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.

A Fond Farewell to 2011, Hello and Welcome to 2012

I think 2011 was a good year. Really. It started off a bit shaky, as I had a bad flu and started the year bundled up, freezing and seething at the St George’s Circus bus stop in London – waiting for almost 2 hours for my bus.

But it was a year of successes and great people and I am happy about that. I had my fair share of stress –with exams in the very first week. Add trying to study with sinus headaches, sore throat, hacking cough and fever, in the dead of London winter, and you can imagine my ultimate joy! Semester 2, while on paper, looked like it would be a cake walk, was probably worse than the jam-packed semester 1. The assignments never stopped and then of course, the dreaded D – dissertation which was a nightmare of epic proportions! But even with all that, I managed to get it done, with Distinction, and will be heading back to the Big Smoke in no time at all for my graduation.

I started the year as a student and end it as a grad – an employed grad no less, which is much better than many others can say. I am beyond grateful for that, on a very serious level, because so many of my friends are still job hunting and scouring the job ads, and waiting. I gripe about having to roll off my bed at 3.30 am each day and about how tired I am, but I am thankful that I have a job to get off the bed for. The car won’t pay for itself. Yes…the end of public transportation came at the end of 2011 as well – a real triumph for the high heeled princess. I do not miss running after the South Eastern, South West or Southern trains, or hopping maxis back home. Nope. Don’t miss it.

The Pavilion, Brighton
Though I did not get on a plane this year, other than between home and London, I did manage to do some adventuring. The UK, while cold and grisly, is a beautiful country and I explored other parts of London I had not yet explored (not just the cocktail bars and pubs) and also ventured to areas outside of London for a change, including WindsorWales, Bath, Bristol, Brighton, Rye and Hastings. If I could sneak in a trip to Edinburgh on my short escape, 2012 would have started off nicely I think – cold but pleasant.

I enjoyed a few great festivals in London as well, like Taste of London and the Wine and Cheese Festival. I miss events like those actually.

Lots of cooking as well - and now that I am back home, I am sure there will be much more.

I also made my debut as tv star, in the T-Mobile wedding ad, though you can only see the length of my dress and not much else. Still it was a fun experience. Met some great people during that experience.

But not as great as the people I met over the year in London, from classmates, some of whom will be lifelong friends, to the oddball adventures, public dating disasters and funny stories, to those who made the cut. Lol. These people brought fun, laughter, support and everythingness. A girl can only be this lucky once, right? Well, I am awesome, so I have it a hundred times over. My peeps are great!

We lost a friend this year but move forward with renewed hope because friendship is powerful and so is forgiveness.

Blog-wise, I have not always been consistent. When I was too busy with school to blog, I then became too busy with work. Balancing a real life with blogging is often challenging. Still, it is a fun outlet. I did my one and only anonymous vlog, as did Pablo. Did a photo challenge, but in the end, I blogged when I could.

So what will 2012 bring? God knows. I am praying for it to be a happy year – more happiness than sadness. Really hoping everyone, including myself, remains safe and healthy and happy over the 366 days of 2012. We can only ever take it one day at a time but I can still have a long term vision!

The lovely Grenadines, West Indies - right next door
While my movements will be restricted for a while, seeing that I have started a new job and thus have no real vacation time, I will have weekends, so there are places I can still go on a time crunch, including St Lucia, Grenada/Grenadines, Antigua, Miami (of course!), New York (not in the winter like last time) and who knows where else. 2013 will see me back in Europe but until then, gonna love my hemisphere as best as I can.

People wise – the year will undoubtedly end with some farse aunt or family friend asking if the husband will come in 2012 and my farse and bright response will probably be, “Find him and ask him”. I will again be forced to defend singledom and my right to life despite not being tied to some loser til death do us part. I have no idea what life will hold for me but guess what…life does not wait. I have learnt a lot about myself in the past year and reaffirmed what I already knew, and I will be having fun and being the fabulista that I have always been.

That being said, I want to wish you all a very Happy 2012. May all the things you wish for yourselves and your loved ones come to pass, and just have fun. Life is short and love is endless – love life.

Drunken Chicken Master: Hosting and Toasting

Cooking with red wine

Well, I had my usual get together of friends yesterday and the lime* was great. Tiring, but great. I love entertaining but Lord, it can be exhausting especially when the catering team is a team of one – moi. On paper, it was nothing too hard – a couple casseroles, some rice, salad, chicken – but of course you want stuff to taste good. Lol. Luckily, it seems like everyone enjoyed themselves and more importantly, enjoyed my cooking (as it should be!).

I tried a new chicken dish yesterday - chicken in a red wine and mushroom sauce, which I was so happy with in the end. Woot woot! The keys to success?

- A good red wine. Most people think if you buy a cheap wine then it is good just for cooking. I think if that crap is not good enough to drink, then it won’t be good enough for your food either. I was trying hell hard to open the cheaper, albeit still perfectly good and drinkable bottle of merlot but my supposedly universal wine opener was not cooperating on the wider mouth of this ridiculous bottle, time was upon me and I needed to grab a shower, and I thus had to use my good shiraz-cabernet. In the end, it worked!

- Don’t drink the wine while cooking.  You don’t want to pass out and have the chicken or the sauce burn do you? Luckily for me, it was red wine and not white, so the urge to pour myself a glass while the apron was still on was not strong. The chicken, the sauce – all survived to make a good and lasting impression.

I was really pleased with my chicken and with everything else in fact. But believe me, the next time I will either not be hosting, or will be making sandwiches. It is not something one can do every day unless there is the added incentive of being paid to do it, à la professional caterer.

I had maybe one drink too many yesterday and I always end up mixing, cause I must have wine and I MUST have a cocktail (or 4) so after the dishes were done, I crashed like a stone on the bed. But all in all it was a good lime. Looking forward to my roti lime tomorrow and not just because I am the curry master. I love Christmas holidays and all but if I have to eat another piece of ham, I may stab myself.


*Lime – (according to Urban Dictionary)
Of Caribbean origin; often heard from a Trini. Closest American translation is "hanging out," but it can be used to describe a party, a planned or unplanned social gathering, or just some people sitting around, killing time together. It's a Trini's favourite pastime.

Christmas Day

I was so tired last night that I was in bed by 8.30. That of course did not bode well for my internal alarm. At 1.54am I was awake, and could not go back to sleep despite my body feeling really worn out and exhausted. My body sucks, man. So here I am. Awake and tired. Lovely.

Anyway, the 4-day Christmas weekend is not done yet. We had family over yesterday and today the onslaught continues. Tomorrow will probably be the worst (lol) as I have friends over and that means I am taking charge of everything. Luckily, it is a two-day work week for me. Don't get those very often. It should really be a zero-day work week. I find it absolutely criminal that anyone should work at all during the last 2 weeks of the year, but it is what it is.

It was a lovely Christmas Day with the fam though. Lots of laughter. Gotta love people who can make you laugh.

Today, Boxing Day, also marks the (un)official start of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. The party goers have been waiting for this moment all year and now it is here. Let the games begin. The vibes are still mellow as we close the year, but the pace will pick up in 2012.


Christmas Eve

Oh the weather outside is frightful..

