Sunday, October 01, 2006

Chookooloonks guessed & a serious note to Patrick Manning and his Government

Well, yesterday my location was correctly guessed by Chookooloonks. As I had posted my clue I thought it was definitely too easy. But, I find St. Lucy (Lucia) fascinating anyway, the fact that her eyes were gouged out while she was imprisoned, and in pictures depicting her, she has black holes where her eyes were and she holds her two eyes on a plate.

Whenever I am out of Trinidad, especially in another small island, I notice the differences between 'here' and 'there'. What strikes me most here is how polite and respectful the people are, not only to strangers or foreigners but also to each other. They are also very strong on customer service. I find myself wishing every now and then that Trinis could learn a thing or two from them. I have not encountered any rudeness. Even 'sooting' and ogling which Trini men do is not a factor with St. Lucian men in general. They seem much more respectful.

I was also amazed when (yesterday) at the cash register in the supermarket with my friend Mel, the woman before her was asked by the cashier if she had a shopper's card. The woman turned to Mel and asked "You have a shopper's card?" Mel casually handed it over, the cashier swiped and the woman got her discount. This would not happen in Trinidad.

It also feels a lot safer. Whenever I'm not in Trinidad, the energy of safety is more glaring. I'm not saying things don't happen in other places, but you can feel the difference as you walk somewhere. I was saying to Mel yesterday that I look back on Trinidad and feel sorry. She agreed saying: "Yes. For the wasted potential."

Coming back home yesterday after a long, not-for-the-faint-hearted ride in a maxi, I noted how everyone getting into the van said Good Afternoon, Good Evevning, Good Night ... and others responded. The politeness is a natural part of it all, not a forced thing at all.

I could go on, but will end here. First rainy day for now (apparently it is rainy season) ... but we are renting a car and driving around the island, doing the sulphur springs and the rain forest ride, etc. I like doing 'everyday' things, so that may be the most touristy part of the trip.

In closing, a note to Patrick Manning and his Government ... and any coming Governments we may acquire: Development is not tall buildings and big highways. The St. Lucia highway looks like our Eastern Main Road, they are not plagued with skyscrapers, smelters and industrial estates around every corner, they do not have rubbish littering the streets, the people look relaxed and, even though most of them don't live in massive monstrosities, they have a good quality of life; their food prices are not flying through the ceiling; customer service is impeccable (not only because tourism is a major industry but because they mean it); people are polite and courteous; there is no sense of anger and frustration in the populace - on their faces, in the way they drive, in the way they move; their telecom and internet problems are dealt with swiftly and with genuine follow ups (from what I've heard), 'things' look as though they work; public transport prices are not astronomical; there is a lot of vegetation everywhere. Do you know how refreshing and great for the spirit it is to look up at the mountains or look around at plains and see miles of banana and coconut, forest, green savannahs, shrubs, grazing horses and cows? Not every nook and cranny of our ecosystem has to be cut down to build a concrete or metal structure! Yes St. Lucia is a 'small island' (and I'm not saying it's perfect or that I know everything about it) but that is nothing to be scoffed at. It is far more developed than Trinidad and Tobago could ever be at the rate we are going.


Anonymous Chookooloonks said...

YAY! You know what's funny? About 6 months ago, I was in St. Lucia, and I played the same guessing game on one of my other blogs. It never occurred to me to mention the patron saint of eye problems!

Hope you're having a great time. Enjoy!


1:03 PM  
Blogger allan said...

Web Girl- Saints always have a generic brand!! :-)
Looking at and listening to all that is happeing in Trinidad and Tobago we are seeing an inbred political culture that has not been able to "line" with a strong alpha anything for the better part of its existence since 1980.
Patrick Manning and his "team" of sheep are doing the same thing that Hyatali, Clarke and Williams did 2 generations before,and Panday and his lemmings in the late latter Century- creating a dynasty of mutations of the same theme. Now am I different in what I go through in the US?-No because you see the issues we have here with the corruption and inbreeding in the 2 party system as well (Just this weekend for example with the Florida Senator and the 16 Year old male pages and we are now finding out that the Republican Leadership knew there was a problem since last year but kept it quiet while making overt comments about michael Jackson-talk about Crystal houses and righteousness ethical flaws) cover ups and the like are nothing new but we have a working constitution and an entrentched social myth that at the end of the day the wrongs that any of us do will either be in step with the expectations of the constitution or be beat down by it. Ellis Clarke, Karl Hudson Philips, and thinkers of that ilk created the constitution of Trinidad and Tobago. Just like the US constitution it was elitist but unlike the US constitution it was not tempered with that mix of impurities to allow others but the same class that wrote it to benefit from it(We had no John Hancock in our midst- a pity that Uriah Butler was not asked to join the constitutional committee by the great Social Historian whose experiment T&T is still living in-Sorry fans of E.W. I dared to commit the sacriledge and say he was fallible).
Trinidad will have the Smelter and the Monorail(oddly the more expensive and least effective as a light rail system is better proven in geogrphies and situations as hours-but we are the great experimenters)and the edifices and the de-gentrification of the suburban living spaces with schools for the poor children in Cascade so that more maxis can ply routes into the already crowded arteries to enable "Idi Dada Rowley" to meet his goal for the people of eating one day with the Queen. Word of advice to Rowley -Maurice Bishop you are not!!!! Or will never be.
I digress excuse my spelling at points. Thank you Elspeth for the stimulation. Enjoy your break

4:38 PM  
Blogger Elspeth said...

Thanks, Allan. Chookooloonks, great minds think alike.

5:13 AM  

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