‘A millions a time yah suh bun dung’ - Ray Ray vendors store goods outside market after multiple fires
A fter being left devastated by three fires in three consecutive years, vendors at Ray Ray Market on West Queen Street in downtown Kingston say they have employed new strategies for this Christmas season, fearing that another fire would leave them at a loss yet again.
Jackie, a vendor in the market, told THE STAR that she is extinguishing the fire of financial stress after losing almost $500,000 from the fire in December last year.
"Oh God ... me lose $300,000 worth a uniform and a deep freeze and a stocked shop. It hard and we nuh get nuh help from nobody. Me caan count how much time right yah suh burn dung cause it did a burn before me come. A millions a time yah suh bun dung", she said.
What makes it worse is that she was storing goods for other people at the time of one of the fires.
"Me daughter lose goods weh she store in deh and me sister-in-law did store goods in deh too, suh she lose har goods. Me caan account fi di other people dem tings, cause when a evening time, dem will beg yuh put dung likkle likkle something," she explained.
She says she now has to stand the cost of storing her goods at a different location, for fear of once again losing her goods.
"It a cost me more money now cause me haffi pay fi storage and cart man. Me nuh have nothing here so fi lose. Only thing me have fi lose a di stall now. I don't store nothing here anymore. See me son just bring one book from school ... me caan even pay him school fee up to now," she pleaded.
Lose 17 barrelS
Likewise, June Brown packs up her goods every evening and transports them to another location.
"Last time, me only lose the stall. But the fire before that, me lose 17 barrels. Dat a nearly $400,000. Dat was back-to-school time. Me lose whole heap a clothes and shoes. So now me nuh leave no goods nearby, enuh! Me start pay fi storage fi keep me barrel dem," she said.
For 85-year-old Gladstone Taylor, though he did not lose a lot of goods in the last fire, it affected how he provided for his family.
"Inna the last fire me lose over 30-odd grand cause me did lef three barrel a clothes. This a how me provide fi mi family and mek me likkle money. The only day me nuh out here a Wednesday. Me come before 8 a.m. and all 8 p.m. me jus a leave fi go home," he told THE STAR.