Bus-stops, grassy parapets and jewelry quoted in American dollars
My wife and I entered this jewelry store in the City Mall, on Tuesday evening looking for silver. She wanted to buy a silver chain. Downtown Georgetown looked modern on Tuesday night because shopping went way beyond 18.00 hours.
The core of the shopping centre looked like one of those European cities.
I guess it is the holiday season and with the rain wrecking the retail trade, it was only reasonable to let stores open later than the routine closing time.
I believe in this modern world where most people have to work and the era of the full-time housewife is coming to an end, commercial retailing should go beyond the mandatory 17.00 hours closing time.
I couldn’t understand why this jewelry establishment had all of its prices quoted in American dollars.
Even if they wanted to use the American standard, why couldn’t they also state the Guyana equivalent? It was annoying of course because there is no fixed exchange rate. Some enterprises and commercial banks have their own rates.
For example, you find that one American dollar may be trading for $202. In another place, it will be $205. This is not the only store that advertises its prices in American dollars. Some rich Guyanese shop with American dollars, particularly the drug people.
I have seen two wives of suspected drug barons pay for their exotic purchases with Yankee green paper. I suppose there must be some explanation for it. But I would prefer to know how much an item cost in Guyana dollars.
I guess every action must have some logic to it. Two businessmen yesterday told me a story. After you have listened to it, you will get frustrated. And you will cry out for the reign of logic in this country. The entire population of Guyana (I doubt with any exception) welcomed the implementation of bus stops on Guyana’s roads.
The citizens of this country find the culture of our minibus drivers absolutely sickening. In which part of the world can a bus stop on any section of the road at the whim and fancy of the driver?
There can be no denying the compelling fact that minibuses are of value to the working classes of Guyana. Without them, the labouring masses will be in dire straits.
However, the minibus operators have become overbearing. I doubt whether they will survive another twenty years in Guyana. The big vehicles are going to replace them, and publicly-owned transport may return. So everybody was glad that there are now designated bus stops.
Once you placed them on Regent Street, then they will have to be right in front of some stores; every business-place on Regent Street touches its neighbour.
Now here is what the police have done. Next to the marking that says “bus stop”, is another sign that says, “no stopping.” What it means is that only minibuses can stop on the sign.
Two businessmen, one of whom is a close relative of the publisher of this newspaper, told me they were almost arrested by traffic ranks when their Canter trucks carrying their goods stopped on the bus marking which is directly in front of their store. This is not only unreasonable, it is asinine.
Surely, the right of the store-owner must be recognized in that he has to discharge his goods in front of his establishment. A special concession must be granted to the owner of the business to stop there to unload his stuff.
If he cannot do that then, where else is he supposed to park to empty his van? How can the police be so cruel, insensitive and wrong? This cannot work.
The private sector people should speak to Commissioner Greene about this episode of bullying.
Finally, what is GT&T doing on Brickdam? I am referring to its technical section by the Guyana Gold Board. It is a commercial operation that offers a service to the public.
Yet GT&T has completely cordoned off its parapet? So where are its customers to park? Guess where. On the other side of the road which has private houses.
Why should they allow GT&T customers to use their parapets when GT&T has manicured its section of the grass shoulders of Brickdam?
A nasty thing has developed in Georgetown. Countless citizens are closing off City Council’s parapets. So when these folks have their parties, where are their guests going to park? I have not done that where I live but I saw that an American diplomat has done that to his perimeter in my area.
What happens when his guests arrive? One day, cars will fly, so drivers will park in space.