Like many Guyanese who have migrated to foreign countries, I have become entrenched in the socio economic and cultural norms of my new homeland.
During my childhood in Guyana it was normal to see horse and donkey drawn carriages in the street being used as a form of transportation for both young and old and for cargo transportation as people plied their trade. Bicycles, motorcycles, and cars were for people who had started the upward social climb and were displayed with great pride.
It was also normal for many in the country areas to use wood and coal to fuel their stoves and ovens for the preparation of their meals, often in set-ups outside their houses. In the city in the 1960’s and early 1970’s, the kerosene cooker was a staple followed by the gas (propane) cooker
Many looked upon the use of the horse and donkey as part of the life for the poor and not so “well off” and the wood/coal stove as another burden in the lives of the poor.
This brings me to the present day and life in our adopted countries. It is for the “well to do” to own and ride their horses and ponies and, many an upwardly mobile Guyanese has enrolled their precious children in riding clubs - some fortunate ones even acquire their own horse or pony.
Many of us who looked down at those “unfortunate” enough to be using the “fireside” in Guyana, or who ourselves used the fireside, having moved up the economic scale in America for instance, build lavish, luxury kitchens costing tens of thousands of dollars and then promptly spend several more thousands to build another kitchen…outside in our yards using propane or coal and scented wood chips.
Life as a human must be bewildering to those extraterrestrial beings who might be watching us from afar. As we keep moving in circles we sure must seem strange.