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BZ, thoughts

   I just finished Last Resorts by Polly Pattullo, a compelling history of the invasion of tourism into the Caribbean.  It was most interesting because her love of Dominica made us a prime candidate for discussion.  I was wondering how this present morph of the never ending invasion, from wiping out an indigenous group in the 16th century to enslaving a population and raping the land in the 17th century, then coming to bask in its beauty and demand service for this gift of your presence in the 20th century. Now some touristscome to live and retire here as an unobtrusive and appreciative bystander,  an expatriate or repatriate.  There are the old hippies and PC people who think they are not racist and are open and friendly, trying to make a go on the island. (There are islanders trying to make a go.  Bonty’s son Clement has built a bar/restaurant and dance floor at their house on the main road to Trafalgar hoping some buses of boat people will stop for juice or fruit or cocoa tea.) There are the respectful quiet expats bringing in money from their countries and the repates coming home to the island they loved as a child and had to leave to make a living.
     I float between, a citizen and a white interloper and see both sides.  The complaints of the expats about the trash on the road. We used to throw the banana peels and the mango pits into the bush.  You brought the styrafoam cups and plastic forks that dot the island WHITE.  We are just minding our own business, trying to live, take our blows.  When you ask a Haitian,  “How are you? Sa Passe?  How’s it going?  He says back “Na Buille”  I’m not burning.”
     So the mixed Amerindian and the slaves remaining after the plantations were abandoned joined the Mid-eastern merchants who very early in the century along with the English and French merchants who stayed at then end of the plantocracy, started up again.  They lived an agricultural life. Farms take care of everything.  They grow their people’s food, produce their straw for baskets and wool for weaving.  The farm generates refuse that the pigs will not eat called trash.  People burn their trash.  
     Sometimes we keep the booka going for days and throw in what we need to get rid of.  The kids sometimes use it for an evening’s entertainment and listen for the bleach bottle or the cola to pop.  We did not bring those here.  We imported them and we are sorry that when they burn they emit a toxin made from a chemical discovered in a lab in your country. That the tire we use to keep the booka going emits a nasty smell.  It is a mighty ignition.  (  Don’t you think it’s funny that with all their R&D money the big tire companies haven’t come up with a tire that doesn’t wear out?)
     The wind is so continuous and swift, the air so open and empty that we can fit our little bit of carbon monoxide into it.  Maybe it drifts to Bejing and we are adding to theirs. I doubt.


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