TRINIDAD, IT WAS NICE TO LEAVE YOU

Trip Start Mar 31, 2002
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Trip End Aug 18, 2002


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Flag of Trinidad and Tobago  ,
Sunday, July 21, 2002

"Don't go!!!" Caracas shouted with a smile. The Venezuelans and I toasted to my despedida (going-away party).

We'd come again to club Pier-One's Latin Night Thursday party. Here, the drinks are free with a miniscule paid entry, and the familiar faces of good-looking girls rarely say "no" to a salsa. Many of my best times in Trinidad were spent on this outdoor dance floor between the fancy, white Pier-One building and the sea. Swaying to the latin rhythms, for example, with cute, brace-faced Venezuelan Gabriella. But, the Trinidadians, too, who came to this magical place were friendly.

And the friends who came left drunkly. David drank so many Stag and Carib beers he liked to fret, "I can't find my brain."

On another occasion, I was discovered one Friday morning by David. Following a rum-and-merengue filled night, I oddly lay asleep on the living room sofa. A roll of toilet paper sat beneath the tv, and a dry goldfish from our landgay's aquarium was dead beneath me on the rug. I was heavily interrogated regarding the events which led to this scene, but they may forever be a thought-provoking mystery.

Such as, "Why did Trinidad suck so much?"

To help us understand this last enigma, I luckily have an always-handy, always-a wee bit-enlightening MODERN ODDYSEUS' TOP 5!!! to employ.


Firstly (because I have a lot to say), The Top 5 Worst Things About Trinidad!:

1. HOW PEOPLE TREAT EACH OTHER -
Being a person who respects himself, I look back on some of the ways people treated me while in Trinidad and can hardly believe it. If I were to make a list of the worst people I've met during my 22 years, the top of the list would feature many from this country. In less than three months, I encountered the following forgettable moments:

I'll begin with the five Trinis I spent a great deal of time with and who I collectively refer to as "The Five Miserables."

"Princess Misery" a.k.a. "'Kelly Low'sy" waited tables with me and was perhaps the worst. She was young and spoiled and Chinese, and people liked her because she had a nice body. However, she was numb to all joy besides sucking down her cigarrettes or getting boring, ugly, rich guys to take her out. She also got joy out of calling herself my "superior," and she told the boss on me one day because I drank two cups of coffee. She surpassed Pansyckas (rrrgh!) as the worst dancer I've ever met. Congratulations, Pansyckas!

Richema a.k.a. "Bitchy Badger" a.k.a. "Dead Rat" was an Indian-Trinidadian co-worker. Her never-ending sneer suggested she lived in sulfur-stenched mud up to her neck. Her most infamous feat came when she practically threw a jug at me when I was bartending and said, "Fill this up!" with a particular dead rat sneer of hers which I shall remember as a classic. I said, "Please?" She snorted feelinglessly, "Please!" It was unacceptable. She said she'd fill it if there was a problem. She filled it. Later, she told "Princess Misery" about it, who looked in my direction and muttered, "Asshole!"

"Pin-head Never-Smiles", for her part, was friendly with me a lot compared to the other two: a whole two times! Also an Indian, she complained about her relatively easy job so much you'd think she was a slave gold-miner sent down poisonous shafts. She got her joy out of sleeping with most of our co-workers. Her drive as an endless power struggle with her fellow employees with the ultimate goal of getting each other fired.

"Uninvited Oaf" - like many Trinidadians who openly admitted to me of having no friends - was lonely. So, he tried to friend-rape the Venezuelans by stalking all of them into their houses and forcing his frustrated, interest-lacking speeches on them. My roommate, David, said of him, "He is like Droopy." David reminded me that in the cartoons, whenever someone wanted to avoid Droopy Dog, he couldn't, because everywhere he went Droopy would already be there, waiting, regardless of when and where Droopy had been seen last. Likewise, "Uninvited Oaf" seemed to hauntingly appear behind the refridgerator door of one Venezuelan friend, in the closet of another ...

"Haggatha", the witch, in addition to all of her atrocities, jealously didn't pass on messages to David and I when they were left by females. Once, a Trini girl I especially liked called the house and was screamed at by "Haggatha," who later denied to me five times that the call had taken place. When I eventually learned of the call, I stood, blocking "Haggatha's" entrance to her own witch-house. I lectured her on her disgracefulness until she turned and fled. This felt absolutely great.

Meanwhile, the afore-mentioned Trini girl I liked just plain sucked. I was kind of seeing her for a while. She lied to me about having a boyfriend, stood me up most of the time, and told me sweet somethings to keep me interested. I don't think she would've known sincerity if it punched her in her pretty, little face. When I called her to say good-bye, she regarded me as if I was a fruit peel she was throwing away and nothing more.

The boss of my restaurant was an alcohol-huffing bear. When he said your name, fright chilled your bones and even fifty-year old bartenders jumped. When he looked at his workers, he appeared to be thinking, "I wish you were a bug in my hand, so I could squash you."

