The Germans were blissfully away last night, but this morning they returned with a vengeance. I hated to hear their voices outside in the corridor; I hate the sound of that language. I hated how they clattered about the place, claiming both the porch and the kitchen. It was like being back at boarding school.
Their irritating presence and the bleak outlook the French guy had given me depressed my mood. Suddenly I wanted to go home. I missed company at the same time as I craved privacy. Nineteen more days of this did not appeal.
There was only one place to go when I was feeling like that: Chaguaramas. Trinidad’s very own Crown Point.
Except that Chaguaramas is nothing like Crown Point.
I couldn’t tell where the town began, although the military museum (closed today) should have been a giveaway. The place was once a US base—there are still several military establishments on the site—and the whole thing has a barracks feel to it, even though it wasn’t barracks that I saw behind the barbed wire fences as the maxi passed them, but dozens of dockyards. And boats—hundreds, if not thousands, of boats.
But no sailors. I had my answer as to why they didn’t make for Tobago instead of coming here: they had left their boats behind and headed off.
I did likewise, jumping on a passing bus to race against the ominous grey clouds that were balling up over Port of Spain.
I failed to beat the monsoon by about five minutes and got as drenched as if I’d just emerged from a Miss Wet T-Shirt competition.
“When does the dry season start?” I panted as I crossed the hall.
“Around June,” said the landlord.
“Can’t be. In my guidebook it says December.”
“Patterns are changing,” he said.
Patterns are changing everywhere. Sometimes it feels like a slow-motion apocalypse.