my article on Jamaica provoked some interesting responses!
Let me start by thanking everyone who wrote about the
They say, A friend tells you what you are doing
wrong and I thought Id share two of the responses
with you to illustrate that maxim.
The first is from a Jamaican manager who works here and
the second is from a Jamaican woman who was visiting for
reading your article on page 30 of the Sunday Guardian
(February 18), my first reaction was How dare you!
Im a Jamaican who has been living in Trinidad for
the last two years. To have someone (an outsider) make
the points you made was akin to getting kicked in the
my second (and accurate) reaction was sadness and disappointment,
because you are right. You have pointed out to Trinidad
what intelligent and well-thinking Jamaicans have known
for years... there are two Jamaicas. Had your driver taken
you into upper St Andrew, you would have noticed that
there are also two Kingstons (sad but true).
Caribbean has a wonderful history and brand that appeals
to the rest of the world. Jamaica, too, has its own appeal
of sun, sea, sand and fun. Unfortunately, we havent
learnt how to keep our house clean.
you saw on your trip is exactly what the visitors
see when they fly into Kingston. Those who fly into Montego
Bay to stay at the all-inclusives, however, have a different
experience. So you can well imagine their shock when friends
and/or colleagues relate the horrors of a trip to Kingston.
leaders havent been able to maintain a consistent
image throughout the island. The irony, however, is that
during his stint as Prime Minister, Edward Seaga insisted
on a clean house throughout the 14 parishes
and did so. It just goes to show that we lack consistency
the right people will see this article and be ashamed
enough to do the right thing. I also hope that we who
live in Trinidad will adopt some civic pride and restore
our highways, byways and cities to something worth being
The second letter read:
I am of Jamaican origin and currently in Trinidad for
the Carnival, staying at the ---(name of St Anns-based
hotel given). I resent your article about Jamaica. You
mentioned that you had a pass and wanted to breeze through
the airport. Terrorism is still a reality and nobody should
be able to breeze through anywhere regardless of their
you mention that the airport is under construction and
begin to describe for us what a place under construction
should look like. By its very nature, construction is
messy. As a matter of fact, I drove past the Queens
Park Oval and it looks like they need another six years
to finish and you have the nerve to talk about handling
tens of thousands of cricket fans.
let me start on the hotels in Trinidad. They get an easy
F for failing. I am currently staying at ---
(a St Anns hotel ) and they cannot even handle the
few guests they have for Carnival, much less visitors
for a worldwide event. Heck, you cant even get a
cup of coffee after 9pm. Jamaica has been handling tourists
for many years and will continue to accommodate and make
people feel at home. Lets face it, Jamaica is a
tourist paradise unlike Trinidad so I would not worry
about that if I were you.
said about that, lets move on to the two islands
business. I visited downtown Port-of-Spain, specifically
Nelson Street, and it looks like the whole place need
a facelift. We also notice that the bands skirt the areas
so that the lovely visitors dont get a look at the
ghetto of Trinidad. But when we went to St Clair, it was
a different ballgame. These so-called Trinidadians, who
look almost white, own everything. Talk about a bunch
of people who value hair and colour, its the Trinidadians.
yesterday I had a conversation about the buildings you
call the Magnificent Seven. Pretty soon, you guys are
gonna have to drop the magnificent. Whats so magnificent
about buildings sorely in need of restoration? Maybe you
need to expend some more time and energy on articles discussing
the need to restore these landmarks if you value them.
took my daughter to the Kiddies Carnival and we were commenting
about the lack of receptacles on the street and the water
running through the gutters in the sidewalk, which smells
bad and looks bad. You guys should really start planning
to institute a proper drainage system. You accomplish
three things as I see it:
Take that green, unsightly, smelly water of the street.
Save car owners money in constantly banging their
vehicles to get to one corner from the next.
Increase the free flow of traffic.
Sir, Trinidad is moreso a contradiction. The moral of
this story is that people who live in glass houses should
not throw stones. Trinidad aint all that.
So Mr Mayor and the Town Councillors
if a Jamaican
has that to say about our capital, you can imagine what
the foreign visitors must say.
Just a thought.