Also, a bum tricked me into taking him to the beach one day. A driver and his full car struck me hard and didn't stop. A dark, distorted oompa-loompa robbed David and I one night with a two-foot machete, threatening, "Give me your wallet or I'll chop ya'!" And one taxi driver I rode with had posted a terrible sign on his roof reading, "My best friends are the ones who pay me IN CASH for the services I provide them."

(See further #3 and #4 of The Top 5 Worst Things About Trinidad!) I don't know what passed in Trinidad to make people deny the fellow human-ness of others. The positive is that it makes you appreciate nice people more.

2. BARKING DOGS -
This was easily one of the most agitating things I've ever come across travelling. On the Port of Spain streets, a lot of houses cage guard-dogs behind their fences. These dogs bark at all who pass as if they'd like to tear the flesh from their bones. Just enough houses don't have dogs so that you let your guard down as you walk, meaning that the next snarling, foam-spewing beast who crashes against the mesh six inches from you very nearly gives you cardiac arrest. Rarely do you see anyone taking his dog for a walk.

3. MONEY/RACE/ALCOHOL OVER PERSONALITY/THOUGHTS/DREAMS -
Consumerism and power and race separation and alcohol define the love-of-life-lacking values of this country more than the United States.

4. BEGGARS MOLESTING YOU -
The Port of Spain streets are full of people - usually blacks, and usually dirty, work-fearing rastafarians - who believe other people live to support them.

When many Trinidadian blacks see a white person, they see green. Often, a black will act innocently friendly to you until he finds out you-re not going to contribute to his undeserving want. At which point, his smile disappears, he averts your worthless eyes, and maybe screams an insult.

Trinidad is not as difficult of a country to survive in as they make it out to be.

5. POLITICS/ENTERTAINERS -
Never did I hear a politician say anything good about himself. Always did I hear one accusing his adversary. Basically, the Indians fight the blacks for control of the country, wanting only to help their own race.

Radio hosts and sports commentators pronounce as daintily as possible, with no balls or backbone, like a bowl of jelly in the wind. The news restricts itself almost totally to national news, and they say something entertaining about once every millenium.


HONORABLE MENTIONS includes "PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IS A DISASTER!"

And now, time to cheer up with The Top 5 Best Things About Trinidad!


1. THE VENEZUELANS -
A lot of Venezuelans come to Trinidad to learn english and learn almost nothing. Ha, ha, those jerks! But, they sure know how to have fun, which, if you ask me, is the point of studying anyhow.

Despite all of my complaining, I really did have a great time in Trinidad. Because, thankfully, there were people there not from Trinidad. Ha, ha! The Venezuelans - guys and girls - really impressed me.

2. ROTIS -
This curry wrap is one of the world's great foods.

I also shan't fail to mention Indian "Doubles", vended on the streets. They're small folds of naan bread tucked with split peas and packed with powerful pepper. Mmm ...

3. TOBAGO -
This cuddly island has characteristics of paradise.

4. PIER-ONE

5. SANDRA'S HOSPITALITY -
Dexter's mom took me to Tobago and several times Down the Islands on her boat. In addition, she concocted this amazing cracker dip with mangos and cream cheese which was delectable.

A nice thing to take away from Trinidad would be how the rich, older generation stays young. Sandra and friends throw parties, go out on boats, and drink a lot and have a good time.


Gaining HONORABLE MENTION is the boring, but good sport CRICKET.

Also, the working-class guys were very content with their lives and were thus friendly and helpful and interested.


As you can see from the last brief but solid half of the latest MODERN ODDYSEUS' TOP 5!!! I really did enjoy my time in Trinidad.

But, Caracas was not going to get his former wish. I was going. Thank the good god, I was going. I made no Trinidadian friends there. And I'm a likeable guy, ain't I? When I'm not on one of my critical rampages, that is ... Ain't I!?

On June 19, I departed Trinidad on a boat, also from Pier-One, that would drop me off on the South American mainland, in Venezuela.

And so, as I leave, I say ...

To David and my amigos, "Good luck!"

To my all-peanut butter-diet, "I grew to tolerate you and I might even miss you."

To "The Five Miserables" and gang, "Good riddance!"


