These columns are filled with my belief that there is a psychic breakdown here that has penetrated the entire country. Illogical, irrational, inhuman, depraved, nihilistic, immoral, senseless, incredible, unbelievable, anachronistic, primitive, nervous, and spaced-out human action dot the entire landscape of this society.
All are consumed. All are victims. All manifest these symptoms. They can be found in every sphere of human activity.
I was at a birth night party recently. This young lady with two Masters from top class universities recently returned to Guyana. She applied for a house lot. She asked my advice. She said that what she is seeing in the behaviour of the new government is appalling. She thought they were better people than the PPP.
She was completely devastated at the way the secretary of one of the top, top men in the power establishment controls his office. Every official, including the technical people, are mistreated because he has an affair with his secretary and cannot discipline her. And he is too big to be disciplined by the power establishment itself.
She asked me if she should stay in Guyana. She said she wants to but she has a German boyfriend abroad who has a university job and would marry her. My reaction was immediate. I honestly thought we would have a better quality of leadership after the PPP was voted out. I don’t see even a modicum of change coming.
Governance will become more tattered with the advent of oil money. I do not hide my feelings in my columns and in my activism. This country is a failure. I don’t see a new landscape on the horizon. So my advice was automatic – if he loves you and you love him, say goodbye to Guyana and as they say in local lingo, “Go and make your heights.”
The psychic breakdown can be seen everywhere. On Tuesday morning I encountered a manifestation of this psychic loss. You are not going to believe what happened to me. But it happened before and I wrote about it. My wife cooks for our dog so she can have fresh food daily. That morning my wife left early to go out.
After walking my dog on the wall, I dropped in at Bounty Supermarket in Kitty about 10 AM to pick up a packet of meat for the dog. The cost was $401. I told the cashier I didn’t have a dollar; I didn’t have any coins. He insisted he must have the dollar. I didn’t quarrel because I think he was in his right to ask for it plus he has to balance at the end of the day.
From the hundred dollar bill he was given to deduct the dollar, he gave me back $90. I said; “What are you doing?”
He replied, “You have to get back $99 change but I don’t have five and one dollar coins.”
I was utterly disgusted. I took the $90 and angrily walked out. I couldn’t owe the business a single dollar but it could owe me $9. This is a family business, owned by one of the richest families in the Caribbean. If it was a state enterprise then my $99 was going back to the State which is owned partly by me.
But why should I give $9 to a super rich family? I am dead serious when I say that I expect the supermarket to return my $9. It is not the amount but the principle. They can call my cell – 614-5927.
The above story is what I refer to as the psychic breakdown in Guyana. I can give you dozens of examples I see each month. I visit the supermarkets early in the mornings because that is when I leave the seawall and National Park to return home. Hardly any customers are there.
Last week the car park at Survival Supermarket had just four cars. Yet this driver blocked my exit. I had to look for him. He came out saying, “Sorry, sorry!” I said; “But Sir, look at the amount of space you had to park.” He didn’t reply.
My daughter and I were in the line at the GRA waiting to apply for her driver’s license renewal, when this middle age foreign lady asked the receptionist how a foreigner with an American driver’s license can get a local permit. She told the lady, she has to start all over by doing the local exam.
That is absolutely misleading. Read the Stabroek News yesterday. Magistrate McLennan told an accused under the law, her offence does not carry bail, but she will still put her on bail. Does that make sense?
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