Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » Friday Trinidad Abbreviations


You may have missed me

That is because I was mandated by my superior to appear in the island of Trinidad. She twisted and pulled my arm until I screamed “Uncle” or I guess that would be “Auntie.” My lone brother-in-law married a wonderful Trini. The wedding took place at the oldest Catholic Church on the island. The reception followed not far away “in the country” as I was told. It was more like “in the bush.” They call it a “compound,” we would call it a “gated community.”

No bars

At the reception, the houses did not have bars covering the windows. The houses were built by a home constructor that is also an artist. This combination meant beautiful homes that are well built. His paintings that covered the walls were inspiring. Two of them were from 30 years ago and would be considered abstract with Tolkien themes. You can imagine the conversations I had with the crafter.

Drugs and smells

I have concluded that all pharmacies smell the same. Whether here in Victoria or Port-of-Spain, the pharmacies have a unique aroma; they all smell like Walgreens.

Drugs and five leaves

Well, as we were bussing our way through the bush, I recognized rows or crops. I commented these must be the “special” plants. I was informed it was a regular farm. I responded, “More like a normal ‘farm-a-cy.’” The cocoa trees looked ready for picking, if I had time I would have grabbed one. My mother-in-law says they are delicious.

Why bussing through the bush?

Simple. Nobody planned on driving after the reception, so in Trinidad you rent a maxi-taxi to take you to the wedding and reception.

Home party

As our reception nearly 10 years ago, this one took place at the residence of the bride’s parents. It adds tremendous personableness to the experience. I suspect it was about 250 people that came to the reception. The food was awesome. Most of the weddings I have been to in Trinidad are not sit-down weddings like here. They have servers that bring small finger foods which means most people are dancing the night away.

Foods and beverages from the week

Doubles for my first breakfast. Shark-n-bake for another. King fish dishes. Sada roti and shrimp roti. Tons of water. Carib, Stag, Scotch, Fernandes Black Label Rum. The newest addition to my taste buds was shrimp fried in polourri, yum!

Confession on the island

A great treat was to visit Fr. Mark, an Opus Dei priest. Every time I visit the island, I schedule a wonderful direction and confession with him. Thanks Fr. Mark for the taking the time again.

International reaction to international events

My sister-in-law D treated the royal wedding like it was T-n-T in the World Cup. She kept us informed of all the details throughout the wedding. I do admit that the event was incredible. The beatification of JPII was mentioned in a few conversations with family. The death of OBL was met with “Finally” type attitude. I have to admit, I was surprised by this reaction given that much international attitude was anti-American when we entered the War on Terror.

Show us your teeth

I finally met my latest nephew. He is the son of D and D and quite the kid. His latest endeavor is cracking a wide smile when asked to show his teeth. He will surely be missed. “Hey Jake-e-poo, show us your teeth.”

Friends poured in

One of the most incredible things in Trinidad is the community. The island is the biggest in the South Caribbean, but like all islands it lends itself to boundaries. There exists a sense of community because, well, you have to live with each other like it or not which creates a get-a-long attitude. It also creates a very close knit community. Most of your friends have parents that were also friends with your parents. When my wife goes down to visit, she is flooded with visitors of family and friends. A close friend of hers through a party...on Tuesday night. It was great to see all the friends and family.


I will post some pictures of “down-the-islands” next week. Stay tuned for beauty.

Friends and Family

Enjoy them.