About Me

Living in the Caribbean is probably like living anywhere else, with the same ups and downs. But it does have its own vibe and flavour and gives me a unique perspective on most things. I'm often sarcastic, mostly funny, always looking for a new adventure. I have not boxed myself into any one category of life. I love a lot of things and dislike a lot more. I write about them all.

In from the cold, and it's still cold

We're supposed to have this bbq today and London weather is out in full force. I had a cute little sundress all picked out and now I may have to change outfits cause it is chilly and drizzling. Hoping the sun comes out at some point though.

Speaking of chilly, last night was biting. I went out to dinner with the RT (great dinner date by the way...that Chinese food was da bomb) and while standing in line, for...wait for it...ice cream, I was just dying of the chills.

Let me digress. We decided we were going to do dessert at the Haagen Dazs restaurant, after a great meal, and when we first passed by I said to myself, wow, look at those assholes in this long queue for ice cream. I was later one of those assholes, and it was much colder too. lol. But the wait in the face of cold breeze and cackling of teenagers was worth it. The chocolate waffle was good for the soul and for the complexion.

But back to chilly...

I am not the tourist who depends on the relatives to take me places and drop me off, and London is not really that kinda city either. You have your Oyster card and you're pretty much set. But after 12.30, you're screwed. Enter the night bus. Oh my God. When I got to the bus stop and realised I missed the last regular bus to my stop by a minute, I was about to die. Not only was I cold, but I was surrounded by thirsty Africans who kept staring at me and trying to be friendly. Do I look like a friendly person??? These are the times I really really miss my car and the convenience of liming as late as you want without the worry of having to suffer on a cold corner for a damn bus.

And call me diva (go ahead, I give you permission) but when the bus comes to the stop and is ram crammed with smelly Londoners, with their arms hanging on to the handle bars, sending the aroma of expired deodorant into the night, you wait for an empty bus. lol. When I eventually got an empty bus, I had to change at another station, where not only was it biting cold, and where there was a couple of foxes lurking around for bits of food, but this chatty bright African felt the need to come offer me a ride. To where? Rape and destruction??? I doh think so friend. Even though my bus was a mere 20 mins away, I did the only thing I could have done. I called for a ride. lol. Luckily my cousin is as much as a night owl as I am, and was still awake, at minutes to 3am, and so when the African would not frickin' leave, I told him my man was coming to get me and dashed across the street and hopped onto the warm welcoming leather of the Beemer. Thank you God!

My next challenge is trying to make a pelau with limited ingredients - no fresh carrots, but some mushy shit in a tin; no fresh celery; no shadon beni. My goodness. I ask God to bless my attempts with this Anglo-Trini pelau this morning.

Life in London

The sun is out today. Yesterday was a typical dismal English day but I still braved the cold winds and went out to do my important job as a tourist. Though Robbie and I had spent a good chunk of time there last time I was here, I had to spend a little bit of time in the National Gallery again. I could spend all day there. Earlier I had gone to the Tate Modern and again, I have confirmed that I am not a huge fan of contemporary art. It was an amusing experience, though not a thoroughly enjoyable one. I am not really artsy fartsy but I know what I like and yeah, I love the classic stuff. I saw some pieces that I could probably do and if all it requires is painting an entire canvas blue with a splash of red and yellow somewhere, then I can be an artist as well. Still, I did enjoy my day. I walked a lot, both for the fun of it and to walk off some of the crap I have been eating. Though I did not walk with gym gear this time, I really wish I had.

I am always amused by the hustle and bustle of Londoners - the tightness of a man's arse as he scurries from tube stop to tube stop, the plethora of ugly flat shoes on scores of women who rush from the train to wherever they work, most likely with a pair of heels in their bags for when they get to the office. And then there is me - in my sweater and flip flops, idly walking to the underground with no care for whether the train is there or not. I know I will get to where I am going at some point. This is the power of vacation and man, am I owning it.

But I can relate to these men and women. The alarm goes off at 3.20am and I curse and hustle to make it out of the house by 4.45 for the latest to avoid traffic and road rage. I park my car and then slip into my flats for the short but dangerous walk to the office and by dangerous, I mean the dozens of holes, bumps and inclines on Port of Spain pavements. I have had to repair enough shoes because of our Third World pavements.

But I never thought I would say it, but one almost misses the catcalls and amusing comments from Trini men on the street because here noone looks at anyone, noone speaks. Heads are buried in books and newspapers or iPods drown out the world. It's a bit sad, but it's just how it is. It makes gaping a bit useless since noone is gaping back. lol

I promise to fill you in on Italy soon but for now I am relaxing. I feel like I need to dedicate myself to that entry. Tomorrow, we are having a barbecue, hoping the weather is as cheerful as it is today, but then all Trinis need are each other and alcohol and it will always be a good time. I have been recruited to make a pelau, though why my cousin feels the need for one is beyond me. In any event, I am not complaining. Thanks to my darling Cat though, I get to see a show I have been wanting to see ever since I saw the poster underground. So next Wednesday, the Cat and the 'bat are off to see La Tanguera. Tonight I am off to Leicester Square for dinner with the RT and for now, I am eagerly anticipating my breakfast date.

