Friday, 22 July 2011

Random Thoughts of A Garvin

Blogging from my head...

My head hurts... I can't focus... I have so much thoughts running through my head. I feel a little confused and I don't know how to stop the buzzing of my brain. "Why not write a blog about it?"- I thought. But, I couldn't! My blogs always have a theme; I write about things I see, hear, experience or learned. I can't tarnish my blog with random, unfiltered blogs that may hurt people's feelings or offend. Then again, it's my blog, an outlet for my creative juices when they start to flow and oh boy, they're flowing. God help us all!

I hate double standards, they irk me and I want to kill them all. Sometime ago, a friend of the family was visiting. We were talking and she started talking about her daughter, saying that she was a tomboy and sometimes she likes to dress up in big T-shirts, caps and boots. She laughed it off because it was "normal" behaviour for some girls. I started thinking about what she would have said if she had a son who was metro sexual or very flamboyant. Would she be disgusted? Try to beat it out of him? Or accept him? The sad thing is that this double standard exists whereby it's OK for a girl to act like a boy and be somewhat accepted by society. A boy, however, who is girlish or stylish or doesn't fit into the stereotypical idea of a male, has to endure ridicule, disgusting looks or being called all the gay related nicknames out there. I feel strongly about this because I have never been what you would consider the stereotypical boy and I was and continue to be ridiculed about it. I try not to take it on and exude overwhelming confidence but sometimes, it gets to you and it hurts. Why can't we be who were meant to be once, it's not harming anyone? It's this double standard that makes me want to seek a life for myself elsewhere, I feel as though I will never be understood in Trinidad where the narrow- mindedness runs wild. I'm just biding my time, waiting for that opportunity and then, I'm outta here. At least, my parents understand and were anticipating my departure from Trinidad ever since I was seven years old. Some may say I'm selfish and unpatriotic but, I doh really care nah!

One would think that I would understand deceitfulness. I have been around it all my life; from "friends" that have spread rumours about me to "friends" wanting to know my business so as to broadcast to the world but, I still don't get it. Why be deceitful? Is it that they like to lie to themselves and people around them or enjoy the thrills of playing mind games? Are they just bored, trying to find a way to enjoy themselves and f****** with people is the only way they find entertainment? Whatever it is, it's not nice making people trust you and then, backstabbing them. But, maybe I'm just too trusting, like to share and I always look for friends in the wrong places; I'm like a magnet attracting all the high voiced, deceitful people out there. Sigh! I need to surround myself with positive people and I've started but, change is a continuous process and I've been falling back into old habits and trusting 'old' people. Ah well...

Am I stupid? Does what I have to say seem so insignificant that you have to cut me off? Gosh! I can take criticism or direction; tell me you don't like this and you don't like that. I'll listen to you and try my best to comply with your vision while staying true to mine. Don't cut me off by waving your hands as though I was a mosquito buzzing in your ear and talk over me while I'm trying to explain my vision, my creative insight to you. I was hurt and felt as though what I had to say was of no importance. Sigh, maybe I shouldn't be so sensitive.

There's a new member to my life coach crew well, I would like to think so. He challenges me to think outside of the box and not just be an academic. I learn so much from him on a daily basis, I think of him like an older brother and someone to give me words of advice, helping me grow as an individual. At least, there's one, good, random thought!

WOW, what a depressing blog touched by hints of violence against supervisors and double standards! I suppose this is my dark place; between all the smiles and confidence, there's a dark side festering, waiting... Maybe, I should let it out more often and channel them into blogs. At least, I know that I'm not one note. Until next time- that is, if you come back after reading this!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Harry Potter 7, Part 2: The Good, The Bad and The Indifferent

"Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived, come to die!", Lord Voldemort.

It was the end of an era on July 15th, 2011 as the final installment in the Harry Potter movie franchise premiered worldwide. As an original HP fan- I actually read, understood and re- read ALL the books when the movies were only an idea- I was VERY excited about seeing the final movie. For me, it was the end of an era and in some weird way it came full circle and I finished the journey with Harry, Ron and Hermione. Owing to the sentimental nature that this movie held for me, it was very infuriating to hear cell phones ringing, people steupsing or see people walking out the cinema saying that the movie was too long and real shit. Ugh! Those blasted bandwagonists who didn't appreciate what HP has meant and will continue to mean for many a HP fan. The movie lasted a little over two hours, was full of twists and turns and surprisingly, kept as close as possible to the book. I'm thinking of doing two or three blogs to share my thoughts about the movie because I cannot and would not condense all the information into one blog post; it's not fair to Harry. I intend to publish these blogs during the weekend so as to give the other fans a chance to watch the movie and enjoy the posts even more. Yay, I'm excited and I hope you are too. Until the next one!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Colombia: Things Learned

New Motto: Living and Learning

As some of you may know, I've been in Trinidad for over a month now after spending an amazing, life changing year in Bogotá, Colombia. I experienced SO MUCH which has impacted on my life and helped me to see and understand things differently. After reading a friend's blog ( and flicking through some pictures of my friends and I in Colombia, I felt inspired to finally sit down and write this blog post since the idea had been floating around in my head for some time now. The idea concerned all the intangible things I learned during my year in Colombia and how I've started to and/ or intend to adopt them in my everyday life. Sharing is caring and self evaluation is a good thing so I figure that this blog post would kill two birds with one stone. Quite resourceful if you ask me!