Wait. That is not true. I am not in London. I am in sunny Trinidad - well no sun at 8pm but the weather is good. Santa has no damn excuse.

I am actually sitting in bed, waiting for my bread to bake to...hopefully perfection. It is only my second attempt at bread. My first attempt was an easy rolled oat loaf which was probably a 7/10. It was also just for personal consumption. However, Christmas breakfast depends on my efforts tonight so God help me and God help the bread.

Today I did the unthinkable. I went to the mall. On Christmas Eve. I needed to get a few things in the supermarket really - stuff to cook for my lunch party next week. I decided I would go super early, and avoid the parking drama and the rush. So with half hour to spare, I pulled in to an already crowded carpark. Not a good sign. As I turned the corner to hit the store entrance, there it was - the Christmas Eve mob. lol. I mean, I had a good laugh as I looked on at the desperate shoppers, hoping to score a ham and maybe some booze for the long holiday weekend.

Not forgetting the woman in the supermarket yesterday who took full advantage of Hi-Lo's $199 Johnny Walker Black special by filling her trolley with not one, not two, but 15 bottles of the stuff. When she noticed the sign that said "Customers limited to 4 bottles per person", she then "rented" friends and asked random people to pay for the surplus. Who says Christmas shopping is not amusing. Nothing quite like that today, even though there was a small mob around the Riccadonna special.

Having survived that, I then decided to stroll through the mall. I mean, I was already there, so why not? Laughed again as I observed all the last minute husbands and boyfriends outside the jewellery stores, waiting for the doors to fly open and save them from a sour, sexless weekend with the missus. I got my dad a new cell phone, which is funny since the person who needs a new cell phone more than anyone else in the family is me. But tis the season of giving, right?

Laughed some more after seeing the girls in the pharmacy dressed as elves and Mrs Claus...street walker versions if you ask me. Their boss bought all the outfits in NY and made them wear them today. Scary.

My bread just came out the oven and it is a 10/10 from all who have sampled it thus far.Yaaay. I am excited about that.

I am excited to be home with the family this year. I wish you all a very merry Christmas. Do enjoy the weekend!!

The 411 on Trininista: December Edition

I know I have been really scarce on the blog and you are clamouring for updates. Well, maybe not clamouring. Okay here goes:
- Started my new job last month. I had a few immediate offers and chose this one. How has it been? So far, so good. I don’t blog about work so this is all you are probably gonna get for now.
- Got my new car last week after a month of hustling public transportation. Oh my God. P2* life in Trinidad makes me truly appreciate TFL in London. It is truly a nightmare trying to get around without a car, a friend who works close to your office or in your office, or a dedicated driver. I got home angry every night after braving the unreliable bus system, the life threatening taxi system, dark streets (I leave the house at 4.30am and got home nearer to 8pm) and the roaming pot hounds trying to be Rottweillers. Nightmare.
- I have been so busy and/or tired that I forgot honestly about single life. Not that it makes much of a difference. The proposals so far have ranged from slightly amusing to downright annoying or scary. I had cause to give one guy my phone number for a totally professional reason and he just took the opportunity and ran with it. Blowing up my cell phone with useless calls – useless in terms of him having nothing important to say and only “called to say hi” and also, useless in terms of me not being presently, or ever will be interested.
- My birthday has also come and gone and it was lovely. I have a few more grey hairs than I did last year and it was my first birthday in Trinidad in a long time but it was a good one.
- As for Christmas, well, I have not really gotten into the whole Christmas thing really. I am at the office while people are out shopping and doing other such ridiculous Christmas things. I am listening to Muse and other non-Santa related music all day so no vibes there. I have literally not put on my tv all week out of sheer exhaustion and also for fear that I will unfortunately encounter some silly, sappy, feel-good Christmas movie or special. No. Not interested.  
- I miss London still. Not the weather, but some things. Like my cocktail bar. Cider. Wine on sale. Hmmm…seems like there may be a trend here. The great restaurants and the very diverse cuisine. The sights and sounds. Not missing the mass of tight-lipped, sour people, but I do miss my friends. But I will be visiting in early 2012 for graduation. Looking forward to it.
- As I mentioned in a previous  post, we had Secret Santa at the office. My Secret Santa got me chocolate as part of my present. Never a good idea. Dark chocolate to boot…my favourite. It’s already done. I am so fat it is scandalous. And yet I am not slowing down either. After work yesterday I had the best lamb gyro.  It is the season to eat and drink, not so? Sigh. I foresee some type of post-holiday boot camp. 


So what’s next? Survive the Christmas weekend. Get loads of rest. Host my friends next week, which means some level of cooking and preparation, which means I need to get the rest well before that. Start working out next week or face asking for the seat belt extension on the plane. Lol. And prepare myself for whatever 2012 brings basically.
*P2 – Cars in Trinidad have licence plates which indicate whether the cars are private, heavy, hired, or rentals. So an example of a private car registration number would be PCS 3452. P2 suggests you are a private commuter… but by foot. Lol. 2 feet – get it?

Attack of the Air Wick!

Besides the Muse H.A.A.R.P. - Live at Wembley CD, I really wanted a Burberry Body Gift Set, or even just the single bottle. It's a bit pricey for me at the moment, but then, who needs Burberry when one can smell like frickin' Air Wick!!

This is my current nemesis.

Mr Air Wick Freshmatic Max!

The Airwick Freshmatic Max Automatic Spray. You place this bad boy wherever you want some air freshener loving and set the timer - anywhere between 9-36 minutes - and it freshens your room automatically with a single spray of your preferred air fragrance.

This is all well and good...until you realise that this Air Wick thing-a-ma-jig has it out for you. Mr Air Wick is sitting innocently in a corner of the caddy over the loo. However, it seems that he waits for me to come in before he unleashes his lavender goodness all over me. I have been attacked in the eye, the back of the neck and the forehead. Burberry it is not. I do not see my knight in shining armour being enthralled by my alluring lavender fragrance. Hardly.

Now I enter the loo with one eye looking over my shoulder, hoping to not get attacked by air freshener!!

Secret Santa and Secret Loathing

I have now managed to survive not only a slew of parties but also the team Secret Santa nightmare...I mean...exercise. Not being a Christmas elf myself and bordering more on the Grinch side of life, this was not a fun task for me. At all. Especially since I just met everyone and have no idea what they like and don't like. But luckily I got the one person I do know better than most, and who happens to be my boss, and managed to get him a present that was a-okay - an Italian silk scarf and an autobiography by a guy he lists as a hero. So job well done, me!

This week will be harrowing I am sure. Have you started Christmas shopping? I have not and I won't. It is a pet peeve, this Christmas shopping nonsense. Traffic is a nightmare. My parents always get an IOU when it comes to Christmas but I will risk death to get something for my nephew.

I am also hotel hunting. I have started my graduation trip planning. Back to London I go. I never did the whole cap and gown thing the first time around. So this time, it means a lot - I suffered through winter for that degree, dammit. You better believe I am walking across that stage to get my reward!

Thursday Tunes

The awesome and sexy John Legend - my life!
I am sitting here listening to weekend music because in my awesome world, the weekend begins on Thursday. No. Really.