The time is going by so fast now as the end is near.

Break in communication

One would think it would be easy to come and write about my adventures in Italy but somehow I just cannot bring myself to blog about them. They were great and I had an awesome time and maybe it is a hormonally charged episode of writer's block but I am just not in the mood to gush about my walks through the beautiful towns in the Tuscan countryside. I am home sick today, watching old reruns of Law and Order and waiting for my cherries delivery - to be hand-delivered with love and consideration I should add. I am vegging intensely today and that's what vacations are all about.

I may feel more inclined to blog when I can download photos and not steal photos off the web. I would like my genuine experiences to be accompanied by genuine visual memories and not those of some other traveller. I am also now faced with the reality that 1)time does indeed fly when you're having fun and I will have to return to Trinidad eventually and 2)I still have a decision to make which I have put off the past week because it was too annoying to contemplate when the world was such a beautiful oasis of adventure. But now I am faced with the fact that I do indeed need to make this decision. It will not go away until I do.

Hope everyone is well.

Bella...that's me!

I came all the way from the Caribbean to get a tan. Italy is hot. Despite my best efforts to look like I just walked out of my room all day, I was a hot tourist reaching for the euros to buy some water, slushies, gelato or soda. And I went playing farse, in this heat and decided I had to go to the Piazza de Michelangelo. I advise you Google this wonder to fully grasp the agony. No amount of time in the gym could have prepared anyone for this new form of torture as this sun blazed down upon the innocent.

The first half of the day went nicely, with a day spent in the Galleria degli Uffizi, art and history whore that I am. I am having a lovely time, in my little sun dress, enjoying a beautiful, albeit hot city, with a myriad of characters. Last evening, while sitting on the steps of the Duomo, I met Francesco, clearly alone and needy, who after 15 minutes of stilted conversation - his broken English and my zero Italian - invited me to dinner, at his house!!!! I told him I would meet him this evening instead at 8.00pm. It is now 7.49pm and I am in the hotel, with zero intention of walking back to the Duomo or anywhere but my room. Poor fella. I hope he does not wait around too long, but when your teeth are screaming for you to stop drinking coffee, smoking and to find a dentist, you have zero chance of making a good impression. Take a hint, boys.

The other admirers have been various flavours of odd and of course since I am black, I can only be from Africa since nowhere else in the world has black people. Steups.But they have not been grabbish or rude. Just full of admiration, maybe lust and curiousity.

I did meet a very nice lady from Paraguay while wasting away in the museum line this morning. When she asked where I was from and I was trying to decide whether to say Africa or Trinidad, I decided to go for gold and say Trinidad cause clearly I was meant to educate the world about the Caribbean. Instead, before I realised she was from Paraguay of course, she was like, "Oh Trinidad and Tobago!!!"

Friend for life!!!!

Thank God for CXC Spanish cause we managed to have quite a nice conversation in the end. She has been living in Italy for 21 years and was only doing the tourist thing cause her brother was visiting from Paraguay.

I also witnessed a police chase in the square as immigrants went pelting down the street, followed closely by il polizia in their skin tight pants. I was more anxious to see some ripped seams than captured Africans and Arabs.

And I think all the food I ate between last night and 5 minutes ago has been effectively burnt off from walking across the length and breadth of this city, which every guide book and the 2 Italians I spoke to, referred to as SMALL. lol. My feet are crying for justice. The food. How do people stay slim here? I have been trying it all and loving it all and tomorrow I will have more and tell you more about my waistline and my bliss.

Tomorrow, I don my yellow sundress and head to Tuscany, where hopefully my sugar daddy hunt will be more Diane Lane and less...well...less Francesco. Oh the excitement of my life!

I will do proper travel reviews when I have more time but right now my feet are as black as my flip flops from Vespa dust, and trudging up steep slopes. Ciao!

Ciao a tutti

I am now in Italy, where I got to my hotel looking hot and greasy after a smelly train ride from the airport that seemed to have no end. No end of dirty trainline neighbourhoods - and smelly people.But there were some gorgeous natural highlights. My hotel room is cosy - small but spotless and with a bidet. lol. Gotta love Europeans but they know what they are doing. It will take me forever to type this with this European keyboard kicking my ass but I am alive and safe. I am going to hit the cobblestoned streets and start exploring and gaping. I have already sorted out where I am going to have some dinner later and take in the human sightseeing. Luckily for me, I am not the only black person in this part of the city because on the train I felt like an alien!

