Dwayne Mcleod, Staff Reporter
Making my way through a bus with my bag juice. - Norman Grindley photos
It was Thursday night and I was tired and anxious, knowing that the following day I would become a bag juice vendor.
This thought kept me up for hours as I wondered if I should call in sick to escape the assignment.
Nevertheless, I decided to face up to the challenge and went on to devise some 'strategic' plans. But how does one plan for the misfortunes that I would end up facing?
I was scorched by the searing sun, almost run over by a minibus, and, to top it off, I was roughed up and extorted by thugs.
Dressed in a black, fitted cap, white T-shirt, and blue jeans with the feet neatly cuffed, I may not have looked like your average bag juice vendor but it was all part of my strategy. If I was going to be selling bag juice for a day I might as well look good doing it.
The first task of the day was to source my goods, so I made my way to Princess Street, the spot where juice vendors buy their goods.
I approached a saleswoman who seemed a little feisty at first but turned out to be a little helpful. "Can I have a bag of bag juice?" I asked.
"Sixty," she replied.
Her response brought about a rather confused look on my face.
Luckily, however, she went on to explain, "Nuh mus 60 dolla, a couldn't 60 shilling."
Being a smart entrepreneur I decided to make a test run and only purchased one bag of juice.
My dreams of success were cut short for a minute, though, as the saleswoman alerted me that there were no frozen juices in stock.
So, I was forced to seek another source for my goods. After doing so I was ready to offer a refreshing drink to anyone, including myself.
With the scorching summer sun, let's just say I had to write off a few of the juices and consider them 'bad debt'.
With my juices in a carton box, I made my way around with regular shouts of: "Juice, juice only 10 dolla."
Within 10 minutes I had made my first sale. The remaining 11 juices would be sold in the next hour or so. Things were going great, but little did I know that it would only get worse.
After purchasing more stock and walking along Orange Street, I got hit down by a Toyota Hiace minibus.
At the time, I was ensuring that my goods were well presented and neatly packed, paying no attention to the minibus which reversed right into me.
After coming to my senses and realising that neither I nor my juices were harmed, I got up from the ground, brushed myself off, looked around and headed off, as vendors who had witnessed my mishap burst out laughing.
I ignored their laughter and made my way to the bus terminus at North Parade where I hopped onto parked buses and also went into a few wholesale stores.
Despite my attempts, however, sales were rather slow, not just for me, it seemed, as another vendor 'Jimmy', described the day as a slow one.
"Nuh worry yuself mi yute, a suh it go, nuttin naw gwaan fi me either, me deh yah from morning and a just three bag me sell," he said.
Shortly after, THE STAR photographer met me wanting to catch me in action. What was a fun moment for him, would prove otherwise for me.
As I made my way from a bus after selling two juices, I was informed that someone wished to speak with me.
Seeing this as a chance to make another sale, I foolishly made my way to a group of five men.
"How much unnu want?" I questioned.
"Weh yu come from?", "How u look so bazzle?" "Mi si man all a tek yu picture, yu a star?", were a few questions which the thugs asked before feeling my pockets and ordering me to fork up $1000.
I had no idea what would happen if I didn't comply, so, with my heart almost at my throat, I agreed.
Of course, I was now operating at a loss, and I must admit that dwindled my hopes and aspirations. Before that I had sold 15 juices, and shortly after I sold two more before deciding to call it an evening. It was an experience I will never forget.
Making one of my sales.
FACT FILE: 1 bag of juice (12 juices) from factory - $60
1 juice sold for - $10 ($5 made on each juice sold)
On my day out 18 juices
sold - $180 ($90 profit)
Attempting to sell a juice to a schoolgirl.