Driving in Trinidad, lovely hibiscus, and other tidbits

I can’t go anywhere and not keep an eye out for beautiful flowers. Trinidad is teeming with them but stopping to take a few photos isn’t always easy. These hibiscus were situated along a busy road and roadways in Trinidad tend to much more narrow than most American roads.

“If you can drive here,” said a local friend, “you can drive anywhere.”

I always thought that was true of New York City but the infamous Eastern Main Road, which begins in Port of Spain and continues East until it gets to the other side of the island, is something else entirely. I will really have to take some photos soon as I couldn’t find any online that truly capture it’s essence.

These hibiscus were on the side of a busy crossroad sans a sidewalk and so I had to snap them quick and get back to the other side, lest I be a casualty.

Fuscia pink hibiscus – Trinidad – JoAnn Ryan

No, I do not want to drive your car

Not in Trinidad at least.

We are in the midst of shopping for a car. Maxis, taxis, and bumming rides from people gets old although I have to say running around the island in my step-mother-in-law’s minivan is a real treat. She’s a Hindu woman and plays Indian music. I love it so much as it provides a unique and wonderful soundtrack when I’m peering out the window–I almost feel like I’m in a movie sometimes. She watches Indian TV stations as well, at home of course, which I find rather fascinating. I will definitely have to write more about that soon.

I don’t think I will be doing any driving, at least not yet. Driving here takes some significant getting use to as there are techniques and unspoken rules one must acquire. For instance, pulling out or backing out of an establishment on Eastern Main Road always requires cutting off an entire line of cars and you have to be ready and willing to do it, too, or you will be sitting where you are sitting for an eternity.

Honking the horn has multiple meanings here. A short honk or two typically means, thank you. A longer honk, which is much more infrequent, is the one that means something non-positive.

And then there is creative honking, for lack of a better term. Our wonderful dreadlocked friend Robert, who is responsible for the above quote, is an expert at this. In order to say hello to a friend as we pass by he comes up with a short and completely improvised routine. It’s like a quick jingle.

The worst though, is the roundabout near one of the big malls here. I’m always ready to close my eyes tight but local drivers are magicians and get through it fast and easy every time. It’s a true marvel!

Fuscia pink hibiscus – Trinidad – JoAnn Ryan

Back in America!

I will be heading back to Orlando soon to get my partial hysterectomy done and get rid of these nasty fibroids. I have to say though, since I’ve been here and I’ve been trying my best to relax, get fresh air, and eat a healthy diet, I’ve seen some improvement in my symptoms.

I also have to travel to Idaho soon as my first grandbaby (a boy!) will be coming into the world. So excited but of course worried about my daughter as this is her first time giving birth.

Hope everyone is doing well!

18 thoughts on “Driving in Trinidad, lovely hibiscus, and other tidbits

  1. Driving in Trinidad is definitely is not for cowards. And yes, they are correct it’s an acquired skill. Apart from the horn honking did you see the headlight flashings as signals as well? Hilarious!! We’re all in a class by ourselves I tell yuh! As for the flower and fauna of Trinidad and Tobago, you’ll be in paradise if that’s what you like. There is sooooooo much to see.

    Hope all goes well with your surgery so that you can return to explore and enjoy ALL the good that sweet T&T has to offer!!!

    P.S. Try some Hibiscus wine if you can. The nectar in this flower is very sweet (at least the last time I tried it a few years ago)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hibiscus wine? I’ve never heard of it but will have to see if I can find some to try. I have to write about food one of these days but have been putting it off because I know it will be a lengthy post. My favorites so far are doubles, pholourie, all the wonderful sweet cakes and biscuits not to mention all the fresh fruit everywhere. The only thing I wasn’t that fond of was oil down. The flavor was ok but the squishy consistency of it just didn’t hit me right.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh my gosh, doubles!!!!! That is my thing!!!!! When I come home I eat doubles EVERYDAY!! Thursday is Divali so you’ll be able to get some good curry and Indian delights everywhere. But honey, let me tell you about trini food and fruits – Finger licking!!! I’m so jealous right now! Mostly the country folks and areas is where you’d get hibiscus wine, but it’s really good. As for the oil down, that makes two of us, believe it or not, I NEVER ate it in all my life. It just don’t look right to me, I eat with my eyes first, so if my eyes say no, it’s a negative. But it’s a big thing there and I heard it’s very delicious as well. You are making me home sick already!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ha, ha! The family in Tunapuna all have tons of breadfruit growing in their yards and they cooked up a huge batch of the oil down for the funeral so obviously it’s their thing. Luckily they cooked up a bunch of other stuff though that I liked… curries, chutneys, samosas. I’ve been getting into mango chutney. It’s nothing like what I thought it would be but I like it a lot. Definitely looking forward to Divali, which will of course mean more good food to eat!

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          1. Yes, oil down is a big thing, just not my big thing, but wait ’til you get that roast or fried breadfruit!!!! Oh lawd, you might have to share that address for when I come home to come over and get all that good food and chutney…my mouth is watering!!! LOL!!!

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  2. What glorious flowers – almost worth a limb. I’m glad that settling in is a positive adventure. Warmer climes invariably have slower lifestyles that I admire and always fail to adopt on a return home. How nice that living in it is having a positive health effect.

    Sending strong energy to you and yours for your respective challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Island time being slower is a real and true thing. If someone says they’ll be by in the morning it actually might be more like 2 in the afternoon when they arrive, if you’re lucky. If you deposit a check in the bank here, instead of taking a day or two to clear it might take a week or more–a local check even. One just has to settle in and let things be as they are! At least I’m not working here, except for writing, so I can’t complain too much Thanks for the comment!

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  3. First JoAnn, best wishes to you and yours in your pending progressions. In both cases, happy days ahead!

    The abundance of flowers hasn’t diminished your ability to pick the most gorgeous one to photograph. A small part of your artistry comes from your skill in framing the shot, as you do beautifully. Just the tonic we need now Up North, as the leaves begin to change/fall.

    Oh, you mentioning driving circles reminded me of a couple…challenging roundabouts near me when I lived in New Jersey. Do you remember any from your time there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, as always such things make a place brighter as well as enhance the mood.
      Thank you for the complement on my photography skills. I think I do ok for an amateur. 😀

      No roundabouts from NJ stick out in my mind although it’s impossible to forget the jug handle turns. Some of the busier intersections could be quite a pain!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ready for an apostacy? I actually liked the jug handles, actually, as cleared left lanes.

        Little is more frustrating than slipping left to overtake someone doing, like, 5 MPH, only to get behind someone stopped in the left lane, waiting to make a turn. In that case, and perhaps in that case only, New Jersey, you’ve done drivers a solid!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Many exciting things are happening in your life right now. Your description of Trinidad is very informative, sounds like easy going chaos, very sympathetic! The story with the roundabout reminds me of Paris, where one can drive around 100 times, if one does not dare to pressure others to give way.
    I wish you and your daughter all the best for your “ordeals”!
    Best regards from Denmark

    Liked by 1 person

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