So some of my tunes tonight (posting for the benefit of one fan in particular)

John Legend



Muse - Matt Bellamy may not be the cutest but he is the greatest
Muse (Oh, Matt Bellamy...)


Fiona Apple 
U2 - old but not cold


Evanescence


Miscellaneous

Yeah. It is a very mixed bag isn't it? But that's me - a bag of fun. So what are you listening to?

Christmas Party Pooper

So I survived the Christmas parties - and without having to resort to hitting the bottle.

The first one was the staff children's party - an event that in past jobs I managed to avoid like The Black Death but fate caught up with me and I was mandated to be there. I could not even take my nephew which would have at least made it relevant somehow. But in any event, it was painless. The children were not as annoying as I thought they might have been. The magician, however, was a hot mess and could not even sway the kids much less a bitter Trininista, and the snow man was scary even for me, so I was not surprised when one little girl bawled her lungs out when he appeared, out of sheer terror. No lie though - the snow man was beastly! Poor kids.

I also managed to survive the adults' party which in past jobs I had usually been excited about. It was the one time of year I could really shine my swag and go full glam, but this year, I really could not be bothered. I took the decision to recycle an old dress and took it to be ironed at the dry cleaner's the day before. Then later that next evening, when I realised that unforeseen circumstances made wearing this particular dress impossible, I literally threw on a dress I grabbed out of the hamper, without even ironing it - a dress I have worn quite a few times, but noone cared. I didn't. I was glad I had not spent money on a new dress cause it would have been a waste. The party was alright but my heart was just not in the whole thing. Between hormonal rage, exhaustion, and a bitter, biting flu bug, I was not the smurfiest butterfly on the Christmas social scene.

The major highlight of the evening was probably the one guy who had to be wheeled out of the party cause he took "free drinks" to a whole new level. I kid you not. Wheeled out. In a wheelchair. Too drunk to walk. Too drunk to even be conscious. How embarrassing. If that were my man, I would let him go for being such a daft knob.

There is still the small matter of team lunch/gift exchange. God. I should really publicise my memo about not being a Christmassy type but it might be too late, or too soon depending on how you look at it. In any event, in the immediate present, I am now battling a really awful flu which has been kicking my ass now for days but which I intend to beat before the weekend! Hope everyone is well.

Say Yes to the Dress. I said No!

HIDEOUS!!!
I went to the mall on a mission - to find a simple evening dress for this party I have to go to next week. I do not want to go to the party for a few reasons - I am tired and predict I will be tired next week too, I don't feel as hot as I should feel for glamming up, etc etc

But I went to the mall with an open mind. I came home with a all-in-one bag crammed with bundles - groceries, cute camisoles, a nice cardigan, but no dress.

I am really aghast at what was on offer.

1. The usual - sequins and shiny shit. I think sequins should be banned! Okay, that might be a bit harsh cause when done right, sequins can be quite stunning. When. Done. Right. What I saw was atrocious. Dresses with what looked like gold spray paint and what looked like they went buck wild with the glue gun and the sequins. I sucked my teeth in annoyance.

2. Jersey. The sales girl pointed me to the "evening dress" section of the store and they had a lot of jersey dresses. God. Jersey is not glam. Jersey is "head to the supermarket/head to the movies/have lunch with the girls". It's not evening! God help me. Accessorised nicely on the mannequin, one dress looked halfway presentable but the mannequin also does not have lumps and bumps like normal women. Jersey is not it!

3. I tried 3 dresses and then noticed that 2 other women tried 2 of the 3 dresses I was trying. They had them in various sizes and in gross quantities. Not cute! Did not know them but I just thought, oh my God...what if they are going to the same party? Reminded me of a story about a VP who was too cheap to buy a really nice dress and bought one of these dime-a-dozen getups for the staff party, only to see the kitchen assistant in the exact same dress. I have never bought a dress locally for this exact reason. I have always had my dresses custom made or I have bought them on my travels. The thought of being a twin at this party was not appealling to me.

I did not buy a dress. I jumped in a taxi and came home. I was not willing to shell out the money for one either especially as I am in the throes of buying a car. I will recycle something in storage. I washed one last week (it smelled musty from being in storage for over 2 years!!) and I am praying to God that this thing still fits me. Add this to the fact that I am going alone to this thing, with people I do not know, I'm just not excited. Can't wait for it to be over.

A swift boot to the...

I've been so busy this week that I have not really had chance to blog. I try to store observations in my brain somewhere so I can come back and write about it, but in all the hustle, I think the observations fall out and get crushed. But there is one observation that repeated itself all this week and it bothers me so much I need to address it.

I live in a tropical country. Granted, the weather lately has been atrocious but it is hurricane/rainy season after all. But I am assaulted daily by women walking through the city like this -

Women's boots
What on earth? Why are women wearing boots here? In the middle of the day, in the heat? One girl came in for coffee yesterday in jeans and knee highs and I did not attempt to NOT stare. I stared and let her know I was staring cause I thought she looked stupid.  I saw yet another in Uggs. Really?? Tourists come from the US and Europe to the Caribbean to wear flip flops and run on the beach barefoot. They walk through the malls in cute sandals - loving the freedom of just waking up and knowing it's warm enough to be foot carefree. And yet...

I love boots. Love. But I won't be wearing boots in Trinidad unless hell freezes over.

I have a busy day today. I won't be looking for boots but instead will be looking for a cocktail dress for the staff Christmas party. It's actually not something I am looking forward to, only cause I am exhausted. Who woulda thunk it? Me - not looking forward to shopping or parties! Scary.

Today was not the Day

Y'all better hope and pray my car gets sorted soon, or this blog will become a daily rant about public transportation.

Oh
My
God
!!!!

It's a nightmare. This afternoon I sat in a taxi that was old, clammy and frowsy smelling. Add the frowsy smelling driver and the frowsy smelling backseat passengers and it was a frowsy experience. Then this driver decided that I was well positioned to listen to him rant about the local drug trade. The trouble was, he needed some mouthwash. I turned my head to the open window and said a silent prayer.

Then tonight, I got the craziest maxi driver ever. Besides wooing me with a fried chicken dinner date (the privilege!!!), he was just totally outlandish. He kept cursing people who did not want to take his maxi, even after I indicated to him that perhaps the people were not ready to go home or not going where he was going. He stopped for one lady and just as she was about to open the door, he drove off, after realising she was "too fat for the small seat" and "she would put [him] in expense when she mash up [his] maxi seat". The poor lady looked so confused as he sped off in a gust of diesel smoke. Then he stopped for a man and again, just as he was about to open the door, he sped off a second time. This time, he said the man was crazy and he did not want "mad people in [his] maxi" cause the man would "probably shoot up the maxi".

It would all be amusing in a very demented way if I were not so tired and annoyed.

As a side note, I ran into a woman I used to work with - one of these old, miserable and farse types who have nothing good to say about anyone or anything. I ground my teeth as she stopped me for a chat and I caught her sizing me up from head to toe, her old, nasty mouth itching to say something - probably about "how fat I got" cause that is always her opening line. I was ready...and waiting. I was waiting with annoyed anticipation to reply with either:

1. Waaay. Who do that weave for you? It's jacked up.
2. Lady, white eyeliner is so 1960. Where you even get that to buy?
3. And it certainly does not match that horrible gold eyeshadow.
4. You wanna go to Pennywise and maybe find a good concealer for the black circles under your eyes?
5. And while you're there, some nail polish remover for the chipped and nashy nail polish.
6. Your husband still with you with you looking like this? He has real belly!

