Zaboca Season: A Trini Obsession

All year long the eager people of Trinidad and Tobago wait for it. They dream of it, they yearn for it. Spending every waking moment counting the months until its time; eyeing-down every vendor’s table for those glorious green globes of goodness.

Its creamy, silky texture; its smooth, sultry taste. The perfect addition to any plate of pelau, layered atop warm toast, or on its own – chopped with a dash of salt and black pepper. It’s a wonderful season of parties in the street and birdsongs filling the air. Not to mention the long, lingering stares and instant envy when you realize your neighbour has a tree; or your friend got one from his aunty’s daughter’s friend’s grandmother because they didn’t want it to ‘overripe’ and waste. Don’t even say it – you had a zaboca and let it spoil!? You’re sure to be exiled from the island altogether.

Or the ‘piper’ in town who selling it for $50/lb and despite the instant gripe and ‘cold-sweat’ you get, you still buy it because ‘is whole year ah waiting for dis’! Forget Carnival – it’s Zaboca Season ah living for!

And you know, every Trini is an expert – on EVERYTHING. So be grateful! For once, every tanty, aunty and granny with stop hounding you about the ‘nice young man’ they have to set you up with and instead, for three months out of the year all you will hear is ‘wrap it in guardian paper’ because apparently it will ‘ripe faster’.

All of a sudden everyone’s life revolves around it. Trinis will eat, sleep and breathe Zaboca and if you didn’t know already: YES, Zaboca-Tabanka is a real thing!

Pssst – Check out our post about Trini Slang if you can’t keep up!

It’s a wonderful time of year indeed: Zaboca Season! And if you don’t like it – then you ‘muss be mad’. Bess yuh take ah LIAT plane to another island for the next few months because basically yuh just offend 90% of the island.

The Trini obsession with zaboca, or fondly known by many ‘in foreign’ as avocado, can be described as nothing short of complicated. Quite frankly Trini people fall into some kind of Zaboca Bazodee. Young boys scale walls to ‘teif’ from trees, friends and relatives start to hoard all produce they can find, relationships break up in fiery arguments on the street, people who you never thought would deceive you, start to lie through their teeth!

“Me? I have zaboca? No! That’s just a…really big lime”

Love it or hate it you can’t deny, all around the globe zaboca is a delicacy. It’s simple, yet so complex. The rich yet subtle flavour of our local zaboca makes this the best addition to any meal. Often Trini food can be laden with flavour and spice. Balanced by the zaboca’s  unique, mild flavour, it cools any meal, without overwhelming the taste buds. And let’s not forget its nutritious value!

So next time you’re on our little island look out for a tree. Buy one, borrow one, beg for one. You can’t miss out! Check out this Caribbean Recipe for Zaboca Choka, also known as guacamole or avocado dip (source: Caribbean Pot). Let us know what you think and share recipes in the comments on how you like to eat your zaboca.

Your Guide to Trini Slang

221c79d6347a86a8e60571108cf6d27dSo you’ve landed in sunny T&T, were met by who many call “the happiest people on earth”, but you can’t quite figure out what’s being said. Good news, you’re not alone.

In Trinidad and Tobago, many different dialects are spoken. Caribbean Standard English is spoken by many, but mostly in a formal or academic setting. What you’ll encounter most however, is Trinidadian English Creole – a style of talking that merges African, French, Spanish and English twangs, born from our nation’s multicultural history.

Trinidad and Tobago, for those who’d like a bit of history, has undergone many voluntary and forced migratory processes that have led to the island’s rich and diverse population characteristics and hybridized language dialects.

From Spanish, French, Dutch and British colonizers to African slavery, to the migration of Indian, Chinese and Portuguese during post-emancipation, indentureship schemes, one thing is for certain:

Our tiny islands have been shaped many different races, religions, cultures, ethnicity and their respective languages so much so that it is almost impossible to separate the modern-day manifestations of these influences, from each other.

So what you might hear when you’re browsing through the hustle and bustle on the streets of Port-of-Spain, or when you visit the Tunapuna market for some local meats and vegetables will be far removed, and much more unique from what you might be accustomed to.

