Cascade. Yes. Cascade! That's where I am right now. That's where I live.
Remember when I told you about the Independence Day Party back on the 31st of August? And the other party the year before, in August 2011. That was also here, only like 5min further up the hill from where I live. That's the main reason I like being in Cascade, that it's so familiar. I've just been here often before and it feels like the place just fits me. That's hard to explain, you'll just have to take my word for it.
The house I'm staying in is a CouchSurfer's place. She offered to host me for a few days until I found something, and she also has extra bedrooms that she rents out, but of course not through CS. I came over to meet her, Gillian, and her family and we talked about what was going on and just spent a very nice afternoon before I had to go back to the guesthouse, where I was still staying at the time, to keep on working. We'd agreed then that I'd come to her house on Saturday the 17th, because the guesthouse was paid until then - three days, remember?
In the time leading up to the 17th I was, as mentioned in the last post, talking to loads of people about the possibility of renting a room. One of those possibilities actually worked out. Again, thanks to CouchSurfing. A CSer from French Guyana told me to contact a guy he'd met in TT some twelve (12!) years ago. I did contact the guy and the first thing he said to me was "Don't worry, you'll be fine, I'll do everything I can to help you". That alone gave me so much reassurance, I can't tell you much better I felt after that. I met him the next day to have a look at the room he was renting out and I liked it: nice area, nice house, nice room, nice people. So I took it. The only thing is, that it's only available from December 3rd, not right away. So on the way back to the guesthouse I called Gillian and she said that she'd talked to her parents, who own her house, and that they were fine with me renting a room for a while until I found something else. So now I'm here for a bit over two weeks and on the third of December I move to St. James - a part of Port of Spain they call "the city that never sleeps".
Cascade, though, is special. It's not so much inside the city as beside it and it grows up into the hills, so there's a lot of green around and it's so quiet. Tranquil. And when it rains, you hear almost nothing but the rain. You'll sometimes hear that Cascade is a dangerous area. Few taxis come up here (As a matter of fact, I have to walk all the way over to St. Ann's and take a taxi from there, and coming back that's where they'll drop me off, too.), I'm sometimes told not to go out after dark, people will say that you can't come here unless you're from here yourself if you don't want anything to happen to you. I'm not going to say that's not true - because what do I know, I'm new here - but I will tell you that I haven't experienced anything negative in all the time I've been here, now or before. In fact, I don't understand why people warn at all, because this place is only one thing: nice. Who knows, people also used to warn me like crazy not to ever go to Colombia and we see what became of that. But I follow the rules, so maybe that's why. I do stick out, because of the colour of my skin, but that's not usually a problem either. Not like St. Lucia, another reason to love this island here.
And the house itself fits the environment perfectly, because it's basically just one big open space. Our street is a very safe one, so it's not necessary to lock yourself in like in some other neighbourhoods of Port of Spain, where you almost feel like you're living in a prison. There's so many windows, so much light; it's fresh, too, because the wind can blow through the house with few things in its way.
I'm also enjoying staying in Gillian's house in particular, because there's always people around who come by to visit and I'm already making a lot of new acquaintances through her. St. James is going to be very different from this, but I hope to be able to come back to visit and hang out with people here on the weekends, or something.
A few days ago, I went down to Port of Spain with Gillian's friend Michael and on the way down we saw this dog barking off the roof of the house. I think he might be the dog-mayor of Cascade, because he started barking and responses came from all directions. I found it funny.
Took that picture on the way down into Port of Spain and had to post it on 9gag.
More stories and pictures when I figure out the storage space situation.