(or all of the above...that was the kinda mood I was in)

Yes. I was waiting. Patiently. But she probably saw the glint in my eye and she said NOTHING. Today was not the day, lady. It was not the day!!

Then, just one more thing. So I am already annoyed that Rituals opens at 6.30am, which is way too late for the early o'clock South-North commuter. I cannot fight the system and I really needed a coffee to stave off sure homicidal urges this morning, so I got to POS at 6am and actually waited for Rituals to open at 6.30. I endured the ole talk from random weird men and the smell of Frederick Street...just for this coffee!

At 6.29.59, I pushed open the door and announced that I was ready to get my caffeine fix. The woman looked at me and said "We not open yet." I asked her if they don't open at 6.30. Her response:

"We not open until we get the doughnuts".

My response:

"I just want coffee."

Her: Well, we have to wait for the doughnuts.
Me (in my mind): What the a... doughnuts have to do with you making me a cup of coffee??

What kinda rubbish this girl was telling me - tired, angry and caffeine deprived? Doughnuts had nothing to do with me. Just grab a cup and start whirring the lil machine and make me a coffee. I had to wait a next 5-8 minutes for her to realise - the doughnuts late! Aye...today was not the day, girl.

These Heels Were Made for Working

So it's been a while since I posted, so I owe you one.

I resumed high heeled life yesterday - aka work. I did not return to the job I had originally (long story) but started somewhere completely new. It's been interesting, but of course, I never blog about work. I can however blog about other things like my new hair and corporate adventures.

Not much to say about my new hair, other than it's a new look and low maintenance. lol. In terms of the corporate adventures, well, I swear on my dog that I sent HR a harmless, work-friendly photo for the intranet announcement of my arrival. However, apparently my photo was "sexy" and I had a "come hither" look about me, which apparently has found an appreciative audience among certain staff members. This was the feedback from two of my friends of the male variety after they and their other male colleagues saw the bulletin. I am innocent I say!

I spent Day 2 out and about at a conference where I not only learnt stuff, but also met people I have not seen since I came back and so there was a lot of kissing and hugging and "oooohing" and "aaaaahing" and catching up. It was nice. I felt loved. I also felt tired. My body is taking its time getting used to the graveyard shift hours. I wake up at 3.30am on the nose and I am heavily caffeine dependent before the day really gets going. Not good.

Other than that, nothing exciting to share. I am car shopping - an urgent purchase. As you all know I loathe public transportation and it's really bad here. I dread each day I have to take a taxi to get somewhere. Besides the general rudeness of some drivers, you also have the smells and antics of the other passengers. Today's award winning odour came from a woman who clearly wore pumps all day and then changed into flip flops this evening. The trouble was, her feet were stink! Really stink!!! The driver had no choice but to switch off the a/c and turn the windows down. Thank God it was a short ride.

This already feels like the longest week ever!

Elated!

It's been a long road - with cold weather, no sleep, homesickness, crusty books. But my results came today and I am graduating with my Masters, with Distinction. And you have all been there through my adventures - scholastic and otherwise so I had to share my happiness with you. I am really thankful to have made it through with my sanity, with great times and awesome people. Thank you for making me smile and keeping me off the brink.

Cheers! I can soooo use a freakin' caipirinha right now!

The Extraordinary Challenges of Weight Loss of a Trini Superstar

I am currently fat-busting around the neighbourhood. I grumpily roll off the bed at 5.30am and go bust a move in my fat busting gear for an hour. While I lose myself in my own little iPod/fat busting universe, there are a few downsides to free exercise, i.e. exercise outside the confines of a gym (this is not to say the gym is paradise either. Remember this?)

1. The dogs - pitbulls, pot hounds and wannabes.
People in Trinidad don't understand the concept of keeping a dog chained or in a kennel especially if they live in unfenced, ungated homes. Thus the intrepid fitness maven has to brave the scowls and growls from four legged fiends every morning. While some people take to walking with a mop handle or other such weapon to beat off the fierce beasts, I would like to think of myself as a bit of a dog whisperer. lol. I just give them the eye, ooze ferocity and they back off. I have not met my canine match just yet (knock wood).

2. The carbon monoxide.
This is a real killer. Though 5.30 may seem early, many people leave for work at that time. I mean, I used to be out the door at 4.45am - no later. This productivity is however, not good for the wily road wanderer, running up and down hills, lungs already bursting and gasping for breath. To be on the brink of asphyxiation and all there is to breathe in is gasoline and diesel fumes - not cool. While there is a park nearby, it is not suited for running under any circumstances. Huge holes under thick grass, and not to mention the mud when it rains...and it's pretty isolated so any attacks by rapists or muggers will certainly go unnoticed at that hour of the morning. I could go in the afternoon but then you risk being hit by a flying football when the guys come out for a sweat, and of course, who's running in the Trini afternoon heat?? So the road warrior marches on.

3. The road predators aka bumsee stalkers.
For the non-Trinis, "bumsee" is Trini slang for ass. I have a nice ass, and I am generally curvylicious and I am happy so many men appreciate this, but it is a real pain to be trying to get your sweat on and the men hone in on you like a heat-seeking missile long before you even get close to them. These are the men who are not awake getting their sweat on, but those waiting for their shuttles or carpools to work at the side of the road. So they have no appreciation of the agony your glutes are feeling as you are pelting up that hill. They are not thinking about their own 6-packs or pectorals. They are just idly waiting for their day to start and suddenly, your "Get Me Bodied" self approaches and they now have something to keep them occupied for 30 seconds. That's when you get "morning princess...the form looking real real good" or "babes, you want a workout partner?" or "I wish I was dem pants, girl". It is super annoying and I adjust my headphones so they know I am not paying attention but you can almost feel the words vibrating off your body, not to mention the eyes as you walk past. Special mention to the male drivers who honk their horns in the most aggravating fashion.

Still, when I get home, all sweaty and tired, have a nice long shower, whip up a protein shake, and relax, there is no better feeling so these are small prices to pay in the long run, I guess. However, I am glad my new office has a gym which I am sure to be patronising once I am all settled.

Out of Storage

The past couple mornings I have been braving the inclement weather and going out on the streets for a workout. Life in heels, flip flops and sneakers!!

With my iPod all loaded up with fat busting tunes, I take on the hills and valleys and pot hounds (mongrels) of both the four-legged and two-legged varieties of the neighbourhood. I must say it is my favourite part of the day. I am a bit sore after months of muscular neglect, but feel better at the end of each punishing uphill run. I just thought I would share this tidbit before bed...4 hours til the next workout and I am excited cause I just loaded some new songs. I get bored so easily...not just with workouts and workout music but I realise, with life. lol. I need to address this. If only it were as simple as downloading new music!

It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas!

