Letters & Opinion, Sounding Off

Respect My Homeland!

Rochelle Gonzales
Rochelle Gonzales

SINCE when did it become acceptable for tourists to waltz around the city’s streets or any street for that matter, bareback or with teeny weeny bikini tops?

Maybe I’m that wet blanket who likes to rain on one’s parade in this instance but I can’t help but feel disgusted and highly offended when I see this.

A few days ago as I walked through Castries Central, I noticed an older Caucasian couple walking around hand in hand and whilst the female was dressed appropriately for the sweltering heat, I couldn’t say the same for her partner.

He had a gut that would enter any room five minutes before the rest of his body and he was red like a freshly cooked lobster. How did I see all these details? Only because all he was wearing was a pair of shorts and flip flops.

My reflex reaction was a turned up nose and a taste of the small amount of breakfast that I slightly regurgitated in my mouth after seeing such an unsightly mess.

I immediately tried to imagine what would happen to my own father (whom I love dearly) with his 15 months pregnant looking belly himself if he went to the US, UK, Canada or any other developed country on one of their ridiculously hot days and tried to walk around like this tourist did. Surely he would receive some nasty looks, have nasty comments thrown at him, be considered insane and or even accosted by lawmen.

So my question is why, oh why, do these people feel so free to do things here that they wouldn’t dream of doing in their own country?

To be honest, it TICKS ME OFF!

Whilst I know that St. Lucia is a holiday destination, that doesn’t mean that we don’t have laws, regulations and general civilization where businesses are run and respectable people traverse the streets on a day to day basis.

Now this is where I know this cheese will stand alone but in my opinion, I already think that it is bad enough that this gem of an island is prostituting itself to visitors who seemingly have free reign to do as they please, however they please, whenever and where ever they please but this, this is just blatantly running that fact in our faces and it’s as if to taunt us locals and say; “Do something about it!”

I remember when I moved over to the UK at the age of 13. On my first day of school, I was poked and prodded by the British children like a neon green lab rat as they had seemingly never met an “islander”. They wanted to hear me talk and wanted to see me dance and asked all sorts of questions which I absolutely hated but out of all the questions and requests, the two questions which stood out were: “Do you lot have electricity where you come from?” and “Do you lot live in houses or mud huts?”

Let me just take one moment to not only let these questions sink in but I just need to breathe for a second since this is still a sore spot in my life’s history.

Anyway, I don’t just assume that many visitors are ignorant about our way of life here. I know it for a fact…the youngsters at my school and ignorant visitors like the potbellied lobster that I spoke about earlier are proof.

Isn’t there a custom to inform visitors from the cruise ships and hotel resorts of the dos and such don’ts?

Why aren’t these people stopped like us locals would be if we did this nonsense in their countries?

Are we so desperate to pull in the foreign dollars and pounds that we are willing to allow our image to remain as the constant beach party and the place where there is no functioning civilisation?

There is a time and place for everything and quite frankly, if one chooses to walk around stark naked on the deck of their cruise ship or at the resorts where they are staying then knock yourselves out and good luck to you. The beaches are also there for one to wander around wearing barely anything but for goodness sake, something like a bell or lightbulb should go off in one’s head to tell them that it is not okay to walk around the island’s capital or in public like you either just rolled out of bed or you just jumped out of the sea.

I know there are stores which have made it clear that they will not serve customers who are dressed in such manner and I applaud them. I am also aware that there is legislation forbidding this behaviour but is it enforced, not properly at all and it is because of this that these people will continue to treat our island like their backyards and do whatever they want, and because we want their money oh so bad, we say absolutely nothing about it.

Rochelle entered the Media fraternity in May 2011 as a fresh-faced young woman with a passion for the English language, a thirst for worldly knowledge and a longing to inform the world of what was happening around them, whether it was good or bad.

She began as part of a small news team at Choice Television, which falls under the MediaZone umbrella. She was hired as one of the original members of the newly created Choice News Now team...Read full bio...

 

9 Comments

  1. “SINCE when did it become acceptable for tourists to waltz around the city’s streets or any street for that matter….”
    —————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Ms. Gonzales, I have to, kind of, disagree with you on this one. The tourist wasn’t cursing or swearing at anyone. I am sure the old chap was just so happy to get away from old man winter and to soak in the beautiful shineshine St.Lucia has to offer, that he, in your opinion, went overboard. But then again you said he was waltzing around the city’s streets; so how bad can that be? Just let it go. Unless you have a beef with white folks for the way they treated you when you arrived in England at the age of 13. It wasn’t that long ago a guy who was peeing in some ally-way unpset you; this tourist wasn’t doing anything like that; so look elsewhere and let him waltz.

  2. Rochelle, what you witnessed prancing the streets of Castries was my husband Mr. Clause. Santa got there a few days early for a little R&R in the sun.
    By the way, if a little public nakedness offends you. It’s obvious you’ve never experienced that skinfest you folks call “Carnival”. Suck it up and stop your whining!

  3. Rochelle, I beg to disagree with you on this one.Can you say , this is his first visit to
    St. Lucia ? He might have been here before and see how our young women dresses in thcity and thought that it is OK to be a St.Lucian at less for a day. Let the tourist enjoy them self especially the Mr.Claus who came earlier than expected. By the way MERRY CHRISTMAS to
    all on this blog.

  4. Rochelle, answer me this. “where does a stout & portly person such as yourself, find the nerve to be offended and critical by the appearance of another fat person?” Mirror’s appear to be in short supply on St. Lucia. Choops!

  5. What an article! You normally write well, but this is embarrassing. Nobody disrespects st Lucia more than st Lucians. We all know it.

    And on the subject of how you were spoken to as a 13 year old, kids are cruel. It’s not a uk specific thing. Maybe you might like to write an article on how many illegals there are taking advantage in Canada, USA, UK?

  6. I knew you were heading into trouble with this one Rochelle.. look around you its right in your face and all you can come up with is this guy enjoying his money, Peace

  7. It amazes me that you have shown your own prejudice and bias so openly. Sorry that obese people make you gag. So the one in 1300 people who came off the ship that day offended you. Don’t pretend that you are insightful and inspired when in fact you are like most small minded St Lucians urinating in the streets and blaming Allan Chastanet for everything. Keep small and petty St Lucia!

  8. What hypocrisy!
    I have become amazed at how Lucian’s have become so arrogant, vocal and ignorant over the past 3 decades.
    A country with a 700% higher murder rate than the country where this gentleman comes from wants to castigate him on decency!
    A country where obesity and related deaths from high blood pressure and diabetes are in world leading categories!
    A country with the highest out of wedlock birth rate in the world wants to talk about decency!
    A country where sexual depravity is rampant and people , particularly women, dress in vulgar mode 24/7.
    A country where leaders legislate theft and all government institutions are gutted and useless.
    And as noted unfortunately by one blogger that the unfortunate writer of this article is the pot calling the kettle black. Lol! It is so rediculous it is actually funny.

  9. In agreement with all of the above comments – what a supercilious, snotty slice of opinion and an ignorant personal attack on a guy who is probably telling the world what a great island he visited that day!

    It’s a naive journalist who writes “I am also aware that there is legislation forbidding this behaviour but is it enforced, not properly at all . . . ” Ditto the laws against driving like a jackass or drunk or high. Ditto the laws against domestic violence, paedophilia and incest, ditto the laws against selling liquor to minors, ditto the laws against corruption in politics, need I go on? The police have way more to worry about than telling off fat-bellied tourists for getting sunburnt in Castries. Get over your sensitive nature, Rochelle, and hit some of this island’s hard core issues instead of sounding like a holier-than-thou soap-boxer.

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