Trini Tale Thursday: When It Rains…

It REALLY rains here.

You’ve probably seen me mention the rainy season and wondered why I had my panties in a twist about it, unless you’re Trini, in which case you know all about the rainy season and how to deal.

But, for those of you who haven’t seen the madness that is a tropical rainy season, let me tell you ALL about it and how it affects your entire life–your food, your workouts, and your hair.

Basically, Trinidad has two seasons–dry and rainy.  During the dry season, it’s 93 F with zero humidity and it rains once in a blue moon.

During the rainy season, it’s 93 F with 90% humidity and it rains constantly.  It pours. Buckets and buckets and buckets.  No sweet April showers here, folks; we get black skies and heavy, low-hanging clouds:

Why, is that a fat rain cloud posse in the distance?

See that cloud? It totally soaked me and all the other wonderful Emancipation Day festivity viewers

Oh yes you CAN get rained on at the beach--and I did

The rain is absolutely torrential–you could wash your hair under a downpour in less time that it takes using a good-pressured showerhead, I am certain of it:

I'm taking cover on my porch

A curtain of rain hanging down from my roof

The rain most certainly brings things into bloom.  They look so pretty that I usually don’t mind how it takes two Zyrtek, two doses of eye drops, and two doses of nasal spray each day to keep me from ripping my face off from seasonal allergies (which last–you guessed it–all rainy season long).  See how gorgeous?

I want that red flamboyant tree, and I want it BAD.

I'd like these, too

However, the rainy season also brings power outages (which would not vex me nearly as much if they didn’t mean being fan-less and sweaty) and floods, like the ones I had to wade through on my way back from the airport last August (thanks again, Mr. Neighbor with the Pickup Truck for hoisting me and my goods onto the back of your pickup truck and getting me home safely!):


The rainy season also brings the scourge of bugs all up in your kitchen business, nibbling away at anything in a bag and therefore surprising you when you open the rice and find bugs and rice dust.  It also brings the scourge of mosquitoes all up in your joint, nibbling on your legs and other tasty areas (but mainly my legs–freaks) and inducing general paranoia about dengue fever in the bitee.

I had dengue when I was ten.  It sucked.  Can’t they just move along?  (I tried as hard as I could to get a picture of my currently-mosquito-colonized legs, but I’d rather not have readers passing out from grossness).

Of course the rainy season makes your skin nice and glowy, but it also makes your hair resemble a nest of sloppy crackhead birds.  No, I’m not showing you a picture of my frizzy head because you might not come back to my blog.

The rainy season also makes a Blindy McGoo driver like me terrified of being caught out on the road when the skies open up (and, of course, of getting my hair and feet wet when I eventually get out of my car).  Traffic stops when it rains heavily.  The wipers can’t handle it.  It’s a bonafide acceptable excuse for being late here.

And that, of course, means that getting to the pool becomes rather difficult–should it even be open on a very rainy day, since the slightest threat of thunder is enough to send the lovely pool-managing dudes running back home and hiding under their tables (or just not letting me or anyone swim if a thunderclap was heard in the last twelve hours).  Thank goodness for Core Fusion DVDs and Zumba at home, or my fitness would take a serious hit from the weather, sheesh.

As for the beach–ha.  You pack up your car, you hope for the best, you drive an hour to get there… and if the rain starts pounding down:

Oy vey

At least you can be grateful for a bit of cover at the beach’s bar:

Why yes, that is indeed a makeshift ladder contraption with a man on it, back left

Where you can enjoy an awesome beach lunch:

The best stewed chicken, macaroni pie, salad, rice, and callalloo lunch ever had by woman, from Las Cuevas beach last Sunday

But do I complain?  Nope (well, except for the mosquito bites).  I’ll take biblical downpours over wimpy British misting and butt-freezing cold any day.

Having an Easter Weekend Food Baby, Part II: Marianne Beach and Plenty Trini Food

Why hello and happy Easter!  I hope you are in a happy fog of Easter candy and family-and-friends contentment.

So, I left on Friday night after some wine and too much food…. Which brings us to:

Saturday:  Marianne Beach and Plenty Trini Food

We woke up bright and early to pre-packed bags and sunny skies and jumped on the road to Blanchisseuse,  a stretch of beaches along the North Coast of Trinidad.  Since it’s about an hour and a half winding drive, we picked up a good breakfast on the way:

Sada roti with roasted eggplant and garlic (baigan chokha) and potato filling--size of my head

I ate about half, almost died from being too full  and of hot peppery fire, and wrapped up the rest for later.

As usual, the drive through Santa Cruz and up to the North Coast Road was full of sights:

Friendly hell- and brimstone-screaming shouting Baptists--nothing beats hearing about your eternal damnation at 9:30 am

Shaky bridges

The odd patch of green in an otherwise-parched landscape

Bobolee--effigies that go up around Good Friday. This one mocks Calder Hart, the head of the uban development company, who thiefed a whole lot of money and ran off to Florida to avoid questioning by the Integrity Commission.

Big blue open sea

Some days, the winding North Coast Road doesn’t faze me or set off motion sickness.  Saturday was not one of those days.  I was beyond relieved when we arrived:

Because nothing beats a beer at 11:48 to fix a case of motion sickness

It was a beautiful day and we got ourselves a prime spot in a little cove with a bit of sun and a bit more shade:

Where much chatting, reading, people-watching, and snoozing was had–oh yeah, and a lunch of bake and shark:

Apparently, Marianne Beach bugs like Corona beers as much as I do

After a few attempts at getting in the water, I had to give up–not only was it cold, but the currents were extremely strong.  I love the beach, but not enough to risk a watery grave.  I’ll leave that to the crazy surfers.

At around 4 or so, we packed our bags and headed back:

Families doing the Easter weekend beach lime (hangout)

The road from Marianne Beach to Maracas Beach--about the width of one and a half small cars. Wonder why I get car sick, hmm...

Neighborhood football game around Las Cuevas beach

Forest fires raging along the Northern Range--it's been a particularly harsh dry season, hence plenty fires

Needless to say, the day’s peppery/fiery/fried food and beer quota, combined with the winding road to and from the beach, do not a food-lovin’ Laura make.  When hunger eventually struck (and I was good and sand-free), I had breakfast for dinner, in this case banana pancakes with mango on top:

Wouldn’t you know it but I decided that having food babies was no fun, after three days of it?  Over a game of Scrabble I solemnly vowed that no more food babies would be had this weekend.  Did I keep my promise?  You’ll have to hang on until tomorrow’s Easter Dinner recap to find out….