Sunday, May 30, 2004

I got so pissed off at a stupid ignorant comment today - here's my response. First I should post the comment that pissed me off...

"I'm sorry guys. Maybe I'm just an old fashioned fool like those guys who sit around and talk about the better days, but I still remember when my sister could go out and not have an 80% chance of getting raped or killed or both. A time when a member of my family or friends being 10 minutes late was not a reason to worry unduly."

And my admittedly furious and pissed off response...

80% chance of being robbed or raped or both? Unless your sister frequents some very dodgy areas, and assuming she moves around T&T in a general, average manner, like myself, as I've not been robbed or raped and I'm out of the house a lot, then I would think that I should lock myself up RIGHT NOW, before the statistics even out! And I'll tell my female friends that we've been VERY LUCKY and our ticket is overdue to be punched. I've had MUCH closer calls in NYC, Sao Paulo and London than here. I get SO fed up with the fear and panic and gloom and doom.

I drove myself down to MOBs last night. No robbery or rape. I get so pissed off with all these people who say - It's so unsafe! My friends who visit from abroad are thrilled that it IS safe. Everyone who comes here to visit me thinks it's safe and wonderful. We walk down to Pelos, go out to parties. I leave Trotters at 2 am and drive home by myself to my house that I live in BY MYSELF.

The police even showed the stats that said that crime has dropped. AND IT HAS! But do we believe it?

3 years ago I was at risk of getting mugged going to Pelos, in the carpark, on Cipriani Blvd - and what did we do about it? The St.Anns and Cascade residents and businesses got together. They fixed streetlights, fixed pavements, cut bush, and the businesses in the area agreed to have tier security do a bit more to look out at the neighbourhood. We now have a police post outside Queens Hall - this because they moved the Police Station. We didn't just whinge and moan!

Murders have risen, kidnappings have started. BUT the AVERAGE person is safer. At least if the average person is me and my friends and my parents. I couldn't believe when I read that people are moving to Miami cause it's safer! SAFER!!??!! I lived there. I couldn't go down the road to the shop after dark, and even during the day it was a bit dodgy!

I just get so fed up with these whiners and do-nothings. If it were up to them, we'd have Jouvert in broad daylight with police on every corner! And we have to do something, cause they are definitely making inroads! Look at the decisions that are being made based on crap info. There are NOT more crimes today than before. There are more MURDERS. That is a BIG difference. And these assholes are affecting MY way of living. I like to finish jouvert by 9, so I can sleep and then get back out. When we move Jouvert from 2 am to 5 am - I didn't get home until nearly 1 this year - thus - no Monday afternoon mas for me. If they don't like being out at 2 am - stay home until the sun comes up! Don't interfere with MY events.

Ooooh - I'm getting too pissed off for a Sunday.
Ah gone

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Well - I'm starting to think on the society in which I live... It's strange, because my life is so different to that of many others, it seems.

I found out yesterday that a friend of mine was mugged and had her handbag snatched in Tobago. Walking from Crown Point to Sandy Point. This is unbelievable - every year for the past 8 years we've safely walked those 3 blocks at all hours of the day or night during Angostura Sail Week. But- I've been mugged a lot in Trinidad in the past, but not Tobago.

Petty crime is on the rise in Tobago, apparently. What's strange is that to me, it feels safer to walk in Trinidad. Serious crimes are on the rise, murders, kidnappings, etc. But my handbag is safer, my house hasn't been broken into for 3 years (after a consistent yearly burglary for many years), I can walk to my car from a bar on Cipriani Boulevard without a security guard. So, my perception is that I feel safer. I guess this will last until I or someone I know gets kidnapped or murdered, and then I'd feel "Oh my Gawd! Crime is RAMPANT!"

Perception is everything. But Trinidad does feel safer. I leave my bag on the beach at Maracas and go to swim, and everything is there when I get back. This is my experience.

Tobago seems not to be publishing the crimes - especially against tourists. This is interesting. Trinidad crime is splashed over the front page. People have been suggesting the same to the Trinidad newspapers and media for YEARS. They haven't taken the suggestion. Is it that, in the Tourism world, if they don't publish it, it doesn't happen or doesn't exist and the tourists continue to come and are happy? Or will the tourists who are victims of crime tell their friends, who tell their friends, and so on and so on and so on (to quote the ad)
And then no-one comes. So...

When my friend's handbag was stolen, the police knew EXACTLY who to go look for. And they promptly removed the rubble on the road that he used to hide behind before jumping out at her. So why didn't they do something before?

Proactive policing sounds like an answer to me... regular police patrols, street lights, and very importantly - quicker justice system, so that people are not
1. On bail for years and years - continuing their job of crime
2. In remand for years and years - if they're innocent
And the witnesses remember what happened, and the evidence isn't lost, or degraded.

Monday, May 24, 2004

OK - so we start ALL over again.
I'm really reconsidering a lot of things right now. I've been really sick, adn I guess that, coupled with getting older, does make you think. I've done an almost complete withdrawal from newspapers and TV news for the past while. The negativity was making me feel ill, and I didn't have the energy.
I probably still don't have the energy, but what is filtering through to me - via friends and family - is that things are not well in the state of Denmark, and it's time for all of us to step up and do something. So.. that's what I'm thinking about now -