I would like to live in Trinidad for a couple of years until my business prospers to an extent whereby a healthy yield can be acquired and chose Trinidad as first off my father is from the country (but left when he was 10 to go to Europe) and felt I'd like to 'put back' something that has been taken out. But before then, and after reading the threads on this board, I'm seriously beginning to rethink otherwise!
I do, however, have quite a number of questions:
1. Do the authorities cut off the water and/or electricity in every area in the country or is it in certain areas only. Also, what is the reason for this?
2. Are there any cultural places to go, ie museums, galleries, theatres, etc. as I'm not really a soca loving person
3. Are there certain places for media /creative / artistic folk to hang out to exchange ideas and network?
4. Social Bars: My friend told me about a place called Flamingo or maybe it was called the Pelican that supposed to be a great place to hang out. Is it? Are there any others?
5. Medical care: If I get sick, will I have to go to the General Hospital in POS or are there others I can go to if I pay into a private fund for my medical assistance? Are there private doctors too or would I have to be seen by the local General Hospital doctor?
6. Is there an equivalent of a Time Out magazine which lists everything about things to do, places to go, who's in town, clubs to join, etc.?
7. I have a new mini cooper, but many people have told me to trade it in for a jeep as the roads are not good for my mini. is this true?
8. If I have a complaint about something, eg rubbish not being collected, would they take a million years to send someone to rectify the complaint or are they on the ball.
9. I've heard everyone is slow but I think that's the nature of the heat. The pace of work production should not be compared to Europe or maybe the US.
PS, I thought one of the remits for posting on this board was not to use slang and to use English at all times; I've seen a number of posts entirely made up of this or the Trinidadian dialect. This is quite frustrating for me as I find it difficult to read fluently what someone is trying to say. Unfotunately, I have to skip the message as it's far too time consuming. And no, I'm not a prissy snob, just used to reading English properly. Thanks.
Wow, you ask a lot of questions, maybe a donation will follow this? ;) Actually, most of what you asked is already covered in this Board, but I will indulge you since you are so specific:
1. In some areas more than others, but at some point or the other no matter where you are you will experience no power or water or sometimes both at the same time. The reasons for this are many, but most times it is because they are running off of archaic systems that have not been replaced in a long time. To counter this most people have water tanks and few have generators. I made sure to have a UPS so that it would not upset my computer.
2. Yes, there are many regular shows and smaller productions. You can choose from Indian / African dancing, acting, folklore, musicals, etc. Occasionally we get different countries also hosting shows. I am also a friend to one such group - Shiv Shakti Dancers.
3. Yes, there is, but it is not developed. They are working on making this more professional and eventful. You will actually find that most artists complain about the lack of acknowledgement for their profession.
4. Well, I do not go to these kinds of places, but Pelican is widely known. It is no big deal, it is just a typical bar that is lit dim so as to give a dark appearance when you go in. You will find that the 'night life' is plentiful and there will much of that to attend to if that is your interest.
5. Keep away from the POS General Hospital, if you must go to a public institution then go to Mt. Hope or private Clinics like St. Clair. Yes, there are many private doctors, nurses and dentists.
6. I am not too sure about this, there are online sites available and the Ministry of Tourism does keep an accurate listing, so when you get there check them out.
7. The roads here are terrible, but in any case the cost of bringing it here and then having to pay tax may not make it worth the struggle.
8. No, that is collected pretty well, in fact I do not know of any place in the world where you can throw your tree droppings on the road side and it is collected or even your old stove. There are trucks for each of those.
9. Slow? No, not slow, I would use 'dead'. Realistically though in some things you get fast service and in others it is terrible, it all depends on what you want. I used to complain a lot about Trinidad service until I came to Argentina.
Yes, you are observant. The rule of using proper English came in AFTER these people constantly used dialect and slang. It was instituted for the very reason you are being frustrated with - not understanding - you will notice it for older posts, but the newer ones are 'clean' and easy to read.
Having just got back home from Trinidad, I felt I could elaborate a little. I am a spoiled American... that's all I can say. I am used to my air condition and my hot water. It was a culture shock for me during my week stay. All I know is that I was looking forward to my 68 degree cold shower since it was so hot outside.
1. The water and power where we stayed in Arouca was on the entire time, even during some storms.
2. We did witness several performances/shows of local musicians and dancers, mostly in Port of Spain.
3. It seems like most of Trinidad was disconnected from the computer/electronic world. We stayed in a private home with a local and they were lucky if they knew of a person that had a computer or access to one. (This probably explains why it was so difficult for me to find and speak with people from Trinidad about their country before my trip).
4. There are little bars and places to gather all over the place. Being from a place where there are bars and nightclubs everytime you blink your eye, there was nothing quite like we have here in the US, but at night, you can drive down some main roads and just see where people gather and listen to music/drink beer.
