Category Archives: Holidays

Remember The Time

So there I was last night, sitting up in my room, watching the wheels go round and round and listening to some slow jams when all of a sudden a song starts to play and a memory comes flooding back into my head that makes me halt what I was doing and try to push it back to the place I thought I had buried it for good. 


As much as I love music and associate most experiences I have in life  with some song or another, I don’t relish when one of these songs is associated with an event that in retrospect, one has tried so desperately to suppress/forget.


The Song: I’d Still Say Yes by Klymaxx

Period: 1987, 1988 (I think)

Place: ECIAF Campus, Centeno (Eastern Caribbean Institute of Agriculture & Forestry)

Event: Camp El Dorado


Just a little back story:

Camp El Dorado was a Summer “sleep in” Camp concept that the Eastern Credit Union came up with to keep its members’ children occupied during the July/August Vacation period. It was a camp that ran for two weeks and featured activities such as Dance, Drama, Pan appreciation, Sewing (yes not funny), Pottery, Tie dye, Art, Batik, Sports etc.  You lived with these people for 14 days and at the end all your activities were placed on display for your parents to view on the final day when they came to collect you.


My mother made it a point of sending me to almost every camp there could possibly be during this vacation period all because she knew I would get up to no good if I stayed at home. So what if you came home and found red sand in the middle of the house or a dog sleeping under your bed when we had no pets. These things are minor. Alas my mother believed in sending me to camp. It builds character.


Anyway let me get to my story.


There was an event called “Camp El Dorado King and Queen Competition”. This event saw campers from all ages vying for the title through a “Ms Universe” type session. One had to display a talent and then answer a questionplus dress elegantly (how thehell one dresses elegantly when you are with poeple for two weeks and they’ve seen all your clothes is still a mystery to me). It was basically a popularity contest. So you know I wanted to be Camp King REAL BAD!!!

I surveyed my competition and found them to be inferior and so I signed up for it. My song choice? You guessed it, I’d still say yes by Klymaxx. I thought for sure that I was going to win it with this song. My other competitors didn’t have what I considered at the time, “The best voices in the land” and I knew I was super intelligent over these mere mortals. So you know I was cocky.


At least four boys form my age group (13-15 year olds) entered and everyone was sure that I was going to win. Sigh….it hurts to remember this…


So I begin to sing and realize that I am a bit nervous and that everyone is staring at me intensely. Needless to say, words were forgotten and made up but I knew I sounded nice. People were impressed with my voice. Two contestants later, came the most popular guy at the camp. He was a stinking pretty boy that always wore a stinking Nike headband and arm band every freaking day we were at camp. It seemed like he had an endless supply of them. Oh how i loathed his popularity. Girls in the camp would stop you and be nice to you only to fnd out that they wanted to know where Mr. popular was at any point in time.


I knew he could not have been my competition because he couldn’t sing to save his life and he had told me two days before that he was going to sing and I had cheered him on in doing it instead of dancing (which he is really good at –don’t hate me I wanted to win). So Mr. Popular came out and sang “Lean On Me”. Wait!!! That wasn’t the song he told me he was singing. How dare he change the song!!!


What transpired that night had me traumatized. He began to sing it and i was laughing internally at the sound of his voice all raspy and very pitchy. Then it happened. Everyone in the audience started to sing along with him. I was mortified. They liked him, they really liked him. When he ended the song, the entire camp made so much noise that it was clear that I was now in Second place.


The Result:

I came 3rd.  Mr. Popular won.

A 10 year boy from the St Mary’s Children’s Home came second. He forgot his words as well but again the crowd sang with him.  Why didn’t they sing along with me? How can you forget the words to Amazing Grace? Where is the JUSTICE!!!!


I was devastated. I refused to talk to the popular guy who came up to me afterwards and thanked me supporting him in his desire to sing. Yeah Whatever!!!  He said that he knew we would be good friends since I was so supportive.


Mr. Popular was a guy by the name of Tyrone Marcus. Anyone that knows him knows what a good guy he is and how disgustingly nice he can be so one can never hate him. A couple years later, while in Sixth Form with Tyrone, I would affectionately refer to him as “Perfect Smurf” and try not to choke him when he did a good deed, which was like every 5 minutes.


