Loooocally Assembled

How do you get pubic hairs on top of the urinal? Really, how tall are these people?

Greetings from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Port of Spain, Trinidad, my droogies, where I am enjoying the narcotic pleasures of an air-conditioned bar and free wireless internet. A bar is an interesting place to observe some aspects of Trini culture. Right now I am watching a fellow chat up two attractive women; he’s doing a good job of it, too. And across from me, two men are engaged in a seriously intense Scrabble match, played atop one of the most alluring rotating boards I’ve ever seen. It seems the Trinis take their Scrabble very seriously; one of the men is even brandishing a championship Scrabble trophy! I am deeply envious.

(To the uninitiated, I used to engage in some cut-throat Scrabble playing against primo droogie and Podium co-founder Ed Wong, who happens to also be a Trini. Coincidence? Hmmm. Mind you, Ed used to try to pass of fake words based on the argument that they sound real; words like “stooky”.)

Let me catch you all up. Yesterday, I was very happily taken to a cricket match between the West Indies and India. We sat in a section called the “Trini Posse”, which is an expensive portion of the stands where the booze and food are both all-inclusive. Throw in scantily clad women, freebies from corporate sponsors, a live DJ and a penchant for people to burst into suggestive dance, and you have something resembling mini-Carnival right there in the cricket stands. There’s something particularly nice about a culture that encourages you to drink rum under the hot sun, and that feeds you curry on top of it. Truly, I felt right at home.

I never tire of meeting white-skinned Caribbean people. The disconnect between the pale skin, blue eyes and thick Caribbean accent is always a pleasurable shock. The fellow next to me in the stands was one such creature. “Yuh bettah watch out,” he said, pointing up to a splotch of fluid on the ceiling, which threatened to drip into my drink. “Yuh might get some Vitamin Pee!”

When I asked him where he was from, he crooned in a thick Trini sing-song accent, “I am looooocally assembled!” The fellow was a grandfather in his mid-40s and raucously celebrating his recent divorce. I’ve rarely encountered a person so happy to be free of his spouse. “Misery loves company,” he said of marriage.

“Were you misery or company?” I asked.

“Oh she was misery, man. She was misery!”

The day was topped off with a trip to my hosts’ family village in rural Trinidad, where I was once again reminded of all the similarities between Indo-Caribbean peoples. These folks were of my gene pool, cooked food that I was used to, and used words and expressions that I am familiar with from my own family. It was, of course, a very pleasurable and warming experience.

But this morning it was back to business, with one radio and one television interview. Sometimes my ability to orally spout endless bullshit even surprises me. I will try my best to secure copies of all media appearances to be reproduced on this site, ’cause I’m good like that.

Okay, the beer is going to my head now. Time for a nap.