But do congratulate me for successfully adjusting my diva lifestyle to suit economy airlines and their cabin bag restrictions. Liquid eyeliner had to be sacrificed for toothpaste, but the mascara made the cut. No Bath and BodyWorks, but I got a small Body Shop shower gel to fit, and cooling spritz. Jesus. Hoping for the best!

London: Sunny Paradise???

I woke up this morning, pulled my curtains and the good times were over. Dark grey skies and cold breeze. They were back.

Yesterday I went out into the rare London sunshine and met up with a girlfriend for lunch and some shopping. It was roasting hot, and add the throngs of shoppers on Oxford Street and it was almost unbearable. Almost. We stopped at Busaba Eathai for lunch and gaping but I think I got a bit more than I bargained for. Instead of the hot guys (and don't be mistaken, there were some cuties coming in for lunch), I was assaulted by the public display of affection from the couple in front of us. The dude, in full turban, was manhandling this petite blonde in a way that made my pad kwetio sour in my stomach. With his hands down her crotch and unbuttoning her blouse, I was really repulsed. I imagined his countrywoman doing the same, and being stoned or beaten and I just shook my head at the double standard, and at the nitwit blonde who allowed herself to be degraded like that in public. I don't care what the dude was driving...get a room!

Other than that, it was a pretty good day - hot sun, good friend, good food, and a MAC eyeshadow replenishment. Any day at a MAC counter is a good day. I laid my hands on a £2000 handbag, complete with anti-theft alarm (at that price, it better have an alarm!), and wondered when on earth would I need a bag that costs almost TT$20,000. That bag had better cause my blue notes to multiply, yes. That kinda life must be nice.

The trip has been good for my emotional health, but not so good for my physical health. I am eating non-stop and it is almost impossible to not drink non-stop in the land of pubs as well. I was up until midnight, knocking back screwdrivers and chicken wings, and my stomach will never be the same again. Did not sleep well last night and my pancakes are not sitting well either. Going to brave the miserable outdoors and head to the drugstore for some stocks so at least when I meet the ladies later, I will be back to my normal self.

I leave for Firenze tomorrow, and not too sure how much I will be blogging but you will surely hear from me at some point. It's 29 degrees Celsius in Florence today and it is expected to be between 34-36 degrees while I am there and while I love the heat, I am not too sure I will be loving that kind of heat. I am hoping for the best, in more ways than one.


Yesterday was a really beautiful day in London. Blue skies and big fat fluffy white clouds. And it was hot. Honest-to-goodness hot. I was not complaining. Except that sitting in a double decker bus in that weather was not a pleasant experience, especially as there was so much traffic, both coming and going. Met up with RT yesterday and had lunch outdoors, and I thought I would shout out the Mustik Bar/Yah Man restaurant team. It was the best meal I have had since I have been here, so if you're in the area on a Sunday, check it out. There will  be a special set menu served from 2pm - 6pm every Sunday and guests can stay back and chill after having great Caribbean food, and enjoy great Caribbean entertainment. They have their official launch of their Caribbean Sunday on July 25, so check it out. And if they have macaroni pie, have it - it was bes'. As the promotional copy says
"Chef DeFour's intention is to ensure that your Mustik experience, is as authentic as it can get, without the plane ticket."
And without having to slave over a hot stove yourself. Accolades to them for making my Sunday a winning one.

My cousin is also back and I got to meet his new squeeze, whom I like very much, and I finished off a half eaten container of Haagie and a half bottle of Chilean Merlot. My waistline really took a hit these past few days and one sure way of countering this, is a day on Oxford Street. It's the only way!!!!

The Bachelor Pad

So after finally dragging my tired carcass off the sweet mattressy goodness of my bed, facing the shower and putting my fluffy slippers on, in true lazy woman style, I headed to the kitchen. Now while the aim is never to cook on vacation and while I bought many a microwaveable meal yesterday, I decided I would at least try to make something fresh for the boy who really has been going out of his way for the ever-lazy and demanding trininista. Seeing that this cooking thing was never part of the plan, I had not even ventured to the fresh produce section of the supermarket, but decided that there must be something in the fridge here at Casa de Vacation.

Not even a rotten onion. Man, bachelor pads are the worst. Lots of spirits and lots of salad dressing for some odd reason, but not a veggie in sight. The fridge is packed with frozen food, and somehow before he left, Mister Man turned the freezer up and so the freezer, chock full of shrimp and fries and meat, stinks now. You know who is not going to interfere with anything in there! lol

I could go to the store on the corner and get stuff but that would mean changing out of my bunny slippers and maybe doing something with my hair, which seems so arduous right now, as I sit on the recliner with a Fox's chocolate cookie between my manicured fingers. So I am now trying to rustle up a veggie-lacking meal for the boy so when he comes over with my UK mobile, at least I would feel like it was a fair trade.

