In February 2008, I dropped off my sister-in-law at the airport and in the vicinity of the Bounty Chicken Farm in the Timehri area, the men with the grass-cutters, while weeding on the public parapet, sent a stone crashing into my front windscreen and shattered it.
I was angry and hurriedly pulled over. I couldn’t get out because my wife insisted that I do not make a fuss. I told her that the NDC for that district would have to pay for it. My wife insisted that we should live with it, and not create a situation.
So we drove away. Trust me; I am married for the past thirty-one years to one of the quietest women in the world.
I still look back at that incident in anger because hundreds of drivers have had their windscreens broken because of these grass-cutting workers. The weeding equipment actually carries a bag to catch the catapulting stones but the nonsense about this country is that the weeding people do not use those bags.
The Ministry of Works, the various municipalities and the hundreds of NDCs in Guyana must outfit these workers with the bags for their grass-cutters. Last Sunday morning, I experienced the same fate as I did at Timehri in February 2008. This time it was the back windscreen.
This was real trouble for me. My car gives me enormous problems, now I have to buy a windscreen. My mind came upon Khurshid Sattaur, the Commissioner-General of the Guyana Revenue Authority. This man had the temerity to publish in the two independent dailies that I built a mansion. I was livid because my modest house in Turkeyen took all my savings and those of my wife.
Mr. Sattaur insinuated that I am a poor UG lecturer and queried where did I get the money to build a mansion.
I challenged him to visit my home with a group of media practitioners and let’s compare it with others who didn’t work for as long as I did and also let’s compare what’s inside. Further I demand that both Sattaur and me take a lie detector test about all the possessions we have from what is inside the home to our assets down to the type of television sets we have right down to our cell phone.
I use a “gooseberry” given to me by the Marketing Director of GT&T, Wystan Robertson. I think its market value is $6000 because my friend Colin Smith of the Catholic Standard told me he bought his gooseberry for $6000 last week, right from GT&T. I believe. Mr. Sattaur has a Blackberry.
Maybe all members of the political elites have the latest version of the Blackberry. I am not finished with Khurshid Sattaur. I will make my home an election campaign issue. The public must insist that Mr. Sattaur and me take an intensive lie detector test. The public must also demand that Kaieteur News and UG drop me if I refuse.
Well, I had to get a back windscreen. I have nothing against the Beharry Group of Companies. They are great Guyanese investors. But the truth is I cannot afford genuine Toyota spares.
I searched every conceivable corner in Georgetown, East Coast and East Bank on Monday for a RAV4 back windscreen. A friend in the business arranged to have a non-Toyota one, made in Taiwan, sent from Suriname for me to arrive on Friday at the cost of $32,000.
But suppose it was just a wee bit short or long? It is best to see the stuff. Only one place had it. It was not a genuine Toyota item. This was Singh’s Auto Spares at New Garden and Robb Streets. His price was $88,000.
I decided that Beharry will have it at the same price and that would be the genuine Toyota windscreen. I just couldn’t afford $88,000 at this time but I had to. Unlike what Khurshid Sattaur thinks, I am a poor boy from Wortmanville who raised himself up but I am stuck in the lower-middle class category.
Off to Beharry on Charlotte Street I went. Now brace yourself for one of the shocking aspects of life in Guyana. A real RAV 4 back windscreen from Toyota sold at the agents for Toyota in Guyana, Beharry Automotive Limited is $46,900. The manger, Suresh Rampersaud, was kind and polite.
He came out of his office, did the measurement of the thickness and size to see if it fits the model of my car and I got a decent discount. At Singh’s Spare Parts on Robb Street and New Garden Streets, the non-Toyota item was fetching $88,000. Please be careful how you shop!
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