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WEEK 26 – ESTEBAN AND THE JETS!


  1. I’m always amazed when people compare a dining experience at Bootleggers to that of TGIF or Ruby Tuesday. I always correct them that the latter are dining experiences and the former is an institutionalized form of torture.
  2. Every morning I get up just to see if my yard has been destroyed by those two dogs. Somedays are better than others.
  3. I always get confused when my neighbour goes from blasting gospel music when she is cleaning her car to blasting “dancehall” afterwards. I don’t think she or her husband haven’t heard a new song since 2000.
  4. Had some Curry Goat on Monday and believed I tasted “stay home” in it. It was way too good to be a normal pot of curry.
  5. Someone messaged me that her family was going to “Sellebea” for the long weekend. I fought every fibre of my being not respond to this and therefore I had to go lie down as I had a headache.
  6. I applaud business people at every turn especially those who provide food to the masses like me who are culinary impaired; but $45 per pound of CHINESE FOOD and it’s not inclusive of Crispy Skin Pork!!! MADNESS! #robsomebodyelse #notmymoney #
  7. Either my feed is highly sanitized or my friends need to cleanse their friends’ list. Nobody in my FB feed mad to talk about boycott. How they eating?
  8. My actual list of friends are like my grandmother’s teeth: few and far between. #leffmeh #leavemealone #friendbookfull
  9. I think an Uber driver on Tuesday night tried a fast one on me to earn more money by missing my turn off and feigning ignorance. Yuh can’t play ignorant when the “kiss meh ass” Waze map next to you recalculating. He got 1 star rating with one stink comment afterwards.
  10. The reason I haven’t been renting a car all this time is because (a) they not cheap, (b) every week is a new story with TN Auto #dreamsellers and  (c) I’m cheap.
  11. Spent Wednesday with an auditorium full of primary and secondary children and realized that teaching is truly a higher calling. So many personalities being coordinated by one person and you can’t strangle or lay healing hands on them. #notforme #iwouldmakeahjailalready #trueheroes #highercalling #wedaymoments #weday #wemovement
  12. It’s not that I’m not serious about my weight loss and healthy living; I’m just trying to decide if I want to be a light snack or a healthy main course instead of just being an “All You Can Eat”/ “Buffet” Special. #dietchallenges
  13. I still don’t get people who have to try and sample EVERY item in these “Food by the Pound” estalbishments. Jesus! Yuh here almost everyday, move faster! Picking up one piece of fried plantain or 3 grains of macaroni salad makes sense to you? #needtothintheherd #patienceneeded #hungrymanissues
  14. KARMA??? – Was told on Thursday that a car would be made available to me until my vehicle is ready. The only car available for use….. A WINGROAD! #GODhasasenseofhumor #jesuslaughinghard #imnotamused
 

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Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered……


“Yuh see YOU!! You go pick and pick and pick until you pick…SH…..IT!!!”

 

Unfortunately, this comment has been directed to me on numerous occasions.  It is mainly uttered by older folks (my deceased grandmother included) and even some of my peers.  Now I wonder….have they cursed me with this prediction?

 

I used to think that this “picky” nature that they kept talking about only extended to me on an emotional/relationship level because Lord only knows that I seem to have a mutant power-like ability for picking the insane, mentally unstable, and/or the just downright awful people to be romantically involved with.  The people that seem normal and fun to be around initially, usually crack by the two week or one month mark and then you start to see the parts that made you wonder why you were attracted to this person in the first place.  The interesting parts of them seem to fade and you realise that the smoke screen can only last for so long. By then it’s too late and so you either opt to ignore the true version or run like wind. I choose the latter.

Then I realised the curse extended to some of the people that I called friends.  I have made some really bad friend choices in the last decade and even when others told me about it, I chose to ignore it. Not all my friendship choices are/were bad. Well, just two or five choices that have now been corrected and those demons exorcised FOREVER!!! It is amazing the insecurities we let people use against us when we value their opinion, only to realise that they weren’t helping us but keeping us weak for their prolonged benefit. 

Now I realise this curse has overtaken almost every aspect of my life and therefore I can only conclude that the problem is ME!!

Hi I’m Stefan. And I’m too PICKY!

(Murmurs are heard all around the room but no acknowledgement or welcoming to this support group)

SILENCE……..

 

My problem I have realised is that when I am placed with too many options, I then either pick the cheapest (alleged cost savings) or the prettiest (everyone will like my pretty choice) option and then suffer for it. (Applause!!!)