Communicating with Trinis has the potential to leave you spellbound or completely and utterly confused – so let us help you out!

Here are a few Trini sayings or slang terms and phrases that you may encounter and their “Standard English” translations/definitions.


Bacchanal (n)

  • Pronunciation: bah-can-ah-l
  • Trini Use: “Ey, I have a bacchanal to tell yuh”; “That party had too much bacchanal”
  • Translation: drama, scandal, confusion; someone who likes drama, scandal or confusion.

Bacchanalist (adj)

  • Pronunciation: bah-can-ah-l-ist
  • Trini Use: “She/He is a real baccanalist”
  • Translation: someone who likes to cause, or being the center of drama, scandal or confusion.

Back chat (n, v)

  • Pronunciation: bah-c ch-ah-t
  • Trini Use: “Don’t back chat me”, “You know better than to back chat the teacher”
  • Translation: to reply a rude remark to a figure of authority (usually a child to an adult), an insolent response

Broughtupsy (n)

  • Pronunciation: br-or-t-up-see
  • Trini Use: “Yuh have no broughtupsy or what?”, “Dem children have no broughtupsee”
  • Translation: to have good behavior, to have manners , or have decorum

Chinksin (v)

  • Pronunciation: ch-ink-s-in
  • Trini Use: “Oh gosh, how yuh chinksin so”, “Come now, don’t chinks me”
  • Translation: to be miserly, to distribute less than one could, to be selfish (usually used when referring to the distribution of food)

Hoss (n)

  • Pronunciation: h-or-s
  • Trini Use: “Ey hoss…”
  • Translation: refers to a friend

Lime (n, v)

  • Pronunciation: l-ime
  • Trini Use: “You liming this weekend?”, “I having a lime, home by me”
  • Translation: a party, to hang out, a casual get-together

Fete (n, v)

  • Pronunciation: f-eh-t
  • Trini Use: “You going that fete?”, “That fete was real vibes”, “We feting”
  • Translation: a party, a public function usually held outdoors that usually has entertainment

Maco (n, v, adj)

  • Pronunciation: mah-co
  • Trini Use: “Stop macoing the people business”, “You are such a maco”, “That girl could maco!”
  • Translation: someone who likes to know other people’s business, to listen into someone else’s conversation, to eavesdrop or spy on someone

Mamaguy (n)

  • Pronunciation: mah-mah-g-ah-y
  • Trini Use: “You rel like mamaguy eh”, “She/He only mamaguying yuh”
  • Translation: to ridicule, to flatter or deceive by flattery, to make fun of by complimenting.

Parlour (n)

  • Pronunciation: pah-l-uh
  • Trini Use: “Check by the parlour and see if you get”, “The parlour was closed”
  • Translation: a small shop usually situated on the roadside

Tabanca (n)

  • Pronunciation: tah-ban-kah
  • Trini Use: “I have a tabanca”, “Why you being so? You have a tabanca or what?”
  • Translation: heartbreak, depression after the breakup of a relationship

Vaps (n)

  • Pronunciation: v-ah-ps
  • Trini Use: “I catch a vaps and went to the beach yesterday”
  • Translation: a sudden move, a spontaneous decision

Vibes (adj)

  • Pronunciation: v-ibe-s
  • Trini Use: “That party had rel vibes”
  • Translation: good spirits, festivities, very fun and enjoyable

D Other Day

  • Trini Use: “You know, that happened to me d other day!”, “Yes I see her d other day”
  • Translation: a period of time, not an accurate representation of events, can encompass a time in the past that may vary in days, months or years.

Dong D Road

  • Trini Use: “I going dong d road”, “I going by the parlour dong d road”
  • Translation: a place, not an accurate representation of where a person is, or where they are going, refers to an area that is in fairly close proximity to the user’s current location.

Doh Study It

  • Trini Use: “Here na, doh study it”, “I not studyin dat”
  • Translation: I am not doing to let that bother me, You shouldn’t let that bother you.

Waz D Scene?

  • Trini Use: “Ey, was d scene?”
  • Translation: a general greeting; What’s up?, How are you?, How are things going?

