Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 28th 2014 Contents B11
Thursday, August 28, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
I have now left T&T, those islands of the
blue Caribbean sea which I fell in love with
at first sight.
I never found the sea blue like Jamaica.
Trinidad seas are green. On the eastern coast,
the Atlantic rolls in so dark it appears almost
black. Here in jolly old England, this other
Eden, we are surrounded by murky grey-
I have come and gone. This was a year
that surpassed my highest expectations. It
was not the year of hedonism, rum and lost
weekends some home may have predicted.
Yes, there has been rum. It would have
been rude not to. But there has been, for
me, growth and maturation.
"T&T has been good to you," friends say.
Wrong: it has been brilliant to me. I have
made friends and met all manner of inter-
Above all, I found true love. They say for-
eigners come to Trinidad for work or love.
I came for one and found the other. It is a
gift to be ever thankful for.
"The big thing in the Caribbean is, Are
you staying or are you going? " Derek Walcott
"People are always coming and going," the
architect Jenifer Smith told me. And here in
late August I am aware of an exodus, to New
York, to old York, Kingston, California, Thai-
land and London.
The red white and black bunting went up
weeks ago, reminding me my time was nigh
and that I would not be there for Independ-
ence Day. But my heart will be there, explod- ing like the fireworks over Port-of-Spain.
"Will you cry?" my true love asked, referring to
my departure. And I did, as we passed the Magnificent
Seven in darkness.
"I m going to miss this place," I blurted out.
I ll be back. And, until I do, I will be thinking of
T&T with longing and affection, reading the papers
daily, watching the news clips and talking with friends.
We shouldn t fret that the nation s youth leave and,
in some cases, never return. Most do return. And they
bring back tales, discussions and debates.
Even those who only return once a year for Carnival
stay in close touch. The connection between the dias-
pora and the islands is closer than ever. Cheap phone
calls, Skype and Facebook make us feel as close as
a friend in the next village. Globalisation is more a
blessing than a curse.
There will be many abiding memories, too many
to list here.
We toured Trinidad before departure. Seeing places
I d never seen and which some Trinis never see.
We discovered that the edge-of-the-world feeling
is stronger in Guayaguayare than in Cedros.
Driving down a road lined with coconut trees, we
hurtled through Manzanilla as the skies turned the
colour of lead, astonished by the never-ending beach
and the ceaseless rolling breakers.
We headed on to Mayaro and relaxed for a few
moments on the beach before the rain thundered
down. We watched through the car window as it beat
soothingly against the glass and the lifeguards, wearing
bright yellow and red, looked worriedly along the
I won t forget the first time I drove through the
back of D Abadie and the sense of utter tranquility
on the Trestrail estate, a former horse farm.
Less peaceful experiences included the Major Lazer
wet fete and Carnival Tuesday. Both were raucous
This is the end of the endless summer. I will miss
sweet, sweet T&T. The only consolation in departing
is knowing that I will be back.
"You must be relieved to be going," people have
asked. But it s different for me. Most Trinis want to
get away at some point. They know the place too well
and begin to feel its smallness suffocating them. I m
from the big city, and I love London, but there are
still years and years of soaking up T&T s charms to
come for me.
Above all I will miss the people. I can t think of
another place in the world where just to sit and listen
to the people talk brings a smile to my face and makes
me feel warm inside.
When I arrived I could only understand half of what
people said and, nobody could understand me. Now
they can. Perhaps it s because, as my girlfriend s sister
told her, "He starting to sound Trini."
I now understand the place, too. "Who is David
Rudder?" I had asked my boss, naively, on my first
day in the office and received the famous "death stare."
"Don t ever let any Trini hear you say that."
I never thought I would grow to love your national
anthem (or being forced to stand to observe it) but
I do, more than God Save The Queen.
So, I am back in London. It called, I answered and
I shall continue to report back from the big, bad,
incredibly cold city on the pages of this esteemed
newspaper (the best in Trinidad, in my opinion.)
Until we meet again, stay tuned.
My story of coming and going
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