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BC’S BARBADOS: Reign of error

B.C. Pires

BC’S BARBADOS: Reign of error

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On days of thunder, lightning and heavy rain, like the one we all woke to in Barbados on Saturday just gone (and which may still be with us today, if the US National Hurricane Centre is to be trusted), I always feel sorry for the visitor touching down at Grantley Adams just as I’m getting up in my bed.
I lie there enjoying the dream soundtrack of rain on the roof – if happiness has a sound, it is rain on galvanize – but he or she is landing in a slightly warmer version of English winter.
The thunderclaps were so loud early Saturday morning I could barely make out the sound of a jet heading for its landing at BGI; and I thought of the poor mofo in that plane who had spent hours on the Internet, jockeying flights and fares from London or New York until he found a seat in Economy, from which he could see the island as he landed, the cricket fan searching for the Kensington Oval, the history buff for the George Washington House, every man Jack being blown away by the plethora of white sand beaches, all empty, compared with what they know at Brighton or Coney Island.
I thought of the sacrifices they made to be able to get away for this one precious week of holiday, these short seven days in the Playground of the Caribbean.
And then they land on a day like Saturday.
Days like that, I feel I should drive to the airport and stand at the Arrivals gate and apologize to every passenger as they come through the door. “Don’t worry, it’ll get better, don’t you worry.” Of course, at this time of year, we could well have a week of solid rain, and the person who hasn’t booked two weeks might be lucky to get one afternoon of ”no rain”, not even sun, in his stay.
For there’s not a lot to do in Barbados, if it’s raining.
People coming from “away” aren’t likely to be transported to heights of ecstasy by the shopping opportunities of Bridgetown, where they might pay US$30-$40 for a CD they could buy in Walmart for five. (Which is not to say that there are not very good deals to be had in Barbados; but, as far as I can discern, they’re on the high end, for the Wayne Rooneys of the world, not for the ordinary blokes wearing his replica MUFC shirt).
If I could, on mornings like that, I’d pick up every visitor and take him home and feed him myself, and show him a good movie, or play a game of Scrabble with him. Because I know we need either to quickly achieve political integration of the West Indian nation, so that Trinidad’s landfall wealth can benefit us all, rather than a handful of greedy posers in Port of Spain, or we need that visitor to spend all his money here.
And I’m just wondering if our governments wake up with these thoughts on overcast mornings like last Saturday; or if they always have their heads in the clouds.