One of the things, I wont say whether good or bad, about not visiting a place for a few years is that you get to see distinct snapshots of its development. As opposed to our usual vantage point and a perception of change as a gradual process you instead see change as if a fairy with a magic wand instantaneously made things happen. Snapshots, before and after pictures; where once there was an open field there is now a huge structure imposing on your vision, where once there was an old building it has now been spruced up and modernized etc.
Before and after shots, what was then and what is now. Well that was how I saw things on my recent trip to Barbados (got like three more blogs about the visit actually) as it had been a full three years between visits. Me own mudda nearly disown den!
Anyway what can I say, over the holidays I discovered that there had been a myriad of changes in Barbados since my last visit. Development and progress they call it. Not that I was expecting stagnation or regression or anything like that but some of the changes caught me a bit off guard as some were a bit unexpected. Still its all good! Lots of new housing developments even though land prices through the roof, road expansions and potential flyovers being built, interesting demographics changes (in my opinion anyways and no I aint talking about Guyanese immigrants), airport looking nice even though the P.A system still sounds terrible, even one of my favorite places in the world Kensington Oval getting a makeover "fa cup". Everything "fa cup" as the locals there might say! World Cup that is!
But and this is a big ol bodunkadunk type butt. BUT the major change that stood out to me more than anything during this visit, something that wasn't around in 2003, is the increased prevalence of cell phones. And when I say increase I mean like increase to the power of 100.
Cheese on bread den! Cell phones like water bout de place. And no don't take this as a well Barbados is a third world country, a mere dot on the map and people should still be talking on a piece a string tied to two snow cone cups comment. This is a comment saying I am just shocked at the dramatic increase and prevalence in cell phones in Barbados when I consider what I saw in 2003 where a mere fraction of the population mostly business folks had them and today where everybody and their grandmudda got one.
Not only that cause in Toronto I'd say there has been a cell phone explosion as well although maybe my seeing it done gradually hasn't awakened me to its extent but to me comparing cell phone usage in Barbados to that in Toronto based on my non-scientific analysis and observation it just seems like Bajans use cell phones more than people in Toronto.
Everybody got a cell phone to their ears or checking a text message den! If you see three people in Bridgetown then one out of the three is having a conversation on their cellphone and as my friend said the other two just waiting for theirs to start up ringing.
Do you know how much I wish I had shares in the cellular companies Digicel or BMobile? Forget IBM, Microsoft and Google stocks, cell phone company stock is where its happening Bim. I would be able to retire all like now if I had gotten in at the start. Dem fellas must be getting rich, rich, rich.
Then I stop to think about it and say ya know what I'm not surprised by this change though. Why? Because the technology now exists and the average Bajan like to talk nuff nuff nuff! See how I duz write alot on my blog and wunnah duz complain that I long winded? Well the average bajan like that except instead of writing he or she duz be talking!
I lie?? Cheese on bread boy bajans too like to hear the sound of their own voice. We duz always got an opinion and a comment for every situation. Ya will never meet a speechless bajan!
In general we love to talk and specifically bajans too like to talk on the phone. Lawd ave mercy! Look in Barbados the government could raise gas price, electricity price, water rate, food prices could go through the roof and people might grumble a bit but as long as they can talk about it on the phone and the call in programs everything safe. The fellas will survive. But let dem ever start talking about metering home phones again and you would see disruption, unrest and riot starting up in the land.
So yea I not really that surprised when I think about the prevalence of cell phones in Bim. The influx of affordable (actually this is an assumption as I have no idea what rates are like but considering the amount of phones it must be reasonable) cell phones giving the ability to converse, chat, gossip, talk nuff long talk without having to be restricted by wires and cables to being in one spot, to be mobile and speak must really have been a revolutionary moment in the history of Barbados.
p.s: I will now get cussed by every bajan I know while every other Caribbean person will say that is true I neva meet a quiet bajan yet. :-)