Back in College the show Sliders premiered and I was drawn to it right away. So much so that I tried not to miss an episode. Every now and then I check the channel line up for the Science Fiction channel (SyFy) in the hopes that one one of the few days I'm home due to illness, public holiday or day off, that a Sliders Marathon will be on. Sadly that has not happened since the Sci-Fi Channel became the SyFy Channel. Instead of shows centered in Science Fiction and Fantasy, it's more reality shows, wrestling and American made versions of British shows. And don't get me started on their original movies, their titles alone are enough to convince me to spend my Saturday night reading books or watching documentaries on NGC, TLC, or the History Channel. But that's a topic for another time.
What I'm getting at here is that I am convinced there is a parallel world out there where my country is a great place to live. This is a world where Hitler's Germany was defeated in early 1945 when the Western Allies stormed into Berlin way ahead of the Russians, where JFK and Martin Luther King jr were not victims of assassination, where the C.I.A., F.B.I and NSA were able to stop the 9/11 hijackers quickly and quietly. Where Osama Bin Laden had been either captured or killed at the Battle of Tora Bora instead of being allowed to escape, where Prince William attended University in the United States, fell in love with a bi-racial American girl and married her instead of Kate Middleton. Where Hilary Clinton is the President of the USA and Barrack Obama is the Vice-President, and where my home the islands of Trinidad and Tobago is an autonomous region/overseas territory of the U.K.
Now what would life be like in this alternate/parallel T&T? For starters a vast portion of the money made from the sale of oil and natural gas...once the companies have been paid for extracting and processing....would be used towards the infrastructure of the two islands. We would have a choice of using two different types of currency; the TT Dollar and the U.S. Dollar, with an exchange rate of $1US = $1.75TT. Public Transportation would be more reliable and on schedule, City Gate ( the main transportation hub in Port of Spain) would be way bigger and more modern...more stores, comfortable seating to sit and wait for buses, and orderly way to board Maxi Taxis on the platforms. Both the old international airport would still be in use along with the new one; with the old airport once renovated being used to facilitate departures to the United States, where once passengers have checked in they will undergo Immigration and Border Control for the US before the board the aircraft, which would cut out having to do that when they arrive at their North American destination. While the new one would facilitate all arrivals, domestic flights, regional and international flights to Europe and South America.
There would be more tertiary level schools with campuses that are not cramped into small pieces of property, with facilities for classrooms, labs, library, dinning room, student union, residence halls, recreational facilities etc. But most importantly, as citizens of a British Overseas Territory all residents of Trinidad and Tobago would be British Citizens, which would mean we would have U.K. passports; which would mean we would not have to the American, Canadian, Australian, German Embassies for visas to travel to said destinations on vacation or business. Granted we would still have to secure visas for school, extended stays and to work. There are sooooo many ways things could have been so different for us if T&T had not taken the road to independence. Who is to really say that remaining as part of the U.K. would have worked for us or would not have worked us? Who knows really. But it does make from interesting imagination, and discussions with family, friends and acquaintances...as long as they don't fly off the handle wand want to bash your brains in for talking like that.
In the meantime my fellow citizens and I can only hope, pray and put in the additional towards making this nation of ours a great place to be, for ourselves and future generations yet to come.