I’m getting really, really excited as in a couple of days I’ll be on a 9h flight to Tobago (the smaller island of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) which is so close to Venezuela I could probably reach mainland within a day!
So, as I do before any major trip, I take some time to prepare, to see what’s in the area and what the locals are eating and what language is being spoken so I won’t be totally lost when I get there. They have dollars but not your usual kind but TTUSD (100 USD is approximately 667.91 TTUSD).
By the way, their banknotes are amazing! and you can’t take more than 200 TTUSD out of the country without declaring them and you also have to pay a £10 fee to the airport / customs.
Well, it’s pretty laid back. Trinidad is the island with the night clubs, with the party life – I am going to Tobago – the island with the bird watching, golf – playing, beautiful sandy beaches and the oldest rainforest in the western hemisphere.
Tobago is just 8 miles wide and 26 long, but it takes a few hours to get from one end to the other. Another charm of Tobago is the lack of infrastructure. The best way to dodge the potholes, whizz around and have a whole lot of fun is by hiring a jeep. The most developed areas of Tobago are in the Lowlands – in the southwest. Here you’ll find A.N.R.Robinson International Airport, a few smart hotels along the Caribbean coast, Buccoo Reef, the fine white sandy beaches of Pigeon Point and Store Bay, and Scarborough – the colourful capital and port.
I’m a bit of a cheap sake so when I looked at the prices, I went with the cheapest possible option while avoiding the YH situation I had before in London. While I love backpackers, sharing a room with 20 of them, snoring though the night, washing occasionally, is a bit of a nightmare. So I found this place: Fish Tobago Guesthouse (26A# Buccoo Point, Buccoo Point, Trinidad And Tobago) and it cost me £174 for 7 nights. Now if you think that’s expensive, some of the other hotels charge that amount per night.
I had a look for things to do in the area and I’m surprised. I want to go for a hike around the island, see the rain forest, and then experience some culinary delights on the local food stores. I gained a few pounds recently so my desire is to be able to hike and use the bus only when I want to go back to the guest house.
On Sunday, I want to see the Sunday School party (I hope I can dance there even though I heard there might be male gigolos hitting on all women, even ones with partners).
I want to see how the people are:
Without any question of doubt, Tobago’s most endearing resource is its endemic population – the Tobagonians. Often initially somewhat offhand, it normally takes little to unleash their humour, hospitality and huge pride in the island. Once you have ‘connected’ with Tobagonians, the island is bound to capture a portion of your heart.
And see if I can learn some of the local slang before I go:
TRINGBAGO HUMOUR: THE ALPHABET
The complete Trinbago Alphabet – your guide to slang and colloquialisms on Tobago
The Creole dialect spoken by Tobagonians is a wonderful cosmopolitan mixture of words and expressions from many parts of the world, resulting from Trinidad’s rich ethnic mix.
Ah – Substitute for “I”
Allyuh – All of you people. A group
Ax (pron.Ask) – To ask a question
Aye-yah-yie – An expression of anticipation or pain, etc.
Bacchanal – Scandal, heavy quarrelling, big party, confusion
Back chat – Insolent response, especially from a child to an adult
Bad eye (cut-eye) – A look of anger, especially when looking from the corner of the eye
Ba-John – A bully or a really tough customer
Bamsee – The rear end, what you sit on
Bam-se Lambe – Rather attractive bamsee
Bol’face – A pushy person, unreasonably demanding
Broughtupsy – Showing that a person was properly brought up, decorum
Buh wait nah – But wait a minute, now hold on/it
Callaloo – A thick soup made from dasheen leaves, ochroes, coconut milk, seasoned to taste, invariably includes crab
Calypso – A musical and lyrical comment on any subject, usually composed for, but not limited to, the Carnival season
Calypsonian – One who sings calypsos
Cheups (Steups) – A noise made by sucking your teeth
Chinkee – Very tiny portions of anything
Chupid – Stupid
Chupidee – A foolish person
Coki-eye – Cross-eyed
Commesse – Confusion associated with arguments, gossip and slander
Cuff – Hitting someone or something with a clenched fist
Cyah – Can’t
Da is you? – Is that you?
Dan-dan – Any sharp looking outfit
Dat good for yuh – Serves you right
Dat – That
Doh – Don’t
Dotish – Silly, stupid, foolish and dumb
Dougla – Mixture of East Indians and African parentage
Drevait (dree-vay) – Wayward person who likes to “knock about”
Eh – What did you say?
Eh-eh – No, no way, oh no
Eh-heh – Oh really? I understand. Yes
En’less – Plenty, endless
Ent? – Is that not so? That’s true, isn’t it?
