destination

  10. This happen to me couple years ago I never knew I was suppose to take the tags off most of my daughter and I things I packed her wii mini DVD and lots more I had so many bags I had to pay extra and the last at customs ask me how could I afford a pair of jeans that cost $60 and the list goes on I gave her an attitude and said I work hard for mine all I hear my then 6yr old daughter said oh and don’t steal anything either she gave us a look and send us on our merry way that was 1 moment I was glad to have a smart mouth child.

  11. No man don’t give up is not everytime you gonna get the same person. Some of them nice and some nasty like everywhere in the world. They just doing their job. Ever since 9/11 once you have a lil background you are going to get stop when you travel.

    1. soap opera mi wudda like dem jus do dem job but di attitude some jamaican customs have behind dem job a dat turn off people

  12. This happen to me the first time I went back home, Custom was so rude and disrespectful. I was travelling on ma Jamaican passport and I went back two times and they treated me like I am a criminal. This did not stop me from going back because Jamaica is my country. So last Christmas I travel went back home as a Canadian, u should see how nice these customs were. It hurt my heart the way these Custom people treat their own people. So far I have never have any bad experience with the Canadian or American custom, my own country was the one who treated me like I was a thief.

  13. After 9/11, travelling is just simply HELL! EVERYWHERE you go, you ah go possibly get searched, get questioned, etc. I know it just kinda hurt you MORE cuz these are “your” people.

    But like someone said before, when you ah travel ah daytime & you start see the mountains & the green, awwwwwww, the green pastures, trees, whatever it is, Crayola NUH HAVE dem green deh!!! I wasn’t born there, but my heart & soul is DEFINITELY there!!! I love me some Jamaica!

    Customs will question me & I think 1 time mi di haffi open up mi suitcase, but dem never charge mi nothing. And yes di porters dem will run you down fi tek yuh bag 10 feet, den di likkle bwoy dem ah beg, then di taxi people, etc. but mi always have mi friends or family pick mi up, so mi feel safe! Mi go to DR, mi go to Bahamas & Puerto Rico but NOTHING nuh compare to Jamaica to me!

  14. Jamaican customs have been treating Jamaicans or any other mainly black people badly, at least since 1979, the first time I ever went. They didn’t know that my father name Mr McCrufferuss. By the time him dip up underneath dem frocktail, dem shame bad. Worsa when he could see that these big, greyback black people were practically tripping over themselves to welcome “whitey” through the airport. This has been going on long before 9/11, before the whole of the world’s customs used that event as an excuse to bad up people. It’s just another symptom of Jamaican jealousy/unuh tink yuh nice cah yuh live a farrin /duppy know who fi frighten syndrome that is over prevalent amongst a certain subsection of Jamaican/Jamaican descendants, worldwide.

    1. They do not do it to white tourists because dem nuh waa spoil dem vacation experience…….. but dem feel dem can get on bad wid dem own people

      1. You are right. The don’t even search the white Tourist, yet they search black Jamaicans with American Passports. I stop bring any items to Jamaica because of the hassle at Customs.

  15. metty dem give me a hard time in every airport me go cause me have the lil background so me no look pon dem me mek dem search til dem heart desire cause me naw travel with nothing we me no suppose to have. Bermuda strip search me cause dem say me look suspicious, me come back and write the US Embassy about my treatment dem say dem can’t do nothing cause dem do the same thing to people. Me and me sister-in law go England, we think everything alright we a laugh and a chat as we turn one corner Scotland Yard want search the suitcase dem. Canada worse dem want see me money me say me no have none cause I was not going to shop it was my brother’s wedding. So now me just dress casual and travel light cause me love the up and down and dem naw stop me.

  16. I travel alot and every country has its own rules and regulations. I have had bad experience going back home, but that doesn’t say I will not go home no where is better than yard(Jamaica). I went down over the easter holiday and I had sent a barrell before I leave. I was called over by a custom officer who checked my suit cases and there were clothes for my family along with my stuff. The next question he then asked washow much money I had at the time I had $4500.00 in cash on me and I told him. He said to me I am not allowed to carry so much cash and if I heard about the lottery scam since then there is restrictions on the amount of cash a person can travel with. I just laugh to myself because I know if it is over $10,000.00 you should declare it,and on top of that my niece works for immigration at the very same airport along with another relative so I just looked at his name tag and badge number if he had tried to scam me for my own record .The guy said if I have proof how I got that money, my reply was I am a working person he then said next time he need to see prove such as job letter. I said to him okay even though the way I was upset I forgot to get my letter so I can could pay less to clear my barrell as I always do. However that doesn’t say I am nt going back home, one of the sweetest feeling is when that plane touch down in Jamaica knowing you are home . But you do have some never see come see people who act like Jamaica is worst than anywhere else.

  17. The “taking pants” part is true, I went for the summer with my brother and he was wearing an army fatigue pants and the custom officer tell him fi guh change, and she could not provide an explanation as to the reason why, he had to take it off. in another situation they told another visitor to take it out of her bag or pay the $35 USD….What is the reason behind it I don’t know, if thats the case they need to provide information on it

  18. Good evening one and all.:)
    As stated by nearly everyone above, it does not matter what country you are entering, it all depend on the person you come in contact with.
    A custom officer at Norman Manley had me throw my pasta meal that i had bought at the last minute at Miami airport.
    She told me i was not allowed to bring food into the island. I threw it away to avoid any form of hassling.
    I knew that was bullshyt as people load up all kind of food and bring to the USA.
    Some of these custom officers are on a power struggle and thats all that is.
    There was always bad men and crime way before i left so i am not worried about that , i just take precaution when out and about.

  19. I’m not Jamaican but I was in and out of Mobay Customs in 5 min. Don’t know if it was because I was going to a resort n told the guy it was my first trip there. I always brag about JA customs being better than my own Country. The guy didn’t even open our bags. Funny thing is one JA girl at JFK asked us to check her bag cause she had a lot of shoes.

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