Monday, March 22, 2010
Speightstown—the place to be! (Er, but bring your credit card...)
ENTER. Stage Right:
Let me first say, I am thrilled to see my beautiful Speightstown receiving a long deserved facelift.
I went to an urban school and constantly heard my peers make fun of how far and boring Speightstown is. Although I tried to defend my quaint hometown, I knew in my gut it was nothing compared to Barbados’ other, more lively and attractive towns. But, I knew deep down inside that, someday, Speightstown would be rejuvenated and become an area filled once more with life and activity.
These thoughts ran through my mind one Sunday at a recent NCF Read-In. I sat under the beautiful night sky listening to the words of some of our talented griots, the sound of breaking waves acting as their back-up vocals. There was also Danny “Diallo” Hinds and his young drummers beating rhythm into our souls, inspiring us to get up and dance. (Yeah, right!) It was such a lovely setting for a cultural event, and I could not help but think this is what makes Speightstown unique: The other towns do not possess the serenity to host such an event; they lack the ambiance that makes a literary reading extra special. Sitting there at that candlelit table on the beach opposite the Old Pharmacy Gallery, I had a strong urge to run home and post on my Facebook page: “Speightstown is the place to be!”
At the end of the performances, I was feeling a little parched and decided to go over to the drinks table to purchase something for me and my group, and was most shocked to hear that a Coke or a Sprite cost $5. I’m like, “What the…?!” So, no thanks, I’ll get a juice from the other table instead; probably better for me than a fizzy drink, anyway. Guess what? A CUP of juice cost $5, too. Hmmmm. So, no drinks. Let’s get something to eat, then. I point out what looks like half a roti to the lady behind the table, who informs me that it is a “wrap” and that the price is $8. Has the world gone completely mad? Is this exploitation at its fullest, or am I just cheap? Maybe they should have put that in the advertising email: Walk with your VISA card; pricey foodstuff on sale!
Well, I moaned about it for a little while with my group. And just when I felt a little calmer, a guy, who I assumed to be the curator of the gallery, came over and invited us to “movie night.” He painted such a lovely picture: romantic table for two, complimentary bottle of wine and an interesting film—all against the backdrop of a beautiful moonlit beach. Price? $100 for 2 people. Oh, and bring your own food. WHA’?! Do I get to take the table and chairs home after?
Here’s my own version of this movie night: DVD – $5; wine – $20; table – free; moonlit beach – priceless.
I should probably wait until the recession is over before I post that invitation to “cultural Speightstown” on Facebook—I doubt many people will be able to afford the art, talent or beauty there any time soon. Exit: Stage Left. — Sharifa Medford.