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Way we going really?

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Many, many years ago, about 50 or more, ah met ah young Jewish man in Bequia, who told me he was into de Hamburger Fast Food business. I invited him to set up business in Sin-vin-sin, but fortunately foh us, he believed dat de population was too small to keep his business alive foh one day. As our conversion developed, he said he was amazed at de amount of biscuits and de varieties he saw on de shelves in de stores, every single pack was imported. He even advised me to get into de biscuits business. Dis Jewish guy made it sound so simple; a small oven dat could bake dough at high temperatures and a good sealer foh packaging. Fifty years after, we still importing every pack ah biscuits.

After dat treasured conversation, ah made it ah habit, whenever ah go to de supermarket, ah would check de aisle foh biscuits, and boy-o-boy, dem shelves just keep piling up – guess what? Every single pack ah biscuits still imported. Give and take, gradually Vincy products are finding their way on de shelves.

But only dis week ah was looking at de shelves wid milk, from cow milk to goat milk; from Fat to Slim… oops skim; ah even see Chocolate and Vanila Milk and wondered what animal produced dem. Lie-Za say she going start packaging donkey and pig milk? What caught my eyes was “Fresh Organic Milk’ (imported of course), but nicely packaged for EC$10 ah one litre pack; dats about EC$40 ah gallon. Ah remember as ah youth, every morning at 6 a.m. ah had to go at Mr Lockhart’s foh a bottle of fresh cow’s milk, still warm from de cow’s ‘other’ – oops, cow’s breast. It was six cents ah bottle, equal to 9 cents ah Litre or 36 cents ah gallon. Ole Lockhart was an Agricultural Office who had several milking cows dat grazed all day on (natural) grass, breadfruit and banana leaves and other plants high in protein. One couldn’t ask foh ah more organic milk dan Lockhart’s, unless yuh looking foh Awe-gone-ache milk.

There is way we were 50 years ago. Today when Vin-see Fresh Organic Milk should be breaking down de shelves in de supermarkets, dey’s no such thing. Our interest is elsewhere. We fighting wid ah thing called Med-ass-senile Marie Warn-her. What is wrong wid de leadership of dis country? Is ah shame how de Far-rainers could come to SVG one after de other and fool de hell out ah we.

We not learning, just look at Buccament, we chased de Rastamen off de lands at Buccament Bay to literally give-away to de Hotel Infestors, who turn around and Rip-Off de local workers wid de salaries, dey PAYE, de NIS and de Go-venom-mint get ah blow foh Taxes, and den de man in charge ‘Ran Away’… sorry, Mr Aims left ‘legally’ we were told by de PM. Down to de very people, house-owners who bought into de Development got Ripped-off!

Not satisfied wid de Buccama Rip-Off, our noble administrators sold Mount Win Peter’s Hope lands at ah give-away price to another set ah Infestors. Dat project was to have started ah year ago, dey fool us by clearing de lands. Lie-Za say meanwhile dey gone like Aims did, to negotiate our heritage wid other Infestors.

De Joke of de sent-three is de hue and cry foh “Med-ass-senile Marie Warn-her.” Somebody in Go-venom-mint hear dat big money making from extracting Med-ah-sin from Marie Warn-her, and all of ah sudden, Sin-Vin-Sin is High! High! High! on Med-ass-senile Marie Warn-her. Dis is so funny ah just can’t laugh. Dis company dat is going to set up ah plant to man-yu-fracture Med-ah-sin from Marie Warn-her, brought an expert here to test for de best and most suitable Marie Warn-her plant available. Don’t get me wrong, ah have nothing against Chefs or professionals in de Culinary Arts, but when yuh tell me yuh going to do scientific tests on Vin-see Marie Warn-her or anything foh dat matter; yuh go bring ah Chef? May I remind those who spear-heading dis Marie-Warn-her joke, one ah de God-Fathers of de extraction of Drugs etc. from Marie-Warn-her is ah Vincentian, Professor Albert Lockhart. So we should not mek anybody fool we like monkey, bringing ah Chef to run test on Marie-Warn-her plants. Lie-Za say de Chef came to Taste, not Test de Plant. His Excellency Joseph Chatoyer must be rolling or maybe laughing in his grave. And wid dat is gone ah gone again.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.

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