Dashes of Spice? Wut?

YES! Lots of em’. Why? Only because I am the PROUDEST, most PATRIOTIC Grenadian you’ll ever meet (verified). So, I was mandated to start this blog as a part of the Communication Technology course I am currently undertaking at the UWI (St. Augustine Campus). I was a little hesitant at first simply because I’m so scared of writing my thoughts for the world to read but as I got into the groove “Je l’ai aimĂ© beaucoup” :). Now, again, I’ve been MIA for awhile but that’s because I was simply uninspired. I tried writing words that were in keeping with this topic but thoughts of my Grandmother’s passing kept clouding my brain (yes, that same Grammie who gave my mother castor oil as a “wash out” after every school break. She was really my GRAND mother. She was my first mother and was involved in every part of my life from birth until her death on March 22nd, 2015 at 6:05 a.m. Her wit, worrying, realness, scolding, PERSONALITY were the dashes of spice in my life. She was the dashes of spice that seasoned my entire family’s life. I promise you, she’s going to be missed by all who knew her. I promise you that I am slowly regaining the strength to think freely. I promise you that I will continue blogging, even vlogging, for you. Much Love 😉

Advertisements

Iz wey yuh talking bout? Bonjay lord!

Iz wey yuh talking bout(Trini slang)- What are you talking about(English translation

Bonjay lord(Grenadian slang)- Oh my! (English translation)

Slang-words that are not considered part of the standard vocabulary of a language and that are used very informally in speech especially by a particular group of people (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary).

Slangs have been a part of the language of many cultures ever since the development of oral culture. I personally love learning and using new slangs-whether in context or not. But of all the countries in the world, Trinidad and Tobago has to be first in the running for the craziest slangs I’ve ever heard. From ‘outta foil’ to ‘iz wey,’ ‘jux’ to ‘BT’, there’s just so many of them. Grenada has slangs as well. Most of them are borrowed but some are leftovers of the French Creole we once spoke on island. The remnants of the Creole have left slangs like Bonjay, Oui and others. When placed next to each other, the Trini’ list comfortably outdoes Grenada’s. These slangs, jargons, creole, or whatever you want to call it makes these islands what they are! So, on this journey, I’ve learnt that Trinidad and Tobago is not only the land of bacchanal, food and fete, but also the land of  slang.

I’ve been MIA…Please don’t tote feelins’

I’ve been missing in action for a few days…I know and I deeply apologize. Althought I speak of the culture of Trinidad and Tobago ..ALOT! A major part of ym journey here is academic. I’m in my final year and was caught up in my final year thesis project. This year was filled with teists, turns, ups, downs, lefts and rights  but, my group members and I, took on all these challenges and proceeded to do our ethnographic study of the production of the webseries Totin Feelinz.

Totin Feelinz is a semi-scripted reality show that focuses on common relationship issues. Please check it out and let me know how you feel.

N.B I’m almost complete so I won’t be MIA for too long 😉

Sea Lots…..I SAW lots and HEARD lots

As I stepped on the rich soil of Trinidad and Tobago, the self-made “advisers” warned me of many places in Trinidad that I should not visitLaventille and Belmont were the two places I should stay away from. I wrote this in my mental diary and vowed to never enter those territories. My first trip to Port of Spain was via the Beetham Highway. I was taken aback by the two dilapidated communities I saw in such close proximity to the most industrious capital city in the Caribbean. Beetham and Sea Lots were a different Trinidad and Tobago. As I asked my friends about those communities, they informed me that they weremade up of drug dealers, thieves and all the other negatively labeleled, most criminal job titles in the world. As time passed I learnt alot more about Sea Lots and started asking why it is that those communities consisted of so many criminals (according to local media BTW). I looked for the link between poverty and their actions; was poverty the cause of their actions or were their actions the cause of poverty? I had many questions and little answers… I noted the many articles that featured outstanding persons in academics, sports and many other areas who grew up in those communities. For a long time I wondered why it is that those stories were hardly ever praised. But, as I continued my academic pursuit, I learnt of the agenda settting theory of Max McCombs and Donald Shaw. The media sets an agenda and ensures its acceptance by the masses via its various media. Even though I saw lots and heard lots….I’ve learnt that you really don’t know until you Sea Lots.

P.S. I’ve posted one of my fav songs for your pleasure 😉

National Dish of Trinidad and Tobago and Grenada (recipes inside)

One thing that didn’t take me by surprise is Trindad’s national dish, pelau. While there is unending debate as to what the national dish of Trinidad and Tobago is, all my research points to Pelau-a rice, chicken and vegetable bouyon I’ve loved since my childhood years. Follow the link below to find ther recipe compliments Caribbeanpot.com.