So lazy it's unreal. Love vacations. I promise to leave the house tomorrow. Promise.

Fluffy socks time in London

So I am in London. The million hour flight from Port of Spain did not feel so long this time, despite the fact that I still managed to get myself a tantie, i.e. an aged woman who likes to chat, as a seatmate. Luckily for me, tantie was travelling with her son so she did most of her chatting with him. The hot male seatmate - nada. But the creepy, married dude next to me - annoying. This dude kept looking at me, while his fat wife snored her life away next to him. He even decided he would start a game of synchronised peeing because everytime I needed to use the loo, there he was right next to me. Though I do not encourage it, if a man is going to go through all this drama to mack on a woman, then say something - start a conversation. Don't just hope the woman is so impressed by your dogged persistence aka stalking.

So it's 1.30am in London and you ask, why is she awake, blogging? After doing some grocery shopping, then grocery eating and then reuniting, I fell asleep around 6pm and woke up at midnight, so here I am. The boy got me at the airport (looking all sexy) and I have free reign of the house until Sunday, when my cousin gets back, and when I put on my best cricketing outfit and go to some cricket thing-a-ma-jig.

I am usually one of those vacationers who is up and about from the word "go" but this time around, between old age, cold breeze and sheer exhaustion after a rough couple of weeks, the plan tomorrow is to sit on the couch in my purple fluffy socks and eat British cherries and Haagen Dazs with my finger on the remote control buttons. You don't realise just how tired you are, until you actually get some rest and have nothing else to do but rest. I will do my adventuring the next day. Next week - Europe adventuring. I have high hopes for sun, and other things.

Not sure where the picture card reader is on this laptop so no photos of my fluffy socked feet for you tonight. But take my word for it, they're cute. Oh and I want to give the Brits a crash course in what summer is - this ain't it. (hence the fluffy socks)

Off I go...

It's finally here. I am one of those people, if poeple like me really do exist, who do not get all excited and giddy over vacations. I hate packing first and foremost. I am not good at packing light. I am always envious when I see some people with these cute bags going on trips, while I have the whole bedroom crammed into my luggage. I also feel like I would forget something important. I hate airports and waiting around in them. Long flights are gross and I always get some frowsy tantie or taciturn male seatmate, just for kicks.

But once I get there, I am brilliant and shining and happy and this time I know I will be a ray of sunshine especially because of my greeting party and well...because I am wearing yellow. London could use a dose of Caribbean colour, dammit.

Banks and Bras: The Monday Combo

It seemed like the planets were aligned to ensure that I had a bad day. I went to my home branch of RBTT to conduct a transaction that should have taken no more than 20 minutes - 30 with a push. Four hours later, I was dragging my tired, hungry and annoyed carcass out of the bank. I mean, 2 tellers, a new system and apparently total cluelessness on how to close a certificate of deposit account kept back my entire day!!!! The smoke is still coming out of my ears.

Then after my other rounds, I decided to get some food after not having anything at all for the entire day. So at around 4pm (yes! 4pm) I parked in front of Nichossa's in Gulf View to get a bite to eat. Now the food here is really good so maybe this is why I subject myself to the torture that is the customer service. It is not that they are rude or inept, but just generally unfriendly. Very unfriendly. If the customer, that is ME, is a heifer and intolerable then okay...I get it. But I smile, I speak politely, I try to be accomodating and yet this girl was still a total Tampax! I really cannot understand why Trinis are so incapable of putting on a good show for customers. I am not begging for a conversation or a free meal but some courtesy and even a fake smile would be great.

I did manage a smile and convo from the woman in the lingerie store, though she was a little clueless about bras in general but I forgave her cause she was warm and really trying to be of assistance. But one question: Why do women bring, or maybe I should ask, why do men come to the bra store with their wives or girlfriends? They do nothing but get in the way. I mean, I am trying to look at some strapless numbers and you're there like a pillar of salt in my way. C'mon buddy...wait outside, get some popcorn or something. There is nothing in here for you. Don't get me wrong. Some men  staright ones too - are very good with this and comfortable around a lingerie store, but not the old bisons that were blocking the aisles today. Nah. I think it is the worst form of punishment for both the man and the other women trying to get their sexy on, to have the dimwit husbands standing aimlessly in the store filled to the hilt with women's lingerie, especially if when you try the stuff on, he is not interested in seeing it. I also don't get why you take the men to Pennywise. Half the time they are just following you as you buy mascara and panty shields. The store is already annoyingly packed with women who cannot navigate their way out of a sandbox, so add the male and the clueless and it's a recipe for cos' rage aka cosmetics rage. Please ladies...leave them in the car, and make them promise to be good. Don't further aggravate me.