Like ting

  • Trini Use: “You like ting eh!”
  • Translation: usually said in jest or playfully; to enjoy drama, to be mischievous

Jeez-an-ages!

  • Trini Use: “Jeez-an-ages, you serious!?”
  • Translation: used in any context that requires an exclamation, used to show surprise, exasperation, annoyance.

You fuh real? or Yuh makin joke!

  • Trini Use: “You fuh real? She do that?”, “Yuh makin joke, these people not easy”
  • Translation: used to verify or to question a statement, used to express disbelief; “Are you serious?”, “Are you joking?”

Yuh fadda is a glass maker?

  • Trini Use: as is
  • Translation: used to express annoyance that someone is blocking you view; “You’re blocking”, “Can you move aside?.

Guys, the list can go on and on. So there you have it – just a few Trini slang terms and saying that you might encounter while on our beautiful island. You’ll definitely come across some that are not on our list – so if you’re confused, ask a question!

Until next time! See our homepage for a direct link for booking your stay with us.

 

T&T Tours: Top Religious Sites

As we emerge from the holy week of Easter, citizens of Trinidad and Tobago return to their places of work, their schools, their everyday lives wishing for just one more day added to an already lengthy, long weekend.

Many know our twin-island republic as a “Fete Nation”. We’re known internationally as the party capital of the Caribbean, with endless parties revolving around Carnival, throughout the year. And don’t get me wrong, Carnival is a integral part of our heritage, our way of life, our culture – but it’s not the only thing we’re known for.

Trinidad and Tobago, due to various historical processes has undergone shifts and evolution in culture over hundreds of years of conquest and colonization. Intertwined with the passing of rule over many decades and mass immigration processes such as slavery and indentureship, our Twin islands has grown into what can only be described as a religious melting-pot, an oasis of cultural diversity, a hub of religious tolerance and acceptance.

The largest religious groups are the Protestant Christians (including Anglicans, Presbyterians, Methodist, Evangelicals, Pentecostals and Baptist), Roman Catholic Christians, Hindus, and Muslims.

Two Afro-Caribbean syncretic faiths, the Shouter or Spiritual Baptists and the Orisha faith (formerly called Shangos) are among the fastest growing religious groups.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known as “Mormons”) has also expanded its presence in the country since late-1970s.

According to the 2011 Census, 33.4% of the population was Protestant (including 12.0% Pentecostal, 5.7% Anglican, 4.1% Seventh-day Adventist, 3.0% Presbyterian or Congregational, 1.2% Baptist, and 0.1% Methodist), 21.5% was Roman Catholic, 18.1% was Hindu, and 5% was Muslim.

A small number of individuals subscribed to traditional Caribbean religions with African roots, such as the Spiritual Baptists (sometimes called Shouter Baptists) (5.7%); and the Orisha (0.1%). The smaller groups were Jehovah’s Witnesses (1.5%) and unaffiliated (2.2%). There is also a small Buddhist community on the island.

So we’re encouraging our guests, and any tourists visiting Trinidad and Tobago to take the road less travelling. Step away from the sun, sea and sand for a moment and take a tour of our islands most prominent religious sites. You need to be affiliated with any of these religions to appreciate the rich cultural and religious diversity that exists on our islands.

1. The Temple in the Sea

This unique site is located in Waterloo, Trinidad. A symbol of resistance and built out of the desire to retain his religious culture, Siewdass Sadhu is the visionary behind this noble creation. After being jailed for building a similar temple on government owned sugarcane lands, this Indian indentured labourer decided that if he could not build his temple on land, then he would build it in the sea. It is said that Sadhu laid each brick himself, carrying the the materials he needed to build his temple on his bicycle. Laying each stone, he forged a path forward in spite of both public and government skepticism.

The temple, simple and stoic, sits on the shores at Waterloo, a defiant symbol of innovation, hope and serenity. It stands strong, as evidence of what human being can achieve despite their faith being challenged.

