January 31, 2020

This Lil Vincy Went to Town – part 2 of 3

(continued from last week) by TRELSON L. MAPP

PUBLIC SPACES In the public spaces, one can find a confluence of mouth pieces from different political persuasions, each exerting, peacefully, their take on various subject matters. Of the same reality, one side appears to be harbingers of doom, painting gloom expectations, ceteris paribus, while the other prognosticates perpetual bliss, again, all things being equal.

Vincentians love their politics and commonly showpiece their tribal loyalties. More often than not, though, opinions are largely influenced by geographical and genealogical factors.

Public spaces also facilitate juicy discourse of the latest happenings.

Vincentians do not gossip; we talk comess. Surely, you must know the difference.

Gossip is a mere discussion of other people’s affairs.

Comess, on the other hand, is a heightened banter of the misfortunes, calamities and folly of others, which defies common sense, to the extent that you have to beat something, stamp the ground and throw back your head in outbursts of laughter. Sometimes we put our hands on our hips bellowing the onomatopoeia “woooo,” like a siren. At times, the comess is so sweet that you follow the speakers past your destination. Of course, discretely appearing to be minding your own business. Then comes the turn over time. It’s times like these that we blame the poor innocent little school children for everything, prefacing the comess with the accusation, “school pickney say.” We then conclude the news item with the statement, “so me buy um, ah so me sell um,” rendering ourselves as merchants.

Somewhere on the anatomy of every Vincentian is a region known as the craw. This area acts as a storage and release point for bothersome things. If you are lucky enough, you may encounter ‘a good piece ah cussing.’ As issues reach boiling point, participants rinse each other verbally with incendiary comments, at times, taking care to visit the iniquity of forefathers up to the nth generation. By the time they are finished baptizing each other, they are whiter than snow.

From nowhere, people spring like ninjas, some instigating and acting as emotional charging stations for the feuding volcanoes.

It is hard to stay discrete especially when the melee gets juicy. It is times like these when we may notice that the bottle cork on the ground needs to be moved two inches to the right, or we start inspecting tires like traffic police. Basically, anything to keep us lingering around ground zero.

Like the complex clock, no one dares to move, sun, rain or snow, no matter how belligerent the situation appears. Everyone puts on their investigative caps and everything else takes a backseat.

Vincy has some of the best investigators that you can find. What better place to find them than in Kingstown? When a story breaks, Vincies develop a mild form of omniscience. Yep, we know everything: Who is the ‘real pickney pupa’; what window he climbs through; and, what vehicle he drives.

Give us some time and we would even give you the chassis number. A Vincy can also discuss an on-going story from another locality with such intricate detail that you dare not doubt their omnipresence.

Kingstown is well laid out, based on functionality. The banks are generally concentrated in one area, wholesalers in others, custom brokers in another, schools in a couple, the traditional churches in one and the Lebanese stores occupying their own stretch. Along the reclamation site is what I call the Asian district. Don’t expect to find any Asians there. I termed it so because one part comprises China Town, while Tokyo (Windward and Leeward) occupies the other portion.

Nesting in the crevices of China Town one can find congregant minds challenging themselves to rounds of dominoes or draughts (checkers). A series of shops and their contents add to the vitality of this real estate. Beside food and beverages, a few cobblers, such as my pals, Fitzroy and Dutchie, ply their trade mending footwear. Tokyo on the other hand serves as an interchange for the public transport system, more so, private minivans. In addition to being a bus terminal, it is a favoured waterhole for many a thirsty soul, particularly, those that are tired of drinking juice or water.

Sadly, although amusing at the same time, Tokyo has become the final resting place for many a pay check.

This is a poignant reminder of the struggles of a woman.

Tokyo has transitioned into a multipurpose facility.

During the day, it is buzzing with omnibuses, passengers and vendors. At nights, it becomes a parking lot for vendors’ benches, stalls, trays, iceboxes and goods, covered and strapped with strongman ropes on small trailers and carts. Strangely, everything is intact for the next business day. The sea walls that guard the Asian district also has multiple purposes. During the nights it can be a tranquil getaway for adventurous loves that wish to gaze on the ebbs and flows of the moon-lit pristine.

The frontier also affords ample cover to societal bigwigs and their bubbling concupiscence, concealing their lowly-esteemed ‘catch of the day.’ Ye wives, this fishing ground may be an appropriate place to locate your spouse, prior to issuing amber alerts. During the daylight, though, the seawall provides conduits to nature-washed comfort stations, a welcome to heavy laden bladders. It can also be an open galley for culinary arts, such as roasting breadfruit. I must attest that it takes great vision to see the multiple potentials of these public spaces.

On the issue of vision, Vincentians have 40/20 vision. One journey in an around Kingstown would confirm this. For instance, we see pedestrian crossings where they don’t exist.

The untrained eye would not notice the one leading from the market towards Jax on Hillsboro, or the one from the financial complex towards Courts or even the one connecting Geest Shed bus stop to Heritage Square.

Luckily for pedestrians, the drivers seem to see them too. In the goodness of their hearts they may stop at these points to let you across. You would however be doing so on your own accord. As I said before, these road-crossings do not exist.

Another thing you will be doing on your own is believing everything that you hear. If legend is correct, somewhere around Bentick Square, we have our very own Bermuda Triangle. It is alleged that things have a way of disappearing there; bed sheets, medications, fingers, surgical instruments and the likes. This may be a good area to do a treasure hunt. Keep your torch lights and metal detectors handy, for you never know what might turn up. Then again, don’t believe everything that you hear.

Part 3 next week