Just don't do it.

Reunited...and it felt so good.

So it's 6.30am on Sunday and after a hellish week, why am I awake so early? No, it's not because I was eager to tell you about the reunion last night, but since I am awake I can tell you about the reunion last night.

Our teachers (and Ariane) - we were so happy to have them
join us
I thought it was a great evening with great people. Of course I was helter skelter at home because I did all my errands in the morning, and came home tired and mash up, and then took a power nap and overslept. lol. But I got there in good time - in time enough to meet up with Kim and her husband, who were exploring the school grounds. Kim is a trip, yes. A lot has changed about the school and not much has changed. The gym still evokes great ill feeling as it did back in the day when we had to wear those awful blue leotards for P.E. Class, and walking through the school you still get the feeling that this is a school you would want your daughters to attend. Thw tamarind tree has been trimmed but it's still there in its menacing glory and the staff lounge is pretty bangin'. The sixth form block is not the way we left it, but really reflects the great strides the school has made in everything that it does.

Well, Kim and I saw that the swings were still intact and we decided to take our chances in our old age on the swings that our Form 1 hips wriggled into during break time. Magically my busy career and over 20 hips got into the swing and off we went - making a bag o' noise as we went higher and higher, regaling in our girlhood memories while the men probably wondered what on earth had gotten into these 2 women. And as we mention the men...

Kudos to the men who came to support their wives. It could not have been easy to leave one's Laz-Boy or PS2 or football reruns, and put on a nice shirt and toe pinching shoes to come to an event filled with cackling women, talking about stuff they did when they were 12. But they seemed to bond nicely, formed a nice man clique/bromance in a corner and I think managed to survive what otherwise could have been a very painful evening for them. lol. I think the non-Trini men enjoyed the entertainment as well. Our dancer was really good and in case you wanted to know, she is a Form 1 ARCHIBALD student. As a proud Cavelle past student and House Captain, I was crushed.

But for the women it was great. I think I can say that for everyone. Some people had not seen each other since the final exam, or since graduation, so coming back and rekindling those bonds was awesome. What made it even better was that the teachers who gave us so much during our time at the school, continued to show they care by showing up at the event, to see their girls, how beautifully we all turned out. So big shouts to Mrs Chan Sing, Mrs Dinnoo, Mrs Ramgoolam, Mrs Ishmael, Mrs West and Ms Ramadhar for everything - both now and then.

The amazing thing about our school is that we are winners and that may sound like a grand accolade but it's true. Every woman in that room, and even the ones who did not turn up, has done so well in life. Happy, settled, successful - and that's no easy feat. I am really proud of the way we all turned out and really happy we were FINALLY able to make this reunion happen. And the thing is, even though you may not necessarily have been BFFs with every single woman in the room, you were still happy to see them, happy to hear they were doing well, and that they were blessed with success in whatever shape or form. I know there were some people who thought they would be judged but seriously, it was not about that. Not having a husband, or having put on weight are not valid excuses especially when you think about the real issues other women here and around the world have to face on a daily basis. Man, I put my fat tail in a dress and I went solo and had a fab time. A couple people, the mummies, were so happy they had a really good excuse to leave the popos with grannies for a few hours so they could enjoy a real night out - something they had not had in eons as anyone with kiddies can attest. (not me, but just saying...)

Thanks to the ladies who made generous contributions to the Students Services Fund, which we presented to Mrs Ramgoolam as our contribution to the school that served us so well for 7, 5 or 2 years. I would like to challenge our girls though to show that the girls schools can do as well, or even better than the boys' schools when it comes to mobilising the troops and resources to help the school out. Too many of us out there with skills and powerful networks, man. Even if it is by helping to promote an event or selling tickets or negotiating some corporate sponsorship but the school continues to do great things.

I managed to get 2 photos the entire night, though I know I am in dozens of others. It truly was a great evening and sorry to the ones who did not come - you missed out. But maybe we can do it again soon. Thanks to the US-based and the Aussie-based girls who made what I consider an amazing effort to be here. Shame on you local girls! lol. Thanks again to Denyse for making the event such a success - dinner was great, dessert was sinfully fattening (my diet took a major hit last night eh) and the vibe from our small group was awesome.

Looking forward to storming the UK version of this event next month, and I know the NY girls will get their reunion all planned for Aug 22 as well. I am sure FB will be replete with photos so those of you who have the means and permissions to do so, can check out the action there. For my non-FB readers, take it from me - it was nice. An evening of gorgeous, intelligent, driven women, getting together over old times and some scary photos (Andrea...please NEVER post that photo online. Wow, I was a damn hot mess at 14. Age brings fashion sense).

