My daughter is abroad doing her Masters in Literature in Europe. What she says to me is what I heard long before she was born. My students, after they would have graduated from UG and go abroad to do post graduate studies, would say, “Mr. Kissoon, oh, God, things are so much easier here than the nightmare that UG is”.
I would meet friends I knew a long time who are living in foreign countries, and when they meet me in the National Park and on the seawall, the refrain would be the same – “Freddie, why are things so impossible to get done here, man.” I don’t have the answer, only that I can theorize on why Guyana is like this.
I have written about it in an enormous number of columns. There is a complete psychic breakdown in Guyanese civilization and people in this country just live to exist and exist to live. Human meaning and the resulting commonsensical behaviour that should result from an understanding of it does not obtain in Guyana.
The essential contribution of Sigmund Freud in comprehending psychic destruction is his discovery that motive and action are intricately connected. One without the other is disaster. In Guyana, action has no motive and this obtains in every sphere – private sector, government, social behaviour, etc.
When you finish reading this column, you will disagree with me that I was blameless. You will say that I should have been more careful how I drive. I beg to disagree. It is the loss of rationality in the civilization of a nationality named Guyanese that caused me to suffer what happened to me on Barr Street, Kitty, yesterday morning. I assert – I am not to be blamed but the wasteland of Guyana is. Here we go.
Hand-In-Hand company sent me a notice two weeks ago advising that my car insurance would be up on March 21 (incidentally, the same time the life of the APNU+AFC regime is up). My wife keeps reminding me that she wants me to go and pay it right away. The thought then occurred to me that since I have to pass Kitty on my way to the National Park with my dog, and there is a Hand-in-Hand branch at Barr Street and Stanley Place (Stanley Place made famous by the “feral blast” man, Roger Luncheon who lived on it before moving to Pradoville 2), I could renew the thing there.
I checked the notice to see the telephone numbers to call before going to the Kitty branch. The notice is on a GCIS letterhead. It is the letterhead from way back in the seventies when GCIS was a state company. It has no email address or website or telephone number. How could it? The letterhead hasn’t changed since the seventies. GCIS is owned by Hand-in-Hand.
So I drove to Barr Street just to find out the information I could have had on the phone. When I pulled up at the branch, I ran into the gutter. My dog began to bark because the car was tilting. A commercial van came up, two men came out and together with Hand-in-Hand Security, raised the car while in reverse gear with me inside and I reversed to safety.
Now read this. This is incredible. I spoke with the manager of the Barr Street branch, Shanomae Baptiste, and asked if I could see the video from the security cameras to thank those two men. Brace yourself for the most asinine country in the world. Ms. Baptiste said the employees of the branch cannot see what the cameras pick up or access the cameras of the Barr Street branch; only head office on Robb Street can.
I couldn’t believe that. I called Ms. Pierre, the manager of the Hand-in-Hand branch on Main Street, next to the Ministry of Finance. She said that Ms. Baptiste was right. The employees inside cannot see what the cameras capture, only those at head office can. Therefore, I enquired from Ms. Pierre what happens if someone is outside the Barr Street branch about to enter with an offensive weapon, then the employees will be at his mercy, because the cameras won’t reveal to the employees inside the building who is coming in.
Ms. Pierre said that is the situation with the surveillance cameras. I asked Ms. Pierre what happens when the folks at head office see the man entering the branch with his weapon, how could they provide safety, since they will have to telephone the branch employees to warn them. Ms. Pierre said she guesses that is what will be done. This is indeed, the world’s sickest nation.
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