Sunday, October 26, 2008

If I stay there will be trouble...

The last post really took it out of me, thought I'd give the old keyboard and me a rest for a couple of days while I got it together. There's a lot going on in this neck of the woods and break was welcome. Now that I've partially returned to being a pen for hire, in addition to the regular gig, those things like editorial deadlines and word count have started to feature again; I remember why there was an almost two year lapse, too much work, too tired.

Friday evening driving home I almost had an accident. And it really pissed me off. Accidents happen, that's why they call them accidents, you don't plan them. Usually caused by stupidity, poor judgment or sometimes, freak chance. This was a poor judgment number, I've been quietly stewing about it for two days, in the back of my mind, toying with the idea of writing yet another letter to the newspaper but wondering, why bother? The last three didn't make too much of a difference. That means you get stuck with me ranting again. Sorry but this is the way it is.

The Walkover at West Mall has been a personal bugbear since it was installed; at a cost somewhere in the region of four million TT dollars; taxpayer dollars that is. It didn't bother me going up, I actually thought it was a good idea, we were all tired of people trying to dodge traffic to get across the busy HIGHWAY. This was a great solution; folks could get from one side to the other without the risk of being mowed down by oncoming traffic. Do you know how hard it is to see someone crossing the road in the twilight? The figures are blurred in the gloaming, by the time you really see them you're on top of them. Of course you know what's coming, I've talked about it before. There's the walkover, people cross the ROAD four or five feet away from it, because you see, Trinidadians are impervious to a ton of steel and machinery hitting them at thirty, forty, fifty but more likely sixty, seventy, or eighty kilometres an hour.

Oh, I've heard all the complaints, the walkover takes too long, too many stairs, the truth is, WE ARE LAZY. We won't use the walkover because it's simpler to dash across the road at whatever point you happen to be at, in the path of oncoming traffic. I didn't even attempt physics but having had a passing acquaintance with O level maths I remember working out things like velocity etc. Do you know how much space a car needs to slow down before it can stop? Or an SUV? No, you don't care because we must stop right. Well here's what, I don't care about your safety anymore. Just that of mine and my passengers. So if you're "ducking across the road" and I mow your sorry ass down in order to avoid being rear-ended the guy behind me and so on, or having to swerve to avoid you thereby causing an accident, it will not bother me in the slightest. Eternity is a long time bucko, how long would it have taken you to use the walkover, five to eight minutes? Think about it as you lay in your box or urn forever.

And that's what brought on today's rant. The fact that we as Trinidadians complain about everything, how our lives suck, the price of everything, how dangerous whatever is, and yet, we will not take the slightest responsibility for anything, even ourselves. Let's blame the Government, but do we hold them to account, or do we just grumble over our beer/scotch/rum/vodka in expensive bars and then it's business as usual. Let's not use the walkover provided but run across the street and pity the poor motorist who has to react.

Several nights ago over drinks with an acquaintance in one of those tony overpriced places in Movietowne, the service extremely poor, the drinks watered down, my companion apologised to me before taking the server to task. I wasn't in the least bit bothered; what got me was the server's comment that if we'd complained to the barman inside we would have received "better". I was incensed because the bill was the same as if we had received "better". Needless to say we left quickly, probably never to darken the door again. I cannot tell you how sick I am of all these twee places and how much I resent parting with the hard earned cash. We took the time to tell the server that the service was not acceptable; not that it's going to do any good because we're in a minority, the rest of you will continue to pay for the crap and accept it.

Now you know why I say, if I stay there will be trouble. Sure there are problems everywhere but at least there are places where people still observe some modicum of rules.


Marcus the Coffedude said...

Just read your latest post as I finished my freshly ground espresso. Keep it together Coffee! You can tell the emotional chords you struck with the last post by the responses from everyone. Pace yourself, you're not dealing with a demanding crowd here just a very appreciative one.


Gabriela García Calderón said...

I'm very glad to see you are back... and holding on. It must have been a difficult decision opening your heart to your readers, but I'm glad you made it.
BTW, here in Peru, pedestrians love to take the same risks you tell us about: they have a pedestrian bridge less than a block away, and they prefer to cross the highway by running. The worst part is that they usually are with little children. And if someone makes a remark about the bridge, the answer will be: "I'm in a hurry, I don't have the time to get all the way up". And if they got ran over, the driver must go through a real ordeal.
Keep standing tall!

Wuzdescene said...

I feel your pain ... cuz I know exactly what you speak of ... I've stopped using that route tho ... I now use the Diego Martin Main Road ... and there's a whole other kind of idiocy on that route ... ie. people driving on de shoulder ... tuh avoid de traffic ... and den duckin eeeen in front of yuh without any warning!!! ....

HPD said...

It's that last sentence that gets to us hey? People not knowing what they have. And if we stay our voice might become to loud for them to tolerate.