CASE ONE – Physical Training

Day 2 of my Fitness Phase kicked off yesterday with me arriving at the gym to find that my Personal Trainer was nowhere to be found. I checked my phone, saw no messages, and then headed to the stationary bike section to begin my workout. Now at the point of not seeing the Trainer, the old Stefan would head for home and forget about exercise for the day. This is not the old Stefan.  I decided to start my cardio routine in the hopes that by the time I am done he would be there. Forty –five minutes of cardio later and I still don’t see him. He never showed up.

I messaged him after I left the gym and asked what happened. He said he was still in school and that project difficulties had kept him there.

“And you couldn’t call me to say that?”

I of course said this to myself and not to him because I don’t want to be accused of being anal retentive or trying to be someone’s boss. However, I paid money for a service and expect some kind of common courtesy!!

 FAULT: Mine!: I picked a cheap trainer and therefore got what I paid for!

SOLUTION: The month isn’t over yet but me thinks someone will not get a renewal for the next month.

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CASE TWO:  – Colors of the Wind

I had used a particular “Straightener” for my car when minor accidents had occurred with it.  The most recent one being when my “God-fearing” Christian neighbour hit my car door and said nothing about it until I asked him if he had seen the incident. The Guy did the work really good and his pricing was reasonable (well cheaper than the other businesses and his turnover time was really excellent.

I decided to have the whole car painted over and all the little dents and scrapes removed. So I employed said gentleman to do it for me. His price was comparable to the normal car places so I obliged especially since he had done work for me in the past. I left the car with him and went on vacation.

Two weeks later I am back in Trinidad from vacation and I give him a call informing him that I would pick up the car the next day. He tells me it would only be ready the following day. I sigh but say nothing (as I don’t want to be accused of being an asshole or complaining while he still has my vehicle).

I appear at his garage the stated day only to find my car all over the place and parts still not painted. He said the curfew prevented him from finishing it earlier. I laughed inside. I asked when he might be done and he told me in two days.

This could only mean that NO work was done on my car for TWO WEEKS!!!. I say ok and walk away. The old Stefan would’ve shouted at the gentleman for the inconvenience and stated that it is obvious why “black” people are second class citizens because we can’t be trusted to do a job without someone constantly behind our back making sure we do it!!  But I am not that Stefan anymore. He is angry and wants vengeance on everyone that he thinks wronged him. He doesn’t have God’s  love in his heart. The New Stefan does!!

Two days later I get my car and while the color is fine, the parts of my car that used to be grey are now painted black. His wife is in front of me saying that the car looks really good with the black trimmings. I am just smiling.

I asked him what is the balance I owe him and he calls one price and I reduce that price by $1000.00 as he did not restore the car to the condition I asked. His wife nodded and I got the discount.

Now I drive an old time police vehicle…sigh

FAULT: Mine! I should never trust that people would do their jobs. You have to micro manage them. 

SOLUTION: Phone Numbers were deleted. He no longer exists as one of my tradesmen..

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I can give you so many more examples of my choices turning out to be bad but I am sure you had read some of them on my blog. I am sure people remember my story on the two plumbers and how one fell asleep on my bathroom floor while estimating the cost of repair of a leak. Sigh.. well it seems that the more I try to make informed decisions in Trinidad, the more they backfire.

So, considering I am so bad at picking people to do anything for me, shall I employ someone to do that job for me? Nah I can’t, because I will end up picking the wrong person for the job and then be stuck with someone trying to control my fate.

When people try to set me up on blind dates, I balk at the idea and talk my way out of it by asking: “If this doesn’t work out, whose side are you going to take?”  When no answer comes, I just reply: “Thought so.”

Maybe I have been going about this all wrong? Maybe I need to stop making decisions and let others do it for me?

Hmmm, not a bad idea.

Nah that won’t work.

As I sit here I can recall the MILLION times I asked people what do they want to do and the answer would always be a shrug of the shoulders. Asking someone where they want to eat is sometimes as bad as asking them to recite Pythagoras’ Theorem.  The answer is always the same. “You Pick!”. I always have to point out that while I may be a tad fussy, I am a fat boy so  there will always be something on the menu for me to eat. Women on the other hand have numerous reasons why they don’t like a restaurant or the waiters in it or even the décor. Who CARES? I just want to eat somewhere!!

This scenario is no different liming with guys but at least they know that they want to eat and drink and KFC and a bar at the roadside will always be a winner.

So I ask again, how do I get rid of the curse of being “picky”?

