Everybody said: “Don’t go,” “Don’t do it,” “It’s too dangerous.”

“It’s not safe. I’m scared for you,” echoed in my mind as we exited Jamaica’s Montego Bay international airport and brushed by the taxi drivers looking to make a quick buck.

Everyone could not have been more wrong. The people were incredibly friendly (even the hustlers), helpful, and most surprisingly, honest. Across the board, prices were the same for me, the tourist, as for the Patois rapping Jamaican.

At the height of the season, Montego Bay, a tourist-clogged resort town on Jamaica’s north cost bumps with nightclub’s rooty beats and swills of Jamaican run. Off season, it slows down to an almost Jamaican dub step.

Rather than stay in the throng of tourists (that surprisingly were not around) we stayed a bit outside of town in Mount Salem, easily accessible by a shared Route Taxi, but easy to get to the center and surrounded by small houses carved into patches of jungle.

The people were friendly, food cheap and delicious and a perfect introduction to the airey island of Jamaica.