Last week Guyana celebrated its 50th anniversary of Independence. In the post-colonial narrative of the Caribbean, Guyana has always been an enigma.
It is 7.15 am. I am in Scarborough early, to get easy parking uptown. While waiting for the cloth store to open, I bide time by walking around. Passing near the Methodist church, I put my hand out to graze along the top of an orange bougainvillea hedge. A loose clump of about five flowered stems comes off in my hand. Holding the small bunch, I walk back down to the square to wait in front of the cloth store.
Ahead of me, at the corner, a car stops and an older man gets out from the back. As I approach, he sees the orange flowers in my hand, laughs and says: “You selling flowers or wha’?” I stop, pick two from the bunch and give to him. “For me?” he says, surprised. “Sharing! That’s nice. The world needs more sharing.” I agree and wish him a good day. “You have a good day too.”
Glancing back, I see him waiting to cross the road to the bank, holding his orange bougainvillea flowers. Later...It is now 3.30 pm and I am in Bon Accord, across the road from Stumpy’s Hardware, sitting on a stool under a tent, surrounded by Valentine’s Day paraphernalia. Out of curiosity, I have come to chat with Bev, the woman who has set up this Valentine’s table for the second consecutive year.
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