Monthly Archives: November 2006

Oh Guyana

This is the name of a classic song from Guyana written by a guy named Ramjohn Holder and it aptly expresses my feelings about being the that land for the past few days.  Folks, Guyana is not a place i like to visit nor would i like to live there. That country needs an official "Do Over" or Extreme Makeover: Country Edition.  It is in a right mess. It looks like an underdeveloped Sange Grande. (for the Trinis reading this).

Let me start by saying that I officially knew I was heading to Guyana when the woman in front of me at "check-in" asked if I could check one of her bags in with mine. I didn’t answer her. I just smiled. I think she got the message. Later on, said lady is walking in the departure lounge with a large market bag, a small suitcase and a toy truck. When security checks her, she has two big bottles of Tampico juice in the market bag. Liquids are a "no no" in carry on luggage ever since the averted UK aiport attack. They tell her she needs to check this in. She says something at the top of her lungs. They realise that she is going Guyana and they let her pass. Sigh much not post 911 security measures.

Strangely enough she wasn’t one of the people chosen in the line at Check-in to be randomly searched. I was..Steups……I stood there in awe and all i kept saying…."But I going Guyana, why are you searching me?". This was to happen to me again on leaving Guyana where they opt to search me instead of my colleague who had more luggage than myself. I swear they were conspiring to rile me up so they could arrest me for disturbing the peace. I don’t understand. i dress well. i speak properly. So why are they singling me out? This doesn’t happen to me on US bound flights. On those, the others races are harassed……LOL

Anyway..back to Guyana…Now the people that I met there aren’t bad at all. As a matter of fact they were much more pleasant than most Bajans you will ever encounter but like every Caribbean island, these gems always seems to be overshadowed by the seedy elements that one comes into contact with when you least expect.

My introduction to Guyana was through its transportation system. A series of Taxi rides convinced me that any Guyanese national can do well on the NASCAR circuit. Professional Racing is for them. Trinis take note…you are boo when it comes to driving once placed alongside any Guyanese.

First of all there are no traffic lights. Yes, you read it. There are NO traffic lights. Reason???? Apparently the drug addicts of Guyana have pilfered all of them and sold them to scrap metal dealers. big business across there.  Have no fear, the Government has just agreed to purchase 50 new traffic lights  for US$2.1 million to deal with this. In the meantime, if you want to drive in the city, you have to be aggressive and use your horn every 30 seconds…otherwise you will be trapped at an intersection. (I am not kidding).

My ride from the airport to the hotel (Le Meridan Pegasus) was done in less than 30 minutes by the driver despite the airport being 27 miles from the Capital city. Trust me when I say God and I were on full intimate terms during the cab ride and at one point i started calling him "G" and he referred to me as "Stef". Call me delusional but the speed at which we were going at, and him darting in and out of traffic, I think I actually ascended to some extent. My requests to slow down as I was not in a hurry were ignored.

As I soon learnt, drivers in Guyana don’t speak to their passengers unless it is time for time to demand payment. And at that time, they grunt the price at you hoping that you’ve heard a higher price than what was actually said. One of them went so far as he refused to speak to my Chinese co-worker and instead direct his answers or questions to me with the term ‘Yeah Brethren". Anyone who knows me know that I will not refer to someone in that manner nor do I wish to be addressed that way (well unless it will prevent me form being robbed or getting a cut-ass). The guy also refused to accept money from my co-worker only opting to take it from me as I assumed he felt a bigger tip would be forthcoming………..(PS..I don’t tip). He drove off steupsing……

My other Guyana lesson is this. If you turn on a tap, let it run for while and try not to drink the water. i learnt this lesson at the Hotel. Oh yes, the posh hotel…Le Meridan Pegasus. I was about to have a bath and when i turned on the shower, some brown stuff started to pour out of the pipes…..It didn’t stop for another 15 to 20 seconds and then the water became clear. i wasn’t as lucky when it came to shaving in the sink as the hot water never got clear. On calling Reception, I was advised to let it run as this was common. Common? They Mad? Brown water in a hotel affiliated to Westin, Sheraton and Four Seasons Hotels?? No eh?  But then again…It’s Guyana…..

 Surprisingly, Wireless internet connections were readily available everywhere i went and most of them were free. I however chose to use the Hotel’s WiFi as this guaranteed me so security.  i can’t say the same for WiFi in Trinidad. Finding a network here is a nightmare. It is rumored that Guyanese can hack into anything or bypass "tamper Proof" equipment. This is the reason why alot of the nationals have free electricity and new water meters are recalled every three months. Somehow they always find a way to bypass the system and therefore end up not paying for essential services.

Despite these things, there are alot of rich Guyanese people that shop in Miami more than I do and love their country to death. And with good reason to…….We all should have national pride….shouldn’t we? Mine wavers and at this moment, it is  screaming to leave. Primarily because I think I am tired of this place and need a change of scenery.  Hope my new home is not “gulp” Guyana.

