Archive for September 15th, 2007

September 15, 2007

Speak softly love

I drove through the Lapeyrouse Cemetery today to connect with history a bit. Trinis as a group have an active and passionate aversion to cemeteries. This makes sense when one considers the undeniable fact that Trinis also have an aversion to history in general. Tearing down old buildings and replacing them with glassy facaded towers is usually met with applause and the practice has become something of a cause célèbre with our beloved Prime Minister. In fact, the dear man has just torn down the house in which the former “Father of the Nation” brought the country from colonialism to independence to build a multi-million pile that would give I.M. Pei a serious migraine.

Let us turn for a moment to the pile in question. It was “designed” by the Chinese and built by a Chinese construction firm using Chinese labour. What could be more Caribbean? The style has been described as “Moorish” though I prefer to refer to it as “Lange Park does Vegas” ( Lange Park being an area of Trinidad famous for egregiously OTT houses occupied by arrivistes with more money than taste).In a country with a long and interesting history and fine examples of a unique tropical style why would we build a PM’s residence and reception centre with no reference to our heritage? I will, for the moment, ignore the fact that the aesthetically troubling thing cost taxpayers $143 million when we have hospitals with no beds. We have to keep in mind this is a PM who says he has to move out of Whitehall to new digs because:”We are now preparing to move out of there because it is not proper for a Prime Minister to be housed in a place with the roof leaking when rain falls,” ( Trinidad Express). Ummm…FIX THE ROOF!!!!! It will be cheaper and you will be able to stay in a historically important building. The worst thing is I have to glimpse the hideous thing every day on my way to and from work.

Back to the cemetery now before my blood pressure causes me to pop a vessel. Lapeyrouse should be on the tourism company’s list of important sites. It is beautiful, historically interesting and a nice break from the hectic city. Mind you, the plethora of vagrants living in tombs and small fires being set would make a bodyguard advisable – but it is easy enough to drive all the way through and jump out occasionally for a quick snapshot. My favourite part of the jaunt was the lack of noise. T&T is a noisy place. The city is full of traffic noise, the population’s preferred pastime is attending noisy parties ( to hell with any neighbourhood residents), everyone seems to believe that playing your car or house music at full volume is a lovely way of sharing your personal tastes with the wider world and Trinis are incapable of having a discussion at a normal decibel level. I love quiet and Lapeyrouse with its many residents is now my favourite community in the country.

To those observant sorts – this also ties in with my previous post on not understanding the fuss about death.