West Mall during Christmas time!
As I entered the mall yesterday, I was greeted by Christmas trees and loads of decorations, as well as a parang band and a fat, happy Santa, pandering to what seemed to be millions of people. Yes siree, Christmas is approaching. Oh joy. While I am a close relative of Scrooge and Grinch, I was a bit excited by all the Christmas activity. I admit it. I was certainly excited to be in a mall with a credit card and no fear of what tomorrow may bring. Blessed, I say.


Christmas in Trinidad is a pretty big deal and with the curfew now lifted, Trinis are gearing up for the incessant liming (hanging out Trini style), which includes drinks (lots of drinks), food (lots of food) and friends and family. After one Christmas in London, where I felt like I was at death's door and during which I had the most miserable time ever, I am truly appreciative to be home for the holidays.


And it was Christmas indeed at my favourite store, where I racked up a pretty hefty bill, but left happier - 1. cause retail therapy is awesome, 2. cause my stunning sundress won many accolades, even if the hem was a bit damp cause of rain puddles (but I was not to be thwarted by some rain and the sundress stayed on) 3. cause my store assistant said I looked like 25 (mamaguy* I am sure, but I will take it). Not to mention, since my last visit to this mall, God has seen fit to bless the Southland with...wait for it...a MAC store!!!


*mamaguy - to flatter someone, often deceitfully or exaggeratedly. I love that the definition is also on Dictionary.com.

And nothing has changed in my neighbourhood Hi-Lo. Not only were the meat boys back in action, but the security guard was stalking me throughout my time in the store, and not cause I looked suspicious either. Had he been doing more securing and less gaping, I would have been a happier, less annoyed shopper.


I am ashamed to admit it, but it's been over5 weeks, and I still have not unpacked my suitcases. lol. So because I am back into the high heeled life next week and the high heeled life is a whole different story to the lazy flip flopped life, I cannot be digging around in suitcases when I am running late. So this is on my to-do-list today, among other things - unpack suitcases and generally clear clutter. I am going to be throwing out a lot of things. Clothes from my skinny days will be going to a charity and the rest in the fire. Going to turn on some parang music and get crackin'. Happy Sunday!


*parang - Traditional Christmas music of Trinidad and Tobago. Wikipedia: ...part of the Island's Hispanic heritage that originated from over 400 years ago during Spanish rule. The word is derived from two Spanish words:'Parranda', meaning 'a spree or fête' and 'Parar' meaning 'to stop'. In the past, it was traditional for parang serenaders to pay nocturnal visits to the homes of family and friends, where part of the fun was waking the inhabitants of the household from their beds.


It's funny - the majority of the population cannot even speak Spanish! lol.


Passport to Madness: Another Trini Adventure

Passport problems!
Oh God. Today I braved public transportation yet again to go to the embassy to get my visa renewed. The mere thought of not being able to get on a plane at a moment's notice is maddening to me. But even more maddening is the whole process of getting said visa. Sitting for 2 hours, to then have a 1 minute conversation with the lil visa man is not fun. At least I got said visa and avoided the walk of shame. Lord...the walk of shame. When the lil visa man tells you you get the visa, they give you a little chit and you go pay for your self-addressed courier envelope so they can mail back your passport with your new visa. When the lil visa man thinks you may be trying to exploit the system on your non-immigrant visa and refuses you, there is no walk to the post office desk. Instead you head straight to the exit. If you know anything about Trini people is that they are farse and actually stalk each and every individual in that room to see who gets a visa and who does not get a visa. It's like sport! So when you don't get the little chit, and you're forced to make the "shameful" walk to the exit, there are about 40-50 pairs of eyes on you. Walk of shame!

While I will not complain too much about the system, especially since my passport is still in the clutches of said visa giver-outers, I will muse a bit about the resourcefulness of my Trini people.

Now, having not had to go to the embassy in 10 years and having a major case of forgetfulness, mixed with a generous dose of habit, I slipped my mobile phone into my swanky handbag and was on my way. Take note, I was taking the ferry to the capital, being still car-less, and was travelling solo. The problem with this is that you cannot enter the embassy with a mobile phone. I recognise that this rule has to be strictly enforced with Trinis cause even if you tell them switch off the mobile, chances are 9 out of 10 of them will put it back on to BBM, text, surf and ole talk at maximum volume once inside.  But for me, having the almost criminal cell phone on my person was a serious problem because

1. I had no car to run back to in which to store it until I was done
2. I had no travel companion/significant other/friend to hold said phone while waiting for me on the outside.

I contemplated hiding my phone under a road barrier on the street. It's a cheap phone, but it's also my only source of all my local contacts so God forbid if it rained or some vagrant decided they needed a cheap Nokia, I would be out of contact with everyone.

Highway robbery!
The security officer seeing my dilemma then notified me that I could take my phone to the photo studio and ask them to hold it for me, since the security cannot take any errant phones from rule breakers like myself. So off I ran to said photo studio. Imagine my horror to be told by the bright lady in the place that I had to PAY for them to babysit my phone. $15!!! I was like, wtf!! These people are making a killing in Port of Spain. So I told her thanks but no thanks, and thought to myself "yuh could haul yuh..." and solicited the help of a rotund street vendor, who looked motherly, sympathetic and honest.

"Miss, can you hang on to my phone til I come back?"
"Well, the photo place charging $15, so I will have to charge you $8. You getting a good price, babes".

Motherly, sympathetic my ass! 

*grumble grumble* 

I contemplated the road barrier again, seeing a little corner that could have served as a hiding place, cause I thought this was highway robbery. I was just about ready to disassemble this phone and swallow its components and my SIM card and retrieve them later (lol) to avoid this thuggery! I grudgingly handed over my $8...cutting my eye at her grubby hands in the process. When did people stop being helpful just because they can assist their fellow man? I need to set up a little stall near the embassy and make some easy money - phone sitting, queue booking; give discounts to seniors and babies. Work? Who needs to get a job when you can open a racketeering business near the embassy?

All this just to get a visa to go buy cute clothes and walk through Sephora.

(Foodie) Porn: Cure for All Cases of Boredom

So I have been sitting at home, bored out of my freakin' mind and when I am bored, I eat or I create...in the kitchen, which ultimately leads to more eating anyway. lol.

This week, there was spinach and mushroom pizza...

Veggie Pizza
This is actually a pretty healthy option - just a few tbsps of cheese, and fresh veggies on a multigrain crust

...and today, my first ever attempt at a pie, 100% from scratch. No store-bought pie shell. I must say, I was really pleased with my efforts. I made an apple pie and it was really splendid. I went a bit crazy with the cookie cutter shapes, but as I said, "bored" is the word of the day!

Not so healthy...but delicious! My first apple pie

At least tomorrow I will be productive as I start my French classes to excavate my dormant French-speaking skills from the dark recesses of my mind. I am enjoying it all now cause when I re-enter high heeled life, baking and conjugation may be the last things I wanna do.

Clean and Shiny

Pablo enjoying some scented candle lovin'
So two weeks later and I still have not unpacked my suitcases and I am living on the bare minimum. But I did do some minor cleaning and after throwing out some junk, I dug up a scented candle to seal the deal on my efforts. Nothing makes you feel like you've done some worthwhile cleaning than a scented candle!