1) Survival

Two weeks prior to my departure for Colombia, my Dad called me outside and asked if I could fry sausage with onions and prepare breakfast for myself. I knew that my Dad meant well but his question left me unsettled and worried about how I was going to survive for a year without my parents. My Mum had attempted to teach me how to cook but nothing seemed to stick. Thus, when I left for Colombia two weeks later, I had decided that I would have to survive by minimalist means until further notice. After the pelau debacle of 2010 where my friend and I made a pelau without bursting the pigeon peas, I can safely say that I can handle my stories in the kitchen, bachelor style. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Wolfgang Puck but, if you're into spaghetti, red beans, store- bought rotisserie chicken and juice; I'm your guy. On one or two occasions, I actually seasoned my own meat and grilled it. I can also do pretty rudimentary stuff in the kitchen so I'm not worried much anymore. Another version of learning to survive comes from the fact that I learned how to travel around a big city like Bogotá. Mind you, there were times when I ended up in another part of the city but that's nothing because I wholeheartedly believe that getting lost helps you to know what not to take the next time around. Plus, it's fun! I'm not as navigationally retarded as I was. Overall, I came back to Trinidad in one piece, ready to inculcate my new found survival skills into my life and possibly, pick up some more along the way.

2) Appreciation

I love my family and I appreciate everything they do for me. I let them know this everyday and I try to be a good son/ grandson and make them proud. There is something about being away from your family for a long period of time, in a foreign country living in the apartment of a budding dictator. For some reason, you start to yearn for what you had at home and begin to truly understand and appreciate EVERYTHING that your family has done for you. My parents and grandmother work really hard to send me to University full- time whilst providing for my basic necessities and beyond. I try my best to make them proud but I have been slacking off. I mean, I don't put an 100% into my university studies; I'm capable of straight A's and being at the First Class Honours level but due to laziness and complacency, I've been falling short of realizing my true potential. Thankfully, I've re- discovered my scholastic fervour, a new version perhaps but, a fervour nonetheless. My new goal is to graduate with First Class Honours and make my parents and grandmother EXTREMELY proud of me and know that their sacrifices were not in vain. Whenever I feel down-trodden and want to give up which, I will because UWI has a way of getting to you, I'll think about my family and all the sacrifices they are making and will continue to make for me. I'm not only appreciative of the sacrifices my family made but I'm also grateful for EVERYTHING that they taught me while growing up. I'm always commended on my manners, my "clean" appearance and my chivalrous demeanour; those traits that I learned from my family. THANK YOU!

3) Friendship

The friendships I formed during my time in Colombia are dear and near to my heart especially, the one that I formed with my fellow, Trinidadian language assistants, Claire and André. At first, I honestly never imagined that we would have become such good friends. It started of weird but over time I really grew to respect, love and trust them deeply. I could tell them ANYTHING and trust that I can get a word or two of advice, knowing that what we spoke about would remain among the three of us. I consider them my siblings and would do just about anything for them. Some of you reading this are probably thinking that I'm replacing you as friends and that is not my intention. This friendship has taught me a lot about what a friendship is supposed to be like. No back- stabbing, no bacchanal between members of the group of friends and no rancour. I've had friendships like those and quite frankly, I'm over it! I've started weeding out these "friends" or at least, letting them know that I'm no longer interested in having "frenemies". I feel as though I have the right to choose the people that I want to have around me, helping me to become a better person and vice versa. My new friendship has also taught me how to be a friend to my really good friends that I haven't been treating fairly and basically, ignoring. I've started to make contact with them and spend more time with them in an effort to show them that I do value their presence in my life. If we're meant to be friends, all will be well and if not, that's life; you win some, you lose some. So, thanks André and Claire for my epiphany. Love you guys!

4) National Appreciation

Being in Colombia, experiencing the culture and absorbing as much as I can has instilled in me an appreciation for Trinidad and Tobago and what it has to offer. I noticed that there are so many Places of Interest that I have NEVER visited in Trinidad and Tobago. I've never been to the Asa Wright Nature Centre nor the Caroni Swamp nor the Gasparee Caves. I mean, really? According to a friend, "Yuh conduct real poor!" Thus, I'm making it a goal to visit and see as much of my country as I possibly can and partake in cultural celebrations that doesn't revolve around Carnival and calypso tents but venture out of my comfort zone and explore like that 'ole nastiness' Dora. Anybody wanna come?

