How long now we looking at our politicians and saying they wasting we tax money? They can’t make a note without us shouting, “Is we pay for dat!” Cars in excess of a million dollars. Louis Vuitton boots. Travel expenses for family members. Tens of thousands of dollars on hotels. Undeclared funds in foreign bank accounts. And the list goes on. But as usual, we pointing fingers and not looking in the mirror. Who wastes more tax dollars than us? I see it every day. Especially on the roads, or rather the pavements. No the roads. See, I’m confused because pedestrians in Trinidad, we do not use the pavements provided for us. We walk in de road. On the outside of parked cars too. And with the size of our waistlines (ok not mine, yours!) mankind taking up half de road while walking. Then there is the look that I get. As if I am supposed to be driving on the pavement and you walking on the road. Who you feel paid for those pavements? We did. Use them nah.
On the topic of pedestrians, what is it with people crossing the street with their backs to oncoming traffic? It’s pedestrian best practice in Trinidad. Ok, yes you gauge the traffic and the speed of the cars and decide that you can make it in time.
Your next action is to cross the street, back to the traffic in a sort of demi-trot reminiscent of a five-year-old unwillingly off to bed. So if you get bounce now, what going to happen? Hospital. What you can’t afford private medical care? General Hospital for you. Wasting tax dollars again. My favourite line from Machel’s tune “In Charge” from his latest album, Double M, is “down de road like white line”. Instantly I visualise the white lines painted on our roads (albeit not all of them) to differentiate your side from mine. Clearly you’re not seeing it. Because you’re on my side. I have to check before the road rage, because it could be that you’re avoiding a non-pavement-using pedestrian.
Wait. No, you’re just on my side. Now if money was flowing like weave on sale on Charlotte Street (and trust me, these days it isn’t!), I would just let my CUV (cross over vehicle for those who don’t know!) broadside your car and teach you a lesson. At which point you’d be angry and shout at me in the street. Easier to just use the white line, ent? I wonder how much money would be saved if we didn’t paint those lines? Because we not using them. Tax dollars blowing away like poui flowers around the Savannah. So it seems I am saving a lot of money for Uncle Jack (like he’s meh fren) but the roads are where I see this wastage the most. If we have to get rid of the white lines, then the pedestrian crossings have to go as well. I mean people cross a mere block away from crossings that have been provided, with electrical mechanisms that stop the traffic for you. Yes, I know, it’s magic. You press a button, then in a few minutes, the traffic comes to a halt and then you walk across some white stripes painted on the street in case you are unsure where the light is directing you to go.
Yuh know how much for dem lights? Yuh know how much traffic pile up for de people to paint de white lines for you to cross safe? Use de ting de people put dey fuh yuh nah. We’re a people of blame and I too am guilty. Quick to point out what is wrong with this and that. Thing is, I am back to try and make a difference. To use my talents of the written and spoken word, to tell T&T as it is, so together we can get better. As a nation, we are well-positioned to become a powerhouse in so many sectors. It has to start with me. Then you. Let’s work together to increase our courtesy to each other. Let’s start respecting our nation. Don’t litter. Obey our traffic laws. Make use of the resources that have been provided for us, no matter how small, like de white lines. We need to stop looking at what we’re not doing and embrace what we are doing. Ask yourself, “What am I doing for my country?” Paying tax is just not enough. Trinidad and Tobago is well-worthy of performing on any international stage, we’ve just got to make the show worthy. And I am not talking about Carnival. What yuh going to say? That’s the government’s job? The government in terms of numbers pales in comparison to our numbers as the population. Start small and the big will come.