 When people called me pickyin the past  I usually cited my Credit Risk background and said that I overanalyse situations so that I don’t suffer too much in the short/long run.

“If I lose the High, at least I’m spared the lows” – Will Young (Leave Right Now)

Alas to some extent, I have become numb to people and their “dutty” ways. No longer do I lash out. I just resign myself to walk away and not end up choking someone. Chances are if I continued to let allt hese people affect me, I may be in Woodford Square in my underwear shouting randomly at people.

We definitely don’t want that, do we?

So, what am I to do now?

HELP!!!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on September 21, 2011 in Emotions, Humor, RANT, Relationships

 

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Travelling Miles


I have become ill-equipped at taking public transport in Trinidad. In Tobago, everytime you jump into a taxi, you are so not prepared for what exorbitant price they are going to call to take you to a spot on the island. It is almost instant haggling. In Trinidad, to take a taxi, well that is another story. No actually it is this story.

With my car still located on the Renault lot because they don’t have a spare thermostat to fix it, and no courtesy car to give me, I am forced to travel home. (I still shudder at the thought of traveling home). The instances of “mopping a drop” will occur but I like to be independent, so I will only do these things if absolutely necessary. On Wednesday and Thursday last week, I was forced to (gulp) travel to work.

This task involved me leaving home much earlier than usual, as I now had a ten minute walk to the main road in order to flag down a taxi. I won’t say that my experiences on both mornings left me traumatized but I just knew I couldn’t do this another day.

The strange thing about my fear is that I have no problem using public transport in the US, UK or Continental Europe. These transportations systems are efficient (to some extent) and provide you with many alternatives so that one is never left stranded.  I love a London bus, the Tube (a bit claustrophobic) but nice, the Autobahn in Germany (sigh…memories) always on time. I could go on but in each instance, I am able to concentrate on other things other than transportation.

Taxiing in the Caribbean? Well that is an adventure. One never knows if the taxi drivers will actually be in the mood to work on any given morning or whether they will drive really fast, super slow or  if the car will smell like wet dog. It is truly a “luck of the draw” with taxi drivers and their vessels of torture. What is one to do?

DAY ONE

On Wednesday morning November 18th 2008, I left my home at 6:12pm and proceeded to walk to the main road for my first occasion of traveling from my apartment. I am accustomed to driving to and from West Trinidad, taking a taxi or even walking in my neighborhood hasn’t been something I have done at all. Well I do walk to the nearby Supermarket (4 minutes away) but that is only if I am too lazy to open my gate on a morning to drive to it. Anyway I digress…..

As soon as I left my apartment I called my friend Clint to talk just so that I have a clear distraction from what seemed to me to be a long walk through unfamiliar territory. That plan worked well, in no time I was on the Main Road. What greeted me was what seemed like hordes of people waiting on the main road for transport just like me (gulp) and that not many were passing by.

Then I saw it. An old brownish-white (I’m not good to colors) Cressida with just a driver, no passengers in it.  Seeing that I did not feel to be bunched up with anyone in a car on my first morning, I hailed him , got in and told him that for the price of TT$100 I would be commandeering the vehicle to carry me to the office (no other passengers allowed). In hindsight, I should’ve offered him much less but at the time I thought that by that evening I would’ve had my vehicle back, so that would be a sunk cost.

Little did I know that for that price I would have to endure his discourse on the state of the economy, health care, the flooding situation and then finally a long discussion on the “End of Days”. There was no radio or air condition in the car (jeez I sure know how to pick them).

Info received from Taxi Ride:

·          Did you know that we are living in the last days?

·          Did you know that according to Revelations 13 that the USA is the beast that is rising up to destroy us?

·          Were you also aware that Obama may be the Antichrist based on the fact that he rose to power in a period where the world is suffering?

·          Since the world is suffering, and Obama promises to fix it and if he does it will be a clear indication that Jesus is coming soon?

·          Did you know that he drove really slow so that he could torment longer with all this information?  Did you know that I rolled my eyes so much during the discourse that I had a headache after I left the car?

Serves me right for trying to be too “bourgeois” to travel with others.

DAY 2: CAR-LESS AGAIN

Got to the main road a bit later than yesterday and found more cars than the day before. Too bad they were all passing filled with passengers. After a ten minute wait (Clint is on the phone all this time as some old man trying to make small talk with me and I’m not having it.), I get into a car.  All the windows are up so I assumed that the air-condition was in use. How wrong was I? It started to get real hot and so I turn down the window.