2. The Holy Trinity Cathedral

For those yearning for a trip back in time, to our island’s days under British colonial rule, this is a must-see. There are many magnificent cathedrals in our capital, Port of Spain, however of them, these are definitely in our top three! Built to reflect the Gothic style architecture of the Victorian Era, this Anglican church was built in 1809, by patronage of the British Parliament. TnT_PoS_Cathedral_of_the_Holy_Trinity_(back_view)

The magnificent hammer-beam roof is made of local wood and characterized by huge trusses. The altar is built entirely of selected local mahogany and backed by alabaster and marble mounted on a base of Portland stone. The stained glass windows showcase magnificent representations of the saints. The Cathedral is filled with interesting historical items such as the marble statue dedicated to former Governor and founder of the Church, Sir Ralph Woodford. Along the walls inside the Cathedral are Tablets placed “in the memory of” former members of the British elite of colonial days.

Source: Buzz TT

 

 

3. Moravian Churches, Tobago.

Moravian-Church-in-the-vi-010.jpgLet’s head over to Tobago! Spring Garden and Black Rock are two important villages for those seeking a bit of history about colonial Tobago. Early Moravian missionaries constructed two churches, in 1852 and 1859 respectively. These humble buildings are almost identical yet in their simplicity, these chapels are remarkable for their design. Each building incorporates wood-shingle walls and hipped roofs, resting on a foundation of coral limestone. These Moravian churches were bastions of colonial Tobago and their primary function was in ministering to plantation slaves and educating their children during pre-Emancipation times. Adding to their historical significance is the fact that these churches were two of the few structures that survived devastating Hurricane Flora that affected our twin-islands in 1963.

4. 85ft Lord Hanuman Statue

This is one for the record books! Many do not know, but Trinidad is home to the largest Hanuman murti outside of India. Built according to the Dravidian style of architecture of South India this 85-foot tall statue of the Hindu god, Lord Hanuman located in the village of Carapichaima, Trinidad.

A “murti” in Hindu culture is any embodiment of the divine. It refers to any embodiment, manifestation, incarnation or personification of a spiritual entity or deity. Worshiped by many who wish to gain courage and strength in their lives, Lord Hanuman is probably one of the most celebrated and revered figures in the Hindu Mythology.

The towering murti took years to design and construct and the result is truly a sight to behold – but don’t take our word for it. Check out this video!

5. Mohammed Ali Jinnah Memorial Mosque

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Source: The Trinidad Guardian

Finally, we couldn’t end without shining the spotlight on First Capital Apartment’s very own home – The Town of St. Joseph. Located just minutes away from our wonderful apartments is a majestic remnant of the island’s Muslim followers.

One of Trinidad’s finest mosques, which serves as headquarters of the Trinidad Muslim League. It is also regarded as one of the 50 most beautiful buildings in the world. It’s tall towers can be seen from the nearby main road. During the holy season of Ramadhan, many Muslim brothers and sisters gather to break their fasting daily, and on any given day residents and visitors to the area can hear the iconic call to worship as it echoes through the town.


So there you have it! These are just some of the many religious sites found in and around Trinidad and Tobago. If you find the time to venture away from the ordinary, take a moment to see the extra-ordinary. Dive into our rich culture, and experience a religious tour around the islands.

There’s lots to see but be on your best behavior! Our national is built on love, respect and unity in spite of diversity. So regardless of your religious affiliation, when visiting the different religious sites around Trinidad and Tobago, we ask that all who yearn for knowledge and understanding, also be gracious and respectful to both the sites and the people who you encounter on your journey.

For reservation inquiries and help planning your religious tour around Trinidad and Tobago, please send us an email. Check out the homepage for a direct message portal!

What to Pack for Your Trini Vacation

FIRST CAPITAL APARTMENTS (2)

So you’ve  decided to ditch the dreary negative-degree weather back home, and take a trip to sunny T&T – we’d say you make the right choice! Our culture is as warm and welcoming as the radiant sunlight that’ll meet you at the airport, and as pure as the delicate blue skies overhead.

We’re so happy you’re here – but what did you pack? Many tourists are often left wondering how to transition from snow and sleet to sun-kissed mountainsides and sandy beaches. The 30-degree average temperature of our beautiful tropical climate can be extremely disorienting during your first few days in Trinidad and Tobago.

