His name is Mango Jerry. Sounds like a made up name and i’am positively sure it is, but it was the name that was given to me when I met this Jamaican rastafarian on the Caribbean Island, San Andres.
He called himself a ‘fisherman on holiday” but all he did was fish (not much of a holiday). Mango carried a stick like Gandalf and a plastic bucket, in it, some musical instruments, a tambourine and a spoon. I was with my Canadian friend when we first met Mango, we sat on a rocky pier having some beers, when he walks up and sits behind us. I hear and feel the breath from spoken words hitting the back of my neck, commentary for the impending weather, which i shan’t think will change to much, considering the streets were like canals. Turning around i see how close Mango has sat behind me and after some introductions of quoted names, Mango hands me a spoon, followed by the giant stick and then hands a tambourine to Tyler. He demonstrates a beat he wants me to play on the stick, which I successfully pick up due to my frequent practise with spoon and stick instruments. Tyler then finds the rhythm on the tambourine, and Mango proceeds to reel off some Bob Marley lyrics.
Other locals and tourists gather and glare their eyes over this newly formed band, with video and photos capturing our moment, probably the first and only time I will ever be in a band with a rastafarian fisherman. Whilst we continue the beet, Mango parades the crowd, asking for donations with a shake of the bucket, using shells in the bottoms to sound like others had already given some change, a cheeky persuasive technique. The sign of an experienced hustler perhaps.
Mango leaves us that evening as me and Tyler embark on our ‘mad’ night out which consisted of scouring the beaches with our hired golf buggy, meeting locals who were getting us drunk and then finding our way into a private hotel where I managed to fall into the sea.
The following morning, Tyler turns up with Mango in the back, he was taking us fishing. I wont bore you with the details of fishing, but yes, we stuck some rods in the sea and caught nothing.
It then stormed all over our asses so we sheltered up in the hotel. For food, Mango requests we buy him some, and then some liquor and then we should buy some weed, for him or for us, I was not quite sure, but we did all share the paid by us substance that evening when we visited a ‘rasta’ bar, where another rasta cheekily asks for some money after he drops a Chameleon on my head and declares this as something that should be paid for. Next door a hotel pours out some Caribbean music, which Mango cant help but sing Bob Marley lyrics to for every song and when the music was finally over he strips off his clothes and lies down in the sand letting the gentle waves wash over him.
The following day, me and Tyler decide to fly to a nearby island, Tyler even offering to buy Mango’s flight, so we agree to meet at the airport in the afternoon. Mango never showed up, probably as he didn’t have a passport or perhaps it was the ton of weed he now had, thanks to us and airport sniffer dogs were not going to make a better end to his holiday.
It was a casual meeting, of chance perhaps, but i didn’t learn much about him, where he came from, the company was spent more in the moments we were in, rather than identifying exactly who this person is and what they want from life, from you, for themselves, and that, that feeling of just being in the company with someone without having to know all the information we tend to inquire, was a beautiful encounter…even if he did abandon us…:P