My year in Colombia has been a blessing in so many ways. Not only was I able to see another part of the world, experience a different culture and improve my Spanish but I was able to grow as an individual and make amazing, lifelong friends. Overall, I'm a work in progress and I'm looking forward to my personal development. So, let's see what this year has in store for me. I'm excited and hope you are too. Until the next post!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Charlotte Street, Port- of- Spain

Street Fact: Panties should be bought on Charlotte Street because they are the same panties that you can find in Wonderful World and are MUCH cheaper!

Charlotte Street is located in Port- of- Spain and resembles Chinatown where you can find bargains on just about everything. The street is frequented by many Trinidadians and is known throughout the country. Being born and raised in Sangre Grande, I've never really had a reason to venture to Charlotte Street because I don't really like going to Port- of- Spain unless I have to and I can usually get good bargains in Grande. Now that I am working, I've had to come to the capital more often and I've been feeling like Dora the Explorer; I want to see everything that Port- of- Spain has to offer so, whenever I get the opportunity, I explore. Well, an opportunity presented itself last week.

The date was Thursday 30th June, 2011, the time was 4:15PM and something smelled REALLY bad. A friend had called me earlier, told me that she was going to buy something on Charlotte Street and asked if I wanted to come because she knew that I wanted to explore Port- of- Spain. I jumped at the opportunity and hurried over to Charlotte Street. My first thought was, "This is different!" then, the stench came. It smelled liked rotten cabbage mingled with perspiration with a dash of that smell you get after rain falls on an already dirty with a hint of car exhaust. People were screaming at me, asking if I wanted to buy vegetables, fruits or both since they were of good quality and BIG. There was a lot of foot traffic which greatly annoyed me because people kept on bouncing me and 'steupsing' as though it was my fault. I didn't say anything because they looked as though they could cause me grievous, bodily harm with one look. Aside from fruit stalls, there were pavement stores where the owners peddled their high-end panties and brassieres with gusto, boldly stopping a woman, carrying a lot of bags and asking her if she was looking for a D-cup to hold her breasts. Uhm, really? I finally made it to the store on the corner of Charlotte and Prince Street, elated that I would escape the horror of life on Charlotte Street for a few minutes.

On entering the store, I realised that I hadn't escaped the horror. The store didn't have a name and looked as though they took a shipping container from the wharf and placed it in the middle of Charlotte Street. Clothes were hung in every nook and cranny while the customers perused the store looking for the best bargain. One customer grabbed my attention IMMEDIATELY; she was dressed in a short, yellow pant suit, yellow sandals, big, golden earrings, a jet black hair piece with golden ends to rival those worn by the drag queens on Ru Paul's Drag Race and to top it all off, a humongous, unrecognizable tattoo on her upper thigh. She seemed to be competing in Charlotte's Street Next Top Model: Season 3- The Ghettolicious, Cosquellicious Cycle. She was loud and kept on conversing with her friend who was in the dressing room, trying on a dress in an attempt to look, "F***ing HAWT!" as Ghetto Big Bird so subtly put it. I stood to the corner, trying not to make eye contact and draw Big Bird's attention towards me because I really wasn't in the mood and I was scared. I was snapped out of my reverie when Big Bird started cursing no, CUSSING! The conversation sort of went like this:

Big Bird: "Wha' the f*** boy? This fat c*** laughing at me inno! Ey! EY! EY! You doh kno' who is me inno, I go beat her fat mother's c***, yuh fat f***!"

All this time, she was sort of jumping on the spot like those boxers getting ready to fight and looking at the chubby, salesgirl in the corner who was wearing a look of amazement, incredulity and terror on her face. Sadly, Big Bird continued saying, "Ey AISHA, lewwe go nah, lewwe f***in' GO nah boy! This bitch lookin' for me beat she c*** and ah go do it inno! She doh know who the f*** she dealin' with. Only watchin' me and laughing like a c***." My heart started to beat faster because Big Bird looked as though she was about to throw a tantrum and beat everyone in the store while she pelted clothes hangers through the door. Thankfully, Aisha came out of the dressing room and said, "Who is tha' givin' yuh trouble gyul? Yuh wa' beat she or wha'? Jus' tell meh and ah dey with yuh!" Big Bird responds, "Nah, she eh worth my f***in' time. Lewwe GO!" Big Bird and Aisha stormed out the store, shaking their horse hair as though they couldn't believe what had just happened. I was confused and it wasn't until the store manager asked, "What just happened?" that I started laughing. I affirmed my earlier thought that life was indeed different on Charlotte Street because everyone just went back working as though what just happened was an everyday occurrence. I was relieved that this would be the last store that my friend was going to visit because I was scared and wanted to go home.

All in all, it was quite an interesting, eye opening experience to see how life is in another part of your country. When I updated my FB status saying that life was different on Charlotte Street, one friend told me that I should go to George Street. So, who knows? I just might end up on George Street and see enough to do another blog post. Until the next one!