Sunday, December 14, 2008


And I'm not referring to that sappy Billy Joel song even though it might well be applicable. You might have guessed from this month's previous blogs that I'm somewhat annoyed. Forget that, unequivocally, I damn vex. Now those who are near and dear might say this is a default setting but not true, most of the time it's just impatience with the lackadaisical attitudes we have in Trinidad and Tobago. The 'God is a Trini" attitude is really getting on my nerves; most of the time I tune out and get on with business but really, the clamour is getting louder. I had to stop reading the weekend newspapers because all the murder/crime/government incompetence stories used to sour my day and since there is nothing I can personally do about it, I refuse to react any more.

Christmas is supposed to be a time for love, forgiveness, family, all that warm fuzzy stuff. Admittedly I've not been a practicing Christian type for a long time, my outlook is decidedly more "new age" whatever that means but Christmas is one of those times, that I at least try to make nice. The Christmas parties are on, I'm not generally a social butterfly, had enough of that and prefer the company of a few friends, my dog and book. There are a few people who take the trouble to invite me to their homes or out for a bite and with whom I like spending time, those are the events I attend. This is why I'm channeling my blog "pardner" Angry African; it seems we are all vexed, we're all unsettled and we are all looking for some missing element. At a barbecue last night the constant subject was how the government could cut spending on health care and then have the PM LEAVE THE COUNTRY FOR MEDICAL CARE. You know, I was angry with myself because you see, I self censored my last blog on this subject and that left quite a bitter taste.

We've all grown used to hearing, practice economy, "band your belly", austerity, yadda, yadda, yadda but it seems that only applies to us folks. And at a time of year when we should be finding peace, loving our neighbour and enjoying our fellowship, we're all, as they say, "bite up". Now I wouldn't wish the PM's condition on my worst enemy, I wish him well and a speedy recovery. Cancer is an evil, opportunistic disease that not only takes a toll on the victim but also on the whole family. First hand experience, my mother DIED from a lack of health care and medics putzing around with lab results, lack of chemotherapy on time, all kinds of things. And in the sixteen years since she died, nothing has bloody changed! I've been going through boxes last few weeks trying to clear out my spare room, finding all kinds of things from various people who are no longer around. I can't believe how many old colleagues, friends and acquaintances have died of cancer, most of them had to leave here to get medical treatment by which time it was too late. At that barbecue last night, the story of the young boy whose parents took him to a medical facility with a high fever, the fever went on for a week and despite "treatment" wouldn't come down. The diagnosis was dengue. The father, growing tired of his child's suffering, stormed into the room and removed his child, put him on a plane and took him to Florida. The diagnosis, acute leukemia. Dengue my ass! This is not unusual.

Guess this is why the PM went to Cuba, because he knows. The sad thing is that though our health care gets a bad rap there are actually professionals who are caring, competent and committed but they are consistently hamstrung by inefficiency, indifference and incompetence by administrators and officials. It's hugely frustrating. And this is not limited to the health care system. Sure we have things happening, roads being paved, water taxis, ICT's giving us on-line applications but for a country with our resources we're ten years behind. I'm not anti-government, despite what you might believe, there are hard working people who are trying to make a difference. We keep comparing ourselves to little backwater Singapore who is way ahead with no natural resources but we are our worst enemies with that God is a Trini attitude and it's somebody else's problem . We resist change because what would we have to complain about and how could we feel superior to our fellow man who might not know someone to make something happen.

Really, Im asking everyone to forgive me today. These are the irritations:

Bad driving on the roads and lack of law enforcement- CARS don't have accidents, PEOPLE do.
Government officials leaving the country for medical care, an option the general public does not have.
Water some of the time, not all
PET bottles et al in the river and the flooding when it rains
Waste- money, resources, time
General stupidity

Look, everything can't be wonderful all the time, you have to take the good with the bad, it's called balance. But we all have a responsibility, to ourselves, our fellow man and our environment, step up and stop complaining. Today I wrote this blog to release the anger inside of me over these things. I'm not putting them out there to gain power, but in the hope that they make someone think about their own actions the way I'm thinking about mine. In the meantime, do something good for yourself.

PS...i f this one is too much for you, I left you something positive on


Marcus the Coffedude said...

Oh lord coffeee...and I thought I was vexed.

I am also fed up of the "God is a trini" line. I am also even more fed up of the murder of the word "unfortunate". Everything in this damn country is unfortunate. If someone expresses a contrary opinion, that is unfortunate. If a project goes out of control, it is unfortunate. If the capital floods, it is unfortunate. If someone dies in an car smash-up or in a hold-up it is unfortunate.

It is not just the word but the whole meaning behind it. Terrible accidents obviously involving speeding, reckless driving and improper overtaking quote drivers as saying they "lost con trol of their vehicle", "they were given a bad drive". It was all so unfortunate!

We have totally reliquished our hold on reality and our power to influence our collective destinies. Now that is unfortunate!

Coffeewallah said...

Dude, you know how it is, safety in numbers and all that.

You know what else is "unfortunate". That we've been given a country that is so rich in resources, talent and beauty and we still manage to F*** it up. No aplogies for the language, put it down to lack of coffee!