THE EDITOR: I cannot but applaud MP Keith Scotland for, in his budget response, his headline-grabbing suggestion to use a coal pot...until.
The only difficulty here is that in modern TT it’s mostly the elite that still have coal pots; the others have BBQ grills (that could work too).
For me it's not so much about the coal pot but about people learning to adjust to their circumstance. A lesson especially for young people. If you can't afford Nike, make do with a “Mike” or “Vapor Nax.”
One may have air conditioning but you also would have a fan to fall back on to keep a check on the electricity bill.
Many years ago, cooking gas ran out at home. My mother, RIP, turned over her heating iron, propped it against a wall, placed a sauce pan on it and boiled water to send her seven children off to school with a hot cup of tea.
On another occasion there were no matches to light the stove. She promptly plugged in the iron, placed it on a sheet of newspaper (we always had that to inculcate reading), blowing as needed until it caught fire. Stove lit.
Her philosophy was “yuh doh have to beg yuh neighbours for nothing.”
We were an average Morvant family sufficiently provided for by the patriarch but those times just came along.
The moral of outlining these occurrences is simply to say that you adjust to your circumstance; it has nothing to do with your social standing, dignity or ambition.
The circumstance of poverty/hardship is in most cases temporary, if you make the necessary adjustments. All of us, in differing degrees, can look back.
People make great sacrifices to buy their Carnival costumes, to travel abroad, to build their homes. We are always proud of the sacrifices others make to achieve their goals. What about us?
Whether it’s coal pot, iron, A/C or Nike, just do it. Ride the bus, walk a little, avoid peak-time travel, use alternative routes.
By the way, have you ever tasted dirt-oven bread? Premium stuff in Tobago, yes.
ANN MARIE DAVIDSON