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  • I cannot begin to express the joy I have found in revisiting my childhood and some of the youth I managed to salvage, growing up in the Caribbean.

    Cowbird beckons and I follow at will.

    I recall at one point, there was a crack down on the seat belt law in Trinidad.....and seat belts from planes started to go missing. Oh, you heard me correctly! Try boarding one of these propeller planes only to question where the hell was the seat belt. Never mind that. There is one flight attendant and no oxygen masks; well, mainly because the domestic flight seldom climbs higher than 10,000 feet so you're oxygen safe. (Don't even think about the barracuda, jellyfish and sharks that await you below).

    The local police station at Crown Point in Tobago has goats on the front lawn and chickens quite often walk about the terminal building. The upside of the short journey to Trinidad is that you can check in your bags, go to the beach next to the runway...and board the plane covered in sand.....as long as you're not barefooted or bareback.


    Where I grew up in Trinidad had no transport for half a mile and so we had to walk along three savannahs to and from the main road. There was no pavement at the time and so you were at the merciless edge of bush and road. Snake? Just jump over. Cow? Run.

    One day, in the very hot, late afternoon sun, one of my brothers and I were walking our half mile when a "car" stopped. It was Big Brent (you see, there was also Red Brent). Big Brent kindly offered us a lift.

    But.

    He had taken the car seats by Raj to be re-upholstered and there was only the driver's seat. What Brent had therefore done, was to tie a dining room chair to the floor of the car. I got in and sat on the chair and almost pissed myself because I looked like I was about to have tea. My brother then got in behind and held on to the legs of the chair.

    Guess what.

    That weekend, we went to Maracas Beach like this.
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