Everywhere we went we were greeted with a “Yeah Mon!” and every time we said thank you, the response was always “No problem Mon!” The resort staff also played Bob Marley songs ad nauseam and there were even bongs sold in the gift shop.
Six months earlier, my wife and I spent our honeymoon in Hawaii. We were greeted everywhere with an “Aloha” and bid farewell with a “Mahalo.” Street peddlers would throw the “hang loose” sign at anyone with sunburned skin at the International Marketplace in an effort to get them to buy a souvenir. Musicians at restaurants would pick up their ukulele and serenade the guests in Waikiki with Iz’s “Over the Rainbow” on repeat.
Basically every stereotype that we knew of in these two cultures seemed to be out in full force for all the tourists to see. This got me wondering and I posed this question to my wife on both trips:
Is this really how these cultures speak and act or do they just do this to entertain the tourists?
Do citizens of Hawaii go around saying “Mahalo” instead of thank you in the privacy of their own home? Do Jamaicans really say “Yeah Mon!” every five seconds? Do these cultures pile on the stereotypes so Americans can go back to the states or the mainland (as Hawaiians call it) with a rasta man hat or a flowered shirt and brag to their friends about how cultured they are? I know this stuff is part of their culture to a certain extent, but the stereotypes seemed overblown from what I saw.
I live in New York, which of course is also a big tourist spot. I wonder if hotel staffs in midtown Manhattan go around saying “Yo” to every guest and responding with a loud and animated “Fugheddaboutit!” when a tourist says thank you. Perhaps they even refer to New York City as “The Big Apple” (which no native New Yorker actually does) and play Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” constantly. Maybe hotel staff will even stage a mock mugging for tourists to see, so they can return home with a great story to tell.
As ridiculous as this prospect sounds, that’s how it must seem to the natural citizens at these vacation spots. Is there anyone from Hawaii and Jamaica, or any other vacation spot, reading this that can offer some insight on this matter?
Like this Post? Follow LWB on Twitter, like on Facebook, or grab the RSS feed
GET THE OFFICIAL LIVING WITH BALLS T-SHIRT!!
Want to Advertise? I offer very cheap rates. Contact me here if interested.
Learn more about Living With Balls