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Is my country… ah mus love it!
Ah love ah compliment…who doesn’t? And doh lie. Ah like when people tell meh ah looking nice or meh top nice. Or meh shoe nice. Or meh hair looking nice. Okay, ah growing out de hair so ah not getting as much hair comments as usual. Ah like when people tell meh meh chile nice. Wha? Aye aye, is I make de boy. And who allyuh feel he look like?!?!? Okay. Okay. He looks like he fadda but at first glance yuh tink is me he does look like. I digress. Ah bounce eeen de fancy hotel on de water dey and one of the waitresses looked at me once and said “Ah like yuh. Yuh swag tun up.” Well I nearly dead, ah thought is only one ting could be tunned up, as een what dey say in dat tune nah. Apparently anything can be described as having high level of tun, including one’s swag. Ah digressing again! Okay, one more thing before ah get tuh meh point. Ah also like when people tell meh dey like meh column dis week (Hint hint eh allyuh!).
The best compliment ever for me is when people aks meh eef ah is ah Trini. And non-Trini people eh. In fact, non-West Indian period. Someone foreign. And de more foreign dey is de better. Here in Trinidad, I hear so many “Yeah but people not going to study any ah dat when dey find out we from ah little island in de Caribbean! Who is we?”. Oh, the contrary! We are valued so much by the outside world, eh. And I have almost nine years of proof. No one has ever (EVER!) said to me, “Trinidad? That crime-ridden place? That place filled with corruption? And bad customer service?” Not once. And let me also add, that I don’t feel that way about Trinidad either. Wha ah blind? Maybe. But love is blind, ent?
I remember once I was at a conference in Turkey, doing my thing, at the registration desk with my crew, greeting delegates, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors as they arrived. Sometimes they came the day before to collect their badges. Others just showed up on Day One and collected their badges in all the melee. Being at the registration desk was key to my role as the one facilitating the networking between buyers and sellers on the show floor. So introducing the big boy telecoms vendors to the even bigger boy telcos on-site. Meeting them at the badge collection point allowed me to put a face to the name, for those I didn’t know. Made my job easier.
Anyhow, cut to one of the sponsors coming up to me and asking, “Are you from Trinidad?” I was surprised at the random question but super elated at the same time. “How yuh know?” I asked him. “I recognised the accent!” he said, excitedly. “Oh really, you have Trini friends or family?” I was dying to get to the root of the accent association. He then explained that from Istanbul, he was on his way to Canada to pick up his wife and then off to Trinidad for cricket. He went on to say that the hotels, et cetera, have been lovely in assisting him with planning his trip and that apart from the cricket, he was super excited to visit my country.
Well yuh know from dat point I went full speed ahead. I call all kinda people. I sent him the most in-depth email I have probably written in my life with all my recommendations of where he should go, what he should eat, drink etc etc. Book spa appointment fuh he wife all kinda ting. Yuh see, he was going in de Oval and ah kno dat when he reach een de Trini Posse stand (my boy tell meh he was going Trini Posse stand eh!) de Carib gyul go have he wife face screw up all how. Not all wife could be cool like me. So ah geh she as spa appointment on at least one ah de days so he could gape and ting nah. Cause Trini woman sweet nah!
Well to cut a very long story short, de man had a blast and called me from de Oval wit ah settah ah Trinis shouting, “Michhhhhh! We missin yuh!”
No talk about crime. No talk about who doing what. Just a guy who likes to experience different things. He and his family have been to Trinidad at least three times since then, that I know of. And this is just one story eh! I have plenty.
Thing is, bad things happen. Everywhere. Not just here. But I am sure, that if we try hard enough, we will see more good than bad here. Others do, why can’t we? Because we live here. Because we are Trinis? Me? I love meh country. Come what may. Regardless of what people say. Especially the front page of the newspapers. Aye and don’t forget meh on de Twitter @mimeng77 and try using ah little #backforgood nah! Ah love allyuh eh!
For more of Michelle’s musings you can follow her on Twitter at @mimieng77
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