It's been an unsettling time - unsettling in the sense that I should be in transition from student to job hunter to high heeled professional, but there are so many other things going on that I feel I am in limbo. Nevertheless, God is great. Though I could, if I wanted just a salary, stop worrying about my professional life and sit back, I won't. Though life is never as clean and shiny as my entertainment centre is today, it should bring you some measure of contentment and satisfaction and less anxiety and annoyance. So there you go! And I know and believe that I will get what I am looking for. I am owning that belief...so watch out, world.

Happy Friday, kids.

Channelling my Inner Lindsay Lohan

Li-Lo being carted off to jail today after her probation
was revoked.
Photo credit: Reuters
So Lindsay Lohan has gotten herself carted off to jail again. Shocker. Someone get this girl a spiritual advisor. At  the same time, I was myself in the dirty arms of the law this morning, being fingerprinted. And while my fingerprint session was completely innocent, it's still a pretty grimy business isn't it? What made it worse, was the sourpuss female officer who "rough up" mih hand as she ten-printed me, and then did not even offer washroom services so I could scrub off the nasty, germy fingerprint ink off my fingers. Why anyone would want to endure the trials of a police station more than absolutely necessary is beyond me. C'mon Lindsay...behave yourself.

However, I am on probation. Food probation. Since returning home, I have been a woman on a mission - an "eat everything in sight" mission. All the foods I had been missing while in London, I made it my duty to find and devour without fear or favour. It did not help that it was raining all day, every day, I have no car and no enthusiasm to do much of anything. Food was the answer.

But I soon recognised the error of my ways and have now resigned myself to food probation - healthier eating and exercise. I got some cereals, yogurt, green tea and soy milk to replace roti and daiquiris, almonds for chocolate cake and coconut drops, and today I made my very first attempt ever at hummus. I mean, you cannot go wrong with protein-packed hummus, made at home, without all the fat in store-bought versions. It also helps that I have no idea where one would get store bought hummus in Trinidad. Anyway, I had fun making my own tahini (lie...it was not fun), roasting my red peppers and garlic and whipping up my roasted red pepper hummus to have with some Crix and a cup of green tea.

It looks chunky here but it was really smooth and creamy
Foodie felon, I am. Tired.

Each Day Gets Better...Eventually

It's been a week since I have been back home and it's not been a good week. At all. Among one of the disasters of the return was a car accident on Saturday. My mum and I were going out as I had mentioned in my last post, and it was meant to be a good day. All the great plans for the afternoon went down the toilet when the clown behind us decided it would be wise to try to pick something off the floor while the car was in "Drive". Really clever, isn't he? Anyway, thank God for seatbelts.

I made this wallpaper yesterday for my desktop to remind myself that things get better.

Cheers to the Cooperative Waistline!

Too fat for the world!
I have done nothing since I have been back home besides lay in bed, watch tv and eat. This is clearly not a recipe for hotness. After another all-day binge fest of all my favourite Trini treats, I decided to see what kinda damage I was looking at it in terms of my waistline. Seeing that I am job hunting and may be called upon on short notice to put on  a suit and heels, I decided last night to ensure that I did not need to go shopping for said outfit. Nervous, I opened the door to my work accoutrements and selected a pair of pants that I know could make or break my plans for the weekend - Cold Stone Creamery, KFC, Hot Shoppe, cocktails. Nervous, I slipped one leg in, then another and then waited for the pull and tug motions around the hips.

But voila, the pants fit. Perfectly. Well, they could be looser but I am not going to complain. I have been really remiss with the healthy eating in the past few weeks. Cocktails like water, great dinners. Ridiculous. But the pants fit. Cold Stone, here I come! lol. I promise to work out next week.

I have just been in a bit of a funk though. Not a full-on funk. It's hard to be funky when you have not seen your family in months and there is sunshine. But there are so many negative feelings around certain events that have left a really sour taste in my mouth and I just don't have the energy to deal with them. Maybe next week.

Cheers to the freakin' weekend though. Gonna slide into some Caribbean friendly outfit, some platforms (yes, heels are back!!!) and turn it around with another round! Happy Saturday, guys!

Home is Allegedly Where The Heart Is

Tired airline passenger
So all I could think about yesterday as I sat on BA 2159 was my bed, with my pillows and my stuffed dog, Muffy. I was totally exhausted and even with the cat naps on the flight, I got home just wanting to take a long, hot shower and sleep. So why am I awake at 4.05am??

So yes, I am back in Trinidad. The flight was not uneventful. From start to finish, there were the moments which make my life such a comedy treat.

1. The taxi ride from home to Gatwick. My cousin uses the guy all the time and trusts him. Turning up late did not inspire confidence, but he was wearing a full suit, so I forgave the slight time casualty. Yes. A suit. To drive a taxi. I was not sure whether to be impressed or amused. In any event, I was also warned that he is a devout Christian and before we could turn the corner, he asks, "Do you love God?" I do love God, friend, but I did not want to talk about it. The sermon was short thankfully but in hindsight, I needed it. To face the day. And the traffic. I sat stewing in angry juices for a while as we sat in London traffic, but somehow by God's grace and by some rather un-Christian driving, I got to Gatwick International safe and sound and without missing my flight.

2. The seat. So I have a habit of using online check-in to get myself a comfortable seat and in my opinion, with my budget, comfortable does not mean first class or whatever fancy name they call the posh sleeper seats. Comfortable means...the bulkhead seat.

The bulkhead seats

I have not had any bad experiences in the past. I crave legroom and also the convenience of either not having to get up to let my seatmate with an overactive bladder jam their backside in my face as they try to get out, or me jamming my backside in theirs. Also, when you're tired and want to sleep, you don't need people waking you up so they could go get their pee on. The bulkhead seat is my answer to convenience. I will open the exit door, no problem. I do not even mind sitting near the washroom - once I can stretch my legs and not be bothered by silly people.

The thing about the bulkhead seat is that they are right next to the seats typically reserved for passengers travelling with small children. Again, never a problem in the past but these 2 babies yesterday, while very good babies, hardly crying, very cute and happy, seemed to have some serious intestinal issues. lol. I mean, how much can a baby shit? Apparently, a lot! After a while, the cute chubby cheeks and goo goo gah gah sounds were not enough to save them from getting a face.

3. The delay. Add a delay to the rank smell of baby poo, and you get an irritable traveller. While I appreciate the airline's deep regard for my safety and I am glad the plane did not have to crash land anywhere, sitting in St Lucia for 2 hours when all I wanted was to get to my house, after already sitting on a plane for 7 or so hours, was not fun.

Blame it on the Henny
4. Immigration and Customs. The fault did not lie with the officers themselves but with the passengers. Why dear Lord, can't people fill out the forms on the plane? Credit to the immigration officer who told the lady to step aside so he could process my form and send me on my way, as she filled out the landing card. But why, lady, do you have to be argumentative and keep me back?  I don't understand it. Why could you not move like a nice old lady and let other people get out of there while you filled out your landing card? It's not hard!

Then the special lady in the Customs line. The customs declaration clearly states that one is allowed 2 bottles of alcohol and anything above that, you have to declare. It's not hard. Hiding 9 bottles of alcohol in between your panties and sweatpants is not going to change that. This, in addition, to the 2 bottles picked up in Duty Free. What? Is a bar yuh running?? Of course, when the suitcases containing the undeclared goods go through the scanner, the form is handed over to the Customs officer where she sees that the passenger has dishonestly ticked "nothing to declare" next to the spirits box, I sucked my teeth, rolled my eyes, and knew I would have at least another 5 minutes of waiting. I already looked like death warmed over, but really??

