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Thread: Help! Beach hustlers ruining Negril beach experience

  1. #1
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    Help! Beach hustlers ruining Negril beach experience

    I've been to Negril in 2014 and this is my son's first experience. We are finding some of the beach vendors to be quite aggressive and difficult to shake off, even with a polite "No thank you." I don't recall it being this bad in 2014. I have received advice from the guard at my hotel to say "No I'm not interested" multiple times without emotion because hustlers will be persistent. We would like to hear others' experiences and how you've dealt with it, and if it's worse since fewer tourists are around due to Covid. My son says this:

    We felt unsafe one time after we refused to give a hustler money. This person started "talking us up", acting like a friendly local man. He asked us where we were from, how long we were staying, and proclaimed himself a "king of the beach"-- "if you got any problems with guys on the beach you come to me 'mon". After what seemed like a friendly conversation, he then tried selling us handmade bracelets. After clearly saying, "No, we are not interested in buying anything", he handed them to us and said he would give them as a gift. He placed the bracelet directly in my hand and then asked for a donation. I did not have any money to give, and after politely denying his offer a second time the man's entire attitude changed. He stared at us glaringly and I could feel his anger. Afterwards he started following us as we continued our walk and I thought he was stomping and cursing on our footsteps in the sand. I was immediately worried and grabbed my mother closely and let him walk by us. He turned around and glared at us again while I stared back. I felt incredibly uncomfortable and unsafe.

    Because of this experience, my naivety about the essential goodness of people was soon destroyed after this vendor betrayed my polite feelings towards him and showed anger after we did not accept the bracelets. Although this was the only time I felt unsafe, I have had multiple other instances where I make it clear to the beach vendors than I am not interested, but they persist in talking to me. It creates an incredibly uncomfortable atmosphere and disturbs my peace and quiet on the beach.

    Any advice as to what we could do better to handle these situations? What should we do if we feel unsafe?
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Re: Help! Beach hustlers ruining Negril beach experience

    One bad apple does not ruin the rest of the fruit on the tree. We have not reached since just before Covid, so have no experience with current behaviors. Prior, however, there has been once or twice that a hustler was overly persistent. After a while, he left us alone and went on to someone or something else. Don't judge the rest of the Jamaican people by that bad apple.
    9/1991, First trip, honeymooned at Holiday Inn - MoBay; 08/93, T-water; 4/96, T-Water; 8/00, Whistling Bird; 12/04, CocoLaPalm; 03/07, CCLP; 10/08, CCLP; 4/09, CCLP; 10/09, CCLP; 4/10, CCLP; 10/10, Xtabi & CCLP; 4/11, CCLP; 10/11, CCLP; 12/11, RV; 3/12, CCLP; 6/12, CCLP; 10/12, CCLP; 12/12, Wild Parrot; 4/13, CCLP; 12/13, Rayon Hotel; 4/14; 6/14 CCLP; 10/14, Rayon; 12/14, 4/15, 10/15, 1/16, 4/16, 6/16, 2/17, 9/17, 12/18, 3/18, 10/18 - TB, 12/18 - all the rest at the Rayon Hotel.


  3. #3
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    Re: Help! Beach hustlers ruining Negril beach experience

    I have been in the minority on this board for years now when it comes to these situations. I love visiting JA along with several countries, but the aggressive nature of people in JA, in general, has put me off from visiting more. A lot of people on this board shrug it off, no worries, but I find it disturbing. I had an interaction with a gentleman once, he wanted to "talk" to me, I gave a polite no thanks (keep in mind he was on the other side of the street) and then he went on about "respect." So I walked over, he asked for money, I gave a polite no, then more talk about "respect." JA is a beautiful place, amazing culture, and some really fantastic people. But the aggressiveness turns me off.
    Free Vybz Kartel

  4. #4
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    Re: Help! Beach hustlers ruining Negril beach experience

    One of the reasons we stay on the cliffs is because there are very few hustlers. For the most part they are not welcome at the hotels. While on the beach I have used a couple of lines that worked (and both are true). When offered weed I tell them I am a Christian and don't smoke. I have yet to have them offer a second time. A little funnier: when constantly asked for a massage I told them my wife gives me a message, and she does it topless. They couldn't compete with that one either. I know neither instance is not the same as you experienced and am sorry that a few bad apples ruined your time in Negril.
    Regards,
    Bob

  5. #5
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    Re: Help! Beach hustlers ruining Negril beach experience

    Quote Originally Posted by DianeMH View Post
    I've been to Negril in 2014 and this is my son's first experience. We are finding some of the beach vendors to be quite aggressive and difficult to shake off, even with a polite "No thank you." I don't recall it being this bad in 2014. I have received advice from the guard at my hotel to say "No I'm not interested" multiple times without emotion because hustlers will be persistent. We would like to hear others' experiences and how you've dealt with it, and if it's worse since fewer tourists are around due to Covid. My son says this:

    We felt unsafe one time after we refused to give a hustler money. This person started "talking us up", acting like a friendly local man. He asked us where we were from, how long we were staying, and proclaimed himself a "king of the beach"-- "if you got any problems with guys on the beach you come to me 'mon". After what seemed like a friendly conversation, he then tried selling us handmade bracelets. After clearly saying, "No, we are not interested in buying anything", he handed them to us and said he would give them as a gift. He placed the bracelet directly in my hand and then asked for a donation. I did not have any money to give, and after politely denying his offer a second time the man's entire attitude changed. He stared at us glaringly and I could feel his anger. Afterwards he started following us as we continued our walk and I thought he was stomping and cursing on our footsteps in the sand. I was immediately worried and grabbed my mother closely and let him walk by us. He turned around and glared at us again while I stared back. I felt incredibly uncomfortable and unsafe.

    Because of this experience, my naivety about the essential goodness of people was soon destroyed after this vendor betrayed my polite feelings towards him and showed anger after we did not accept the bracelets. Although this was the only time I felt unsafe, I have had multiple other instances where I make it clear to the beach vendors than I am not interested, but they persist in talking to me. It creates an incredibly uncomfortable atmosphere and disturbs my peace and quiet on the beach.

    Any advice as to what we could do better to handle these situations? What should we do if we feel unsafe?
    Thanks in advance.
    This unfortunately is the reality of being a local and having the need to survive off of the tourists. However, the aggression he displayed was out of line. I come from a blended Caribbean family (Jamaican/Guyanese/Trinidadian/Panamanian) and even this behavior sometimes gets on my nerves. I have compassion for their situation and when I do have cash to afford to give.. I do, but sometimes you have to be just as straight forward with them and show no fear. Let them know that "I have no money to give" or "I have no cash on me". Sometimes I will even say "Do you take credit cards, cuz I have no money." In the end, no matter how aggressive they appear, they are just trying to survive and mean no harm. Some may be intoxicated and the alcohol is what you are experiencing.. still no excuse.

  6. #6
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    Re: Help! Beach hustlers ruining Negril beach experience

    Simply look around and find another Jamaican who is working a real job on the beach, even if they just have a souvenir table with a blue tarp it will work , tell the working Jamaican that the Hagler will not leave you alone and if they have any suggestions for you to get rid of him. That’s all it takes the Hagler will leave embarrassed, and the people that actually have jobs on the beach don’t want that to ruin anyone’s day so they have sympathy for you too.

  7. #7
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    Re: Help! Beach hustlers ruining Negril beach experience

    Great information, observations & advice All!

  8. #8
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    Re: Help! Beach hustlers ruining Negril beach experience

    I'm sure every long time visitor to Negril has experienced the bracelet on the wrist hustle. I have at least 10 or 15 bracelets so I wasn't very good at saying no back in the day. As you now know don't let them put anything in your hands. If they get angry so what. It's uncomfortable but just keep walking.
    [https://www.tickerfactory.com]

  9. #9
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    Re: Help! Beach hustlers ruining Negril beach experience

    Quote Originally Posted by TuffGong View Post
    I have been in the minority on this board for years now when it comes to these situations. I love visiting JA along with several countries, but the aggressive nature of people in JA, in general, has put me off from visiting more. A lot of people on this board shrug it off, no worries, but I find it disturbing. I had an interaction with a gentleman once, he wanted to "talk" to me, I gave a polite no thanks (keep in mind he was on the other side of the street) and then he went on about "respect." So I walked over, he asked for money, I gave a polite no, then more talk about "respect." JA is a beautiful place, amazing culture, and some really fantastic people. But the aggressiveness turns me off.
    Serious dude. Put you off from visiting Negril more. Where are you going to go. The bracelet scam has been going on for years and here's the problem, it's every where! Check out You Tube and quire the top ten scams in ???? (any where USA, Canada, Italy, Great Brittan, The Vatican), and you'll find the bracelet scam, the 3 card Monte scam, or even "it my birthday today". Man, we were in Kingston a few weeks ago and had the windshield wash so many time times I lost count, but never paid one Jamaica penny. You can't let it bother you. A polite no thank you and if it persist, then "no thank you" but louder, and then louder until the message is heard. The young fruit guys on the beach are the worst but after YELLING no thank you for the fourth time the one dealing with us finally walked away. Next day I saw him on the road and just asked "how was your day", from then on he just smiles at us and walks on bye. You just can't let it bother you. Short of going to your local YMCA, where are you going to go??

  10. #10
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    Re: Help! Beach hustlers ruining Negril beach experience

    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy Marie View Post
    I'm sure every long time visitor to Negril has experienced the bracelet on the wrist hustle. I have at least 10 or 15 bracelets so I wasn't very good at saying no back in the day. As you now know don't let them put anything in your hands. If they get angry so what. It's uncomfortable but just keep walking.
    And then that bracelet becomes a sign that you're either generous, can't say no, or a sucker, and attracts even more unwanted solicitors.
    Don't say you don't have money. They will just find you later in the day or the next.

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