Driver: Brudder man yuh didn’t meet the windows up?

Me: Yes but the car getting hot.

Driver: Well dem windows in the back does give trouble so yuh better hope it could go back up.

Me: And when u was going to tell me this?

Driver: Ah tell yuh now

Me: you putting on the air condition?

Driver: You willing to pay extra?

Me: Obviously it will only be blowing on me? Otherwise everybody else have to pay.

DRIVER LAUGHS!!!!  He puts on the air condition

Driver: I like you….yuh handle meh good dey.

I chuckle to myself unaware of what he really meant there. I was just happy that the car was now cool. (Yesterday’s car had no radio, no air condition unit and I had to slam the door really hard to close it.)

I must admit. Not bad experiences really but while driving in this car, I began to notice small things about people who wait for taxis.

1.       They are indiscriminate. They will go with anyone just to get home

2.       They give weird signals as to where the want to go. I saw a boy on the main road pointing down with his finger at the car and the driver passed him even though we had space. What does this mean?

3.       They carry huge loads with them that they prefer to go in the seat with them instead of in the trunk.

4.       The women try not to move or sweat, so that they look fresh for the office.

5.       They stare at you. As if they are angry for you being in the car while they are outside.

6.       They try to talk to you. Well some of them.

The woman next to me in the backseat kept looking in my direction as if she wanted to talk to me. Seeing her becoming more agitated, I pulled out my Ipod and placed the headphones in my ear so that she will know that I didn’t want to be disturbed. Did it stop her? Oh Hell No……

Woman: Umm excuse mister……you does be on tv?

Me: (slight blush) Umm not really. I was on a tv show once

Woman: Ah know dat…. I know your face look real familiar. You does be on Gayelle?

Me: (rolling my eyes again). Yeah I used to be on Gayelle but that was last year

Woman: Oh ho, so you is frens with Reagan?

Me: yeah kinda.

Woman: Tell him Cynthia real like him. Oh God he does make me laugh. You not as funny as him but he does do some chupidness dey boy

Me: Yeah (nervous laugh) he does.

A strange silent pause fills the car so I put back in my headphones… She touches me again.

Cynthia: So what you does do?

Me: Nothing much. A little ting here and there

Cynthia: No ah mean where yuh working? I working in the Off Track Betting Place right up the road here (WE ARE IN ST. JAMES AT THIS POINT)

Me: Oh I am a messenger for an advertising agency.

Cynthia: Really? Yuh does dress nice. Yuh looking real important.

Me: well that is how they want me to dress

Cynthia: Yuh must let Reagan hook yuh up with a good job man. You can’t be working so hard when you could be on tv. Ent that right driver?

Driver: If de boy like he job leave him alone.

Cynthia: Steups…wha u know……Man..yuh passing meh stop.

Driver: How I supposed to know where u dropping out? We sleep together last night?

Cynthia: Buh ay ay you only fass. Anyway, nice meeting you Reagan friend. Ah know where you does take yuh car from so I go wait for you tomorrow and we go talk more. Ok

Me: (smiling nervously) Ok Cynthia. Take Care and have good day

Cynthia: Oh gosh yuh nice and have manners too. Ah go see yuh tomorrow darling.

She leaves the car and I wave to her smiling but saying through my teeth… “Oh God a mad woman like meh

The driver bursts out laughing as we drive off and tells me that he liked how I “handled” her (I now understood what he meant before).

I got to work and settled in after feeling hot and sweaty from the walk there. I organized with a co-worker to “mop a drop” for Friday morning and on Friday evening I rented a car for the week.

To date, the part for my car still hasn’t arrived but this car rental thing is very expensive and one never knows who or what has been in these cars and what has been done in them.

Here are some pics of the car the Car Rental place wanted me to drive use for the week. They chose a Nissan Wingroad (ugh..a horrible car plus it is a station wagon) for me that smelt like a gym locker room and had no upholstery in the trunk area. I also found empty beer bottles with the spare tire. It was promptly returned and I was given a new car.

So I pray for the return of my car and its possible sale over the next 3 to four months as it is “milking” me dry and at this rate it I don’t think it will be going to university. (Hope you got the car/child reference)

Nov'08Misc 009 Nov'08Misc 003Nov'08Misc 011

There are few things that make me uneasy and being dependent on others (especially taxi drivers) is the main one. So please add me to your prayer list and if you can, say a small one for my car and its speedy return to me in good working order.

It’s all I ask.


 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 27, 2008 in Travel, Uncategorized

 

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