Friday, 3 July 2015

Our Trini Adventure

So after wheels up in Grenada we made our way to Trinidad and Tobago. This was the same way we came, but when we flew into Trinidad the last time it was early, early and I really didn't see the topography.

I was really surprised at how flat parts of it were, there were beautifully tilled fields in land that looked perfect for agriculture. There were also freeways with on ramps! Owen and I keep pointing at the four lane highway; we even saw a traffic jam! The capital had skyscrapers and you could see it was a much wealthier country than Grenada. In fact according to Wikipedia it is the third wealthiest country (per capita) in the America's after the US and Canada.

Once we landed we thought we knew the drill since we were basically retracing our steps from September. WRONG. Apparently our stop over was a bit too long and so we were required to leave the airport interior and go through customs. So I had to fill out four long forms and then present ourselves to customs. It is really too bad you were not allowed to take pictures because behind the customs officer was a sign that said "No standing and waiting" which is hysterical because that is all you do in line, but I guess once you are through waiting in line for them it is forbidden to wait for your friends.

The customs officer was great and apologetically gave me yet more paper work because now I needed to redo the paperwork I did in Grenada to go into the departures area. Yay more paperwork.

My forty pounds of sea glass and shells
The airport was quiet nice, I got a good coffee and an OK breakfast, the boys each found something they wanted and were able to play some arcade games. Brent found massage chairs and since we had some extra Trinidadian money (TTs) we all took a turn.

Getting back through to the departure lounge however was a nightmare. In Canada and Grenada, laptops, kobos ect could go through in your bags. Not here everything had to be taken out and presented to them. It took about 20 minutes to be sure we had all electronic devices out of our carry-on. We had 8 pieces of carry on plus now all these bins of electronics, they also wanted shoes just on the conveyor belt and the lady kept barking at me to move my things along- all the while I am letting poor workers who are being tied up slip in front of us. I was getting really frustrated. Then one by one they started pulling all our carryon off for inspection.

Now we had already gone through this stage in Grenada no problems. The security agent pulled out a big sea shell Aiden had packed. Oh this was a problem. All our carry on contained sea shells, I had checked and double checked Grenada's and Caribbean Airline's policy about carrying sea shells, everything was good. In Trinidad however the guard tried to tell me that it could only be in checked bags, but I told him I had checked the airline's policy and it was fine. This frustrated him so he called his supervisor. When the supervisor came over they tried a new tactic and told me we couldn't have the shells because the waters in Trinidad were marine protected. Brent knew I was getting frustrated and told them we had never been to the sea in Trinidad in fact we had never been out of this building, we were transferring flights. 
Sea glass, nutmeg and shells in our Calabash bowls

By this point the lineup behind us was out the door and the supervisor realized we weren't backing down and he just gave an exasperated wave of his arms and let us through. After we were through we heard a number of passengers complaining about the way they were being treated. They said it was always like this when they came trough Trinidad.

As we got in the line to board the plane I was quite happy to be leaving Trinidad but apparently
not before I was pulled aside for a "random" bag check. I was the only person on our flight to have the check. When she flipped open the case she just about knocked off a box of latex gloves. I quickly reached for box to prevent it from falling and she sternly told me that I was not to touch the bag while she was inspecting it. I told her I was catching her box of gloves, I wanted to just drop them, but I pushed them back on the desk  without touching my bag.

Shockingly there was nothing in my bag and we ended up being the last people to board the plane. Even more shockingly we left exactly on time. Bye-bye Trinidad.

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