My daughter posted two cartons of books from London. It would be impossible to fetch two cartons of books if I am parked far from the post office downtown. Once it is after 8 a.m., parking near the building is impossible.
Hand-in-Hand Insurance next to the post office takes up four streets for its vehicles. Last year on my way to the post office, I was prevented from parking near to the insurance company, even though I was on the public parapet. Hand-In-Hand got a rude awakening.
I went to Eve Leary and asked the Traffic Chief, Linden Isles, for his intervention. He sent one of his seniors. This country is a crude, vicious, class-dominated wasteland. You are not going to believe what the manager did. The officer was asked to come in and I was asked to wait outside. That manager never heard decibels so loud. I am the person whose rights are being violated, I brought the police, and she wants to speak alone with the officer. He declined her offer.
Hand-In-Hand was told in pellucid language that the company cannot stop drivers from using free space on the parapet outside the building. Since then I see Hand-In-Hand committing this act of bullyism all the time. But you know the saying; “monkey knows which limb to climb on.”
To avoid fetching two cartons of books for six blocks, I decided on Friday morning to wait for the opening at 7 a.m. At 6.30 a.m., I parked outside with my dog in the car. The place was deserted. I am in my car when, two cyclists rode up, one on my left, the other on the right. One of them put his entire head in my car from the driver’s side. Then he pulled away immediately. They rode away and the older one looked back and said, “Hi, Mr. Kissoon.” Was I nearly robbed?
I wasn’t taking any chance; they may come back. With dog in hand, I went over to talk with the two very young security ranks on the lawns of the National Museum. As my dog walked on the lawn of the museum, I saw what every Guyanese in and out of this country must reject with emotional vehemence. Don’t rely on this column; go and see it. In front of the southern section of the museum, is a huge grill cage. Inside are parts of old typewriters, computers, air-condition units, rotting empty cartons, old newspapers with millions of cockroaches feasting on them, smelly old clothes and nuff rats running around. This was a permanent fixture, right in front of the museum.
As I spoke to the guards, one of them said; “yuh ain’t see nothing yet, Mr. Kissoon; look at dat.”Literally feet away from the actual entrance were worm-infested discarded clothes, rotting cardboard, and a mountain of feces on top of the heap that was strong in its fetid smell. The guard said the homeless go and defecate on the heap every night.
Let’s move to the US Ambassador to Guyana. Her residence is quite known and made more known after the outburst by Priya Manickchand at the 2014 July 4 celebration at the Ambassador’s residence. She lives off UG Road into the gated compound past the Gafoor villa that is heavily guarded. The envoy has to use the Atlantic highway once she is going north on UG Road and the Railway Embankment once she is going south on UG Road to the Caricom Secretariat, Giftland Mall or Arthur Chung Convention Centre.
For four years now, the street lights located above the traffic signals at the Atlantic highway and UG Road have died. When you make either an eastern or western turn onto the highway, you are entering Naipaul’s area of darkness. Four years now on the Railway Embankment, from UG Road to Sheriff Street, only four street lamps are functioning. In close proximity to each other, there are two areas of darkness.
What goes through the mind of the US envoy when she sees these manifestations of primitive society in Guyana? Simple street lights at strategically located roadways have not been working. And for how long? Not four months, but four years now.
Here is my contestation – in no other country in the world, I repeat not in any country on Planet Earth, would you find in front of the national museum an ocean of miasma. I urge you if you love this country and plan to live your life in it, to go and see that tragedy in front of the museum and the darkness on the Railway Embankment. My wife said the two chaps were not robbers but curious about our dog, “Princess.” Were they?
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper)
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