Rishi Sankar: Ah Trini Travelogue

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How to piss off a Trinidadian

Posted by Rishiray on August 26, 2013


Trinidadians are a musical, vibrant, cosmopolitan, sexy people with a ridiculously awesome accent. We are the smallest country to qualify for the FIFA World Cup. We have had world champions come from these tiny shores : Hasley Crawford, Ato Boldon, Keshorn Walcott. One of the world’s greatest cricketers came from Trinidad : Brian Lara. There are unique natural attractions in Trinidad : Pitch Lake. So with all this in mind … here are some excellent ways on “How to piss off a Trinidadian” :

Be ignorant of Trinidad’s location.

  • I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been told that Trinidad was part of Cuba, Central America, Mexico or Africa. I’ve had to convince people to look on Google Maps on their own phones/iPad to see where it is. So if you really want to start pissing of a Trinidadian, tell them that the only Trinidads you could find were in Mexico or the U.S.A.

Tell them that Carnival in “XYZ place” is better than Carnival in Trinidad

  • If you’ve been to Carnival in Rio and then come to Trinidad for Carnival for a completely different experience. As much as Trinidadians like to say that Carnival is the “Greatest Show on Earth” … I would say that it’s one of the best Carnival celebrations on the planet. There is no best Carnival after seeing many of them around the world. This being said … if you going to call out Trinidad’s Carnival and say that it’s second place to any other … you’re going to get a lot of angry tones and words tossed your way.

Say you had a better “Doubles” or “Roti” or “Pelau” outside of Trinidad

  • Trinidadians love their food. They love their food as much as they love their alcohol … never mind that we have love songs to Rum.
    httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwkkyLQxyZs
    httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGIYUWNHqsI
    However it’s not possible to get any Trinidadian food better than what you can find in Trinidad. If you ever mention this to a Trinidadian, they will first ask “Have you actually been to Trinidad?”, followed by “I don’t think you’ve actually enough Trinidadian food to be an expert” and finally if you actually respond … you’ll get an “Anyways … next topic”. If you persist in your line of reasoning, you’re liable to start pissing the Trinidadian off.

Call them Guyanese.

  • There is almost no insult more provoking for a Trinidadian than to be called Guyanese. Conversations of this nature start like this …Random person on hearing your accent … “Hey buddy, where are you from?”
    Trini … “I’m from Trinidad”
    Random guy … “Awesome dude, I have another friend from Guyana”
    Trini … “You don’t say … … …. “<long, silent pause, while cursing and swearing in his mind already>
    Random guy … “Yeah, he’s a great guy, but you guys kinda sound different, maybe you’ve been here for a while”
    Trini … “Maybe because he’s from South America and I’m from the Caribbean! That might have something to do with it”
    Random guy … “Maybe!”For Trinidadians, it’s a point of pride that we’re from a country where there is no civil unrest, semi decent fiscal policy, no need to take a suitcase of worthless money to buy a loaf of bread, invented a new musical form and brought Soca and Calypso to the world.

Call them Jamaican.

  • See the point above … except that Trinidad and Jamaica are in the West Indies

Piss off an Indo-Trinidadian.

  • If you meet a Trinidadian of Indian descent, be super surprised that he/she is from Trinidad. Do remark that you completely didn’t expect them to look the way they look. When they ask inquire about your expectations, please absolutely tell them that you’ve only met Afro-Trinidadians and you thought that all Trinidadians came from Africa. If you really, really want to piss them off, you can ask why they don’t sound like the guys from Cool Runnings. Also add that you have a lot of Indian friends and that they’re a great hard working bunch. This will surely raise tensions and should lead you closer to pissing someone off.

Piss off an Afro-Trinidadian.

  • Ask them the following questions
       – Why don’t you sound like the guys from Cool Runnings?
       – Where is your Bob Marley T-Shirt?
       – Where can I buy weed?
    – Do you have 12 children?

    Ask them why they don’t have an “African accent”, since you’re surprised how different their accent is. As they speak more and probably get super annoyed, really emphasise that you think there is a universal ‘African accent’ and you’ve heard it many times. Describe the accent and even do a caricature impression with inflated facial expressions and hand gestures. Explain that the ‘African accent’ is much more bouncy and sing-songy than their own and that they must have spent a lot of time overseas. Skepticism is the key. Throwing in “Really!?!?” and “Are you sure?!?!” reinforces the disbelief as it undermines their entire backstory and should piss them off.

Piss off a Asian-Trinidadian

  • If you happen to meet a rarer species of Trinidadian in the Asian persuasion, ask them why they don’t sound Chinese. Ask them if Chinese Fried Rice and Trinidadian Fried Rice are different. Tell them that they’re so exotic and they almost sound a badly dubbed Chinese movie, like they’re speaking to the wrong sound track.

Piss off a Arab/Syrian/Lebanese-Trinidadian

  • Ask them where to find drugs … I dare you 🙂 Indicate that you heard something through the grapevine and that there can’t be any of them in honest activities. Ask them for a discount at one of the malls.

Trinidad has great food, culture and music, but that’s beside the point. Trinidad is the people. It’s a tiny nation with cultures from all across the world, which has mixed and bubbled into a very unique culture. If you can’t figure this all out, then we surely don’t want you as a friend!

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2 Responses to “How to piss off a Trinidadian”

  1. Debbie said

    I was held at customs in Taiwan as they looked up Trinidad and Tobago, and where it was? They asked if my passport was real!

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