Monday, March 25, 2013

Return of the Jedi... to Trinidad!


We've already looked at how I came from Cartagena to Port of Spain, which was a real adventure, but the truth is that the entire first week of my current stay here in Trinidad has been crazy cool, just nuts, a flurry of activity. And because, like I recently told you, I'm now taking notes on what I do every day, I can actually tell you with accuracy and confidence what exactly I've been up to. 

After posting that first entry about being back, I spoke on the phone to my friend Michael, who you will remember for being the person who loves the rain almost as much as I do. He was in town because of the banana project and was, like a surprising number of people, quite happy that I was back in Trinidad. I'm honestly still amazed by how many friend's I've made in the short time I spent here, but let's get back to last week now. He picked me up from my house on his way back home, around 7PM, because I wasn't really back until I'd spent time up at his house, I really do love that place a lot... 

So we drove up there, making a few detours to take care of some errands, and you all know what came next: tea, music, looking out over the valley. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes were in battle mode and attacking so ferociously that sleeping outside was completely impossible, but nevertheless I got to enjoy my favourite place on the island. It must come across like I'm abusing my friend and taking advantage of him by only ever hanging out with him because I love his house so much, like some parasitic plant growing on a tree to get its sunlight, just noticing that right now. Don't worry, that's not the case. We actually do enjoy each other's company, so this classifies as friendship. Like, a mutual one. 

I never expected it to rain that night, so I wasn't too disappointed when it really didn't, because we still find ourselves in the dry season. What did surprise me a lot was how very dry this season actually is. I'd seen the effects on the car ride from D'Abadie into Port of Spain already, but it became really obvious when I stood on Michael's porch and looked out over my valley. You've seen the pictures, it's gorgeous in how lush and green it is. Having ever only seen this island during the wet season, I'd never imagined the abundance of green could turn into a melange of somewhat limp-looking greens and actual browns. It was crazy! Now I'm waiting for the rain to return not only for my own sake, but also for that of the landscape, although it is still beautiful and no less dreamy. Even when the clouds are missing. 

After I came home the next morning, a lot later than planned because we both overslept after having been kept awake by belligerent mosquito armies half the night, I continued getting my room ready to be lived in. I'd left a box of stuff at Michael's house, things I wouldn't need in Colombia but require again after coming back, so I spent some time unpacking after going through my usual morning routine: scout the internet for job offers and apply for every project I qualify for. There are still not many suitable projects out there and I seem to keep losing to cheaper translators on the bids I get to make, but at least I can send out regular job quotes and that in itself is worth something. 

The late afternoon I spent reading and waiting for Pedro to get home. I don't know if I've told you about Pedro before. His name is Pierre and he's from Martinique/France and he moved here just before I left for Colombia, into my house actually. He'd posted on CouchSurfing that he was looking for a place to stay and I got him in touch with Bernie and I'm so lucky that worked out, because I love that adorable guy. He's like a puppy! 

How come we hadn't met the day before if I was at home until 7PM? Because even though he usually comes home from his internship with the ACS around 5/5.30PM, that day he stayed out a little longer and we missed each other by a few minutes. But Tuesday evening we did coincide, especially becauase I wasn't going out anywhere. So we went out to get some food and then, after not so much talking to each other as talking at each other about all the things we'd been doing in the time we weren't living in the same house, we settled into a shared workspace where he did some leftover office chores and I practiced my Portuguese on Duolingo again until we decided we weren't going to get any more done that night and thus went on to watching silly things on YouTube. Gosh, I'd missed that boy. He's become a really good friend really quickly. 

The next day, the daylight hours were spent the same way as the previous one's - look for work, read, practice on Duolingo. In the evening, Ariston came to pick me up. He's also part of the local CouchSurfing community and I already know him since last December. We went to Movie Towne together to get Japanese food, which I hadn't had in aaaaaaages. Really, since like July 2012! So, finally, after all those months, I had a bowl of miso soup. And then we had funky sushi rolls. Because that happened more than 20 minutes ago, I do not remember the name of what I had, but there was eel in it and it was good. We had the best waiter, too, Stephon a.k.a. Marlin a.k.a. Christopher. Seriously, he was in such a contageously good mood, few waiters display such happiness at work. It made the food taste better, I tell you. But, honestly, that evening was awesome and not just because we had the waiter with the most positive vibes in all of Trinidad. The company was great, I'm not sure when last I had so much fun over dinner. And then after  finishing our sushi rolls and leaving Stephon a glowing review (it was one of those places where you get a little questionnaire with your check), we went and got even more food: Häagen Dasz ice cream. Yum. And the fun continued there, talking about movies and our favourite funny actors and personal quirks, well all sorts of stupid stuff. I really hope we'll repeat that, and soon, because I have so much fun again. 

And talking of fun, I'm going to have fun now. Pedro and I are practicing our Portuguese real-time now, via Skype. He has a friend in Brazil who's being patient with us and trying his best to understand what we're trying to say in our horrible Portuguese - because we're not good yet. That's the plan for tonight, skype in Portuguese and then more Duolingo and then my workout. Despite the fact that this week is already less stuffed with activity than last, it's looking good and I'm enjoying it. 

More about the Return of the Jedi... to Trinidad tomorrow! 

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