Archive for the 'Trinidad & Tobago' Category

06
Jan
10

The Last Day of Christmas

I love Christmas.  Even though I don’t get to do all that I’d like to do, its always been a special time of the year for me.  Its the music on the radio…  The cleaning…  The shopping… The preparation… The anticipation…   The gift-giving…  The gift-receiving!

Too bad it only lasts for 12 days…

As Christmas comes to a close, I just want to share some of our local (Trinbagonian) Christmas traditional music: Parang.

parang performance

Parang performers... performing! (Image taken from the Trinidad Guardian)

Here are some performances from the 2009 National Parang Champs – Los Alumnos de San Juan – that I was able to capture while attending the 1st annual “Jazzang” (a mashup of the words “Jazz” & “Parang”).   Hosted by the Jazz Alliance and Phase II Pan Groove (in their panyard) the event was well attended and very enjoyable.  I’m looking forward to attend the next one!

Peace and Rice and ALL the very best for the new year!

Enjoy the videos…

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17
Dec
09

Thirsty? Drink This…

The Truth About Bottled Water

I came across this really informative and eye opening infographic this morning as I settled into my daily affairs.  Even though it presents facts and figures from an American standpoint, its still relevant to us all.  The bottled water business is big business all over the world, with people paying premium sums for the privilege of drinking water extracted from the pristine and untouched glaciers of ‘Mount Here’ and ‘River There’.

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?”

“Yeah man!  Ah have Blue Rivers, Crystal Ocean, aviV… freezing cold from since dis mornin’…”

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?”

Taken from the Solo website

He cocks his eyebrows at me… “Two dollars…”

“…for one?”

“Yes… for one…” He cocks his eyebrows higher at me… o_O

“…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.

PS: After doing some poking around on the interwebz, I have to ask this question:

Could the reason for this be as a direct result of this? (Skip to the paragraph just before the “Author Keywords”)

You be the judge!

Peace and Rice,

Boboleechron

Resident expert on all things Cracked.

my blogs:
boboleechronicles.wordpress.com
boboleepix.wordpress.com
follow me!: twitter.com/boboleechron

27
Nov
09

Shut Yuh Mout’, Go Away…

…”Mama, look ah boo boo dey.”

Harry Belafonte and Nat King Cole perform  a classic calypso “Mama Look A Boo Boo”, which was written in 1956 by Lord Melody (Fitzroy Alexander).

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I was also able to find the same song done on the steelpan… It was performed by a University student from California named Ziba Zehdar, as part of her university coursework or something.

Ziba Zehdar

Taken from Ziba's Vimeo profile...

What made me smile was that she’s so good, that the MC introducing her actually has to announce to the audience that – contrary to the thoughts and questions of many – that  he “didn’t hire her to play the steelpan”, and that she was a matriculated student at the school!

I was just in the mood for some old school kaiso.  I hope you do enjoy!  It always makes me happy and proud to see a facet of my culture being appreciated by other inhabitants of the big blue marble! 😀

Peace and Rice,

Boboleechron

21
Oct
09

Ole Time Someting Come Back Again

Here’s an interesting (& enjoyable) cover of The Mighty Sparrow’s classic calypso “Obeah Wedding”.Its performed by “TitoTitou”, a French native with a pretty eclectic taste in music, if one were to take a look at his YouTube profile.

We in Trinidad and Tobago (heck, the entire Caribbean) have such a wealth of talent in our blood.  While we must take our many art forms into the new millennia, we must also ensure that we don’t forget our roots & culture.   By revisiting them every so often, it not only serves as a source of edification and pride, but in my view, it’ll also to help educate the younger generations of our rich heritage and our identity as Caribbean people.

I hope you enjoyed!

(bigup to @suzettegardner, who shared this video with me. 🙂 )

Bobolee Chron

Posted via email from boboleechron

21
Apr
09

This Bobolee Is Getting A Serious Beating, Boy!

Yesterday morning, the hit counter on my blog stood at 25,000 hits.  I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least!  At this sentence, the count stands at 25,106 unique hits.

boboleepicture

A Good Friday Bobolee in Trinidad.

[Guanaguanare: The Laughing Gull]

This is a major milestone for me, and for my blog.  Actually, this is my 2nd attempt at blogging.  I used to have a MSN Spaces page at one point in time (http://spaces.msn.com/bluesoapbox was the URL) which I discontinued as I didn’t feel too comfortable sharing my inner thoughts and feelings with the whole wide world at the time.  What got me started again was the 2008 US Election campaign.  I was really appalled some of the things that were being said (and done) during the campaign, and at the same time, I was really captivated by Barack Obama.

A few friends and I were discussing the campaign issues online and one posted a Slate picture slideshow entitled “The Soiling of Old Glory”.   Those pictures invoked memories of a trip I’d made to a Southern US state in the 1990’s.  Those memories helped me write “The Day I Met Jim Crow”, a recollection of the day I met Jim Crow for the first time.  That’s the most widely read and referenced post on this blog to date, with close to 1300 views to date.

I’m really fortunate to have made a few acquaintances thru this second blogging stint; acquaintances I hope turn into friendships as time goes by.  My blog stats tell me that my blog posts have been read from as far west as Alaska to as far east as China.  That really… I don’t know… has me in awe?  I really don’t know how else to describe it… how that makes me feel.