On my way,
Modern Oddyseus
Slideshow Report as Spam

Comments

c_trini
c_trini on

Not all of Trinidad is bad
Hey, sorry your experience in Trinidad was a bad one and that you felt that the good ppl were the Venezuelans.. I am a trinidadian and yes, I know that there are some definite evils in the country. But I just wanted to let you know that there are some genuine good still. For the most part, we are a people who still have respect for family values, a belief in God, sharing and helping friends and strangers alike. Too bad your experiences seemed to be restricted to Port of Spain, parties and work in what seemed to be a bar. Perhaps your leaving thoughts might not have been so bad had you visited the ASA Wright Centre or the Wild Fowl Trust where there is still some respect for nature, or experienced the culture of the rest of the population - they are far more humble and welcoming to visitors. Port of Spain is a chip off the West, where the residents are mostly selfish and brain-washed by consumerism. Yet saying that, I have made some genuine friends there. You just needed to know where to look, and it's sad that you were looking in the wrong places.

jimmy on

this is for C TRINI, My dear friend i truly understand that when someone are bad talking the place of your birth is so obvious that will get you upset and i will tell you to dont get upset with that visitor that have posted that comment, because that is the Trinidadians behaviour and culture, thats the bad impression Trinidadians will give to anybody coming from away and bassically they dont care and thats a matter of fact, otherwise there is good trini people but they are very few of them around, could be either town,central,east,south,west, everything is about culture and today with that crime situation and that nonsense race struggle the politician have going on is worst, we need to admitted, we are not going nowhere in T&T if we still continuing thinking so backward back home! is more than time to realized that,is time for a change! i really can blame this person to stamp in this site what he/she wrote, there is good and bad in everyone but trinidadians can be pick up the bad habbits and make it part of the culture and just say: we is trini and we so! no at all thats wrong but they are like that and they never will change! and is the saddest thing of all, Moddernodyssues im apologizing in behalf of all stupid trini people you've met, we're all not bad.

DN on

I am 1/2 Venezuelan and 1/2 Trinidadian and although you mention race it is evident that you hooked up with the wrong people in the first place. On the other hand, I was home (Venezuela) recently and I wish you luck if you think it is any better. I am surprised you talk about politicians, etc. when it is disgusting to see how politicians literally insult and curse each other on the Venezuelan TV stations. I guess the only thing that will make you more comfortable is that you will be among your own people (Venezuelans are racists although they deny it and are in to face and body image). Also, with the devaluation I wonder if it is going to be easy for your to survive (you must be one of those wealthy folks who are running from Cha...).

And last but not least, Venezuela is on the list of one of the most dangerous countries in the world.

Good luck!

69 specialist on

all i hv 2 say is trinidad is a paradise. if u had a bad experience it is because u didnt want 2 hv a gr8 1 or else u wld hv found all d good trinidad has 2 offer.

trinibaby on

this guy is an jerk he should go to venezuela lets see if its any different.......its worse!

elijah on

well, i spent almost 5 years in trinidad and it was very good for me , first i learned the language , made friends and never had problems with anybody, i think when you are in another country you must respect the laes of that country and everything will go ok... i am from Venezuela

duguesclin13 on

So many nice souvenirs from T§T,specially the birth of my second daughter in Port of Spain...and all the magnificence of the country,the hospitality of the trinis(but that's true in all-over-the-world countries,the hospitality is REAL in the lower strates of population!).Thank you for existing,TRINI!

jimmy on

Tinivene........i dont know where i was impolite in any way to anybody here,But i did Understand your point pretty well,i would agree with you that Venezuelan calls theirself "White" without knowing that is foolishly wrong,you also are right to say,that we've got some racism back in Venezuela,Politics back at Venezuela stinks,but i have never said that Venezuela is much better than Trinidad,i will tell you why?,because Trinidad would never Be Venezuela and Venezuela wouldnt never be Trinidad as simple as that,most Trinidadians get very upset when theyt are being tell the truth about their island until the point that they get violent,Venezuelans is the same and i will critize Trinidad and Venezuela anytime is possible because i dont understand how come so rich places are so poor developed and so conflictive, in matter of fact is all about politics,lets face the fact that this gentleman was culturally shocked by Trini style of life which is totally diferent than the American and European,Hispanic ways of life,plus he maybe is too young too understand it,even not smart enough...you call me stupid is ok,is just a typical Trinidadian Mouth Reaction,but the truth is Trini's have a particular behaviour of their own,if you are not agree doesnt matter,you has the right not to be agree.

Shane S. on

Yo soy un trini viviendo en Venezuela ahora y entre Venezuela y Trinidad no hay ninguna comparacion. Vine aqui para estudiar y como extranjero, este es casi imposible! Los venezolanos piensan que cada negro es de Haiti (aunque Venezuela tiene una poblacion negra considerable debido a la esclavitud) y los servicios aqui, Que arrecho! El clasismo existe al nivel altisimo. Si tienes plata o eres de afuera, eres el enemigo! Imaginate que no puedo ir al banco para comprar dolares para regresar a Trinidad! Tengo que salir con Bolivares fuertes que no tiene valor fuera de este pais.

I'm a Trini living in Venezuela now and between Venezuela and Trinidad, there is no comparison. I came here to study and as a foreigner, that's near impossible. Venezuelans think every black person is from Haiti (although Venezuela has a considerable black population due to slavery) and the services here, Oh boy! There are high levels of classism here. If you have money or you're a foreigner, you're the enemy. Imagine that I can't go to a bank to purchase dollars. Instead, I have to leave with Bolivares fuertes (Venezuela's currency) that's worthless outside of this country.

lol on

it sucks hardcore

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