Thursday, May 19, 2011
CLICK ON THE YOUTUBE VIDEO WHILE READING THIS POST to get the same feeling I had when writing it.
"No Sugga inna Caye Caulker bring fram de City" the text message read on Tuesday morning, from Shirlene.
"No sugar on the Caye, need to get some before you drop me at the water taxi." I tell my taximan
HE: Well gud luk wid dat, sugga scayce right now."
ME: For tru? Chiney shop noh hav?
HE: It all inaa de newspapa, dey carry too much da Guatemala, sell it on de block markit, get 6 times de amount we pay inna Belize. Greedy sukkaz.
ME: Me noh pay tenshun da newspaypa
So I dash into Sav-U-by-de-roundabout, to the sugar aisle and it was empty. EMPTY. EMPTY EMPTY. Almost in a panic (sweating and hyperventillating) I asked the young boy stocking the shelves, about sugar... "Yu hav, yu noh hav?"
"We hav" he say, slowly backing away, "Sugga scarce, yu cyan hev only 5 pownd." and went to the back room to get it.
"All de mi giv me is 5 pownd" I tell my taxi man, "Mek you ker sum fa me" I hand my taxi man a $5
Midmorning clandestine sugar purchases. My taximan comes out of the store walking nonchalant, like the sugar is for HIM, giving a little skip. A conspiratorial smile on his face. Hmmmph! Always a way to beat the system.
The crux of the problem is that there is no production problem in Belize, the sugar prodcers say they have been selling enough to the local distrubutors, but these same distributors have been illegally exporting sugar to Guatemala, shorting the local economy, because they can get up to 6x the amount than what we pay here with our government price controls on basic commodities.
So, with sugar so scarce, I have stopped vacuuming the ants out of it.
"What are these insects?" a tourist man said pointing to the sugar jar.
I pretend to peer at it, knowing full well what he's pointing at. "Oh, those are just sugar ants" not paying him any mind "Totally edible."
I see his stomach turn. I actually physically see it, and think "stop being such a cry baby man".
"Well if you don't like them, which by the way I do, extra protein and all, just wait till they float to the top of your coffee and then skim them off."
"Here, let me show you." and I drop a teaspoon of sugar into my coffee, the ant floats up, I skim him off in one swoop. "Because I am not freakin throwing this sugar away, sugar scarce you know."
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