Less than an hour after touching down at Montego Bay, I was experiencing a rather startling sense of déjà vu. I had never been to Jamaica before — or to anywhere else in the Caribbean — yet I really felt as if I had.

We were zooming along in our rental car — a battered, rather ancient Mazda with surprising poke. It was hot, the air heavy with humidity and the smell of burning rubbish, bulbous clouds overhead. We were passing hand-painted signs, decrepit buildings, goats wandering willy-nilly amidst dense foliage. And then I realised: it felt just like tropical Africa! Parish names like “Saint Thomas” aside, it really did feel like I was in Mozambique or Tanzania.

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