When you are no longer part of Trinidad's daily rat race you tend to go through somewhat of an enlightenment period. During this time, because you have more time, you are able to observe some of the more subtle but harmful aspects of our society.
One of those enlightening experiences you can have, is observing secondary school children heading home in some of the more urban parts of the country. Monday to Friday, 2PM to about 3:00PM, some parts of Five Rivers, Mt. Hope, El Dorado to name a few, look like a juvenile version of #Occupy.
You can observe children gathering dangerously near the Priority Bus Route and Eastern Main Road, some shuffling around maxi taxis as they pull into the crowd. Others may choose to have their backs turned to the road while engaging in conversation with their peers.
Occasionally, if you are perceptive enough, you may witness one or two eagerly seeking attention from their peers by running dangerously across the road into oncoming traffic.
The stereotypical old school Trini hearing this might be quick to say:
"Dem children harden and need a good cut tail."
Maybe, but that approach to indiscipline is what gave us a society of insecure sheep and mini dictators that still manage to do any and everything wrong you could think of.
Besides, it's not entirely the fault of the school children.
Our road infrastructure in some parts of Trinidad and Tobago is simply horrible and not built with pedestrians in mind.
Proverbial death traps that were never designed for the sudden
and abrupt stopping done by the main sources of public transportation;
maxis and taxis.
There are parts of our roadways where shattered car glass, broken lights and various car parts are a feature of the site. There is are even locations such as the intersection near Champs Fleur that has had gruesome accidents since the days of the railroad.
Surely that should indicate that something may be wrong in the design of the location?
I'm no civil engineer but I feel as though a lot of our road infrastructure was not built with the concept of rapid population growth and urbanisation in mind. Though that's exactly what T&T has experienced over the past few decades and it does not seem to be slowing down.
Still especially in the context of school children spilling on to the major roadways, I'm actually amazed that we have not had much mass fatalities.
We seem to have all the ingredients.
Call it a blessing or maybe dumb luck, or maybe youthful agility.