The following year I entered again and sang a song called “Make it Real” by the Jets. I messed up this one was telling everyone I would sing part of it in Spanish. Well my idea of Spanish went all wrong as I never bothered to learn the correct Spanish lyrics and just did my own thing. That put me into Second place. Carver Trim won that one with his sweet rendition of “The Greatest Love of All”


I vowed after that never to enter another competition as long as I live. I’ve kept true to that promise.


Hopefully with me writing this I’ve finally placed that demon to rest and can safely listen to both of those songs without cringing.  Somehow I doubt it, but we’ll see…


Posted by on April 17, 2008 in Holidays, Music


Tripping – Part 1

So I’ve been very negligent of this space and kind of concentrated more on Facebook (I swear that thing is crack or something…). I think I spend more time on Facebook than I ever spent searching for porn etc online… (LOL Yeah right. No wait..It’s possible….).Anyway, I’ve been busy over the past few weeks on vacation in Europe. The time spent across here has been rewarding and uplifting and I shudder to think what awaits me back home when I return from this trip. Actually I do know…Credit Card Debt and stale food in my fridge. All in all I had a really good time, saw some amazing friends, made some new ones and even got to sleep somewhere along the way. Let me give u a brief recap.


October 3rd

I left Trinidad for London and the British Airways Flight was bad except that I had a window seat and the two people sitting next to me seemed glued to their chairs and very old so the chance of me getting up and running to the bathroom mid-flight was a very unlikely event. Plus the woman who sat next to me snored like a fat man with sinus trouble despite her being rather slim. All was good anyway….the in-flight movies sucked but I slept a good bit of the way and got up in time for meals.


October 4th – October 7th

I arrive in London and I’m greeted by Stacey’s Husband, Chris, who picks me up and we drive to their apartment. Somewhere along the way I dozed off while he drove and I think I dribbled a bit. He said nothing so I pretended nothing had leaked out the side of my face….I settled in nicely and over the next few days Stacey and I reminisced and I visited the London Mother Ship called HMV. Sigh…that place makes me want to spend money that I haven’t even earned yet… they were having a sale and I have to keep remembering that their DVDs are Region 2 not 1. Despite the fact that my DVD player at home can is multi-regional, I don’t want to stock up on too many Region 2 DVDs as I am not able to share them with others without either walking with my DVD player or having a Movie night…(no eh. That’s not happening). But They have a Pedro Almodovar Box Set for  GBP22 (5 Movies inside), the Matrix Trilogy for GBP15., Xmen Trilogy also for GBP15, Old TV Series for GBP20 per season and CDs galore for less than GBP 10. I swear I had to run out of the store a few times just to catch my breath.


I also had to eat at my favourite chicken restaurant, Nandos….. (My mouth waters just thinking about) and just explored my old haunt and visited the numerous stores and places I used to frequent as a student in London. Some things have changed and some just slightly modified but did I really expect everything to be the same way I left it 3 years ago. (Err Yes… one consulted me!!! LOL).  I also went to the Virgin Megastore, which is not like the one in Manhattan but it’s a nice one….Sale boy Sale….(Am I cheating on HMV if I touch CDs in Virgin?). Anyway, after a few Cds purchases in both stores and numerous visits to the Apple store to check out old friends and buy a new 80GB IPod (at staff rate of course LOL), I bid London farewell as I was heading Birmingham by my friend Sheldon for a few days before We both headed off to Barcelona….Sigh when I think about things…my life isn’t half bad at all. Is it?



Well Sheldon kept me reasonably busy in Birmingham. He worked during the day and I either stayed at home and watched TV (I’m hooked on British TV….That’s all I have to say or headed into the City Centre (a 5 mins walk from his apt) to take in the sights and sounds. It was on my first walk into the City that I not only fell down in the road (because I wasn’t looking where I was going) but I also discovered an evil so pure that it was calling me. I speak of Krispy Kreme. 


