Monday, September 24, 2012

Trini Tuesday-Rain Fallin'

You'd think in my unemployment I'd have all sorts of time to think up original blog ideas.  Actually, I do have a few swimming around in my head and in drafts but they don't seem to want to work.  So today you're getting a six year old re-run.  I figure so few of you read me back then it's safe.  And since I got a generally positive review of another Trini post a couple of weeks ago I'm going for it again.

Growing up in Pennsylvania, I am accustomed to 4 distinct seasons. There is something very comforting about that rhythm and something wonderful about the variety of seasons and weather we can get here. 

Not so in Trinidad. In the tropics you get two seasons, rainy and dry. In Trinidad the dry season generally lasts from January to May, the rainy season lasts from June to December. That's not to say it never rains during the dry season or that it rains constantly during the rainy season. It just means the heaviest rains come during the rainy season.

During the rainy season it ususally rains some every day and some of the rain is so hard it is mind boggling. I never saw rain like I saw in Trinidad. Our house, like a lot of others, was concrete block with a corrugated metal roof. And when I am telling you it rained hard I mean it rained so hard that it was deafening inside the house. I could be standing next to Mr. Lime and have to shout to be heard during some of the more powerful downpours. The first time I experienced a rain like that I thought the roof would be coming down on my head. And yet, I could often keep the windows to the house open during a down pour because the rain just came straight down. It didn't blow all around and come in the windows as long as you had half decent eaves on the roof.

Another strange thing for a Pennsylvania girl is recognizing that grey skies don't mean it's going to be a cool, wrap up in an afghan and sip a mug of tea sort of afternoon. It was still (to my way of thinking and my pregnant self, which I recognize skews all perception) beastly hot. It was still the tropics and no amount of grey skies meant you were going to get chilly...well, unless you are a born Trini, in which case you need a quilt when it is 70F degrees at night.

Just like we have what we call Indian Summer (a couple weeks of warmer temperatures and clear sunny skies after autumn has set in) in these northern climates, Trinidad has what is called Petit Carem. Petit Carem is a period of two to four weeks of unseasonably hot and dry weather during the rainy season (usually September). Everyone puts away their umbrellas for a bit, dries out, and enjoys the sunshine before it's back to many more weeks of rain. It's like a mental health break from all the rain falling.

Now perhaps the thing I enjoyed most about rainy season in Trinidad (and it certainly wasn't trying to get laundry to dry on the line!) was all the things one could be excused from because "rain fallin'."

Gyul, why yuh did not make it to Sunday dinner?
Oh gosh, Mummy! Rain was fallin'!

Sistah Flora, we did miss yuh singing in church dis mornin.'
Yes, yes, but rain was fallin' yuh know?

Mr. Charles, it seems you are late for work again.
Yes sir, but rain was fallin'.

Now on the matters of a good fete (party) "rain fallin'" is an excuse only used if one was seeking to avoid other attendees of said fete. Otherwise...Let we fete because rain fallin' and what else is dey to do?


Stephen Hayes said...

Rainy season during the dry season? No wonder these islands are so green.

Craig said...

You say 'six year old re-run' like it's a bad thing. . .


This post reminds me of the Ladysmith Black Mambazo song:

Rain, rain, rain, rain - beautiful rain. . .

Bijoux said...

I sort of need a quilt when it's 70 degrees too......I need to move to a tropical island and fit right in! Fun post!

Secret Agent Woman said...

I much prefer the dry sunny days, but rain is what keep the place lush and green, so I hate to complain.

Anupama K. Mazumder said...

I too love the rains. Good portrayal of rains in Trinidad.

Beach Bum said...

I enjoy rainy days, especially on weekends. In my family there is like an automatic assumption that if it is wet outside all work stops. Even stuff we do inside, and dammit wouldn't you know the last three months down here in South Carolina have been dry.

Suldog said...

Your reruns are even better than mine! :-)

WizzyTheStick said...

Love me my rainy Trini days....did you also know we call it twenty toes weather;-)

lime said...

wizzy, i don't recall hearing that term...why 20 toes?