I do not know if it was poor reporting or a poor report, but the 2014 Poverty Survey gives a very skewed picture of living conditions in T&T.
Two women are walking by on the sidewalk, one of them colourfully dressed in a fluffy fluorescent green top. A man in a pickup truck parked near to the outdoor table where I sit calls out in a jovial tone: “You ladies going to the beach?” I don’t hear what the woman in green’s friend says, but I assume it’s “No,” because the man continues: “Oh, because I was just going to tell you it’s dangerous there and I would have to come with you.”
The women continue walking, he laughs good-naturedly and the truck drives off.
The table at which I’m sitting is a work of recycling art. Made from wooden pallets and painted sparkling white, with a wrap around bench (also made from the pallets) it functions as an outdoor dining/liming table that seats about four people.
The pole of a canvas umbrella extends from the centre of the table offering me shade as I munch on a healthy, non-oily aloo pie filled with fresh cucumber chutney, followed by an equally healthy-tasting saheena split in half and filled with light chutney, followed by a delicious warm corn soup with provisions, pumpkin, some noodles and seasoning.