Kaieteur News – Anyone who has read this column frequently would know that I believe that the Guyanese character is seriously flawed and this separates Guyana from the rest of the world. I thought the Russian personality was the most difficult to understand but Guyana is far more an incomprehensible place than Russia.
What you are going to read about the Fort Groyne seawall is serious but there is a comical side to this accident. Each day after I complete the routine of walking my dog on the Eve Leary Seawall, I would drive to a spot my dog likes, the reason I don’t know.
She likes to look down at Fort Groyne right in front of the Georgetown branch of the army’s coast guard service, directly at the back of the Marriott Hotel. On Wednesday, a barge damaged the wall. If it is not fixed quickly, the water of the Atlantic Ocean is going to undermine the foundation of the Coast Guard building and the Marriott Hotel. The Fort Groyne seawall was built by the Dutch centuries ago. Its sturdiness is mysteriously phenomenal.
What is so funny about this incident? At Fort Groyne, the Coast Guard cordoned off a big piece of the parapet for security reason. As a frequent visitor, I know you cannot park there, so I rest my car just next to a huge GWI water supply pipe. I have laughed countless times when lovers drive up there, do not know they cannot park next to the Coast Guard parapet, and the sentry would rush out; “sorry, you cannot park here, it is a security zone.”
I see the ubiquitous sentry echoing that exclamation to lovers and nature watchers all the time. From Fort Groyne you get a splendid view of West Coast of Demerara sitting on top of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a beautiful sight to behold as the sun rests its tired body on the ocean as sundown comes.
Many people drive up there to see that scene. The Coast Guard sentry sits at his desk right in front of the door, so he quickly pounces on drivers whether they are nature lovers or erotic lovers. Here now is the comical part of the Wednesday accident. The Coast Guard personnel did not know the wall, right in front of the barracks, was hit. I drove beyond the security zone to tell them what happened.
A rank quickly came out of the building to approach me. My reaction was immediate. I told him, instead of watching who comes to park, where the sentries were when the barge broke the wall. They came out with smart phones and began filming the damaged wall.
I couldn’t help the temptation of telling them that they have eyes to see who is parking wrongly but a serious accident occurred but they didn’t see a thing. Minutes after, journalist, Neil Marks, drove up. He was going to film the Kingston jetty behind the Marriott Hotel for his employer – Newsroom. He parked beyond the security zone and was chatting with me.
He asked me what music I was listening to on my discman. I told him Italian love songs. And he wanted to know if the dog next to me was mine. I was laughing while Marks was talking. Marks had no idea that he had parked wrongly and that two sentries were looking at him.
I was waiting for them to come out and instruct him to move as they do as a matter of routine. Then I would have opened up my big mouth and asked where they were when the barge destroyed part of that phenomenal Dutch construction. I watched as Marks walked away, and I watched them as they watched me. They knew I would have made a fuss if they had asked Marks to move.
I waited with my dog until Marks reappeared because I wanted to see if they would have warned him. They did not and Marks and I drove away at the same time. What a funny, enigmatic country. Right in front of an army barracks, a barge destroyed a strategic part of Fort Groyne and no one in the Coast Guard building knew about the incident.
I would hope the owner of the barge is required to fix the damaged wall. But who is paying to fix Water Street? Go north on Water Street from Mattai’s Supermarket and you will see the daily wreck that the container trucks are doing to Water Street. It has become impassable for small cars. I guess my tax dollars will pay to fix the road and not the rich business folks who keep destroying it.
(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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