Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Port of Spain, Trinidad
(photo below of me overlooking
the island at the office)

Three days of incredible work... this island is so focused on business, it really has a South American feel instead of Caribbean feel. There is still the je m'en fîche attitude of the Islands but there is so much business here that they can't help but be caught up in it. The city has some of that charming Caribbean architecture of peaked roofs, decorative wrought iron railings and shutters, but it's next to modern cement buildings. And you'll see poor stores and shops right next to a BP office. Quite the juxtaposition.

A few "Trini" facts -

- they make coffee but they don't drink it. It's nearly impossible to find coffee. The Hilton had the best and it was Maxwell House. We drank instant in the office.

- they make cocoa but they only export it.

- good food is hard to find; bad food isn't. Worst restaurant I've eaten in for the last 10 years was at the Crowne Plaza. Overcooked and bland.

- everything's expensive. Lunch at TGI Fridays (yes, I did go, and no, it wasn't exciting - again, hard to find good food) was $30 a person including tax/tip.

- coldest place I've ever been. Air Conditioning CRANKS everywhere.

- the Savannah is a 280 acre park (!) in the middle of town. But it only goes one way. So if you want to go to the Indian restaurant only 5 blocks from the office, you can only drive one direction - it takes 10 minutes to get there because of the traffic around the Savannah!

- people are always smiling and very laid back. no sense of stress.

Best part of the trip: dinner at the Indian Restaurant, Aspara. Phenominally good food, great atmosphere, clean and the service was amiable and attentive.

Some photos:
Traditional architecture / The new Hyatt Regency Trinidad