Goat Roti and Shark n Bake On My First Day In Tobago

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After watching the BET music awards on the TV until late late night. I woke up about 5 am and finished reading Kola Boof’s autobiography. I swear I would not have been able to rest until I finished it (it was that gripping) so it was a good job that I did so as soon as I got there. I love Kola Boof…She may come across radical but her observations are SPOT ON! I love the way that she doesn’t mince her words and is so raw with it.

Anyway with regards to the BET awards… watching that it must be clear to anyone who thought that Kelly could touch Beyonce that she just sooo can’t… Putting their performances back to back was a mistake for Kelly. Her dancing was kinda lame in comparison to Bey’s, her voice was all wobbly and weak, and she didn’t have that charisma that Bey does. In short, it was a mess. I thought that performance with Keisha, Diddy and Lil Free was weak too. They looked like a bunch of clowns. I did love T.I though. I actually walked into the room switched the TV on and his was the first performance I saw. I tell ya I couldn’t BREATH. Yes it was that serious!

So after finishing the book I went downstairs. There was a man lounging on the sofa in the reception area. I hadn’t seen him before but I assumed he worked there. I asked him where I could go and eat and he told me about a Pizza Place, I forget what it’s called and Church’s Chicken. Can you imagine… eating Church’s Chicken in the Caribbean? Oh Heeeelllll NA! I decided to go and find a place to eat on my own.

I took a walk up to Pigeon Point (I didn’t see any pigeons there but maybe at one time that was the meeting spot! LOL) and found myself at Bago’s Beach bar.

They had the best roti I tasted in Tobago… Ok, ok it was the only roti I tasted in Tobago because once I had it once I didn’t want to taste any other! I then decide to go to the beach at Piegon Point. It cost 18 $TT. It was a bit weird because it was the first beach I have ever paid to go on, and I’m totally against the idea of paying to go on a beach, but nevertheless since I was already there I went ahead and paid. After you pay you have to walk through this huge park to get to the beach. It is very picturesque. The only downside is that you can get killed by a coconut falling from a tree and smashing your skull.

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A few minutes into my walk I am stopped by this guy with locks. One minute she is saying hello and then the next minute he is walking beside me. Turns out that he is a tout and so is feeding me all the spiel about the tours that he does etc etc. He walks me down to the beach, we sit down and then comes the part about me putting a downpayment on some tour that he was doing. All I heard was him say American $50 and I switched off. Yeah RIGHT. I am gonna give some guy I just met a downpayment, for a tour on a beach? Not even in an office… Yeah right. Sherman (that was his name) must have seen me coming and thought I was Mother Christmas. He mentions the downpayment again and it is clear it ain’t gonna happen so he just forgets about it.

The beach at pigeon point

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Me on the beach

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Sherman on the way back from the beach (it gets dark QUICK)

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I sit on the beach at Pigeon Point and talk to Sherman and he tells me about his life, his work as a tour guide, how he has an English girlfriend and comes to the UK 3-4 times a year. After he dropped the downpayment stuff he was alright. He offered to take me to a club in the evening called Sunday School in Buccoo Reef. When he said Sunday School I had to ask if it was a club and not a religious convention, because if it was the latter I surely was not going to be interested. He said that it was, and I quote, “a nice place for older single ladies.” Can you imagine? Since when did I become an older single lady? I hate the phraseology. It sounds horrible… plus the fact that I thought he was older that I was… bloody cheek! After that I asked him how old he was and it turns out he was 23, so that figures!

We agree to meet that night at 10pm. When I get back to the guesthouse the girl in the room opposite me (I forget her name, but lets just call her fish fanatic because she studies fish and finds them soooo riveting) tells me that she is going to Sunday School with her dive instructor (getting with your “Dive Master” is the big trend over here, amongst the big diving crew.) she suggests that we all go together. At 10 O’clock we go to meet Sherman downstairs and to wait for her Dive instructor, however as soon as she sees him she completely freezes and shoos me away, changing her tune, telling me to go on and that she will meet me there. It was all very bizzare. Was it his blackness? His locks? Or did she know him? I doubt I’ll ever know and he didn’t even seem to notice.

We went off in this taxi to the Sunday School and Sherman was doing his whole tour guide routine, pointing out where the yearly goat race is held and the history behind it. There are some people selling arts and crafts. One of them is his friend who is selling art prints at an extortionate price. To be honest I think the art work is drab, plus they are prints and not originals so I wouldn’t buy any of it anyway but I don’t want to be rude so I pretend it is really nice and gush over it a little bit. Sherman seems to think I want to buy something and tries to cut me a deal. I then have to worm my way out of that situation, but to my horror he then takes me to this stall where there are drawings of birds on bamboo. This is even worse for me because I am NOT (in anyway) an animal lover and I would NOT hang up paintings or drawings of birds (or any other wretched animal) on any wall of mine. I get out of that situation and we go and eat a fish sandwich. The best fish sandwich I have ever had. I later find out it is called a “Shark and Bake.” The bake is basically a coconut bread and then they spread it with garlic butter, “special” hot sauce (who knows what was in it?), roasted red peppers, pinapple slices and shredded cabbage, then comes the shark which is lightly battered and fried. It was bloody gorgeous!

It was funny because Sherman had told me that the Sunday School was divided into three parts. The old club, the new club, and then an outside bit. He said tourists leave about midnight because it is around that time that trouble normally starts. In my head I was wandering how trouble can just start at a certain time, just didn’t make sense to me. What happens to make trouble start? Well true to what he had told me by midnight most of the tourists had left and about quarter past, two fights break out. I was gonna start filming it as the argument that preceded it was quite amusing but I didn’t want to get beat up for the sake of future amusement so I left it alone.

We then went to the “new” Sunday School. Soca and reggae ruled with the majority being old school tunes. We stayed a couple of hours, me drinking and him smoking and then left. Sherman was all spliffed out so it was a good job we left when we did because he was getting leaner by the minute.

Before parting ways we arranged to meet the next day for a barbeque he was throwing for these American tourists. He was charging them $US600. By then he had realised that I was a tight wad and not freeing up the cash so he wanted me to go as his wife and I’d help him set up things. I thought that to play the role of his sister would be a better idea in case any of the Americans were hot guys, so we compromised and agreed on long lost cousin. 1/07/2007

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