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.

White People in the Caribbean?? The Shock!

2004 Olympic Bronze Medallist in the 200M
Individual Medley, Trinidadian
George Bovell III -
OMG - he's WHITE!

I had posted a photo of myself during Carnival, with a friend, who is white. Someone asked me what he – White Man – was doing in Trinidad.  Ummm…what? I responded, “He lives here”, then jokingly added, “We do have white people here you know”.
Needless to say, the person was seriously surprised. I thought it was a bit shocking honestly. I mean, moving ahead of myself here a bit, is there any real homogenous country in the world? Believe me, I would love to know.

But back to this White Man thing, I would just like to confirm that, yes, we do actually have white people, not just living in the Caribbean, but who are part of a long generation of white people. I mean, this will sound really harsh, and may shock some of you BUT… black people did not bring slavery to the Caribbean. We have had white people here for a little while now, believe it or not. And not just white people, but we have…wait for it…people of Indian, Chinese, and Syrian ancestry, just to name a few. And it gets worse – some of them actually get along, so much so that they get married and have racially diverse offspring.

I am not sure what people outside of the Caribbean think happens down here, or what a Caribbean person looks like or sounds like.  I should have asked this question. The accent issue - that’s another peeve since I apparently, to some, do not sound Caribbean. The media stereotype of what the Caribbean is seems to be fuelled by one segment of one population out of many. So because I do not use stupid media clichés, like “irie” and “yeah mon”, I am not Caribbean by non-Caribbean standards, which is pretty stupid. They have even gone so far as to say I sound American, which is OBVIOUSLY not the case, but since to the ignorant ear, it is CLEARLY not a Caribbean accent, it has to be SOMETHING.

I know that some white people born and bred in the Caribbean, who sound like me or maybe Barbadian or Jamaican, also getting the strange looks and ridiculous comments about sounding different, and I can only assume, their strong Caribbean accents are not congruent with their paler hues.

What’s next? I know to some, we all sit on a beach all day, drinking rum-based drinks out of coconuts, and we only wear tied dyed shirts and skirts. We probably all know how to play the steel pan and all listen to reggae music. I am negative when it comes to all of these things.

I am not saying you will know everything about everywhere either, but I would think you would be interested enough once it came up on your radar, especially if it is completely foreign to you. Maybe it’s just me but I am always researching something. Instead of poking people on Facebook (yes, people still do this), I read a lot, about anything or everything. If I meet someone from somewhere I had never heard of, I make a mental note to go check it out and learn something. I met someone from Georgia and though I knew the place existed, I did not know much about it, so I Googled it and I am a little bit wiser, less ignorant than I was before. It’s not that hard really. I do it before every trip as well – to know where I am going, and what makes the place more than just a utilitarian vacation spot.

I met a lovely guy in London, who had heard of Trinidad but was not quite sure what it was all about. During our conversation, he was so fascinated that he whipped out his phone and Wiki’ed us, which I found very sweet and at least showed he was interested. Inevitably, he was really surprised to learn that we are very different to what he had in his head. Again, I did not expect him to be a fountain of information about the place, but just showing he was interested about the person he was talking to made the world of difference in how I viewed him as well. I am not linking to any sites about Trinidad and Tobago – I will leave that to you, IF you are interested. I am currently Googling “NY sales”, cause I am clearly interested and don’t know quite enough.

And somewhere out there, someone is reading this and saying, “She did not know about Georgia? Has she never heard about Atlanta?” and I would have proven my point yet again.

The Tragic Life of a Fashion In-Betweener

Gotta love Apple Bottom jeans.
Thank you Nelly!
Shopping in Trinidad can sometimes be very difficult for me. Not because I don't like shopping (what? don't like shopping?) but because I am an in-betweener, and in-betweeners have a really hard time getting clothes that fit right or fit at all.