After falling off a payment because I was looking up and then getting up quickly and running into a store out of shear embarrassment, I look at one of the store attendants and he is eating a donut and there I saw it….the words…Krispy Kreme…… Well I forgot about my pain and embarrassment of falling down and quickly asked where this store was. He told me it was Ground Floor Selfridges in the Bull Ring and off I went.


When I saw it from afar off I knew that it was evil. I felt its presence stir up my insides and make my mouth water and despite it being cold, I started to perspire slightly. I moved closer to examine the layout of the store (just from a purely scientific basis) and then it happened. One of its demons…i believe they call me workers…thrusted a hot glazed donut in my face and smiled and said…”Here, Have a sample”. I stopped. Shocked at the move the creature made, but her smile was bright and cheerful and so I took the donut from her out of pity….I should not have bitten into the hot, soft, slightly moist and tasty donut. It signalled the end for me. All of a sudden I became aware of my nakedness in front of her, so I hid myself in some leaves and proceeded to the cashier to purchase two more donuts to see if I could entice Sheldon with it as well.


Alas, Sheldon had to wait until the next day as the two donuts never made it home. I don’t know how it happened, but as I was walking back to his apartment and reaching for the keys, my hand accidentally went into the donut bag and with my hand covered in sugar, I could not give Sheldon such a donut as it was tainted. So I ate that one. Somehow the other donut fell into my mouth and in all my attempts to remove it just slid right down my throat. It was unfortunate. Over the next few days, I would make this attempt two or three times to carry donuts back to the apartment without success.


On Tuesday Night, Sheldon took me to see a play called “Brief Encounter” at “The Rep”. It was a nice play with good set work but during the play whenever I would try to whisper something to Sheldon he would tense up. After the play I asked what that was about. He said he thought that I was going to shout at the stage, so he was afraid. Shout at the Stage? Why would I do that? Then I remember why he had this fear….sigh….


About 4 years ago, Sheldon, Matthew and I were in London and went to the Odeon to see “Jeepers Creepers 2”. All was going well inside the movie theatre except that for some reason I was getting upset by the whole storyline and action sequences in the movie. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why characters were doing certain things. In a moment I would like to describe as an out of body experience, I shouted back rather loudly at the screen, “Use the Flare gun yuh idiot!”


Matthew and Sheldon froze in their seats in horror and since then I’ve never been able to live it down with them. They remind me of it constantly despite the fact that I no longer do it and so even my attempt at whispered conversation or commentary in a theatre setting with them brings about tense moments…Jeez, the things friends remember…


Wednesday night saw us leave Birmingham and head to an area just outside of it where we were going to do some indoor “Tobogganing” (sledding as I would call it). We went to a Leisure Centre that had an area called the “Snow Dome” where one could learn to ski, tube or toboggan if need be. The snow is real and the area is extremely cold. My first few outings on the sled down met with me crashing into walls alot and overturning. The children who were also coming down would stop at the end and wait for me to try and come down and then laugh at me while telling me how to use the side controls on the sled. “Hmmm If I had paid attention in the 3 minute demo video we saw, I guess I would not be in this situation.  After a while I got the hang of it and then it was races to go down. Well they raced and I just tired to get to the bottom with a little injury as possible. It is really amazing that as an adult we put so much fear into an exercise whereas children just do it and go by faith.  Yeah whatever, their bones heal faster…mine takes ages.


Later that night a group of us went out to dinner at this restaurant called Blue Mango. It is a North Indian Restaurant and I thought that since I dined frequently at Apsara in Trinidad that my handle on the menu etc would be brilliant. Well I ordered what I thought would be a good meal and then told them, “No Rice. I’ll have the North Indian Bread Platter” This platter consisted of Naan, Paratha and a Roti.  What arrived is nothing I’m accustomed to. All the breads were hard and slightly burnt and nothing looked like it did at Apsara. Apparently if I had chosen the South Indian platter my naan etc would’ve been softer. Sigh…when you think you know…you just have no idea.


I really had loads of fun in Birmingham. Thursday afternoon saw Sheldon leave me to head to Barcelona and I headed back to London to catch my flight there the next day. After having so much fun in Birmingham, I wondered what Barcelona would have in store for me.



1 Comment

Posted by on October 24, 2007 in Entertainment, Holidays, Travel