1. You break biche at least once in your lifetime, skipping school or extra lessons to lime in the mall with your friends.|
2. If someone noticed a blue-black bruise on your skin, they would tell you that a soucouyant came into your room during the night and sucked your blood.
3. Even if there’s a zebra crossing a few meters away, you will still jaywalk and get angry when cars honk at you.
4. Your teacher asked if you ate ‘parrot bottom’ for breakfast because you couldn’t stop chatting with your friends during classes.
5. You know how to suck sugarcane, pelt mango, make a chickichong kite out of cocoyea broomsticks, flour paste and a copybook page, pitch marbles and play Scooch or Moral with a worn out tennis ball.
6. You used to go by Tantie to buy snacks like pholourie, tambran ball, chili bibi, red mango, suck-a-bag and penna cool.
7. You used to look forward to the July/August vacation because it meant spending hours digging for tiny clam-like chip chip on the beach.
8. You used to run outside whenever you heard the ice cream van’s song or the snowcone man’s bell.
9. You got ‘licks’ or a good ‘cut tail’ because you did something wrong or you talked back to your parents.
10. You would sing sexually explicit soca or dancehall songs but only under your breath whenever your mother or father was present.
11. You watched a Bollywood/Indian movie at least once in your lifetime.
12. You put ketchup, mustard and pepper sauce on pizza.
13. You used to collect a seed called ‘donkey eye’, rub it on the ground or against a concrete wall and sting your friends with it.
14. If you swallowed a seed, no matter how big or small, your parents would tell you that it would grow inside you.
15. A pothound/dustbin terrier was one of the first pets you ever had.
16. If your parents heard a hurricane was coming, they would buy out the grocery’s stock of tinned sardines, Vienna sausages and Crix.
17. You call all nail polish Cutex, all washing up liquid Squeezy and all laundry detergent Breeze.
18. You can make chow with any half-ripe fruit or vegetable.
19. You played cricket or football in the street and had to stop the game to let the traffic pass.
20. For Trinis, going to Tobago was like going to a totally different country; vice versa for Tobagonians.
21. You learned how to ‘wine’, played ‘mas’ at a school ‘jump up’, sang backup for a friend at the school’s calypso competition or decorated a costume even if your parents didn’t let you play Carnival.
22. Whenever you went on a family drive anywhere on the islands, your parents had to stop and say hello to every relative or friend they knew on the way there and back. And you had to eat something or drink a sweet drink at every house.
23. You learned to steups or suck your teeth in disgust even before you came out of your mother’s womb.
23 signs you were born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago
by Suzanne Bhagan, December 31, 2015