An in-betweener is that girl who is not the photocopy of a pencil, and is also not a cinnabon away from weighing 500 pounds. The in-betweener is the girl who is somewhere in the middle - not exactly skinny but not obese. Retailers here shop on both ends of the spectrum and then display these items for sale. Having discovered a hole in my work jeans, I ventured bravely (foolishly) into the mall to scout out a replacement pair. It's bad enough that my ba-dunk-a-dunk is outta control and I always...always have to buy a pair one size too large in the waist just so the jeans can get past my hips and ass (except when buying Apple Bottoms, which were made for the apple-licious figure. I love my Apple Bottoms!!). 

It is even worse when your options are size nothing and size 28. I mean, how does that help me? I appreciate that someone out there who may be really really skinny or really really fat can look swanky in some jeans, but now I have to perhaps sew up this hole until I book a ticket to Miami or New York - just to get some jeans!! Or anything for that matter. 

REALLY??

Annoying.

And I must apologise again for the sporadic blogging. Life happens. Work has been a bit stressful. I have been more than a bit exhausted every single day. I wish I could give you more adjectives but it can become a bit of a sad story if I do. I am okay. Just living. Thanks to everyone who still visits despite all this, and my own lack of regular reading of your blogs. I do try. I do. I am visiting today so keep an eye out for my comments.

Trinidad Carnival - The Other Side of the Bacchanal

A J'ouvert morning reveller -
Carnival Monday 2012
Not sure why it has been so difficult to blog and read blogs. Admittedly, I have been busy with work and tired and all that. I just have not been that tuned in to writing.

Carnival has come and gone here in Trinidad and Tobago and the weekend was pretty great for me cause I managed to get some well-deserved and much needed rest. May not sound that exciting but believe me, it was the highlight of my weekend. Even my writing sounds tired. lol.

I did manage to play J'ouvert, which is part of our two-day Carnival celebrations, and it was loads of fun. Today, while the city was transformed into a sea of colour, I tried my best to do some work but failed miserably. I was tired but more importantly, I just cannot work on my weekend. It is sacrilege. I will finish it up tomorrow - within the confines of the office. Much better. Lent, the 40-day period of fasting before Easter begins tomorrow and I am giving up alcohol - so no wine, no cocktails, no after-work brews. Are you giving up anything for Lent?

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

R.I.P. Whitney Houston - A Loss Beyond Words

The fascinating and talented Whitney Houston
As a young girl, I used to stand in front of my mirror and sing into a hairbrush, mimicking the stars on America's Top 10. But there was noone like the incomparable Whitney Houston. In a time when Madonna was getting young girls moving, here was this young black woman, who was not making a statement with raunchy videos or lyrics but simply, with an amazing amazing voice. Beautiful and talented, her music became the soundtrack to so many moments, and her death is indeed a tragic loss. Her very being inspired me. I am sure you would agree with me, that every time you sang into that hairbrush, you dared to test your vocal abilities and reach a Whitney note. And failed. But it was the dream and she spun that dream every time she sang. Her music and that voice were golden.

What makes it even sadder is that, at 48, she had gone down a road that many of us may never go down. She has been trying to come back from years of chronic drug abuse - which stole her career and sadly, stole the essence and strength of her famous voice. Listening to Whitney in recent times, it was obvious that she was not the same, but it is testament to her incredible talent that even after she had been ravaged by her demons, her voice was still better than the best of us. And with all the Britneys, Justins - the lip syncers, the fakers - her talent outshines them all. She came before other talents like Adele and Christina Aguilera, even Mariah. It was true talent, not needing much of the fabrication and machinery to make her a star. She was a natural star. It is such a shock and so sad and such a loss.

God bring her peace at last and bless her family, especially her 18 year old daughter. Let us remember the woman she was - the incomparable and record breaking Whitney Houston - a treasure we have lost in life, but hold in memories via her beautiful voice and music.

Rest in peace.

Do Prostitutes Drive?

