Daily Archives: August 4, 2008

Booty is best



Women in Trinidad are vain. This is not a criticism, in fact it is a compliment if being vain means making an effort all the time and not pulling on your best tracksuit to dine out as many do in the Canadian Midwest where I had the fortune to live some years back.  Many have commented that you can see the most beautiful women in your life here in T&T.  It is the cultural mish mash of Black, Indian, Chinese and White that makes these people so gorgeous. They dress up to grocery shop and they dress up to go to the beach, always standing inches taller in their mandatory heels. They know the meaning of the word accessorize and love to select just the right colour earrings to accompany their belt that circles their oh so tiny waists.  It might not always be my taste, it doesn’t matter if the gold is real or if the green glow of the bangle will eventually peel off; if it works today it works.

I recently noticed the male take on all this glamour during an afternoon at the beach.  People watching is a sport here and like good observers the men carry cameras or at the least camera phones and snap the pretty girls. They don’t mind, it is the ultimate compliment. I cannot imagine this going down too well on a beach in Maine.  In fact being photographed is such a desired option here that the best of all worlds is to be snapped up by a pro and put on the popular website Triniscene.com. This website features photos of all the pretty people at all the shows, bars, events and functions. 

Back in my hometown of Montreal, Canada women can most often be seen sporting their lycra outfits, climbing into huge SUVs, Starbucks clutched in hand. Men at work look sharp in ties and crisp shirts but the weekends will find them in 20 year old jeans, worn Ts and indescribable sneakers. The men here have creative facial hair, perhaps an earring and certainly a bangle or necklace.  They are waiting to be looked at as they sit and watch.  So what makes this Caribbean island so style conscious? There have been two Miss Universe that have hailed from T&T, a fact of which they are extremely proud. A main high way running through the city is named after one of those winners. So perhaps it starts with the fact that they are all so attractive to begin with, the goods are already there. Might it also have something to do with the heat, the music, the rum that sends all the beautiful people into a dancing, whining frenzy that most often leads to desire?  The girls wear painted on jeans, heels that sparkle and tops that leave little to the imagination. They do not just dress to impress, they dress to seduce. And it is the sexy curvaceous woman who fares best here.  Black booty must be a fabulous thing if the posters for the parties are to be believed. “Bootylicious Short Pants Party September 1st!” screams out one poster in vivid pink and green colours. “ Hot Pants Party” shouts out another. And these are not ads aimed at the Hooters crowd, it is the fine appreciation of a good Trini woman that is in order.  

Titillation, flirtation and the conscious awareness of the power they hold over men is always in mind. While not every hot dance leads to sex the vague promise is always there and the scent of desire hangs in the air. In the end that is a big part of Carnival. While in the past the parade of costumes harked back to characters of myth and history, today the tiny sparkly bikinis, bedecked in feathers is another reason to celebrate the body beautiful.

Perhaps it is the beauty all around them that inspires the dresses, the fashion, the effort. Colour is imperative here. Black is simply not an option. Instead, as I flicked through a rack at a local clothes store I realized my choices lay in the colour of gems. Brilliant blue, canary yellow, hibiscus pink, ruby red, diamond silver and plenty of gold. Fabrics that shimmer and drape, clothes that stretch and reveal. The Western concept of the perfect body goes out the window; who needs to be tiny? Tiny is good but any body that is shown off and celebrated is better. Shy white men on the beach look around in adolescent glee as women don’t hide or fret over their bodies but rather strut and flaunt, often with short sarongs dotted with gilt that seem to shimmer and sing as the girls twitch their booty and walk the beach, ever aware of watchful eyes.



Filed under I have no idea where to put this, Travel, Trinidad & Tobago

Some football with that rum?

Going to see an International football match in Trinidad is an experience. Normally a game scheduled for 5.30 would open doors and welcome in spectators one hour before. Not here.  The gates opened at 12.00pm and there was no allocated seating so people were encouraged to come early.  The game was an International between England and Trinidad and headlined the slogan “A Score to Settle.”  Two years previously during the World Cup in Germany, England had eliminated Trinidad and their dreams of reaching the quarter final. Now it was time for revenge.

I should mention what happened when Trinidad even qualified for the World Cup. This was an event of such magnitude that on the Monday following the victory all schools in Trinidad were declared closed for reasons of celebration.  This is the little country that could and they are seriously proud of their team, the Soca Warriors.  A day of revelry and dancing in the street to celebrate being part of the World Cup is once again a symptom of how much these people love to party. 

Nobody seemed inconvenienced about the 5 hours required sitting time before the game started. Unlike my own thoughts that went in the direction of afternoons wasted and time ill spent, the Trinis saw this as a big lime!  Bring in the coolers filled with rum and spend the afternoon in the stadium. Basically it was that or the beach. 

We arrived at 3.30, having seats fortunately saved for us while we were at another sports function featuring 11 year old girls.  I can’t imagine many places allowing large coolers to be brought into a stadium but it took us at least an hour just to enter the stadium between the bags, the umbrellas and all the people lined up to get in. As we climbed the stairs we were drawn by the scent of Doubles and Cow Heel soup simmering in food stalls that both cooked and served fresh food. There was no fast food, not a burger to be found.  We finally found our group and spend the next 2 hours eating, drinking rum, watching the players warm up, talking and laughing. The atmosphere was of a huge party.  The crowd was so thrilled that England was coming to take them on and were dressed in the home team’s colour, a sea of white.

The Adonis Beckam did his victory lap after playing one half and each time a Trini player touched the ball with his toe the crowd went wild. Being English I was supposed to cheer on the St George flag but somehow I just couldn’t.  We were sitting behind a group we knew of young English supporters decked out in flags, face make up and appropriate t-shirts and each time England scored they glared at me, looking for my patriotic spirit.  But I just couldn’t summon it up. I wanted Trinidad to win, or at least score once! They deserved it so much more than the English who hadn’t even made it to the Euro.  And the English who couldn’t beat anyone could just come over here and beat the one easy team, get an ego boost and trample some Trini spirit in one fail swoop?

No, I wanted the little island to score and I was getting hoarse with the effort.

The final score was 3-0 to England and while they may have puffed out their chests with pride there was no Trini spirit trampled that day. They left that stadium filled with rum, song and the memory of a great lime.

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Filed under Might be funny, Trinidad & Tobago