So let’s get to it – First Capital Apartment has a guide to help you pack efficiently for your Caribbean Dream Vacation. We’ve got you covered (or uncovered depending on the tan-envy you’re trying to evoke when you get back home). See what we did there?


1. Tan for Days!

You already know! There’s no way you’re coming to Trinidad and Tobago and don’t end up visiting a beach, or two…or three.

What do I pack? Um…A swimsuit? Just kidding – here’s our tip: less is more.

In Trinidad and Tobago, and many other Caribbean Islands, your body, your skin and your shape is celebrated. Men and women alike are encouraged to “free-up” themselves at the beach. So ditch the sleeves for a skimpy swimsuit with a light, easy cover-up that’s perfect for when that Caribbean sun starts biting. We guarantee a tan for days, that’ll leave your family and friends back home reeling with envy.

Shop Local! So, you’re the only person on the team who forgot their swimsuit….or you’ve decided you’re in for a bit of shopping – what now? Here is our top pick for local swimsuit shopping.

Chandra Maharaj Designs – Chan was born in Brazil but raised in sweet T&T. Her aesthetic is influenced by the diverse and vibrant culture of our beautiful islands. She designs swimsuits for all shapes and sizes and has even evolved into designing ready-to-wear and high fashion garments. Check out her swimsuit collection on her website.

 

Where to go? Our top pick for beach goers in Trinidad is Las Cuevas . A hidden gem just minutes from the famous Maracas Beach, Las Cuevas is the Caribbean’s first Blue Flag certified beach – a slim, private, stretch of sand and sea, waiting for you! We’d recommend going during the week because chances are, you’ll have the beach all to yourself! There are washrooms and changing room facilities on site and if you really want the Trini experience, stop at Maracas Beach first to pick up some bake and shark! Las Cuevas is ideal for snorkeling, sunbathing and simply relaxing in the cool, crisp Caribbean Sea.

2. Legs Out!

You’re in the land of sun, sun and SUN – so let your legs out!

What do I pack? Rain or shine, shorts are a must, so pack a few. In T&T there’s a wonderful mix of warm breezes and cold beers and we recommend you do yourself a favor and forget about your jeans for a few days. Trinis LOVE a good short pant and we’ve got a few tips for styling.

  • Pair them with a crop top or simple vest for a more casual look.
  • Wear an oversized tee or baggy shirt for classy comfort.
  • Be effortlessly fashionable: skip the two-piece altogether and rock a romper!

You’re showing skin….so SHOW the skin! Whether you’re going to The Falls at West Mall for some high-end shopping, out for a night on Ariapita Avenue or catching the local food scene around the Queen’s Park Savannah – let your skin out to play. You’ll thank us later.

 

Shop Local! Here’s our local designer spotlight – you may know her as one of the winners of Project Runway. Trinidadian born designer, Anya Ayoung-Chee not only represented our island at the Miss Universe Pageant in 2008 but went on to “make it work”, reigning victorious at New York Fashion Week during Project Runway’s ninth season in 2011.

Check out the shots above for just a taste of her designs – get your short, shorts our, and be inspired!

3. Catch the Wind

Maxis are not just what we call buses in T&T – it’s also the name of a must-have clothing item for your Caribbean Vacation.

2332475e5a1e59a862e40945ae4f43ec--anya-ayoung-chee-project-runway-dressesWhat do I pack? Maxi Dresses are not just fashionable, they’re versatile and represent all the ease and comfort of the Caribbean lifestyle. They can be dressed-up for a classy night out, or dressed-down with a simple pair of sandals. We guarantee when you step out in a well designed maxi-dress, you’ll turn heads as T&T’s warm Caribbean breeze brings life to the light, airy fabric.

Pair your dress with a broad hat, over-sized sunglasses and chunky jewelry or let the outfit stand alone with a smart clutch and mismatched bangles. As Trinis say, “yuh cookin with gas!” (Translation: You’re taking things to another level; it’s a great idea; now you’re talking!).

