Why My People Dem Vex

Life is hard and then, it goes on. In the meantime, between birth and death, we spend the rest of the time dying, for the most part, ignobly, if you notice the state of things. It’s all ‘business’ and Jamaicans are not ones to turn a blind eye nor curse under our breaths. If you have to go to the market, Murder! And it’s not just the price of a pound of chicken wings, but the taxi fare to get there and back that take your breath away.

If you have to go to the doctor, Lawks Jesus-God! Fees for hospital bills and doctors’ visits here make highway robbery look like petting instead of date-rape. My Aunt’s three prescriptions yesterday, the two of which she refused to take I might add, cost $10,460.20 J. That’s a neat $126 US for 174 pills – 153 of which she is refusing to take – but I mentioned that.

Don’t try to top up your cell phone either, or have an emergency that requires the use of one. An average international call of fewer than say 15 minutes could involve two or more network failures at precisely the moment one is conveying the symptoms to check for or prevent. Now, I realize that these three things – taxi cabs, doctors’ visits and cell phones – are all luxuries, but when these disappointments fall upon one who is already struggling to keep a stiff upper lip as witness, mercy, mercy, mercy.

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