And after all this, getting home, taking that shower and crashing like a stone out of absolute exhaustion, my eyes were open at 4am? What's the deal here?

Leaving on a Jet Plane - The Sequel

It's been a rather hectic couple of weeks. I have been here, there and everywhere, both physically and emotionally. I spent a few lovely days out of London, some lovely afternoons in and about London, and embarked on the painful process of packing (I am surely the Imelda Marcos of clothes) and saying goodbye. Many curse words were uttered (packing) and many tears were shed.

But the adventure carries on. See you on the other side of the Atlantic.

Flirting 1.0 in a 2.0 world

I have on occasion on this blog described the Trini courting methods - maybe not in great detail but I have, like I did here. In case you needed a reminder, one such encounter went like this -

Scene: Trininista walking down the streets of Port of Spain, during her lunch break, looking cute as always, albeit a little aggravated cause the Third World pavements are destroying my Manhattan bought shoes, and threatening to give me a sprained ankle. A man is walking in the opposite direction, towards the 'nista. He is leering in that Trini way. Smiling. His lips curve as he prepares to speak, no doubt about to utter some lame line about my figure or my complexion. I roll my eyes behind my sunglasses and ready my lips, tongue and teeth to release the loud sucking sound Trinis call a "steups".

Man: Baby, you look good. I wanna ride you like Seabiscuit.

Steups averted. It was so funny I made sure I was out of his sight before I laughed aloud. It is a line that I have placed as my #1 pickup line ever!

Fast-forward to the technology age. Now I have weird men offering to chat me up on Facebook, as I have complained on countless occasions on my wall, and to friends whose "thirsty" friends spot my cuteness on a comment or a "like" and feel it is a free-for-all on the friend requests. Now I also have random men stalking me even on Twitter. How do you stalk someone on Twitter? I am not sure but it must take a special (idle) type of person. In any event, a few weeks ago, on my other handle - my professional handle - a young man sent me a DM, not just chatting me up, but extending the cyber assault by offering his BBM pin.

BBM fever
Two problems with this, Mr Twitterati-Flex:

1. I love the sound of the human voice. I mean, what is it now with people and all these gadgets and texting and BBMing and malarkey? Does anyone even know how to make a phone call anymore? Call me old fashioned, but I love a good old phone call. A few months ago, a guy, who should have known better cause he knew me well enough by then, tried to plan a date with me via text and email. He did not hear from me and never once thought, maybe I should call. Nope. He was depending solely on this email which I could not, or would not access cause I was out. Sorry but I only access emails on my laptop. I spend enough time on this as it is. I am not going to sit online via my phone as well. So he waited and waited, getting no answer from me, and then sent me a text. "What's happening later? I sent an email". A phone call would have solved all his dating problems. I thought maybe this was an English thing but I know it is becoming a global communication phenomenon. It irks me.

As for Mr BBM, I mean, if he had asked me for my Skype, he may have had a chance (.0000001 of a chance), but my BBM pin? Really? Which brings me to point #2.

2. I do not currently own a Blackberry or any type of smartphone. I know this makes me a social and technological pariah, but I don't want to be one of those hamsters on the platform, with eyes glued to the screens of a phone. While I can access all things internet on my piece of crap Samsung, I don't. Trinis love the art of maccoing aka minding other people's business. Being in London, the city of the seemingly indifferent, has not changed that. I always on the lookout for something interesting from homosapiens. That's the fun part of life.

I feel like all these gadgets, while great on many levels, also retard socialisation and I must admit, I resent it.

Needless to say, the young man never got a response. I do not respond to Facebook, Twitter or BBM flirting. Fun fact for today. I cannot believe I am saying this, but I much prefer random men in the street and their Seabiscuit analogies. At least it is in 3D and live surround sound.

Bedroom Do's and Don'ts

A hamster is a fancy rat, in case you did not know
It's been a crap day but not going to talk about that. I will tell you what made me laugh out loud at the end of my crap day while talking to my girl. When you think your job is crazy, there is always someone else with a weirder experience.

And as a single woman, still exploring the minefield that is dating, I have to encourage other single people to really not take anything for granted when looking for a love match. So, when next you think your love life and/or your sex life is dull and could use some passion, DO ask some serious questions about your date's sexual habits and decide whether they are relevant to your tastes.

Now while I am all about freedom of choice, in and out of the bedroom, there are certain limits I think. Talking to my friend, I was shocked to learn that some people are using animals as part of their bedroom trysts. Very few things shock me, but I am regularly disgusted by the habits of mankind. So what would you tell a guy who comes into your emergency room with a hamster up his ass? What do you say when after you ask the all important question - how did the hamster get there? - he says, it was part of our...ummm...bedroom activities?

And when I asked how on earth this hamster got into such a...tight space...and was told that the hamster was positioned face first near the "door" and then a fire lit at its back end, which ensured frantic burrowing to get up there...well, there were no words really. A fire! This is not what The Doors had in mind when they sang "Light My Fire".

What is the sexual attraction of sending a rat up one's back door? Can't a vibrator do the job?

DON'T engage innocent animals in your sex life. I am not a lover of rodents, but this is horrible! Both for the rodent and the human.
DON'T be cruel to animals for your sexual gratification. Seriously.

Additionally, DO use websites or local sex shops to acquire toys and other such paraphernalia to enhance your sexual experience.
DON'T use lightbulbs. Yes, another person came into the ER with lightbulb filaments up there. Who thinks this is normal? Again, "Light Up My Life" was a big hit, but this was not the original concept!

DON'T assume your date is normal. DO ask these questions and spare yourself the trauma!
DO contact your local PETA or RSPCA/TTSPCA/ASPCA if you encounter such psychos.
DO save the hamsters of the world.
DO spare yourself from animal borne diseases!
DO think long and hard about your sexual behaviour during the dating process! Celibacy may be an option.

Leaving on a Jet Plane - The Runny Mascara-free version

Tequila!
I have been just awful with my blog and Twitter and all the stuff that helped me stave off insanity while I was still officially a student. But you see, I have my life back and I can do things I enjoy doing without guilt or regret - like going out, watching movies, having drinks, reading books. It's wonderful. So forgive me for being very absent. Absent online. Very alive offline!

Well, my time here in London is also drawing to a rapid close (2 more weeks, though I have not booked a flight yet, so you neverrrrrrrrrr know) and I will admit, it terrifies me a bit.

On the one hand, I am happy to be going back to regular blue skies and sunshine. My skin has taken a real beating in this dry, cold weather. I slather on copious amounts of shea butter lotions every day to avoid looking dry and (n)ashy, not to mention scratchy, and maintain the "mmm...mmmm" goodness that is my chocolatey body. lol. On a serious note, I am happy to be seeing my family, as crazy as they make me sometimes, and my nephew especially cause I have already missed almost a year of his life. My friends - yes, everyone keeps emailing me about how much they miss me and want to see me etc. I have a job to go back to - which puts me in a much better position than most people who have to go back home after a year away.

