The internet as well as concerned friends and family at home in Canada warned us about the safety of traveling in Trinidad. In particular, the city of Port of Spain. Maybe this is why our flight to the Caribbean, at a time in Ontario when the thought of snow could become a reality any day, was easy on our wallet. Our first stop, Port of Spain. A late arrival left us no choice but to arrange a pick up from the airport to get inside before the police start combing the streets to fine or arrest anyone outside for breaking the 11pm curfew.
Jeff… the son of Tony of “Tonys Guesthouse” (provided us with some noteworthy tips during our 45 minute ride through the city. “So, do’s and don’ts… this road here,” Jeff motioned to the very road we were driving on, and “that area over there up to the mountain, “ pointing to the crumbling residential area to our right beside the highway. “If you are ever in a car and get a flat tire, you just keep driving. If you stop, people will come out from there and rob you.” Note taken. A week later, in a taxi back to the airport, the reality of what Jeff told us sunk in a little deeper. There were people just waiting along the fence-line between the dwellings and the highway. Waiting for some poor soul to break down so they could strip his car and loot his belongings.
Shocking, right? Well, you might be surprised to hear, that our own prized cities have like-minded individuals who would do the same, given the opportunity. Just ask a friend of mine who got into a car accident on Expo Blvd, very near where the Canucks play in Vancouver. This past summer, as she was assessing the situation, trying to compose herself, the car (a friends’ she had borrowed that day) now totaled, was being looted right before her eyes.
It’s so easy for us to lay judgement on societies outside the comfort of our norms. But we fail, or choose to turn a blind eye to what is happening in our own backyard. There are dangers, everywhere in the world, why is it we are so quick to judge those that are not our own?