Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Trini Food Project

Sorry for the lack of updates for all three of you who read this.  I decided to give myself a challenge while here, to eat my way through Trinidad's local dishes (Ohh how I punish myself).  Thing is, Trinidad has a ton of foods that are either only really eaten on the island, or are from other cultures but have taken on totally unique forms in Trinidad.  So with that, I present a  list of foods I will eat my way through, living vicariously for you, the reader.  I consulted with the "Trini gourmet" to get a good, representative list.  My goal is to have each dish a couple of times before I post on it, but some of the things that are harder to find (oddly, like doubles) I may only try once before putting up.  So with no further introduction, here's the list, including a link to the first post I wrote on food :). 

As I try the things I'll come back here and update the list, and hopefully I'll make some of you want to come and visit Trinidad :).

1. Bake and shark/Fish (coming soon :))
2. Doubles
3. Roti and it's various forms, Dalpurie, Buss up shut, etc
4. Calaloo
5. Saheena
6. Aloo Pies
7. Pepper Sauce
8. Pelau
9. Sous
10. Cow Heel Soup
11. Corn Soup
12. Chow
13. Pholorie
14. Barfie
15. Macaroni Pie

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Short Story, how we snuck into the football game

Sorry for the lack of updates y'all (sorry my 8 hour layover in houston has given me a bit of twang), things were pretty hectic heading back and forth to CA for 9 days, which was filled with lots of work, friends, ultimate and red meat, and  getting back into Trini life with a whirlwind week, that was capped off with Diwali last night.  I'm slowly processing it all, and will have more to say soon. 

But I would like to relate one small story, in a similar vein to the previous small story.  This Wednesday  we decided to hit up the Hasely Crawford football stadium to catch the last home game for the Soca warriors and their long dashed WC qualifying hopes.  Cara and Rachel had an event with the TT Occupational Therapists Organization till 8:30 or 9:00 and the game was supposed to start at 10:00. 

Till they moved the game up two hours.  Causing  a flurry of replanning and advice that the presentations would be over by 8:00, so we wouldn't miss too much of the game.  This too was wrong, and the original times were correct, and we ended up scrambling out of the library where the presentations were held at nearly 9PM. 

Getting to the stadium presented the next challenge, as we had no clue where to enter the stadium.  We had vague instructions to park on Arapita (the main bar and restaraunt drag near the stadium), so when we saw parking on the road from the stadium to Arapita we grabbed it.  Now it was just a matter of asking  to ask the Mp5 toting security gaurd at the back gate where we could enter

After the fancy looking cars came through we explained the situation, and our goal to see the game.  In that classic Trini fastion he first questioned our resolve,

"Are you sure you want to see the game?  It's already past half"

Cara responded in that sweet way that she knows how, "Well it's the last game so, yea, we do."

At this point the guard told us to hold on, and started helping other people, we figured he had just decided to say screw the foreigners and stall till we gave up.  But no, eventually he got through the other people with queries, and grabbed a steward, I couldn't pick up much frrom the conversation except "Sneak them in."  which is exactly what the steward did for us. 

This ended up being very good, since there was only about 5 minutes left in the game at this point, with T+T up 1-0.  Our presense seemed to invorgorate the game though, and within those 5 minutes, 3 more goals were scored (1 by mexico and 2 by TT), and the game was tied, sending it into overtime.  The game ended up tied, and we were satisfied. Rachel and I consumed a total of three beers, but the combination of a long, work day and a complete lack of food left us unable to drive.  Cara stepped in though, and drove through stadium traffic for her first highway trip.  She did great, and is now driving nearly everywhere like a champ.

There were a number of similarities between this and the other small story, and I think they both really highlight how Trinidad works.  Sometimes this place can be really scary; the people often talk about a million miles an hour, and there's little signage or direction for those not familiar with the country, but if one is willing to step our of their shell, and make a connection with someone, even  total strangers here will go way, way out of their way for you.  That's something I've seen again and again, and something I really love about Trinidad.