My blog will be a year old on May 24th.  With any luck (and time) I’ll share some more facts and figures then.  In these eleven months (approx), I also started Bobolee Pix, a space for me to share a few of my pictures.  I’ve been stymied with my photography efforts though: someone sniped my camera last month and I haven’t gotten myself a replacement as yet! 😕  Really a shame… I loved taking photos, and my camera and I had just gotten used to each other’s quirks.  I hope the new owner likes it as much as I did! 😕

I’m not a learned scholar, an author, a writer, or a journalist.  Just a simple dude with an opinion (and a way with words, apparently).  I have to warn you, I’m not always able to post as I like due to my real-world commitments!  I wish I could do nothing else but share my thoughts and observations with you each and everyday… and I probably could, but I’ll have to leave my currently well-paying 9-5!  At least, now with my Twitter feed,  we can still share and communicate thoughts on a more impromptu and frequent basis.

Thanks a lot for visiting, thanks a lot for linking, thanks a lot for critiquing, and thanks a lot for sharing!

thank-you

Peace and Rice,

jw

18
Apr
09

I Lost My Twitter Cherry Today

Blame it on @aplusk. Blame it on @Oprah.  Blame it on @CNN even, but yes, I’ve finally decided to join the Twitter brigade.

Twitter is a site where users post 140-character messages that are distributed to groups of people/users who follow their every post… they’re known as “followers”.  The service allows users to “tweet” (post) as well as “follow” other Twitterers.

http://twitter.com/boboleechron is where you’ll find me… and I’m just getting my “sea legs” around the service.

I first got introduced to Twitter during my daily tech readings a few years ago.  Then Keith, a friend and fellow blogger of mine, started using it.  I didn’t seem to think I had the time or the “content” to start a “microblog”.

The recent race to a million Twitter followers between CNN and Ashton Kutcher (aplusk) got my attention… as did the fact that Oprah Winfrey became the latest celebrity to join the service.   Kutcher said that:

“I found it astonishing that one person can actually have as big of a voice online as what an entire media company can on Twitter,” Kutcher says in a video, which was shot from inside a car and was posted on Qik.com.

“So I just thought that was just kind of an amazing comment on the state of our media, and I said that, if I beat CNN to 1 million viewers, then I would ding-dong ditch Ted Turner — because I don’t think it’s gonna happen.”

My first thought was that he was right… Twitter is a great equalizer for the masses.  The people now have the means to reach others and to spread their versions of the real story.

Then I started to think again… just who is Ashton Kutcher?   Besides the fact that he’s an actor and the husband of a famous actress, who is he?  Why would a million people choose to get their “news” from @aplusk as opposed to CNN?  In a sense, his winning the race to a million followers is symptomatic of the problem being faced by all media carriers, especially the traditional press: the masses are no longer interesting in reading yesterday’s news.  Advances in communications and internet technologies are blurring the dividing lines between us all.   The global village is now, and we’re all sitting in the same cafe with the same access to the same gossip about what “Mary” got herself into last night… as soon as she updates her online status.

I read online that some view this race to a million as further proof of the dumbing down of America, and by extension, the globe. I disagree.  A million people wanting to find out more about what Ashton and Demi wore to lunch as opposed to wanting to hear more about the economic plans of the Obama administration isn’t dumb…

No, I don’t think its dumb at all.  Its escapist. Life today is stressful.  People have lost their houses, their jobs, their live savings… its getting harder to afford the basics for most of us as our salaries stay the same or go kaput whilst prices skyrocket.  The comings and goings of celebrities help people tune out of the world for awhile… put a smile or a smirk on a few faces everyday… entertainment.  Besides which, why buy the newspaper cow when the information milk is free? 😆

I hope, if anything, that I get to interact with more of you folks… and even make a few more friends via Twitter.  I’m a later adopter by nature when it comes to technology… I know someone always comes along with something better, faster and stronger on short notice.  Feel free to follow my feed and to post your own in the comments, if you wish.  I promise not to be a spammer, and not to tweet (or retweet) crap!

Peace and Rice,

jw

07
Apr
09

Wrong Country? No Love…

You know something’s really wrong with the US economy when not even the “local” girls want to marry American men!

india-bachelor

Ineligible Bachelors: Indian Men Living in U.S. Strike Out

The Wall Street Journal article points out that:

Vikas Marwaha would normally be considered a good catch by Indian parents seeking a husband for their daughter. The 27-year-old software engineer earns $80,000 to $100,000 a year and comes from a family “of doctors and engineers,” according to his profile on a matrimonial Web site.

But Mr. Marwaha works for a start-up Internet phone company in San Francisco. And because the U.S. economy is wobbly, that’s a problem. Many Indian parents now are balking at sending their daughters to the U.S. to marry.

Interactive Graphic

Check out this interactive “Indian Singles” ad at the journal!

Until recently, overseas candidates would quickly elicit 10 to 15 responses from young women, says Smita Seth, 55, owner of Manpasand Marriage Bureau in Ahmedabad. But in the past few months, she has had to coax parents to even consider overseas grooms; they prefer men from their own towns instead.

In order to find a suitable bride, many Non-Resident Indian (N.R.I.) men leave their successful US jobs, try to find suitable jobs at home and begin the search for a bride, anew… where they’re being confronted with the fact that its pretty hard these days to find a “bride who is smart, fluent in English, and ‘simultaneously, docile in the house’.”

I wonder how other bachelors from other cultures worldwide are coping… the potential brides too!  Someone should do a study on this… it seems that the general trend is reversing.  People are leaving the US now, instead of flocking to it!

The reason? Pretty simple actually… as the Mighty Sparrow succinctly put it in one of his classic calypsoes:

Pic from Afrobella: A young Mighty Sparrow

[Afrobella]

“No Money, No Love”

Peace and Rice,

jw

PS:  Here’s one N.R.I. male who shouldn’t have any problem finding himself a bride… 🙂

Democratic Convention[Chicago Sun Times]

I want to wish you all the best in your new job, man!  8)




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