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Posted by on November 27, 2006 in Uncategorized


Both Sides Now

I was reading my friend Matthew’s blog a week ago and he waxed really truthfully on love and its confusion and mystery. It was a really good piece he wrote(brilliant even). Then it hit like a tonne of bricks…… "I really don’t know love at all" (well i really didn’t say that, Joni Mitchell did but i wish i did).  I have been single for the better part of almost two decades. The last time i had a serious relationship, George Bush Snr was President and i think ANR Robinson was Prime Minister (i kid you not). Even now as i look at it, i was rather young back then and didn’t even know my ass from my elbow so i probably wasn’t doing a very good job then either. Hmmmmm ( Oh Hi S.G….Wussup? LOL).

 In my 20s, life just never seemed to present good options for me. It always ended up being someones hand-me downs (and not the good kind of second hand clothing that you would like) or someone who wanted to put with all their baggage on the scale at the same time. Examples range from someone using me to get over someone (Hi N.O.), using me to spite an ex who i am friends with (Hi T.N.), or trying to hook up with me days after breaking my best friend’s spirit (Still a Bitch G). All in all i just haven’t been lucky or fortunate in this thing called "Love"

I make this point just to say that i find it passing strange that my friends still call me for advice on love, inspite of my apparent and obvious lack of experience. Who is crazier in that regard i will never know. The strange fact is i think that I  know what love is (on some basic level we all do) but how do you know if it’s real or what you are feeling at the time isn’t a prolonged gas pain that will fart itself out later on? These questions plague me time and time again and yet no answer seems to be in sight. Yes I know it is a journey and not a smooth one yadda yadda yadda but why is it so hard for some and comes so easy for others?

I have known people, who lack a basic thing as a conscience, find gems of people and time and time again and never seem to suffer or experience any Karma for their actions. (Yet I am alone). In what universe is this fair? if someone writes tells me that that person is open to love and i am not… know this……..if a vagrant happens to pass you and a pile of excrement happens to hit you afterwards…..know it was a message from me.

As you may realise to some extent, I have a tendency to wax very cynical on love as in most instances the people I go after for "it "just never seem to be interested in me or place me in the dreaded "Friend" category…..These people don’t realise that my friend book has been filled since 2002 and that i am not taking on any new additions. Would we go to dinner alone if i wanted you as a friend? Hell No.. KFC for you and doubles if we running late.  Friends, i have enough of those but what the heart wants to experience and craves is that magical (yes i watch too much TV) and even uplifting feeling and being with someone and knowing that they want you as much as you want them. Yet, this is so hard to find and while i have had many people put forward their case to try and fill the position of "My …….."( you fill it in i can’t bear to even see the word), they don’t move me the way the dysfunctional ones that i crave do.

 Now the dysfunctional ones that i am drawn to, like me, all have a basic flaw…..they don’t know what the hell they want. And because of this suitors find it difficult to relate to us and it always ends in some measure of frustration. This may sound a tad bit crazy but each of them passed at least one of my Music tests. Yes, yes, you must appreciate music and all it forms in order to even be on my radar. I once went out on a blind date and  the girl didn’t even know who Sting was and just brushed it off as an inconsequential matter (We split the cheque that night).

For the curious ones…i ask only two music questions and depending on your music background it will determine if the second question is ever asked. if you make it to the second question, then you are ready for entry into my inner sanctum of really good friends (if all else fails).

The first question is always a Janet Jackson question. This is a basic entry level test  and  so many of my friends have failed miserably. but then again, some of them still buy Celine Dion albums….(Sad isn’t it?) or worse yet..they own only burnt CDs and talk about having a CD collection (you have nothing Captain Blackbeard).

The second question…..well err hmmmm.. i wont even bother to discuss it. Just know that the band was from the 1970s. I must ensure Limited access to the data otherwise some freak might decide to google the info and pass herself off as a true believer…….Trust me when i say i can spot a stranger to Music from a mile away. 

You know.when i started writing this it was just to highlight the thoughts that have been flowing through my mind since Matthew’s blog on "Love" but as usual, the one thing that always picks me up and makes me forget how cruel people can be, has saved me from opening up further.  Yup Music. As i wrote on my two questions….the healing power of music has closed up the growing hole of exposure and filled with song. Not just a song but memories of music that feeds the soul, heals the heart and cleanses the mind.

The one single joy of all is discovering a new artiste or a new song and letting people listen to it and knowing you just enriched their lives. Thank God for music!!!.  I wasn’t blessed with the gift of song writing but i am glad so many people were as it is through their lyrics that i have been able to compartmentalize everyone I ever met and in some instances attach a song to them. Some people have albums attached to them…LOL Those lists will however never be revealed.

So my apologies to anyone  who expected a really funny blog……….

BTW, does anyone ever really know what there are doing when it comes to love? Or even if it’s real? Ah well….see you in theraphy.

This is me…Stripped….LOL!



Posted by on November 9, 2006 in Uncategorized