And I also realised that more people than I thought actually read my blog. I was tickled. Awww...you guys (blush). But you must leave a comment so I know you are here, so I can say oye!

The Three C's

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I have had a lot on my mind and now this morning I physically don't feel well. Wondering what I ate yesterday that has me feeling so meh. But the good news is, today is my last working day for a while. It will most likely be an excruciatingly long day, but that's a small price to pay for freedom.

Yesterday, some of the girls at work and I were talking about women and the men they stay with. Some had real life personal experiences, which really brought home that even the most self-assured (looking) woman can have deep insecurities and issues which keep them from breaking free from destructive and abusive relationships - be it physical, mental or emotional abuse.

And there are some women who as they get older, and they see their lives disappearing before their eyes - no home, ho husband, no kids etc - who choose to lower their standards notch by notch in an attempt to stave off what society sees as failure - aka being manless, childless, loveless. I have been accused of being picky and yes, I am picky. Not overly picky, but I have certain standards which I will not compromise, especially based on the experiences of some of the women in my life and on my own experiences. How low must your standards really go? How much are you realistically willing to compromise just to have a man in your bed at night? These are questions which women should ask themselves before they jump into the great unknown with a man that deep down they know may not be the best fit for them. And this has absolutely nothing to do with things like job, or money, but how best you relate to him as a partner in life and love. Because guess what - the whole knight in shining armor thing is crap. It may not always be the knight. It might be the dude taking off the knight's armor. The knight may be like Jake from the Bachelor - socially acceptable, nice looking, a pilot, great smile but an ass. But will you settle because he is all that and your friends think you're so lucky to have him?

It's not that big a conundrum. It's about compromise, choice and contentment. At the end of the day, if you are happy with the compromises and choices that you have made in your relationship, and I mean, happy and not settling because you feel desperation, then great! If you're just doing it to please the world, then get on the couch and cry me a river.

Bringing Sexy Back

Yesterday, after nearly 2 weeks of neglect (blame work), I made it to the gym. My membership was due on July 4, but seeing that I will be on vacation for a month, clearly it made no sense to pay the subscription. So I went yesterday, a bit tired but determined to burn off the ice cream I had yesterday, and armed with my $30 for the session fee. You can thus imagine my vexation when the young lady told me the fee was now $40 a session and I protested that they had to be crazy. lol. In any event, I had driven all that way, and had not worked out in so long that I paid the bandit price and changed into my gym wear for a sweat.

But let me tell you - my gym is a funny place. I have already mentioned the hottie hottie girls who parade throughout the gym trying to pick up men. Well, don't believe this is a single sex phenomenon. As I pounded away on the elliptical for an hour of much needed cardio, I saw some antics from the male patrons that made me smile to myself. One dude, who is shaped very strangely - very little head, big upper body, though not ripped, just big, and a hybrid of muscle and fat, and a rather narrow skinny bottom - got on the treadmill in his muscle vest and I dunno - he seemed to be trying to keep up with the obvious athlete next to him, but kept faltering, pretending he was slowing down to stretch. Stupid. Then the other dude who paraded in front of us twice and then before he got on the treadmill, he had to execute a series of stretches or as I call them, antics. I mean, really?? And then he got on the treadmill and there were more antics as he kept looking to see which of us silly women was looking at him. Well, buddy, I was and I was laughing at you. Stupid.

And why do some of these men think they can compete with me on the elliptical? Do I have a sign that says "Race me"? Just get on, do what you can do, at your pace and get off. I don't want to be responsible for the death of some totally unfit homosapien. Like the old white dude who gets on next to me and keeps looking over to see what level I am on, how many strides a minute etc. It's really annoying. You don't see me trying to lift 200lbs of weights to keep up with you. I am quite good with my 50lbs, thanks. lol. Not trying to look like a man.

Then there were the 2 old biddies next to me, who were very impressive. I was impressed that they could stay on the elliptical for an hour and talk for the entire hour. Even with my music on, I could hear them cackling about the cruises and trips they had taken, and their kids and grandkids. Impressive.

But I am not complaining. Staying on an elliptical for an hour can get be tedious so the entertainment is appreciated. Still I need to explore some options because the gym is consistently over capacity and I don't like it. I cannot imagine what in there looks like coming up to Carnival. Nah. Need a Plan B to keep these hips in check.

Better to be Farse than Slow? No!

There is this woman here and it's almost as though her aim in life is to macco my scenes, i.e. put her nose in my business (for the non-Trinis). I swear, everytime she sees me she has a comment to make about my appearance or something she lays her eye on, once it's on my person. When I was putting on weight, she commented on it. Losing weight, she commented on it. Needed to go to the salon, she commented on it. Needed a manciure, she commented on it. I don't need people commenting on every single thing.

