Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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We will teleport in or specialty cloaks to Port of Spain, Trinidad today for our chat. We will have coffee at the inverted Hilton in Port of Spain. Trinidad is the southernmost Caribbean island, sitting right next to South America. There is no other place on earth like Trinidad because of the ethnic background and the history of the population. The Hilton is an old hotel built in a unique style right on the edge of the Savannah. It represents the upper crust, old wealth, and the oil business, a place to dress up and be formal. We are having coffee next to the window with a grand view across the Savannah. We can see the cricket players dressed in white, and those who understand the game know what they are doing. For the rest of us they are lovely white figures moving around on the super green grass. This is the perfect place to discuss imperialism, while still surrounded by a remnant of it. Thanks for meeting me here this morning. It is a beautiful setting with attentive service, quiet and refined. It is a relaxed and private atmosphere where we will not be disturbed. Do tell your stories to us here. You can be assured of our discretion. We might stay until tea time to listen to all the news we have to exchange.
This time of year the whole population of Port of Spain is involved in preparation for Carnival. Other countries have Mardi Gras traditions, and they evolve specifically to the region. When Carnival started as a celebration there were still African slaves, and later the newly liberated, invited to the masquerade. This was the one day of the year they had license to poke fun of their masters. They dressed in mock elegance and portrayed the master class..with humor. The significance of the humor carried over into calypso music. The lyrics in early calypso were hidden messages of political meaning. I remember hearing Philip My Dear by the Mighty Sparrow (sung above) when I was a kid and grasping right away that he was making fun of the queen. Now there are still soca and pan contests, and the deeper significance of political defiance through humor might be diluted, but will never be gone. The dazzling sparklers and the nearly naked parade for more hedonistic purposes now. They may know history and thank their forefathers for starting this party, but Trinis have oil now, so the past fades quickly into the present.
If this is your first visit to Trinidad I hope you will take time to look around the island before you cloak home. Fly over a coffee plant and inhale the aroma of the delicate white blossoms. It will blow your aromatic mind. I also recommend you walk around town and taste some street food when we part company. My own favorite is hot tasty doubles, a home made chick pea delight which you can request with plenty peppa for a spicy edge. Most of all enjoy these people and their outrageous sense of humor and performance. At least half of the population, and most of the farmers, are of Indian descent, so the cuisine is fabulously influenced by them. Between the African roots and the Indian farmers, the English influence is hard to find in the food…well they drink tea, but they don’t eat like Brits. Neither do most of them dress like Brits. They do speak like them, in a way, but much cuter and with more play on words. This place has managed to find a kind of peace between Hindus and Africans, Muslims and the Church of England. I think their key to success is humor. We should look into this.
A lovely visit, but I didn’t have nearly enough time! Those coffee plants smell delicious, far better than what’s in my cup. Thanks for the trip (I think I’ll keep my cloak) 🙂
Of course, it is your very own cloak..not a loaner. You can go anywhere you like in it. Thank you for visiting.
Wonderful post. We can talk about imperialism anytime, it’s one of my favorite historical topics. You picked a great place to share coffee.
Thank you Robin. I am obsessed with imperialism this week because I discovered a French knight in my ancestry who was “King of Jerusalem”…how rude was that??
I would love to visit Trinidad. You are very good in creating the illusion . You make it easy to ‘see” it your way! #lovelycoffeedate
Humor can be such an important element in so many things — when we can laugh at ourselves, and at others — with one another.
Thanks for bringing us here for coffee!