Category Archives: Trinidad & Tobago

Christmas in Bahrain

Well I thought it would be nonexistent, it being a Muslim country and all. But no, no no. There are Christmas trees galore, and tinsel and mince pies, little Santas and singing elfs, shelves stocked with glace cherries and marzipan and enough wrapping paper , garlands and pretty bows to fill a kingdom.

Everyone loves Christmas, even those who do not celebrate it. The season is infectious and each expat school has a Christmas fete, hotels have tree lightings and carol sing-a-longs and every mall is decorated to the nines. Of course this little island is filled with expat families who do celebrate, but they are not the majority.

We took a family vote and it was decided that Christmas day would be better spent at home than away. We have organized a holiday to Oman but will return for Christmas day. My vote was to stay away, in case you wanted to know. I find Christmas a quiet and lonely day without family and friends around but I have been assured that joy will be abounding.

We have had a few Christmases in the expat world. A Ugandan Christmas is quite odd. Obviously in a country as poor as Uganda, tinsel and trees are not high up on the ladder of importance. In fact the buying of presents is far below the buying of shoes. But there still exists the religious and more serious aspect of Christmas that is somber yet pure for its lack of materialism. Occasionally you might see a lonesome scrap of tree or tinsel strung above a shop, but for the most part, outside of expat stores, the shiny and glittery part of Christmas is lacking. The spiritual part is what remains. I was touched when Steve, who worked for us, brought his wife and daughter to visit and they presented us with a box containing cartons of juice. It was a gesture that resonated with all of us and remains today.

A Trini Christmas is like no other. They have their own food, music and customs and they take both the religious and glitzy side very seriously. No one in the world parties like a Trini and what better excuse to “lime” than Christmas? The decorations in the malls were literally stupendous, creative and festooned with colour. Initially I was surprised. What did a tropical island know about Santa and elves? But I was quickly pointed in the right directions and shown what a proper Christmas is all about.

And now Bahrain, where it rings false. There is no spiritual element. No, food drive or toy drive like in Canada. No sense that everybody is doing it. It is a fine excuse for a very rich country to wrap itself up in embellishments. But in our little world it is as it always will be. Chocolate peppermint bark, a few old traditions, a few new, a walk on the beach, Wham’s Last Christmas, hot chocolate in snow man mugs.

But first…. a new discovery. We are going to visit Oman and I will return with stories and photos. In the meantime 3limes will take a short hiatus to recharge, relax and refresh.

Happy holidays to all my readers!

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Filed under Bahrain, Family Stuff, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda

Farewell Uganda

The day has arrived. The past week has been quite wonderful with dinners and breakfasts and coffee breaks spent with good friends. It has been a slow but soulful goodbye and I feel happy and ready to depart. Of course my mind swings back to the last farewell, two years ago, when we said goodbye to Trinidad.

I am absolutely sure that I will come back, I am already day dreaming about a visit next year.

In the mean time it is time to bid this great land farewell.

And 3limes will be taking a short break too. I am boarding a plane for Bahrain today, then a short week later I will hit London for the weekend. Finally on July 3rd we arrive in Montreal! It has been a long two years since we were home and I intend to have a splendid summer both lake side and in la belle ville.

See you later, Uganda, and thank you.

 

 

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Filed under Being brave, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda

A little quiz to help you on your way

How do you know that you are living in Kampala? And not London or Montreal? Or even Trinidad?

Let’s do a quiz.

You are walking along the road and you trip. Not realizing what caused you to fall, it is early and there was no Baileys in the morning coffee, you look down and see one of the following.

a)     A discarded rum bottle, empty and left to roll inconveniently into the path of pedestrian traffic

b)    A baby goat, sleeping and unaware that his mother has climbed the grassy bank to chomp on some grass

c)     A greasy half eaten slouvaki roll

d)    A huge chunk of ice that has been spat out from under the wheel of a passing car.