So last night, out of sheer fatigue, I selected today's winning outfit because it did not require ironing. The thing about this particular outfit is that 2 months ago, it could not fit me. AT ALL. So I was taking a huge gamble that I could forfeit the 2 mins it would take to iron something I knew for sure would fit me and go to sleep, in the hope that this thing would fit me in the morning when more likely than not, I would be running late and would be sucking my teeth if I had to iron something else. This morning...IT FIT. Beautifully. The comments I got from everyyyyyyyyyyyyybody else were about the outfit and how the colour suits my skin tone, and it was a beautiful combo etc. But not my girl.

Farse: That outfit could not fit you before, right?
Me: (steups) (-no answer)
Farse: It was tight before ent?
Me: (to myself: wtf!!!) to her: Yes, it was a bit close.
Farse: I know that. From the time I you resurrected it I knew it was cause now it can fit you again. I say that as soon as I saw it this morning.

I mean, this woman lining up herself nicely for a cussing eh. I don't know WHY WHY WHY this woman always all over my scene!!! Why is my waistline so important to you and why is my appearance a constant topic of enquiry and dissertation? I cannot understand it. And it's the tone - it's a kinda nagging, farse, "not my business but I wanna know" kinda tone. Like an interrogation. And if she was a slim, young hottie, I could understand, but she ain't.

It's not tiring being that farse!?

Real Love

I went to the supermarket today and bought some veggies for the steamer and when I am cutting up my veggies, I usually like to do it in front of the tv, with something on. Well, the "something on" was The Bachelorette, followed by the interview with the last Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars alumnus, Jake Pavelka and the chick he chose, Vienna Girardi. I had a horrible day today and needed the laugh and boy, was this mess amusing.

All I have to say is, there must be a better way for seemingly intelligent people to make a living. On the one hand you have these dudes vying for this Ali chick and talking about this connection and she getting all googly eyed and flustered. Sweetie, these guys are in a contest - a testosterone fuelled race to the finish. It ain't about you. Do these people really believe that after 6 weeks, during which you spend maybe 2 days in total with this person, that you can fall in love? But having not watched any of the previous episodes and putting on the tv near the end, I was saved from most of it, until she goes on the date with the landscaper dude who has the personality of a rock and gives her some sort of bracelet which she gets doubly googly eyed over and which sends her from "we don't have a connection" to rolling around in the grass with him and kissing his forehead. Buddy, if that did it for me eh. And then the loser who did not get a rose at the end and he is all choked up and says it will take him a while to get back to normal. Wow. ABC better be paying you guys some good money to act so dotish, yes.

But the best was the Jake/Vienna interview. That was hilarious. It is clear that this Jake dude has some issues. I giggled in amusement as he struggled to keep his composure in that silent, psycho kinda way you see from all these mean, homicidal husbands or boyfriends on Lifetime as he talked about how Vienna undermines him. So example: he measured the room to arrange the furniture and that gnarly bitch Vienna in her mean undermining way, went and re-measured it even though he had done it already - totally undermining him and emasculating him. Oh poor you. Then apparently he had sex with her for a month and then decided to go on a fast. lol.
"He didn't want to kiss me; I had to ask. And then he decided to go on a fast, for religious reasons, and he didn't want to be intimate. He said it's a sin to do that before marriage and he wanted to cleanse himself...
...But after he finished, he still didn't want to do anything or be with me, and I was like, 'I don't get what's going on!'"
Wow. Okay. And you stayed, honey? The dude was clearly not into you. The rest of this trainwreck involved her crying about her dog and how mean Jake was to it, him constantly being interrupted by her and his emphasis on how yet again she was emasculating him, the host trying to make commess, Jake finally losing the Lifetime face and beating up his leg telling her to be quiet, her storming out and bawling, him sitting there playing it up for the camera, and ABC just doing basically anything they could to make these poor,. pathetic people pull in the ratings. I need some money at the moment but at this price? To act like a nutter on tv? Nah. Wow. I knew there was a reason I did not watch tv on a Monday night.

p.s. I want a Trini Bachelor/Bachelorette. Now that would be entertainment.

Back up the Hill

In just a week's time, my high school class will hold our 13 year reunion. Even with Facebook and all the other social networking machinations over the years, meeting up in person will always trump cyber contact. Some of the stories that I have already been reminded of have made me snicker. The infamous "ass of 1995" sign. I cannot believe I forgot about that. Of course you know the sign originally said Class of 1995 but somehow the letters "c" and "l" wanted to go party, and in the middle of a sober moment, because we attended a school where girls were quiet and prim, when the letters slowly slid down the curtain, leaving just "ass of 1995", I really think it was too much for our conservative pretence. I still cannot remember in great detail the food fight which followed but it apparently happened, but thinking about how simple life was back then makes me want to go back there for a minute.