Fall out – To stop speaking with someone or to terminate a friendship
Faddah – Father
Fed up – The state of being bored
Fete – A party, loud music, lots to eat and drink, dancing to wee hours of the morning
Fig – Banana (ripe fig and green fig)
Flim – Film
Founkie (foong-key) – Foul-smelling, stink odour
Fuh true/troot? – Yes that is true. Is that really so?
Goin’orf – Someone who appears to be going out of their mind, acting strangely
Gun talk – Fighting words, to threaten verbally
Gyul – Girl
Hototo (hotoetoe) – A very large amount of anything
I eh payin’ tax fuh mih mout’ – I could say anything I want
In ting – To be involved in current activity
Is so? – Is that so?
Jeez-an-ages – Used for any reason where an outburst is appropriate
Jook – To stab at anything
Jumbie – Spirit, ghost
Jus’ now – In a little while
Jus’ so? – Just like that?
Jus’ so – Out of the blue, totally unexpected
Ketch – Catch
Klim – Any brand of powdered milk
Lef dat – Leave that
Leh – Let, let’s
Leh go – Let go
Leh we – Let us
Lick dong – To accidentally hit someone or something
Licks – A beating, physical punishment
Like t’ing – To be somewhat mischievous
Lil’bit – In small meaningless portions
Lime – When a small group of people engage in a sometimes pre-arranged activity
Long eye – A person who is envious of the possessions of others
Look nuh! – An expression of annoyance
Maco – A person who minds other people’s business for the purpose of gossip.
Macocious – A person having the trait of a maco
Maga – Very thin, skinny
Mamaguy – To make fun of, to ridicule
Mama Yo! – Expression denoting shock and surprise
Matter Fix – Everything is well organized
Mih han’ slip – An expression used when too much of an ingredient is used
Mooma – Mother
Mout’er – A boaster
Much up – To pamper, to butter up
Nah – No
Nastiness – An expression of disgust applied to a good-for-nothing person
Never see come see – Someone who has recently been exposed to something new and who overdoes it to ridiculous proportions
Ning ning – Tired eyes
Now fuh now – Instantly
Nowherian – A person who does not have any fixed place of abode
Obzokee – Awkward in appearance, anything bent or twisted out of shape
Oh geed! – An expression used when an offensive smell arises
OH gosh! – Expression denoting shock, surprise indignation and admiration
Oh gorm man! – as above
Oh shimps man! – as above
Ol’ talk – Idle chatter, social chit-chat
One set ah – A lot of anything
Own-way – Stubborn person
Pallet – Frozen lolly
Papa yo! – Exclamation of surprise
Pesh – Money
Pissin’ tail – A person of no class or importance
Planasse – To hit someone continuously with the flat part of a cutlass
Playin’ social – Someone who pretends to be of a higher social strata than they are
Pong – Pound
Po-po – Very small child, baby
Prim-prim – Disgustingly proper and formal
Quenk – An irritating person
Qualey – Withered, dried up
Raff – To grab suddenly
Ragadang – Broken down
Ram-cram – Packed to capacity
Rumfle – Ruffled or wrinkled
Saga boy/girl – Flashy dresser, dandy
Shades – Sunglasses
Shif’ yuh carcass – Move over, get going
Shub – Shove, move or cast aside
Skinnin’ yuh teet’ – Grinning
Skin up yuh nose – To turn up one’s nose at anything
Sometimeish – Moody
Strims – Shrimps
Sweetie – Any confectionary
Swell up yuh face – To look angry, to pout
Tabanca – The forlorn feeling one gets when a love affair is over
Tanty – Aunt
Tight – Intoxicated, drunk, stoned
T’ing – Thing
To besides – Besides which
Too-tool-bay – A confused state, in a daze, also head over heels in love
Tot tots – Female breasts
Umpteen – Plenty of anything
Vampin’ – An offensive smell
Vaps – To suddenly behave excitedly or in a strange manner
Wajang – A rowdy, uncouth person
Warap – A very weak mixture
Well yes! – An expression of disbelief
Whappen? – What’s the matter with you?
Wha-happenin’ dey? – What’s happening
Whey – Where
Whey yuh say? – What did you say?
Yampee – Mucus, found in the corner of the eye
You an’ all? – You too?
You so – People like you
Yuh faddah head – An expression of annoyance
Yuh faddah is a glassmaker? – You are blocking my view
Yuh look fuh dat – It’s your own fault
Yuh makin’ joke! – You can’t be serious!
Zug-up – A rough and uneven cutting of anything