Saturday, January 22, 2011

After all this time

I've been gone for a while, my heart just wasn't in it anymore. It always happens when life goes a certain way, the urge to write becomes stymied by knowing that if it's out there in black and white I cannot fail to acknowledge what IT is. You can only hide for so long.

There are so many things that are waiting to be commented on:

The the company that is contracted to move prisoners to and from their court hearings drive so dangerously that "justice on time", their slogan, may well be "better dead than late".  If you work in downtown Port of Spain you know them. The officious grey and white vans in convoy with several police SUV's siren and horn blaring escort driving at high speed through the narrow streets, trying clear a way through the heavy traffic when there is nowhere to go for the average motorist. I wish the powers that be would spend some time walking about or being on the highway when they are coming down at full tilt and experience what it's like. It may well change your point of view or are you going  to wait until someone gets hurt or killed? Having nearly been rear-ended by one of these vans yesterday because the driver was tailgating at high speed on the highway and failed to notice that the traffic was slowing down for the traffic lights and then swerving at the last minute to avoid  my car (which was at a complete stop as were the three cars in front of me) into the next lane with an on-coming vehicle. Nerve wracking to say the least. By the way, the driver of the van failed to moderate his behaviour after this incident and proceeded in the same way once the light had changed.

Lack of driving courtesy on the whole.  Taking a trip out east at midday for the first time in months I remembered why I don't like to drive anymore. Trinidadians are generally are discourteous drivers. They will not budge even if someone else has the right of way, they will block intersections even when there is nowhere for them to go. Trying to get out of the gate in the morning is always an experience, it's a long time before anyone will let you join the line of traffic. We cut each other off, we tailgate, we are upset when the person in front of us does not run the red light because we plan to, the list is endless. Women are generally more rude than men, yes ladies, be ashamed.

Traffic police - do they even exist? Or are they only used to escort prisoners and VIP's, and to clear traffic for aforementioned? We used to see them on the highway but that disappeared some time ago never to re-appear. Suggestion for the COP, instead of sitting in your office over on Sackville Street, walk around Port of Spain in your civvies one day and see what your officers are doing. Take a drive up the highway. Bravo that you are trying to drag the Police into the 21st century but sometimes a little low tech is useful.

And speaking of the streets of Port of Spain. The Mayor was all for removing street people, well I really wish he would. My sympathy for the suffering is tempered by the large piles of human excrement that dot the pavements, the rank smell of unwashed bodies and the hands thrust into my face every time I'm stupid enough to go out of my building. Particularly bad, Queen Street, Chacon Street, actually the smell is so bad you gag. What are we paying 25% income tax for? VAT?  We say we want to encourage tourism, foreign investment etc, but our capital city is not what you expect from a modern progressive place despite the presence of large, faffy buildings.

Why oh why are we putting up that crap in the Queen's Park Savannah again? You mean after fifty  years of staging a Carnival parade we couldn't come up with a better solution. Actually, I'm pretty sure someone did but was totally ignored as per usual when anything innovative is put forward.

You know TALKING about innovation is not the same as BEING innovative right? It's pretty apparent that we think if we say we are going to be innovative it's the same thing. Wrong.

Day one headline - Missing piano. Day two headline - Where's the piano? Day three headline - Accuse ex-PM of misappropriating piano. Day four headline - Piano found right where it should be.  Is this for real?  Steupps

Surly service from store clerks etc. and the fact that business owners neither monitor their staff to see what type of service they are offering nor do they provide adequate training or empower their staff. that said,  big praise to the Security guard at the NP station on the Beetham who noticed my struggle to fill my car tank while trying to wrestle my hair and clothing into submission because of the wind and came over to assist. He didn't have to pump my gas but he did and was very pleasant too! Kudos also to the guys at Peakes they usually very helpful; the girls at Rituals Nicholas Towers and St. James. Good customer service is possible.

Are you beginning to get the idea of why I stopped writing? There are so many larger issues that are not mentioned here but the list is endless. What this has done is made me understand very clearly that years of my life have been wasted trying to achieve something worthwhile instead of very quietly living my life without guilt.  What's next? I suspect the other side of the world for me.

1 comment:

Gabriela said...

I think that people who get into large vehicles feel as they've become stronger and that are over everybody else.
In Lima, we have the same problem.