Sunday, 30 August 2015

Finalish thought...

Well that is almost that, the big adventure almost over. I have been trying to convince myself that I am bored with it all, looking forward to going home, but I'm not. This is a wonderful place.

I had an interesting conversation with Earl, the security guard who looks after the villa, last night. He is 65 but looks 25 years younger. He used to seriously pump iron and he remains in good shape. His wife died of cancer a few years back but he has a new lady, 15 years his junior, and is looking to marry her. He has two children from his marriage and another 5 from other relationships.

He told me he used to drive the school bus for 25 years and shook his head. I got the impression that there might be a connection between that and his other children.

He retires in two years and plans never to work again once he gets his pension. He already gets free travel, as do all children on the island. He also gets free medical care including prescriptions and dental, again as all Bajan citizens do.

Paradise? Well almost.

Homosexuality is still illegal, the age of consent is largely ignored, men are men and many women are abused, there is still a master and slave relationship going on between ex-colonialist white and emancipated slave black Bajans and the island is carelessly littered like no other place I have ever seen. Beach villas worth tens of millions sit next to tin roof shacks whilst chickens run in the roads around air conditioned Range Rovers.

I love it even so. But it is changing so quickly as the condos and villa developments eat away the beachfront. In a few years, maybe our next visit, they may not be an inch of undeveloped beachfront left in the south and west. I hope not, but it seems inevitable.

Men still play cricket in whites on Saturdays across the island, women still crochet and wear Sunday hats and everyone goes to the herbal doctor when they are unwell.

It is Britain in the fifties and sixties in so many ways, but America in the nineties is drawing in fast. Crime is rising, drugs and prostitution too, but still everyone goes to their church.

Yes, I can't wait to get back home to my real life. Wherever that is.

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