Pelau recipe(caribbeanpot.com)

Ground provisions, saffron, curry, coconut milk and all types of meat under the sun come together to creat the best tasting dish in the world, Oil Down (my Grenadian bias). Oil Down is the national dish of Grenada and, unlike the name suggests, it is not made with oil but with coconut milk. It is a one-pot dish that combines vegetables, meat,provisions and seasoning to create a rich yellow meal that leaves your tummy satisfied and leaves your tastebuds hungry.Follow the link below for a Grenadian Oil Down recipe compliments meatlovessalt.com. Please note, however,  that we do have access to freshwater year round (lol -_-)

Oil Down recipe(meatlovessalt.com

Hope you enjoy these recipes… 😉

Trinidad: Easy Access

No. I’m not talking about that amazing Busy Signal song that rang in our ears for years. I’m really talking about how easy it is to access everything in Trinidad. An eye, ear and mouth opener for me is the fact that Trinidad is ALWAYS open. Jus last Sunday, a friend and I wanted to head to Trincity Mall. As we stood under a bus shed waiting on our red band maxi (i’m a proud greenz-trini “traveller” now) approximately twenty maxis passed us, filled to capacity. In Grenada, if you actually get a bus on a Sunday evening you’re a lucky one. As we got to the mall, there were scores of people. It was unbelievable! To us, Sunday is family-time or beach-time, not mall-time. We got through the crowd and went to order our food. Oh goodness, Trini food.  All types of food, everywhere, any time. Curepe is my one-stop food spot. Burgers, clams, barbecued and grilled meats and my favourites gyros and doubles; think it and it’s there. If you’re not in the mood to leave your place of abode, delivery is available from major fast food restaurants like KFC, Mario’s pizzeria, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, JAPS and even a few Chinese restaurants. A fellow Grenadian brother has even dubbed friday’s #KFCFriday’s:only by delivery. Businesses in Trinidad and Tobago never seem to close and there seems to be every type of business you can think of under the hot Caribbean sun. I love Trinidad and Tobago and its EASY ACCESS.

P.S. Check out the link below to see the art of making doubles compliments (c) PAL 😉

Purity vs. Revelry: An experience of two differently similar worlds

In 2004, I was given the option of flying to Trinidad and Tobago to visit my sister who was a student at the Student Accountancy Centre at the time. I declined. The stories carried across Grenadian media about the crime  and general life in Trinidad and Tobago was not my cup of tea at the time. My idea of adventure included visits to waterfalls, hiking and rain-forest exploration. Trodding to what I believed was the land of crime was not on my bucket list. But then, life happened. I was now an adult and needed to attain a University degree. So in 2012, I boarded my Caribbean Airlines flight and headed to the land of steelpan. It was a Sunday(I remembered that day clearly). As I landed, I was surprised at the fact that we werent gated but instead had to walk on the tarmac toward arrivals. As I left the airport, I was surprised that Tunapuna and other places were so rural. I honestly expected a little New York. When I got to the Arthur Lewis Hall of Residence, my place of abode for the past three years, I was surprised at how small the lobby was, at how small the rooms were, at how small that bed was. I was surprised that the inner parts of Trinidad and Tobago were so similar to my dear island, Pure Grenada.

With all these similarities, there were distinct differences. The values and ideologies of the two countries stood out most to me. While Grenada was bent on treasuring the purity of the island, Trinidad and Tobago was focused on revelry. There were festivals and parties every month. The support of the island’s multiculturalism was simply amazing to me. The carnival, phagwa, diwali and other celebrations were an eye-opener. Trinidadians love to party. I love to party too, but I can’t do it like those from the Land of Bacchanal.

After spending almost three years in Trinidad and Tobago I can proudly say I’ve fell in love. Trinidad is my second home. Its my Aunt; Tanty Bacchanal. After I’m finished with my degree I promise to always visit, to always love you and to never doubt your rich goodness. Love Ya :*

Purge? What!!!

The “expressions” in the title of this blog surely reveals my intial thoughts on the issue. I’ve associated the word purge to discomfort and outright disgust ever since I heard my mother’s stories. Growing up, my siblings and I would hear(over and over) that a purge was always the final major event of her Christmas and Carnival vacations (Grenada’s carnival is in the heart of the June-August school break). Her mother (my Mama) would create a concoction, castor oil being the main ingredient, and she would have to take it once a day for two days right before the new school term starts. Kudos to my grandmother, Dr. Josephine. In 2014, however, I lightened up to the word as it was now the title of one of my favourite songs for SpiceMas *shakin a leg under my desk*.This was definitely life preparing me for the social media purge I was mandated to take. No social media for three days sounded like a breeze to me. Unfortunately, I did not succeed. Hour number one wasn’t terrible. But, as time went on, it became clearer that my attchment to technology is one of genuie love. To be honest , I only survived day one. It was not easy. I felt disoriented, bored, annoyed and sometimes fustrated. I often reached for my phone and was subconsciously reminded of the task at hand. I came to the realization that my life was now reduced to social interaction via digital communication. I was always an advocate for face to face interaction but I can now honestly say that I was a hypocrite. I missed my phone. I missed logging on to facebook to see the latest posts of my family and friends at home in Grenada. I missed logging on to Instagram to see the latest pictures of my followers. I missed being able to vent my feelings on twitter. I missed it all. Although the experience was not the best, I am grateful for the things I’ve learnt. It helped me learn a little more about myself in 2015. I would encourage everyone to attempt a social media purge. The things you would learn about yourself, the things you would realize about your environment would be an experience in itself. So, purge away. Be refreshed!