My First Time

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: October 07, 2018

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Submitted: October 07, 2018

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Many times I’d thought about traveling to Trinidad & Tobago
I loved the Caribbean lifestyle & dreamt that one day I could spend more than 2 weeks there & so when I was invited to go
I jumped on the opportunity
When you know you’re going to be traveling there, you keep an eye on the direct flight options from West Jet & Caribbean Airlines
There are plenty of options & I purchased a round trip flight online for $420.00
I’ve been told that the best flight to take is the 11:55 pm departure from YYZ to POS
If you’re someone who can sleep on a plane, it’s perfect, you can grab a few hours of sleep before you’re thrown into ‘real Trinidad Life’
My flight arrived into POS an hour early
My friend who I was staying with hadn’t arrived at the airport yet
I knew they were on their way, but I had no concept of what to expect & I was all alone in a strange country
However, I was in the land of Carib, Dark Chocolate, Calypso Music & Steel Pan
Let the adventure begin
While I was nervously pacing the concrete waiting
A few guys who were also waiting for taxi’s started sharing with me what I could anticipate for my Arrival Day in Trinidad
I couldn’t sleep on the plane, I was nervous, excited & eagerly anticipating seeing my friend again
Thankfully, I didn’t have too long to wait because I spotted him walking amongst the crowd
At 6? 8?, he’s such a Tall Man & he’s not hard to spot
We hugged & exchanged pleasantries as he grabbed my suitcase & flung it on the back seat of the car & in we jumped
My first introduction was to Ozzie
A family friend who had come to pick me up & take me back to Mayaro
I quickly discovered that I was in good hands
Ozzie is a good driver; however, they drive on the opposite side of the road so it’s a wee bit nerve-wracking until you calm down
The roads in & around Trinidad are not well maintained
They are fully functional, but the safety standards we have at home in Canada are not the same in Trinidad
You drive at your own risk & the only speed limit signs I saw were on the highway
We passed through areas where the full moon of the night before had wreaked havoc along the seaside and large areas where the ocean had overflowed & flooded were visible
It was 6:30 AM and the locals were still liming in Ortoire from the night before
Welcome to Trinidad
As we pulled into Mayaro Junction
We made a detour to the beach so that I could see the ocean
It was powerful and the waves were pounding the shore
You could see the rip tide that ran parallel to the water’s edge for as far as your eye could see
We hopped back into the car & headed for home
It was less than 5 minutes from the beach
A little road off to the left once you pass Panther’s house at the top of the hill
I was finally home, where I would stay for the next 10 days
I met Tall Man’s father & they call him Pharoh
A nick name he earned during the 70 years he has resided in Trinidad
Just two weeks prior, he’d been in the hospital battling Colon Cancer
It was the reason I wanted to visit now
Being a cancer survivor myself, I had spent many hours on the phone coaching Tall Man about his Dad’s condition
His Dad had been in the hospital since November 2014
Each day Tall Man made the 4 hour round trip to Port of Spain to visit his Dad in the hospital until finally he brought him home & started caring for him
Their family home is typical for a home in Trinidad
Because home is where the heart is
It didn’t matter to me where I was specifically, it was who I was with & why
As I unpacked & got changed into my shorts
I found various items that I had brought for Tall Man’s Dad
I had spent the last few weeks making him a blanket
My knitted version of the Trinidad & Tobago flag
Some disposable razors, dental floss, toothpaste, an iPod docking station/radio
A Samsung III spare phone that I brought fetched us a cool $800.00 TT
Our first adventure out was to meet our neighbor
A wonderful woman who shared a lot of the same interests as I do when it comes to cooking & baking in the kitchen
Up the hill we continued & we popped into Panther’s back yard to have a meet ‘n greet
It was an introduction I will never forget and I look forward to returning
We never said goodbye, we say … until next time
Mingles is a bar just down the road from Panther’s house
We were perched on a rock, at the top of the hill in Mayaro at 8 AM
Each of us with a cold Carib in hand watching the locals as they made their way in & around town doing their errands on Saturday morning
We notice a man walking up the street at a snails pace
I’m not sure if he was just on his way home from a party or whether he had started early
Nevertheless he had us in his sights and he quickly pulled up a chair beside us & engaged us in conversation
Tall Man quick to tell him I had just arrived
Wha …?
A round of beers was quickly brought to our table, dripping in sweat & cold as ice
We spent quite a bit of time with this stranger & it was a true authentic experience
When we finally parted ways we wandered down towards the junction
Where everything in Mayaro meets
Where the veggie farmers come to sell their wares, be it; pimento’s, pumpkin, fresh fish, bahji, parsley, basil, yams & eddoes
The list goes on & on, but get there early otherwise you’ll miss out
There’s a KFC in town on Guayaguayare Road, I didn’t try it but the locals tell me they have a different version of KFC – a Caribbean Version
Overeating it causes the same problems, be it here or there
In that we share no differences
We purchased some fresh vegetables, some fresh fish and headed home to start prepping 
Tall Man grabbed the fish & a blade and headed to the front of the house
Without skipping a beat, he gutted & cleaned up that whole fish within a few minutes
Scraps tossed into the tall grass for whatever nocturnal animal found the trophy first
That afternoon we had a delicious fish soup & fresh coconut bake that Tall Man had made
The three of us sat around the table & we relived our first days adventures
With Dad occasionally laughing & shaking his head
Evening comes quickly and before you know it, you realize you’ve been up for over 24 hours & your body is craving a warm shower and a bed
Tomorrow is a new day, now it's time to rest my head

 

 

 


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