You are awoken early in the morning by a strange sound. You have no idea what it is until you lift you head up from under the pillow and remember where you live.

a)     A pack of cats fighting over a pile of flying fish that leapt with no rhyme or reason out of the water and landed in an unfortunate pile in the garden behind the house.

b)    The clanging of metal pots and pans joined with the serenading of a boisterous and horny rooster from the garden next door. Simultaneously there is the distance echo of some China men singing early morning Lionel Richie Karaoke.

c)     The squeaking and lurching of 20 buses that have all arrived at the bus stop at exactly the same time, angering the cold, shivering, commuters who have been waiting for that one bus for the past 42 minutes.

d)    A huge chunk of ice slipping of the roof and crashing onto the roof of your car.

It is a Friday night and you feel like going out for dinner. What do the restaurants have to offer?

a)     A healthy assortment of Chinese, American and Indian. Or, if you like, all the choices under the same roof and possibly rolled into a warm and buttery thick slab of pastry. Either way, everything would be eaten with a chaser of rum and a very loud thumping soundtrack.

b)    Indian, Thai, Indian, Indian and some Pizza. The service will be painfully slow and the waitress will visit your table 4 times in the first 30 minutes before you even order. Once because she didn’t understand the order, once to verify what kind of Gin you want, once for the ice that you had asked for the first time and once more to tell you that there is no Gin and the ice machine is broken.

c)     Anything your heart desires, for a price.

d)    A cosy warm bistro featuring the imaginative creation of one young trendy dude, considered the “latest thing.” His hair will be spiky, the cafe will be warm and feature alternative music and mildly out of focus black and white photographs. There will be just as many people having a cigarette outside in the snow as there are drinking good wine at the bar waiting for a table, ‘cause they don’t take reservations.

Time to go grocery shopping. What do you find?

a)     Hot spices, plenty plenty hot sauce, Amos Chocolate chip cookies, Ribena and Mangos. And rum.

b)    Nearly everything but you will have to go to 4 different stores. One for the eggs with the yellow, not white yolks, one for skimmed milk, one for whole milk, one for cheese, one for chick peas, one for fruit. Oh it goes on and on and on.

c)     Anything your heart desires, for a price.

d)    Everything, in supermarkets with super wide aisles. The music will be muzac but the cheese and bread is good. You will bump into many people you know.

It is Sunday and you have plans for a great day out. What do you do?

a)      Beach. Body surfing in the waves, bake and shark for lunch, Carib beer and friends to lime with. You will go home sticky with salt and sand, sun burnt and happy.

b)      A day spent by the pool with some scrabble on the side.

c)       Well you have the option of the latest offering at a world renown museum, a walk in the park, a bike ride on a Boris Bike, lunch with friends, a stroll by the river or a lazy day at home with a pile of newspapers and some good food. It will be bloody cold.

d)      Skiing, tobogganing, ice skating, movie, brunch, walk the dog on the mountain or home with newspapers and good food. It will be seriously bloody cold.

 

How did you do?

Mostly a)s and you are in Trinidad.

Mostly b)s and you are in Kampala.

Mostly c)s and you are in London

Mostly d)s and you are in Montreal.

 

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Filed under Great Big Shiny West, La belle ville, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda

back to the search engines

More fun and games from the search engines. You will be amazed how people find me, or fall accidentally onto this page.

school boys squeezing in big boobs ladies

Oh dear. Really? You know nothing like this ever happens in Camp Hormone so I think you have stumbled onto the wrong page. You must be disappointed. But while you are here I must ask: why are the boys squeezing the big boobs inwards? Or maybe there is an apostrophe and a word missing? Could it be that you wanted to find school boys squeezing in big boobs ladies’ handbags?  An image I find sort of amusing in a Mr. Bean sort of way. Either way I suggest you turn left and find another place to play.

Drama on safari

Yes I have had drama on safari. You might be looking for this. It was a scary incident involving an overturned car, sad and scared children, a lot of money and a safari. If on the other had you were not so interested in my personal drama maybe you were hoping for a new TV Movie of a Week featuring the lives and loves of a group of expat school teachers on safari. Actually, I might need to write that one. Drama on Safari happens a lot here, whether it be broken hearts, flat tires, stampeding elephants or vomiting teenagers.

Bossy girls

Oh you came to the right place. I have two of these at home, bossy all the time. Most of their fights involve who is bossing whom. There are also bossy girls at Camp Hormone, bossy girls at the market, bossy girls on the football pitch. I can be quite bossy myself at time, most teachers are. There is also this funny blog I like called Bossy. Could you be looking for her?