Now so many years later, with some of the girls from that moment, laughing their heads off at a sliding sign now being wives and mothers, and entrepreneurs and career divas, it's awesome to know that we all did alright. That we turned out pretty damn good and that the 5, 7 or 2 year experience shaped who we are - the years of scolding from our teachers, of being told ladies should only cross their legs at their ankles and not their knees, of running half dressed from the gym to science or history class, or eating each other's sandwiches cross legged near the dorm or in the auditorium, or facing the embarassment of being sent under the tamarind tree for all the school to see that we were miscreants. The lunchtime rush to the cafe to buy slices of nasty pizza from Lue-Shue or cherry slushies, forging notes so we could go down High Street at lunchtime to lime, or for the CXC Info Tech class, before Birbal drove up the hill in his green Sunny (saw him at Miami International in December by the way...he has not changed a bit). The retarded way we used to act when we had a lunchtime function and we invited the boys as guests because we were so starved of testosterone that our estrogen levels were off the charts. The silent and sometimes not so silent war we had with that "other girls school down the hill". Through Chaucer, Shakespeare, hydrochloric acid, sin and cosine (yuck), Amerindians and Inquisition, ser and etre - we still managed to find moments to laugh, to be mean and nasty little creatures (leaving soiled items on teachers' chairs) and to make friendships that have lasted longer than we expected.

And now as some of us are at crossroads of our lives, we meet again. It should be a great evening and I cannot wait to see you all. After my football. (I just had to say it). Don't forget your photos and stories, ladies.
Photo credits: Therese C-T.

Beauty, I am, as defined by ME

Naomi Campbell
I have done a weave twice, and braids once. The braids experiment ended disastrously with the hair I had been growing out for months having to be chopped to a mere 2-3 inches. I had asked the hairdresser whether it was supposed to be that tight and she said yes, but that kinda pain could not have been normal. Beauty is pain, my ass. My short hair actually was quite hot and I loved it while it was short (not so much when it got to that transition phase between short and long) and my short hair grew back but I have always had a little bit of a bad patch in the middle of my head that just never grew back to its full length, and I will curse her and her girl children for years to come.

My first weave experience was awesome. I looked hot and I looked different. That was the main reason. I am not one of these black women or black men for that matter who believe that long, straight hair is the epitome of female beauty. But I am one of those women who like a new style every now and then and this was a great way to try a new style without doing anything drastic to my regular do. The second weave experience was not as super as it ended slightly like the braids experience - not as horrendously but when I see chunks of my hair coming out in the comb, I say to myself this will not happen ever again. I then invested in a great wig which on bad "hair from the roots" days, comes out of the bag to complement the hotness that is me.

I saw the photo of Naomi Campbell this morning and the consequences of being a black model in a world where beauty is seen as leggy, skinny, blue eyed and long haired. The effects of trying to live up to such a standard, impossible to (safely) achieve if you were born with dark skin and hips are now evident. The sad thing is, she will probably just buy a wig to cover it up. Her money is made on an image and she will most likely stick to living up to that image until death. It must be quite a burden to pretend to be someone else all the time. And it's not a self inflicted pressure either. I have met black men who will argue to the death that a black woman should not cut her hair and should aim to have long hair, even if it means wearing a weave and putting both your natural hair and your wallet under pressure, because if you want that weave to look like Naomi's, you have to make a financial investment that could probably buy 2 months worth of groceries. And of course every time you pick up a magazine, or turn on the tv, there is some woman, black or white, rockin' the long hair, real or otherwise and sending the average woman running to the hair store to buy packs of hair shaved off Indian women's heads for money. I'm glad that my money does not depend on my looks or I may be a hot emotional mess, albeit a hot hot emotional mess (not to mention a hungry, baldhead mess...lol). I am glad that 99% of the time, I think I am gorgeous, even with my non-European hips, thighs, eyes, hair and mouth, with or without additions and fake embellishments (though I will never part ways with my mascara! NEVER!!!)

The dilemma and the phenomenon that is hair! Who knew?

Checking In

Stress is not something any of us like feeling, but it happens every once in a while, when the world is too overwhelming for your inner fortress. This has been one of those weeks where the wrecking ball has been battering my walls. I am tired, annoyed, conflicted and anxious. But I am alive, so just thought you should know that.

My life is on hold at the moment, including vacation, but will let you know when it starts back up. In the meantime, I am going to be an aunt within the next few days, and I have a high school reunion in a week's time. Both events remind me constantly that I am no longer a young and untainted spring chicken, but they also remind me that the passage of time brings wisdom, maturity, beauty and grace, and the right decisions will come.

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