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All ah Trini could eat?

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June 22, 2013 by Fensic

Plenty times I does wonder dat wid all de kind ah places it have tuh eat in Trinbago, if it have any dat is all-yuh-could-eat. So ah doh confuse mihself, let mih clarify exactly what ah mean by, ‘all-yuh-could-eat’ place.

Yuh ever go out wid somebody tuh eat an’ while you dey enjoyin’ your food, dey only pickin’ at dey own? Den dey push dey plate aside an’ say dey full, dat is all dey could eat? Dat eh ah all-yuh-could-eat place eh. Is just you on yuh first date wid somebody who eh want yuh tuh realize too quick, how greedy dey really is. Years later, when, in disgust, yuh watchin’ dem scarf dong food like it goin’ out ah style, yuh go remember dat first date.

Suppose is me an’ you dat gorn out tuh eat an’ you order de same ting as me buh it eh full yuh up. When de waitress parse an’ check tuh see how tings goin’, you tell she tuh bring back de menu, yuh still hungry. In de middle ah de new plate ah food, yuh start groanin’ dat eef yuh eat anudder bite, yuh belly go buss. When we go tuh pay, eef your bill is more den mines, den we was eatin’ in ah regular restaurant, not ah all-yuh-could-eat place.

Now let we assume me an’ you end up in dis next restaurant. Who we go see across from we but dat person who still eh want dey date tuh see dey true greediness. Since me an’ you not on no date, yuh eh have dat concern so yuh clean yuh plate an’ polish orf ah next one after dat. Den yuh start lookin’ arong, torkin’ about yuh still have room fuh someting sweet. Next ting I know, yuh orderin’ dessert. When we finally reach by de cashier, eef all ah we pay de same exact price, den we in ah all-yuh-could-eat place.

It have any ah dem places in Triniland? I tinking eh eh. Ah have mih reasons fuh tinking dat so listen why, it eh go take long.

As ah young Trini, ah did just reach in de people country, Ah was ah tong boy in Triniland, buh in dat new place ah was nuttin buh ah country-bookie.

Every turn ah make, was shock an’ adjustment one after de udder. Every ting was so different. From how de people did move; how dey did tork; wuk; drive; play; laugh; live; look. How dey houses was, how big dey cars was. Ah cyar count how much time ah get bun by de water when ah turn de pipe orn. Doh even tork about de cold. Was September month ah did reach an’ it was already de coldest ah ever was in mih young life. Colder dan when ah used tuh open de fridge tuh look fuh ice back in Triniland. De biggest ting dat save mih from hijackin’ ah plane back tuh Piarco, was mih friends. Several ah we did leave we comfort zone right out ah college – one day we in Triniland, de next day we in dis very different place gettin’ shock. Eef mih friends could make it I could too. No way I was goin’ an’ crack first. Dat eh stop mih from being homesick doh.

One day, two ah dem same friends tell mih about ah place where dey did just go an’ eat. Dey say eef yuh order dis special dish an’ polish it orf, yuh could drink all de beer yuh want after fuh one price.

Say what?

Clean mih plate an’ den have all de beer ah could drink?

Ah did never hear about no place offerin’ dat in all mih born days. It wasn’t Carib, buh dat was okay, free is free.

All dem times back home when mih mudder use tuh ‘remind mih’ tuh clean mih plate, me eh realize she was trainin’ mih fuh no restaurant special. She wasn’t offerin’ no beer, just licks. Now here was ah place dat wasn’t punishin’ mih if ah fail tuh eat everyting, buh rewardin’ mih eef ah do it. Finally an adjustment dat ah could get used tuh.

Mih pardnahs describe how it was after dey eat de food an’ de beers start flowin’. Hours into dey routine of drinkin’ beer, peein’ it out; drinkin’ more an’ peein’ dat out, de manager went over tuh dey table tuh tork wid dem. He tell dem dey had tuh leave he place. He say what dey was doin’ was not what de place was all about. Apparently he never had had no Trinis in he establishment.