Dog entrails

I have seen more dog entrails since moving to Uganda than I ever thought I would. I have also seen more than enough entrails of any kind to last me a life time. Vegetarian or not, entrails are unpleasant. Even the word is unpleasant. So why are you looking for them? Seriously! Are you ill? Get help.

Montreal-fripperies

Now you have made me think of my beloved and much missed Montreal.  Fripperies are second hand clothes shops and Montreal has a ton of them. They dot the Plateau area and much of the cool style of Montrealers comes from the lavish amount of shopping that takes place there. Real gems can be found, from 1960’s era faded blue jeans to lime green 80’s faux fur coats. I have never enjoyed the fripperies myself, having a very odd relationship to second hand clothes. Regrettably I am superstitious and feel the spirit of the original owner to still be living in the lining of the musty fabric. It’s a shame really ’cause there is plenty of potential for arty and original style.  Fripperies are like Fairmont Bagel, The Mirror and Schwartz’s. Very Montreal.

Funny comment on moving house

All humour here is unintentional. I am just trying to practice my stiff upper lip. Can’t you tell?

Did you hear about the teacher who

Who what? Was it me? I didn’t mean to! What exactly are you looking for? Well now that you are here I feel obliged to finish your sentence. Here we go:

Did you hear about the teacher who fell down the stairs and revealed her polka dotted undies?

Did you hear about the teacher who told a naughty and peskier than usual teen he needed a personality transplant?

Did you hear about the teacher who got the kids to stand up in front of the whole school and read out their poems?

Did you hear about the teacher who knew more than she should?

Did you hear about the teacher who told the students to sit down, be quiet and pull out their coxes?

I am not telling you which of the above is true. Your guess is as good as mine.

Montreal love city

( Fairmount Bakery, Montreal. August 2009)

It really is a love city. Except for those mornings when you wake up, look out of the window and the place previously known as your parking spot is now just a big white mound.  That mound will involve much vigorous digging with heavy snow shovels and a certainty that you will be late for everything. That mound leads you to the outrageous decision that maybe a sneaky and naughty stay at home-hookie- day  is needed. There is no way that anyone can start a day with that much digging. Montreal is only a love city when the skies are blue, the bus drivers are smiling, the people are happy, the bagels are warm, the grass is green and the pools are over flowing with blue joy.

Trinidad time

There once was a Trinidad Time. If you are looking for it here you will have to visit my memory section. Now we are most certainly living in a Uganda Time. Big differences? A Trinidad Time involves a wonderful shaggy dog, a best friend, liming, beach and an altogether different sort of Camp Hormone. It also involves Soca Music, often too loud, copious amounts of Rum and a fear of random violence. Uganda Time involves frequent trips into the Great Wild, rare animals, pool sized pot holes, scary driving, special Sundays with friends, Beauty and the Beast, a Shoebox and Villa, Camp Hormone and Camp Sweetness and the birth of Princess the Thespian.

Both good, both so different. Why not stay and visit for a while? You get a two for one here.

(Englishman’s Bay, Tobago. April 2009.)

So what did you pop into the search engines to find your self here? Glad you came.

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Filed under Family Stuff, I love dogs, I love food, Trinidad & Tobago, Uganda

More from the How did you find me? files.

Street pedicure


This is a common feature of Kampala streets. Men carrying small boxes filled with clippers, scissors, nail polish and a pumice stone are often hailed down by young girls. A small stool is presented, the girl sits down and the man gets to work. It doesn’t take long and is very cheap. Consequently most ladies here have their tootsies painted.  How is this relevant here? I posted a photo of a street pedicure and here it is.

Girl stuck in swamp

Oh people, what are you doing? First it is chickens killing girls and now it is girls stuck in a swamp. The poor girls; whatever did they do to deserve such wishful fantasies? In this case I can only imagine-seeing as though you have ended up at 3limes- that the swamp in question is the place where the rare and elusive shoebill bird is found.  Here the girl would be sitting in a dugout canoe, holding onto the sides for dear life and possibly stuck in the papyrus bushes.  She might have a pair of binoculars slung over neck and she would be wondering what possessed her to come into this swamp to find a bird with a nose like a clog when she could just as easily find the bird at the Entebbe zoo.