5. I saw one community hospital in Port of Spain, and some private doctors offices along side some residential streets.
6. Some of the Tourism websites are outdated and their calendars are from last year! I didn't get to plan much before I went because of the lack of information out there. Even the Tour/Sightseeing sites were up and running on the web, and when I called, they had either gone out of business or never got an email response back.
7. The roads were no worse than they are here in the US, but I would have to say that the drivers are quite neurotic. If I cut people off in the states or turn in front of them when they're driving towards me, I would get cussed up and down, horn blowed at me, and if I'm lucky a road raged lunatic would pull over with me, get out of his/her car and let me have it...... but in Trinidad, this is an accepted thing. They just move well over there... everyone gets to where they need to go and since no one obeys the speed limit, 140kilometers/hr is no big thing. (Be careful, they can drink and drive over there!) I said my prayers out loud before leaving the driveway and kissed the ground everytime I got back in. lol
8. Re: Rubbish/Trash; I cannot believe how littered the beaches and coastline are over there. They have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and they are not maintained (not even on an official level). I have tons of pictures from the trip at the beach, and unfortunately trash in the background. Here in Florida, if you are caught littering on our beaches, you get slapped with a $500 fine (US Dollars) and sometimes more. Here, our beaches are not as beautiful as Toco and Maracas Bay and Manzanilla, but they are clean. I can't believe schools as a group or companies as a group don't sponsor clean-up events (like community service or something) to maintain the beaches... what a beautiful waste.
9. I wouldn't call them slow, I would say carefree. We are so fast paced here in the US... to keep up with everything and stay afloat you have to be.... but there, no one is in a rush to do anything (except driving), but that's just their lifestyle. What shocked me is that they have our same cable channels - I felt like I was at home - but what made me wonder is that from watching all our shows from the US (Primetime shows such as CSI, Still Standing, Everybody Loves Raymond, etc) what do they think of Americans? Do they think we are neurotic and that we move about too fast or that we're too concerned with other things?
My husband and I have thought about several business opportunities over there, but we're not too sure how that will turn out. We want to raise our children here, and maybe after they graduate, we'll make the move. But honestly, it is such a culturally explosive place, and it was generally a fun and different experience. Hopefully all you wish to do continues through! Thanks for taking the input of a tourist.
ReneeTpaUSA, there are some comments I would like to make about certain things you saw while in Trinidad (I am using your numbers)...
3. I think you chose a bad place to stay - Arouca is like being in the country side. you should have opted for the West although I do not know your circumstances. The internet is pretty big in Trinidad, the people's minds is what is slow and most people I know have a computer or use the net. Again, being in the 'boonies' is going to give you a different picture.
7. Yes, and they really are bad. You must have been driven on the nicer parts? Driving is terrible - that is a given. (see thread within this board about 'Maxis').
9. That is unfortunate and may have been an off chance either because of recent parties. Although Trinidad is very dirty with litter everywhere the garbage men do make their rounds regularly, but unfortunately the people just throw trash anywhere - sickening.
Lastly, why would you want to give up the comfort of 'home' to go live in Trinidad? Maybe they gave you some 'obea' (African magic) when you were there?
ReneeTpaUSA, ah so you finally saw the place in actuallity. Well I am glad that this Board was helpful for you. Feel free to add more within the various threads concerning Trinidad from your perspective, even if it is just a week.
We stayed in Arouca because a friend of ours that we went with had family there, and we stayed it the family's home. Plus, since we stayed there and not in some hotel in a tourist area, we were able to experience the actual lifestyle and see the country from the inside out. I would have felt cheated actually if I stayed in some hotel or resort. And... why would I go to another country to look for the most American-ized places to stay - what would be the point? The family of the friend we went with took us around to all the beaches and mountains and I can just say that without them, we probably would not have been able to get to most places without some sort of confusion.
I was afraid too that if we stayed at a resort, we may have secluded ourselves there and not ventured out because of all the comforts. Most importantly, I did my research ahead of time, and sorta knew what to expect and it made for a nice trip.
I don't know if we'd be ready to leave the comforts of home yet, but maybe later on down the road. : )
Along the lines of this topic of living in Trinidad and together with something I always repeat within this Board is that of the reason for wanting to come from a place that is more developed to one that is definitely behind. The answer is usually the same and surrounds one of three things:
1. It is too cold abroad
2. I miss the fetes, rum, and freedom
3. I want to be around my relatives
Never are real reasons giving that benefit the actual family unit such as better education, safety, productivity, etc.
As for your not staying in a 'resort', I doubt we have that in Trinidad. Maybe in Tobago. No matter where you go you will be exposed to Trinidad in reality, because the common man with all his typical doings is everywhere and the more affluent where sophistication is paramount is so small that you might miss it altogether.
From another thread:
|Reene said: I saw ticks on the walls of where we stayed, and those little pests were the reason I would not sleep at night. I was a nervous wreck.|
|I saw ticks on the walls of where we stayed, and those little pests were the reason I would not sleep at night. I was a nervous wreck.|