We in T&T have a few bottled water companies here also. I remember one Carnival Tuesday back in 1998/9 I was (in the hot sun) watching the masqueraders on the road, when I felt the need for a drink of water.
So I approached a nearby street vendor and asked him…
“Yuh have any bottled water?”
All the bottles were of the smaller variety… no more than 250-300 ml (8-10 US fl. oz.). Typical retail price (in those days) would be no more than TT$1.
I really wanted one of the bigger 500-600 ml bottles (usually TT$2-$3 depending on location) but I was really thirsty.
“Alright then… gimme ah aviV and ah Blue Rivers. How much I have for yuh?” I begin counting off four dollars in $1 bills…
“Ten dollars, boss-man… Is $5 for one…”
I pause and took a good look at the back of the man’s head as he bent over his cooler to get me my bottles. I was seriously contemplating hitting him a clout, but thought better of it.
“Wha’ ?! You serious?! Is $10 I hear you call dey?” (Remember… this is 1998/9, eh? TT$10 could of gotten you a piece of KFC & a biscuit or some fries back then.)
“Yeah… yuh forget is Carnival time! We price does raise nuh… ah does always ha tuh make a lil’ hustle fuh de Carnival…”
In my stunned and confused state, I happen to notice that he also has a few bottles of Club Soda in the cooler.
(NB: “club soda” = soda water = plain, unflavoured and carbonated water.
Sold in 300 ml glass bottles, they hold roughly the same as the small plastic bottles of water he was selling.)
“How much for de Solo… de Club Soda?”
He cocks his eyebrows at me… “Two dollars…”
“Yes… for one…” He cocks his eyebrows higher at me…
“…and dey cold?”
He shakes his head in the affirmative.
“Well, gimmeh two dey…”
I hand him the $4 I’d peeled off originally.
He hands me the club soda, which I open and consume post-haste.
We both leave richer than we were before… except that I had more gas to deal with :-P.
You be the judge!
Peace and Rice,
Resident expert on all things Cracked.