Well of course I had tuh verify de meat ah de story, so I went tuh check de place out fuh mihself. Ah find out one ting ah didn’t know. It had dis salad yuh was supposed tuh eat as part ah de meal. Up tuh now me eh know what dem green leaf on mih plate was nah. It must ah had ah empty lot in de back an’ dey used tuh keep de bush low by servin’ it as salad. How else would dem leaf scratch mih throat so? Buh ah never lose mih focus an’ ah clean mih plate. Den de free beer start comin’. Mih pardnahs wasn’t tryin’ tuh set mih up.

Ah couldn’t lime by mihself so after ah couple rongs of drink an’ pee, ah leave. Besides ah didn’t want no manager tuh come an’ embarrass me. After dat I was ah regular in dat place. Even mih throat get used tuh de mystery green leaves.

Everytime ah was dey, ah would wonder if ah place like dat could larse in T&T.

Den ah find de real restaurant.

All de food ah could eat fuh one price.

Me eh torkin’ about no scruntin’ lil place wid two ting on de menu an’ when yuh ask fuh one dey tell yuh dey just run out. I torkin’ big big buffet style place wid all kind ah food. Roast beef, pork, chicken, fish, salads wid normal leafs, rice, mash potato, soups, vegetables, all kind ah desserts, non alcoholic drinks buh in small cups so yuh had tuh go back plenty times. Ah didn’t mind as ah needed all dat walkin’ tuh settle what was in mih belly so more could go on top.

Buh I eh had no answer fuh mih question – could dat kind ah place survive in T&T?

Ah used tuh tell mihself no Trini who know how tuh mop go ups just so an’ saunter into one ah dem places. He go have tuh prepare first, just like some ah dem women does do fuh Carnival so dey go look good in dey costume.

Dis time ah sayin’ it before ah do it so yuh know ah know ah doin’ it. Ah goin’ an digress.

Tuh de majority ah dem woman in Triniland? Wid what does parse fuh allyuh Carnival costume dese days, allyuh doh have tuh worry, allyuh does look damn good. Just remember doh, is only de majority ah woman ah tellin’ dis to.

So anyways, Trinis go have tuh prep deyself before dey go into any all-yuh-could-eat place. All ah dat so dey could eat more food dan is medically suggested any one person eat in any one sittin’. Such ah place bong tuh go bankrupt. De real question is how quick. Me an’ one ah dem pardnahs from we early days used tuh wonder about dat all de time.

De udder day, me an’ he gorn’ tuh buy roti. Along de way, he point out dis place dat was closed dong, how long ago, me eh know an’ he eh tell mih. He tell mih doh dat it used tuh be ah Trini all-yuh-could-eat place. Is when he tell mih it was well-stocked wid plenty different Trini food dat ah start tuh suspect. When he add dat de price was reasonable was when ah was sure he used tuh eat dey. Den de man say de place shut dong after like four months. Just so. We look at one anudder an’ buss out laughin’ one time. Me an’ he had de same tort.

Any medical an’ physiological study about food an’ people an’ how much ah de former de latter should eat, eh consider de eatin’ habits ah Trinis. Dat, an’ how far Trinis go go tuh eat free food. Ah usin’ mihself as de model fuh dem statements although me eh even de wuss Trini, mih pardnah wuss by far.

De people could have all de signs dey want in dey restaurant sayin’ yuh cyar share yuh food an’ yuh cyar take food out in yuh purse, or pocket. Dat eh go matter. Ah Trini go bounce een de people restaurant wid ah grip. Boldface boldface he go argue none ah de signs eh say nuttin bout no food in no grip.

Dat is why ah eh fraid tuh go out on ah limb an’ say it cyar have more dan one, okay two, all-yuh-could-eat place in Trinbago.

Mih mudder prepared mih well so ah could take licks eef ah wrong.

Ah wrong?

Ah didn’t tink so.

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June 2013
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