28 Oct 2008

The reasons for being

I've had critics on this blog before; people who seem to think I criticise the Government, the dunceys, the authorities etc for their actions, inactions, lack of intelligent thought etc etc.

The key argument of every one of these critics is: why am I sitting safely in London and being critical. Well to begin with (and I have mentioned this before) I am NOT in London. I live in Birmingham, England, a city roughly the size of Trinidad and Tobago combined. In other words, the Mayor runs an administration equivalent to Pa-tricks. With a budget of over £2 Billions annually, far larger than Trinidad and Tobago's. Of course, there are services here that aren't available in Trinidad or Tobago.

I admit, my main reason for not returning and coming to Trinidad is self-preservation. Yep, I freely admit it. You see, I have a 10 years old daughter, Punks, whom I happen to cherish more than my own life. If I were to return to Trinidad, she'd naturally have to return with me.

Considering the absolute randomness of crime, something I have mentioned time and time again, I don't think that is the best course of action. There's selfish part of me that wants her to outlive me, you see, and isn't that a dream of every parent? That they won't have to mourn their children?

Don't think I don't have intentions of returning though. When she is old enough and independent enough to remain on her own, why should I not return? I miss things I grew up with, sentimental sap that I am. I have friends I miss, activities I enjoy and sorely want to continue...

I am also in university, and whether (or not) I choose to return depends on what level of contribution I am ready to make. Do I want to return and work for someone else all my life, or do I want to return with my degree and be at least more independent than I would be without it? A question asked rhetorically for those bordering on duncey level, by the way.

My degree is important to me, for a number of reasons. At my well advanced middle age (Punks asked me on my last birthday "Dad, does your age mean you're now officially old?!"), I see former schoolmates, and work colleagues moving on. I'm jealous; I think I in no way lack mental capacity to learn, but I could not afford it before. Now, despite a lot of struggle financially, I am hoping I can. It's ... doable.

Yet another reason not to return right now... I want to travel and see more of Europe. It's also a doable thing.

And my last point of this post, but not necessarily the last I thought of, is that I am comfortable here. I am accustomed to the fairness and efficiency of the 'system' here, for the larger part. I've seen unfairness, but they are soon addressed (sometimes with compensation to follow) once a complaint is made. I like the respect and politeness shown to me. No police officer here (no dunceys here either) would dare address me with disrespect if speaking me. None can run into your home in the wee hours of the morning and slap you silly. And you can have a conversation with them, without them trying to be clever and repeating the same words over and over, parrot fashion.

The mayor of Birmingham can't buy 200 vehicles for a summit meeting and hope to integrate them later into the administration. He can't contemplate buying a plane to fly to London, which is perhaps about the same distance away from Birmingham as most Caribbean islands are from Trinidad. Here, Government MP's and Mayors can be arrested and sent to prison. Not so in Trinidad, unfortunately. How many years have passed, and those charged in the airport corruption case are still to be tried?

Enough of my grousing: to those of you who celebrate Diwali, I wish you - sincerely - a happy, holy and SAFE Diwali.

To those of you who don't celebrate, I wish you - sincerely - the same.

Big Grin