1. No Lines
There is no way to describe the euphoria a Trini feels when he walks into an establishment (like KFC or the bank) and finds that there are no lines. Unless you know what it’s like to always be met with slow moving lines that turn the simplest of tasks into an ordeal (as is the norm in Trinidad), you won’t be able to fully appreciate what a big deal this is. But being able to walk into a KFC, march straight up to the cashier, place your order and walk out 2 minutes later with your chicken is a deeply spiritual moment for any Trini.
2. Friday Evenings
Sure, everyone around the world thinks Friday evening is most important to them, but Trinis have a special talent that allows us to treat every Friday like it’s a vacation. It means different things for different people: sleeping late, weekend plans, not having to face the heavy traffic the next day but for most, it really means the ‘lime’ start. A Trini starts thinking about Friday on Wednesday morning. It is serious business; the crew has to be notified, a liming venue has to be decided on, designated drivers have to be elected, outfits have to be contemplated, rides have to be arranged and if necessary, a borrowee (a person who loans you money) to fund your weekend shenanigans has to be found. When Friday finally comes, nobody is happier than the Trini, nothing can get him down. It would all be worth it when he is standing on the corner with his friends, nursing a Carib, doing absolutely nothing.
So the only day that trumps a Friday in a Trini’s book, is a public holiday, especially one that falls on a long weekend. And we have a lot of holidays in Trinidad and Tobago. Trinis lose their minds for a public holiday. Cue the madness! Flights to Tobago are packed as half of Trinidad converges on our tiny sister isle to carve out a mini vacation from the few days off. Thousands flock to wherever they could find a large body of water. Nobody seems to mind the traffic heading to and from Maracas beach and at every popular river, groups of Trinis could be found dancing to loud music blaring from car stereos, a wicked pot of curry goat is on the fire, alcohol is running and somebody’s losing money playing cards. Ah, holidays!
I’m sure you’re noticing a pattern but Carnival represents the alignment of everything Trinis love. It’s like the most epic Friday evening merged into a long weekend! There is no work for two days, the party is not at the club but everybody takes to the streets in pretty coloured costumes, your favourite Soca is on repeat, drinks are flowing, your friends and family are around and people you don’t even know are happy to see you (or parts of you.) More than anything, we love Carnival because it’s one of the few times when we are reminded how culturally diverse we are, yet we are able to put aside our differences to unite in revelry.
5. Good Food
Finally, good food. Trinidad and Tobago is home to some of the most delicious food in the world, a fact we sometimes take for granted. Ask any Trini living abroad and they will tell you. When the cravings kick in for Roti and doubles or Oildown with pigtail and pelau with a side of coleslaw or crab and callaloo and coconut sweetbread…and you can’t find it anywhere, it is the most miserable feeling in the world. Our food is such a representation of who we are: soulful, flavourful and one of a kind. Some of our most precious moments with friends and family are centred around local food either at Christmas or on one of our many holidays.