Hookin' Buddies
Not having a car, or at least not driving here in Trinidad can be an amusing experience. So on Saturday, my girlfriend and I were on our way to a fete (Trini party), but neither of us wanted to drive. Oh the plight of the single woman, who has to drive herself everywhere. None of that! I wanted to drink and not worry about drunk driving. I did not want to have to worry about falling asleep behind the wheel at 3am. I did not want to park my brand new car in some dark street and have it stolen or worse have it towed by the evil wreckermen (and as we got to the venue we saw the wrecker swiftly roll away with a very nice Corolla). Plus, there was also a shuttle service available. So that was the plan. Park the chariots and take the shuttle. 

But the shuttle, of course, was not going to pick us up in front of the house. We still needed to get from Point A to Point B in order to get said shuttle. Luckily, we managed a lift to Point B, but a bit about Point B. 

- Not really a commuters' hub
- Not really the place you would get a taxi or maxi, so why would you be standing there?
- On a corner (lol)...a dimly lit corner
- Near a lot of bars but not close enough to look like we were patrons, so again, why would we be standing there?
- It was night time

As I stood there, waiting for this shuttle, with hair done, makeup done, outfit done, next to an equally done up friend, I thought to myself, I hope people don't get the wrong idea here

Six or seven signals via flashing headlights and car horns, I turned to my girlfriend and made public what I was thinking privately.

You think people think we hookin'?

LOL. She at first laughed in a way that suggested that she thought I was being ridiculous. I was serious though. I mean, sure we looked good, and were being admired but my mind works overtime...all the time! I could not fathom that people may get the wrong idea about two professional women innocently standing on a street corner. Maybe, professionals is not the right word. lol. Then...

The van passed us and then reversed, stopping in front of us.

Good night
(Good night)
How you doing?
(me to self: OMG...customer!) We good
Nice. 
(silence)
Umm...girls, I dunno you, you dunno me, but is all good.
(me to self: where the damn shuttle?)
(silence)

I was laughing inside though. She conceded, and agreed that the shuttle needed to hurry up. I don't think I will be shuttling to any more fetes, or at the very least, I will be choosing my shuttle pick up point much better.

My Diva Idol

Miss Piggy for M.A.C.
My idol! Who would believe that a puppet pig would be my idol? lol.

Piggy is the frickin' greatest. She is the muppet version of me. A little chubby. A bit aggressive. Says what's on her mind. Very glam and stuff. Very beautiful. Very loveable. Not the same taste in men, as I don't do green nor do I do frogs.

And now, to learn that Piggy has her own line with my fave cosmetic line - M.A.C. How can I not love this creature?

I also love this segment where she talks about being plus-sized. I love that she, being primarily geared to young girls (don't judge me), embraces who she is - a full figured female (albeit, pork). You really underestimate how these made up characters can impact young lives. I mean, I am grown and think Piggy is pretty awesome, so imagine what she does to lift the self-esteem of young girls? Piggy rocks!


The Help - The movie that baffles me

I just read an article where Mark Wahlberg said he cried about 8 times while watching the movie, The Help. I don’t get it. I watched the movie and I did not cry – I don’t remember crying. I remember being very disappointed. Don’t get me wrong – the movie was alright – but I read the book before, and it was so powerful. The movie left me really empty – expectations dashed like a Carib bottle on the side of the road. It was Hollywoodisation at its best/worst, because the story is so fantastic. The movie did not channel the fear and misgivings the black maids felt as they volunteered to tell their story. It was too “feel good” for me and I did not like that the best emotions of the story were so watered down. All the award season hype now has left me really blah cause I did not think it was THAT good.
So no, I did not cry. I was just indifferent. I did, surprisingly, cry during One Day – a movie I swore not to see, because they cast the ever annoying Anne Hathaway in the lead role. I so enjoyed the book that I did not want to bear seeing Anne Hathaway massacre my image of who I though Emma should be. Now, she did not win me over in the least but I enjoyed the movie anyway. I had very few options on BA 2158 and chose it as one of my movies on my 8hr+ flight. Can you imagine trying not to cry on a plane? Lol. The scene I knew would get me – as it did in the book version – GOT ME! And there I was, trying my best to be cool but fighting the errant tear threatening to make me look like a sap in front of the passengers nearest to me. Hilarious.

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