"But This Couldn’t Happen in Jamaica"


Yesterday the news came that there was a bomb exploded in the middle of Port of Spain that injured 14 people. To date, no-one has claimed responsibility.

Once the shock of the event wore off, I found myself shaking my head in amazement, and thinking that this could never happen in Jamaica.

As a disclaimer, let me start by saying that there are many things I absolutely love about Trinidad, including my wife. If there were no Jamaica, I would gladly live there.

However, there are things that happen in Trinidad that shock my Jamaican sensibilities (and we Jamaicans are a bunch of people that are not easily shocked).

Yet, there is this mental list of things that happen in Trinidad, both good and bad that just could not happen in Jamaica. The funny thing is, I can’t explain why this is so… I just know it. I’m sure a Trini has their list of things in Jamaica that could not happen in Trinidad, and Bajans, Guyanese and others would have their lists also, but here is mine.

Things that Happen(ed) in Trinidad that Could NOT Happen in Jamaica

  • the bomb blast in port of Spain of July 12, 2005
  • the temporary overthrow of the Trinidadian government by the Muslemeen, a religious sect in the early 1990’s
  • the freedom granted to Abu Bakhr (who lead the overthrow) who is allowed all the privileges of an ordinary citizen, and has never been convicted of a crime
  • kidnappings at a high rate (with relatively few deaths)
  • Carnival (all of it)
  • TSTT maintaining its monopoly for as long as it has

The differences between our cultures are important to take note of, as they tell us as much about ourselves as they do about the other countries. Now, to explain these differences… that’s the very hard work.