Monday, January 31, 2011

Visiting Family in Trinidad

It isn't like back packing around Asia or staying at an all inclusive in the Caribbean. It definitely isn't like hanging from a bungee attached to a dodgy South African bridge (maybe one day I'll try it). But visiting family can be pretty fun.

Maybe your idea of working at a hardware store is not exactly a dream vacation, but I have to say there was no other experience like working at a hardware store in Trinidad. For example, we had to deliver a bunch of hardware equipment to about 5 houses. I got to see the country side, meet local people and drink a cold beer on the way to each house. Try that drinking game next time you're on the road. It goes like this: beer, delivery, beer, delivery, beer, delivery, beer, delivery, stop at the bar for a beer. In case that wasn't clear each cold beer was purchased and drank on the way to the next delivery. Just to be clear - in no way do I support drinking and driving, but there was a sort of when in Rome mentality.

And the stories you hear are something else, a real healthy mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good: a story about a guy who bribed a cop with a doubles (a curried pastry type dish - worth about one dollar). The bad: the rising murder rates comparable with Jamaica and government corruption. The ugly: a story of a local mentally challenged boy who the police picked up from his home for no other reason but to bribe the family for a free case of beer and a cooked meal.

The point: There is something about 'off the beaten track' that backpackers talk about, but there isn't anything like visiting family. The cost? It cost me the price of air fare because family takes care of the rest, but the real deal isn't monetary. The real value is being exposed to the little surprises that you won't find in a tour book.

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