"After months of hesitations on going on this journey, I finally managed to get rid of all the ready-made prejudicies about long-distance trips and allow myself a little time out to get closer to the genuine life.."

This year (September 2006), I’ve decided that I would go to Trinidad and Tobago.The truth is: I’ve heard so many nice things about this place that i thought it was high time for me to see it with my very eyes, though I got warned: "If yuh come tuh Trinidad, gyurl, yuh’ll never want tuh go back! duh!!" .. "If that’s the only risk: I am willing to take it", I answered. And this is how it all began...

And here I am, sitting on this plane, about to land at Piarco International Airport for the first time: ‘Welcome to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago’, says the voice in the speakers. Finally!! I’m thinking to myself that it has been quite a long flight… but in a couple of minutes, I’ll be out of here, walking on this still unknown earth and talking to some people I never thought I would ever meet in my lifetime! So what is the first thing a visitor should know about Trinidad? It’s the land of Soca and Calypso, which is especially well-known for its Carnival, it’s fine food and its love for life... but beyond that, you need to come and see it for yourself!

Passed the Passport Control: so here I am finally, and…… it’s raining!! Bryan, my hi5 penpal can show up at any moment, he’s probably already around the place, trying to find me... where could he be? How does he really look like?? So many questions and I’m still in the frenzy of my arrival! People look at me ...  is it that obvious, that I’m trying not to loose myself?? All of the sudden… first encounter, first talk (my first troubles with the Trini accent): it’s a Indian taxi driver. His name is Raj and he wonders how come I travel alone. I tell him that I’m actually waiting for my penpal and he offers me to call Bryan to ask if he’s coming or not.. Speaking of Bryan.... WHERE IS BRYAN??!! Turns out Bryan is actually looking for a place to park his car, so there’s nothing to worry about: he is just driving around the airport.

We finally get to meet eachther a few moments later... it’s always something strange to meet somebody face-to-face for the first time, after talking so much on MSN almost every night, but here we are now on the road to Woodbrook, which is a place I absolutely know nothing about except the fact that my guesthouse is located there! Somebody once told me that when you arrive to a new place, the best thing to do is to pretend that this place is not that new to you OR at least, to bring out the few things you know about it. That’s where it’s getting easier thanx to 96.1FM, I can tell where the next upcoming parties are all gonna take place, and when a big tune happens to be played on the radio I don’t even need to ask who it is... good start!

We finally reach the house as Mrs. Chung (the owner) comes out to greet us. I discover my fully furnished room... feels already like home! Later, we leave the place for West Mall, where Bryan wants me to taste some good Pelau. I enjoy my first Trini food as we talk and laugh about things, and so does the rest of the afternoon go by until the evening comes. After showing me what Chaguanas looks like, Bryan drops me back home where I’ve got a short time to get ready for the second part of the day: the evening lime (first and official) by Smokey & Bunty in St. James!

For those who know it, St. James is DA PLACE to chill out after a long and exhausting day at work: that’s what jerk & fried chicken, doubles, coconut water and of course all the Rum shops and their friendly atmosphere are for!! I can’t tell you how much fun I had on this first night... you need to experience it, but one thing is sure: ever since that moment my heart never really left Trinidad... but I had been warned!