A Trinidadian, resident in the US, returned home for the first time in 23 years for a short visit. He said Trinidad seemed more built up since he left and some parts were not even recognizable. He also said the place was now crowded and the people were more hostile than he remembered. But he found one thing did not change and that surprised him the most. I asked if it was the butterflies but the visitor said no, it was the pothole outside his parents’ home which was still there. I laughed but said I was sure the pothole was repaired many times in those 23 years but there was something he must know and that is potholes in Trinidad cannot be permanently repaired.
I went on to explain that though people could put a man on the moon since the sixties and perform soybean oil breast implants since 1995 the technology used in countries like the US, Germany, and Somalia to effectively repair potholes had not reached Trinidad and Tobago. I said I did not know why the technology eluded us but there were also drains which had to be repaired every year because they kept using the same technology and mentality from the Stone Age. The visitor was shocked and then asked how the new interchange will work and I said they are keeping it quiet for now but it will not. “So there will be no relief for the motorist then?” he asked. I said not much relief before 2012 and only if the money doesn’t run out. He bent his head and looked disappointed. I told him he looked sadder than a Republican but we in Trinidad and Tobago were happy to be alive and not get mugged or shot at and that was all that really mattered. But then my face lit up and I reminded the US resident in a short time they will have Barack Obama. His face also lit up but then I grew sad when he reminded me who we will still have.