Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gimme room

Move over Angry African, here comes angry trini. That's right, in case it had entirely escaped everyone's notice, I am an angry person. Or so I am reliably informed by the queue jumping young man in the beat up old car that nosed up to my front bumper in the gas/petrol station this morning. Though how he could have reached that conclusion on first meeting is unclear, given that I'd been waiting for fifteen minutes for my turn at the pump, the pump attendant, yes we still have those in the Third World, proceeded to whip out his papers and do his homework while the line built up. Could it have been because I gave up in disgust because said young man then proceeded to block access to the pump while honking his horn, proceeded to reverse, go round the empty bay and put air into my tyres? In his expert opinion, there was no call to be angry. Well, whatever.

After the events of the last few days, too depressing for me to want to go into, I decided that today was going to be different. And then I missed my morning coffee. Because of the gas station fiasco. You see, the traffic this morning was even fiercer than yesterday, some more schools opened today. Bumper to bumper easing out of the west, realised that petrol and air in the tyres was necessary so stopped in the nearest station. A place that I visit a couple of times a week mind you. And then the long wait and no bloody gas at the end of it. I had back to back meetings, was late, so I left, enough petrol to make it to the parking lot and home again anyway. No coffee. Do you realise how dire this is for me? Is it any wonder that I might be a little angry, all I ask is that morning cup.

You know, the bad floods and fallout from didn't make me angry; sad, resigned, fed-up yes, but angry, not really. Nor did the umpteen calls complaining about bad service at the (insert appropriate ministry here). I get those every day even though it's not my job to deal with any of that. Heck, I wasn't even that mad when my boss managed to dump a whole lot of extra work on in a very tight time frame, under spurious circumstances. Nope, this is for the good of the country so let's try to make it all happen. Why do I think I'm angry you might wonder? This just sounds like a case of the blues right?

Not on your life. Because I'm am freaking, out of my mind, angry. This is why. September 23rd marks sixteen years since my mother died of cancer after suffering, barely able to breathe, largely untreated, in a hospital for almost a year. My mother's cancer was neither exotic or untreatable, in fact, had she been correctly diagnosed and treatment administered when the tests first began, she may well have been alive today; the success rate for treating her type of cancer is quite high when administered early. My mum was 48, she didn't deserve what the health care system visited upon her. In sixteen years I've lost aunts, cousins, uncles and friends to cancer. All because of the poor treatment that they received here. So you bet I am f****** angry when I read that the Minister of Health is touting that the oncology centre is two years away. Two f****** years, meanwhile, if you have money you can be treated at a private institution or wait in a public one. Sorry what crap is this?

There are large buildings going up all over the capital city, every government ministry has a fleet of expensive SUV's, the PM is jetting all over the Caribbean. We are the acknowledged leader in the Caribbean when it comes to money etc, but our hospital sucks eggs. I know, I've been, recently. Oh, the nurses are kind and try to be helpful. The doctors are not all bad, but let's face it, health care for our citizens is not a priority, notwithstanding the free C-DAP medicines. Maybe because government officials don't go to the hospital here, but that would be cynical of me.

And this is only one of the things that is preying on my mind of late. Actually, those floods have also made me angry, because I know people who have been adversely affected, they are going to have to stand the bounce as we say, insurance will not cover their losses. And I'm angry because the bloody water goes three to four times a week, every week. There is no regulatory body for my landlord, so he can raise his rents, pretty much do whatever he likes and I have to live with it. Sure did smart when the back door fell on my head last week. Lucky Boutros is handy with a hammer! I'm pissed that to do even simple transactions it is a bloody production, no one cares. I'm mad that a member of my staff is still waiting two years to get her contract gratuity, why? Whose desk is it bloody sitting on! How many more damn letters do I have to write.

Okay, there are things I have no control over, but I can write. So AA, move over on that soapbox because your friend the Wallah will be joining you up there. To mom, I miss you but I will keep up the fight!


HPD said...

More than happy to share my soapbox! It gets lonely up here. But we'll chip away until someone listens...


GirlBlue said...

*Provides room and backup*

It has occured to me at various times in the past that the government has a very skewered idea of what their priorities should be.

They think that progress is marked by putting up big buildings and buying or is it leasing private jets and other such superficial ventures. Money and aid should go to other countries whilst in our own country the population has to face rising food prices, sub standard health care, denial of dengue outbreaks in the country where deaths have been reported. Who needs hospitals and schools when you already have enough money to send your own children abroad to study and or yourself and your family away for medical attention.

So much needs to be changed, but in the typical Trinidadian attitude prevails, the people complain for a moment and then forget and then a few months later act surprised when the same issue comes up again.

I'll be thinking of you on the 23rd

lyricsman said...

coming soon...the shadowbox for you and others like us to say just what needs to be said. stay tuned