Shop Local! Anya is another favorite for maxi dresses but for our local pick we have to go to Shari from Shop Shari 

Shari is inspired by vibrant prints and creates captivating statement pieces that include her signature maxi dresses. Her brand is inclusive, catering to all ages, shapes and sizes, all while maintaining comfort in fashion. Ladies, your curves have never looked better! Check our her Instagram profile for all her latest designs. You won’t be disappointed.


And there you have it – we hope your packing get’s a little easier after reading our tips. At the very least, come to Trinidad and Tobago with an empty suitcase and we’ll fill it up with the best in locally designed, Trinbagonian clothing.

First Capital Apartments have got you covered! We’ve got your packing sorted.

For reservations, check our our home page, or fill our the form on our contact page for more information about our self-catered apartments.

Cheers!

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Free Welcome Basket with Booking!

Already decided? Jump ahead and reserve your room!


 

First Capital Apartments is pleased to announce its first monthly special for the year.

With bookings during the month of February, all guests will receive a FREE welcome basket, filled with groceries to get your stay off to a great start.

We’ve had guests from all over the world: from Japan, to the United States; fromMonthly Special Germany, to the United Kingdom, Sweden and even our Caribbean neighbors! They’ve all been a pleasure to host but we’ve noticed one similarity over the years: the desire for a stress-free, hassle-free settling-in period after their journey.

We can definitely relate to this! Whether it’s an hour-long island hopper flight from our neighbor isles, or a ten-hour trek across the globe; all our guests want, is to drop their bags and begin their relaxing Caribbean vacation. So we’ve decided to take our hospitality up a notch.

Forget the hassle of finding a grocery, forget the pressure of obtaining transport and carrying bags and bags of supplies. We’ll take care of it.

For the month of February, with ALL bookings, our guests will open the doors to their self-catered apartments to find an ample supply of locally sourced fruits, breakfast products and snacks. This will help you settle in without the frustration and anxiety of figuring out your next meal. So have one on us!


Here are just a few of our local products that will be featured in your welcome basket:

1. Hong Wing Coffee: premium-coffee-01

This local brand of coffee was started by Hong Wing and Sons, “the original coffee manufacturers of Trinidad and Tobago” according to their website. The business was established since 1921 with their original products being roasted ground and whole bean coffee.  What started as a small family business has grown to be recognized as the leaders in ground coffee in Trinidad and Tobago. The business has been thriving for 95 years, and Hong Wing has branched into new trends of coffee in Trinidad and Tobago including flavored coffee grounds (French Vanilla, Island Coconut).

2. Local Fruits: Lavorare-nei-Caraibi-a-Trinidad-Tobago

These options will vary seasonally, but among the fruits supplied in our welcome baskets you will find locally grown portugals, mangoes, bananas, five-fingers (star fruits), guavas, pineapples and paw-paws! Make sure and gobble these quickly though because they’re sourced fresh off the trees and have a tendency to become over-ripe within a day or two.

Many of these fruits can be eaten fresh, or made into a local delicacy, “chow” which can be made by cutting or peeling the fruits and adding salts, pepper and other seasonings. Interested? Ask our house manager for help or check our this quick video:

There’s no better way to start your island vacation, than to literally taste the paradise through our locally grown, organic fruits.

3. Local Chocolates from Trinidad & Tobago

A true hidden gem of our nations, Trinidadian cacao is known to be the highest quality in the world and is used to make some of the best tasting chocolates internationally. In fact, at our island’s university, The University of the West Indies, there’s an entire unit called the Cocoa Research Centre dedicated to researching cocoa and preserving its lineage.

 

For years however, Trinidadian chocolate was only available from European chocolatiers, but many local artisans are beginning to pick up the trade, and even sell their chocolate internationally. In every welcome basket we try to support these local businesses by offering a sample of their chocolates to our guests. Read more about local chocolatiers in Trinidad!


All our welcome baskets will vary depending on the products available and season, but no matter what, we guarantee that all guests will feel welcome, safe and well taken care of. You matter to us and we know how challenging it can be settling into hotels that often lack that personal, local touch. So let us take care of you! Take advantage of our FREE Welcome Basket with your booking during this month!

PrintReservation Inquiries can be made right here on our Website. Finally don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and like our Facebook Page to stay updated on our other specials!