At one time, a defining characteristic of MoBay was constant interaction with hustlers, who earn a living selling crafts, hair braiding or services as a guide or driver. These days you’ll find approaches on the Strip increasingly rare, but unless you’re encased in an all-inclusive you will at some point be accosted by someone trying to sell you something. It’s tiring and irritating, but it’s also easy to lose perspective, bristle with tension and regard every encounter as adversarial. People need to make a living, and whether or not harassment becomes a problem depends largely on your attitude. Hustlers play on guilt and use psychological trickery. Lines like “Don’t you remember me from the hotel/car rental shop/airport/beach?” are designed to suck you into a dialogue. Of course you’ve never met them, but once you’ve stopped the sales pitch begins. If you ignore the outstretched hand or catcall, you may be upbraided for thinking yourself too good to talk to a regular Jamaican. The best approach is to acknowledge the seller, and say you’re not interested in a straightforward manner – and you don’t need to stop walking. Don’t try to avoid the issue by giggling or hinting that you may be interested another time; and if you’re white, don’t fall into the liberal trap of buying things you don’t want just to avoid looking racist. Keep your sense of humour, treat sellers as people and you’ll minimize problems.

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Jamaica features

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