Tuesday, April 23, 2024

DE MARKET VENDOR: Region selling economic citizenship

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As de Jamaican brethren would say, “from we were boys” we did planning to migrate, head off to de land of milk and honey, Amurca, Canada or to de mudder country to wuk pun de London Transport or be a nurse.
De journey was all in search of a better way of life fuh self and family and dat long trek never used to be pun Virgin Atlantic wid de flatbeds, personal entertainment systems, food when yuh want pun demand and, before yuh look round, eight hours gone before you could holler Richard Branson.
No, sir, it was pun a boat and it used to tek weeks to get there! Nuh free LIME nor Digicel calls back home to say, “Ah get hey safe”; a cable was ’bout de best yuh could hope for.
Caribbean people is a travelling people.
As Dave Martins so beautifully put it in one of he classic songs, from de time we land in New York City, we already talking Yankee! In fact, we got DJs pun radio all over de Caribbean who never set foot in Amurca, but yuh swear dem from de Bronx.
One night in de 70s de Vendor did pun a bus heading to me uncle house in Hackney; I swear de conductor born and bred in England. He did too sweet: “More fares, please, ta luv.” He did smooth like Champers snapper until a fella try to slip pun board de bus widout paying. When de conductor challenge he, de man insist dat he pay.
“Can I see your ticket then, please,” says de brudder but de man can’t produce proof of payment. Finally, in frustration, de conductor pull off he hat real cruel and leggo a piece of Bajan “cor blime in s…. (rhymes with height)”. I never see an Englishman produce money so fast!
I tell Baje: “Man, yuh had me fooled; I swear you born and bred ’bout hey.” He tell muh he born and bred in Bawdens, St Andrew, and then, in an impeccable English accent, he say: “Sometimes the only thing that works on these chaps is the language from the old country.”
I think yuh will find a West Indian anywhere yuh go. Today it hard to migrate, but while we might be looking to get out, people lining up to come to de Caribbean. Nuff countries in de region selling something called economic citizenship.
Recently, I hear my boy Uncle Keith in Grenada say it is a good thing fuh de Spice Isle and dat he learn from de mistakes of de past. A prerequisite is dat yuh must be holding some change, as dis thing could cost upwards of $50 000 just to get through de door.
De Vendor wouldn’t mind a piece of real estate in someplace like old Westerhall point in Grenada but I suspect de cost to get through de door might be beyond a simple Market Vendor. Which bring me to de small matter of de various nationalities I see all ’bout de place.
Dem Latin girls dat does only come out at night, dem buy citizenship? We know wha’ dem selling! Wha’ ’bout de Russian girls pun de platinum coast? Can I assume dat de large number of Chinese people opening chow mein and fry rice shops all over de country buy economic citizenship?
I, Market Vendor, gone fuh now. You have  a blessed and a wonderful day, yuh hear?

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