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A long weekend

Monday, March 10, 2014
Tobago Peeps
The long weekend in bags.

The grocery store I’m in has no paper napkins. In fact, most of the shelves are empty. The store owner confirms that Trinis over here this weekend “buy everything out.” I enter another grocery a little further on. Three tourists by the window are exclaiming about something, but, focused on finding what I need, I don’t look up to see what is amazing them. At the cash register, the cashier’s comment to his friend connects the dots: “You eh wanna ketch dat guana?” “Nah, dat too small. “


I look outside. A camera-wielding male tourist is tiptoeing like David Attenborough behind a young iguana in a patch of grass near the carpark. The cashier makes a comment about how the iguana must be an appealing sight to tourists. I look up again and see one of the female tourists also advancing gingerly toward the reptile, a wide smile on her face as she positions her “point-and-shoot.” I wonder if they are aware that their exotic green model may one day be the wild meat in someone’s stew.


My two-person restaurant, Table for Two, is vegetarian, so no chance of iguana being on the menu. I return home and continue preparing the meal and personalised experience for the young London couple who will be tonight’s diners. They arrive at 6.30 pm and the night, their last in Tobago, progresses wonderfully.