Letter of the Day | Highway robbery in Hellshire
THE EDITOR, Sir:
A few weeks ago, I decided to treat myself to some finger-licking fried fish.
I had read rave reviews about the seafood at Hellshire, and I had the most mouth-watering meal there a few years ago. Therefore, without further ado, I got dressed and made the trip to Portmore.
When I arrived on the quaint shores of Hellshire, I strutted in my thong sandals. I had enough 'prosperity' notes in my purse to purchase a bellyful of fish, festivals and bammies. Come on, just picture Hellshire. It does not have the moneyed ambience of an uptown restaurant: the disappearing shoreline is strewn with rickety, water-stained architecture and some of the gangling, unschooled chefs are not as alluring as the wafting aroma of fried fish. The food, however tasty, must be dirt cheap! And, of course, my stomach hoorayed at the thought!
With my conclusion drawn and my purse in hand, I continued to strut. I made no inquiries about the price. I simply selected the fleshiest fish from the igloo and specified how I wanted it prepared.
After savouring every morsel, I ordered a second serving of their available side dish. In total, I had three pounds of fish, four festivals, one eight-ounce cup of soup and two fried bammies. I was full! Well, until I made another request: I asked for the bill.
No! They must have been mistaken! Of course! The bill was almost J$10,000! The fish, on its own, cost over J$1,500 per pound! Had I not digested the whole meal, I would have certainly told them to 'tek it back,' even the fish head, at least, to lessen the weight! I didn't even chew it that much!
I cannot understand why a pound of fish, in our local economic climate, must be so expensive. This is daylight robbery!
It is unfortunate that only members of the upper echelon of our society, tourists and returning residents can oft afford our local
delicacies. We make the simple pleasures of our homeland so unaffordable to the average denizen. Foreigners have enjoyed more of this paradise than I have!
Believe me, I understand the economy of our time, and the need to parallel the price of merchandise with the production outlay, but, seriously, we must be reasonable. We cannot market products and services at prices far above the earnings of the ordinary man or
tenfold the charge we incur in obtaining or providing the commodity.
I felt like I was paying for the attendant risk of fishing and not the actual fish that I had consumed! Unless of course, unbeknown to me, the fish I had ordered was stuffed, glazed or garnished with gold!
Let us be reasonable in our pricing. Life is hard on everyone. Allow the ordinary you and me to 'live life' in 'Jamdung', too.
SHAWNA KAY WILLIAMS