Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bahamas I: Ting Old Jamaican Ginger Beer Revisited

Who the hell goes to the Bahamas? Part 1

That flower picture in the background is poised to attack.

So I come before you embarrassed. My wife and I took a trip to the Bahamas. Who the hell goes to the Bahamas, you ask? Well, apparently we do. I'm not proud. It was a last minute decision, we had some flight credits that had to be used immediately or they would be wasted. We found what we thought was a cheap hotel and just did it. Got our tickets and flew out the next day.

We did a "resort vacation", which means that we stayed at a pseudo-Disneyland hotel with a beach and a waterpark. It was better than I thought it would be, and kind of fun. My wife and I tend to take busy vacations, lots of hiking and hustle and bustle. This was supposed to be a relaxing trip, we wanted to see what it was like to sit on a beach for four days and not be full of panic.

Sitting on the beach for four days, by the way, feels like getting the backs of your knees sun burned. And that sucks.

So there we were in the Bahamas, I loaded up on new drinks at a little grocery store and stashed them in the crappy hotel refrigerator, working through them over the course of the trip. The first thing I drank was something I'd already tried once, a Ting Old Jamaican Ginger Beer. I drank it not to review it, but because I was thirsty. Having already written about the stuff once, I thought I'd had it covered - but I was wrong.

I had liked the first Ting Old Jamaican Ginger Beer I tried last month, it was super sweet and got hot only gradually. That "bad boy" was bottled in Canada, what I bought in the Bahamas was bottled in Jamaica. Jamaica is the mother land of ginger beers, a place where sugar historically equals human lives lived in servitude. They take their sugar seriously there, each spoonful in their tea demands an epic poem about wicked plantation owners fleeing across the waves to New Orleans, about the pirates LaFitte smuggling slaves over to Louisiana and Florida.

This is the real deal, thinks I, it will be a sweet tinged with pain and victory, a sweet to remember for my entire life. And... it wasn't. The Jamaican made Ting Ginger Beer wasn't half as sweet as the Canadian version. Without the sweet to conceal, the unpleasant cardboard of the ginger came out and mocked my broken hopes.

Alas, Ting. Why, oh why?

This is not the Ting I had grown to love. My fledgling circus mustache feels betrayed.

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