On the other hand, and I have not said this out loud to many people, there are also reasons I am not too excited about the prospect of going home either, some of which I would be wise to not discuss in any detail here, for real real life/offline life reasons. On a lighter note, one of my friends sent me an email on Friday saying he did not want me to stay here, and would prefer me back home. My reply was "It is funny how everyone wants me home to see me, but when I am there, noone makes the effort". I got no response. lol. But when I wrote this post, it pretty much summed up what I meant by that comment.
Now my girlfriends had husbands and babies and somehow, despite our best efforts, we just did not do things together anymore that often - not even sister neutral things - things both the wives/mummies and the unencumbered single friend could do and enjoy. 
While I go about life on my own beat, not really dependent on anyone really, it's been nice to have people do things with again. I think hearing my own voice over and over while doing hours and hours of transcription reminded me that I sometimes need to be around and enjoy life with other people. Leaving behind the people I have become close to here will be tough. There are a few who have made being here worthwhile and for whom I would probably endure a winter for, and as you know, I HATE winter. That's one of the hardest parts - the people part. I have spent the weekend with some of my favourite people here and I would like to believe that the separation anxiety will be on both sides. I will truly truly miss these people.

No matter what life brings you, the people you meet always leave the greatest impact. And after countless adventures and disasters, I have managed to meet awesomeness. It's kinda hard to leave awesome behind.

Professionally, I can learn a lot here, but one would need to actually get a job wouldn't you? That's the tricky bit. Complications of visa, money,blah blah blah. Don't want to get into the blah blah blahs.

There is a certain independence I have in Trinidad, for sure - including private transportation. Big deal, people, and I say this after another night of running to get the bus to avoid a 30-45min wait in the cold. I really want to reiterate how much I hate public transportation. lol. But there is also an independence and greater courage I have honed while being here. It has been good in that I have learnt a lot more about myself - I have been thrust into a much bigger world than I was accustomed to and really had to dig deep to discover who I am, how deep my strength ran, how completely fabulous and amazing I am. I can tell you typing this is making me well up a bit but I am truly grateful for the experience. I have had a great many adventures here in ole Blighty and what does the future hold? Hopefully even more amazing new experiences.

I wholly believe that when life gives you lemons, you get some salt and some tequila and take a shot - and make the most of it. And so I will.

And, to cope with the separation anxiety and small island stagnation, when life, or the embassy, gives you a visa, you go to Miami for some much needed retail therapy...just to ease one's way back into it, you understand. Baby steps. lol.

The Anti-Dating Spot: The Nightclub

Now that I have ended academic life, I am having a life. lol. Sorry for the lack of posts, but between mental and physical exhaustion, and socialising, I just was not in the mood for social media. Hope everyone is well though.

Anyway, I wrote a post about the so-called best places to pick up guys, according to one magazine. I don't think there are many people though who would argue with me that one of the worst places to go man-hunting is a nightclub, if not THE WORST. 

As an aside, I wondered if I am getting too old for nightclubs. Besides screwing up my face at near sexual acts on the dancefloor, like an old grandmother, the patrons are younger and younger. Don't these kids have parents? lol.

But I digress. In the past couple weeks, I have taken my lovely female self to two different clubs here in good ole London and the experience was generally the same - bad. Sure I had fun in a "I love to dance and release" kinda way, but do men really think their approach in nightclubs will work? Of course they do - cause they are drunk, stupid and overconfident (because of drinks and other substances).

Exhibit A - The half-Trini, as he called himself. Probably the most successful last weekend, cause he got a phone number. But it was not mine. He had his eye on my girlfriend. So why does he make my list? 

Dude, if you want to talk, dance, screw or whatever with my girlfriend, be my guest. However, dude was really spoiling my good time. I mean, we had an initial conversation when I realised he was a bonafide member of the flock (Trini) and we high-fived etc, but okay, you're not interested, I'm not interested and you are scoping out my friend. Great for you but don't come to ruin my good time with idle, slurred conversation when you really want to talk to my friend. Is this frickin' high school? Am I the intermediary? At a night club? Your "game" is ruining my night. Boy, please. Move along. He was - an-noy-ing.



Exhibit B - The Nigerian. You already know where this is going if you have been a loyal reader of my blog. No? Stellar encounters like this one. So I am in the club, and the deejay is putting down some wicked urban beats, and then to my amazement, dropped some Machel, and I am shaking what my mama and Haagen Dazs gave me, and this guy is looking at me. Not even close to my type - short, round head, looking like a bowling ball in a t-shirt. He raises his glass, I dunno, in appreciation, solidarity...whatever and I willed myself not to roll my eyes so instead I nod and avert my gaze back to my drink. Bad move. Worst move ever - don't do it ladies. Rule #1 - never acknowledge them, because in warp speed this dude was in front of me, grabbing my hand like it was his to grab, and trying to pull me on the dancefloor with him. Darling...no. I was like, wtf! 

After much pulling and tugging, I managed to rescue my hand from the vice-like grip and he then engages in more club conversation. Dudes, clubs are not for, as the hood rats would say, "conversating" (lol). I don't wanna talk to you - about your life, your career, your mama. I just wanna dance. If I find you attractive, I will dance with you. If I feel like you need a charity grind, I will dance with you. But I am not interested in screaming at the top of my lungs about my hopes and dreams for the future. Why do they do this?

Anyway, during this shouting match he tells me where he is from (no, made me guess, cause I was privileged enough to have a Nigerian wanting me...my luck) and wants my number. No chance in hell. What's even worse, if you want to be a Grade A nuisance, can you ensure you smell good at least? The guy stank. His 24 hour underarm protection clocked out after maybe 16 hrs, and after hunting high and low yesterday for my regular brand of mouthwash with no luck, I understand why his breath was also as sweet as a city dump. I had to get away. And I did.

I came back from my sweet escape to find him gone and I started shaking again. Within 5 minutes, he materialised like a la diablesse beside me again. And grabs my phone which I had in my hand. Grabs my so and so phone! This guy had his chance to escape without unleashing the brute force of my disgusting Trini mouth, but enough was enough. Needless to say, he spent the rest of the evening on the lower level of the dancefloor looking up at me, like a kicked dog, while I continued shaking my ass - alone.

Exhibit C - Last night. Do you think approaching a group of beautiful black women and going  "I like black girls" will really get you a date, buddy? I mean, he was a cute Scandinavian type and before he opened his mouth I thought, nice. But really?? He left with his love for black women still intact I am sure, cause my friends were not too harsh, but he left without a phone number or a dance.

Exhibit D - The dude who stepped on my foot by accident causing me to physically push him away. He was very apologetic but his brand of apology I could do without. "I am sorry" still works. I did not need the hand holding and the kiss. I don't know you, buddy. WTH!

These were the major highlights, but it is an important reminder to single women everywhere. 
If you are looking for sex - nightclub.
If you are looking for a practice ground to perfect your eyeroll, your fluency in profanity and your dissing mechanisms - nightclub. 
If you are looking for the man of your dreams, you might be better off with Cosmo's picks like the Apple Store and my personal "favourites" - the cocktail bar and the supermarket.

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