Rolling fields of green

Ahhh. Here we are thinking of England again; perhaps Wiltshire or Dorset this time. Not sure how you found me, dear reader, but let me warn you that unless you leave Kampala there will be no rolling fields of green for you. Having said that, any person who types Rolling Fields of Green into  Google is much more my sort of person than you over there typing in Girl Stuck in Swamp. Just saying.

Trinidad and Tobago


You are going to make me wistful now, watch out. Yes you must be very confused. You see I was writing a Trinidad and Tobago blog from July 2008-July 2009. It was a happy time filled with beaches, carnival, soca music, good friends, a great dog and some rum. Since August 2009 3limes has been all about Uganda, so if you were hoping for a glimpse of the Caribbean you won’t find it here, unless you look up and click on the tab that says Trinidad. The posts are still there, as are the memories. But now that you are here why not stick around and find out about this little country called Uganda? I know it was the last thing on your mind when you went looking for T&T but maybe it’s you lucky day!

kids fun house kampala

Are you talking about my house?

“ugandan women”


I am questioning your motives somewhat here. Are you looking to discover the plight of Ugandan women? If so I have discussed that here. If you are looking for something a bit more saucy may I suggest you hop over to a different sort of website.

You have just learned of the death of mr

Now I am dying to know who “mr” is.  And if I just learnt about his death why are you over here checking up on me? Are you a concerned individual? A friend? Or just something else entirely?  Just to set your mind at ease the only Mr I just learnt the death of is Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman and that came as no surprise so I am just fine.

Shoebox kitchen

Oh do you have one too? Very sweet and lots of cooking can happen in there, I must say. I am now in a Villa kitchen so we can’t really be friends anymore. Plus I really thought it was me who coined that phrase. There goes my original thought.

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Filed under Kampala, Photography, Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidad meets Uganda, planning holidays and a walk to school

Whirlwind few days over in the Villa, busy bee days at school and last night another collision of worlds occurred when I attended Trinidad and Tobago Independence Day celebrations at the High Commission here in Kampala. Nostalgia wafted through the night as Machal Montano played on the speakers, Carnival videos played on the big screen and Roti, Callaloo and other Trini delights were served under big tents adorned with red and black banners. Listening to the High Commissioner speak with his melodious Trini accent brought back memories of sweet Trini days in the sun. At one point in the evening Trooper sent me a text asking if there was any whining. No, sadly there was not. I think out of the entire crowd of 500 odd guests there were only 14 Trinis.

In other news,  if I am not Miss Teacher then I am Miss Interior Decorator and if I am not her than I am Miss Travel Agent. We are excitedly booking holidays in anticipation of our very first visitors to Uganda. The first set arrives in October for the half term break and the second in December for the Xmas holidays.  This is reminding me that I had promised Ugandan Hotel reviews a while back and once I have a few quiet minutes I hope to write a few in my lovely new red office. Yes, I have taken Virginia’s advice and got a “Room of My Own.”

We are rattling around our Villa constantly surprised by the new found space but are still awaiting a kitchen. We are also awaiting curtains and internet but honestly I couldn’t be more content. Sitting outside (quite a concept in the Shoebox) drinking white wine (yes we might not have a kitchen but we certainly plugged the fridge in. How else to ensure cold wine?) with my sweet girls quiet in their own rooms was a moment I had been waiting a long year  for.

Meanwhile I am reading the books I have to teach:

Death of a Salesman

The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

The In-between World of Vikram Lall

and that is just the first course.

And to top it all off Trooper and I walked to school today. It took 24 minutes and felt great. It is a new Kampala, people.

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Filed under Family Stuff, Kampala, Trinidad & Tobago

One year ago today…

A whole year has gone by and I still remember leaving Trinidad like it was yesterday despite all that has happened since.  In one day I said goodbye to my sweet dog, my house, all my friends, my students, I attended both a graduation ceremony and all our friends gathered for goodbye drinks at our hotel before we set off. It was a long and extraordinary day and I have never really written about it. The emotions were just too sharp. I did, however, write a small and final goodbye to T&T and here it is.

One Last Goodbye.

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Filed under Trinidad & Tobago