edge

​Take Away “Chinee"

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is Christian Young Sing and I run a hydroponic farm.

My WhatsApp picture is of me with a male wedding group — but that’s the wedding of the last of my friends who got married. I was just a groomsman. I’m the last man standing [unmarried].
I’m really, really grateful that I’m getting the chance live on my own, in an apartment I rent in Cascade, not too far from my parents’ home. I’d moved in with my girlfriend — and then we broke up. I moved back in with my parents for a week, and I was, like, “Nah!” I wanted my own space. “Away”, you can live on your own. Trinidadians, we don’t really get that. Men live in their mother’s house until they get married. It’s expensive to live on your own. But you learn a lot.


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​Staying in Departure

My name is Saira Agnue and I work in an airport kiosk in the departure lounge.


I love my first name, Saira. It’s pretty. People might be familiar with that name but my surname is not something that anybody in Trinidad is really accustomed to. It’s kinda “not really”. I don’t know if it’s a French name. I inherited it from my husband. My mother-in-law was Indian and she got it from her parents. We know an Australian who’s an Agnue, so I don’t know if it came from there. My husband has family in Trinidad with the same title but some of them spell it A-g-n-double-o.

I was born in Maraval, grew up in [the built-up, city part of] Curepe and presently live at Arima. I consider myself a Curepe girl. That’s where girl-days were. In Arima, I’m more in the countryside. Which is not what I like. I’m a city girl. I married Anthony Agnue and that is how I ended up in Arima, in the country. We have three children, Antonio, Tanya and Chrissy.
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​Secure in Her Space

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is Esther Montano and I’m in charge of a car park in Town.


I am actually related to [Trinidad & Tobago’s biggest soca star] Machel Montano on my father’s side. But I don’t get comps for Machel Monday. My brothers more have relation with him.

As far as I know, the extended Montano family is pretty big. But, in my circle, it’s pretty small. I have a daughter, a granddaughter and one on the way. My daughter is Carelle Stanley. My granddaughter is Zamiya Stanley, she is two. And my grandson Zaydon arrived safely on Valentine’s Day. Thanks be to God.

My mom, Eden Montano, like the Garden of Eden, is a really strong lady. I take that strength from her. I’ve been through a lot and I’m still here.
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​One Step Forward, Two Steps Forward

My name is Raymond Diaz and I treat my two stepsons as my own.


I grow my stepsons up to stay out of trouble, respect your elders. And love your brethren and family.

I was born in the West but I always say I’m from Cascade. I moved there sometime after the coup. Cascade real nice. You in Town in five minutes. Without traffic. Correct.

Boy days was in Carenage, right near the sea, pulling seine. I know about night-fishing. My uncle had a boat and I first went out with him when I was about 19. I know how they’s set the fish-pot and everything. I kept up that fishing until I was about 23. Actually, fishing was more of a job than boy days. I started painting houses when I was about 19, too. So that’s another job I know a lot about.


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Where the Man with the Mirror Gone?

A version of this feature first appeared in November 2010

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is David Rudder and I’m a recording artist.

To me, Belmont, where I was born, is a metaphor for the whole country. Almost everybody in Trinidad artistic society passed through Belmont.
There’re still some of the old “livers”, as we call them, but most people in Belmont now rent a room to be close to work in Port of Spain during the week. And go to their real home on the weekend.

There were five of us children, four boys and one girl. I was the eldest and was always the one expected to “do something”. In a strange way, after 1986, I came like the eldest of the Trinidad family. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people expecting me to make good music every year, expecting me to do al kinds of things. I might come home and see two-three people who expecting me to give them a little change so they could go and buy milk because they broken. It travels in so many different ways, that kind of expectancy, after a while, you just feel tired. You’re drained.

Even now, when people know I’m in Trinidad, they call, “I want you to do this, I want that”. My greatest line from Trinidad – and they actually say this – is, “I want to use you for something”. They actually use the words, “I want to use you” – but like they don’t hear them. It’s something else.
Read more

Show more posts

​Take Away “Chinee"

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is Christian Young Sing and I run a hydroponic farm.

My WhatsApp picture is of me with a male wedding group — but that’s the wedding of the last of my friends who got married. I was just a groomsman. I’m the last man standing [unmarried].
I’m really, really grateful that I’m getting the chance live on my own, in an apartment I rent in Cascade, not too far from my parents’ home. I’d moved in with my girlfriend — and then we broke up. I moved back in with my parents for a week, and I was, like, “Nah!” I wanted my own space. “Away”, you can live on your own. Trinidadians, we don’t really get that. Men live in their mother’s house until they get married. It’s expensive to live on your own. But you learn a lot.


Read more

​Staying in Departure

My name is Saira Agnue and I work in an airport kiosk in the departure lounge.


I love my first name, Saira. It’s pretty. People might be familiar with that name but my surname is not something that anybody in Trinidad is really accustomed to. It’s kinda “not really”. I don’t know if it’s a French name. I inherited it from my husband. My mother-in-law was Indian and she got it from her parents. We know an Australian who’s an Agnue, so I don’t know if it came from there. My husband has family in Trinidad with the same title but some of them spell it A-g-n-double-o.

I was born in Maraval, grew up in [the built-up, city part of] Curepe and presently live at Arima. I consider myself a Curepe girl. That’s where girl-days were. In Arima, I’m more in the countryside. Which is not what I like. I’m a city girl. I married Anthony Agnue and that is how I ended up in Arima, in the country. We have three children, Antonio, Tanya and Chrissy.
Read more

​Secure in Her Space

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is Esther Montano and I’m in charge of a car park in Town.


I am actually related to [Trinidad & Tobago’s biggest soca star] Machel Montano on my father’s side. But I don’t get comps for Machel Monday. My brothers more have relation with him.

As far as I know, the extended Montano family is pretty big. But, in my circle, it’s pretty small. I have a daughter, a granddaughter and one on the way. My daughter is Carelle Stanley. My granddaughter is Zamiya Stanley, she is two. And my grandson Zaydon arrived safely on Valentine’s Day. Thanks be to God.

My mom, Eden Montano, like the Garden of Eden, is a really strong lady. I take that strength from her. I’ve been through a lot and I’m still here.
Read more

​One Step Forward, Two Steps Forward

My name is Raymond Diaz and I treat my two stepsons as my own.


I grow my stepsons up to stay out of trouble, respect your elders. And love your brethren and family.

I was born in the West but I always say I’m from Cascade. I moved there sometime after the coup. Cascade real nice. You in Town in five minutes. Without traffic. Correct.

Boy days was in Carenage, right near the sea, pulling seine. I know about night-fishing. My uncle had a boat and I first went out with him when I was about 19. I know how they’s set the fish-pot and everything. I kept up that fishing until I was about 23. Actually, fishing was more of a job than boy days. I started painting houses when I was about 19, too. So that’s another job I know a lot about.


Read more

Where the Man with the Mirror Gone?

A version of this feature first appeared in November 2010

Picture courtesy Mark LyndersayMy name is David Rudder and I’m a recording artist.

To me, Belmont, where I was born, is a metaphor for the whole country. Almost everybody in Trinidad artistic society passed through Belmont.
There’re still some of the old “livers”, as we call them, but most people in Belmont now rent a room to be close to work in Port of Spain during the week. And go to their real home on the weekend.

There were five of us children, four boys and one girl. I was the eldest and was always the one expected to “do something”. In a strange way, after 1986, I came like the eldest of the Trinidad family. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people expecting me to make good music every year, expecting me to do al kinds of things. I might come home and see two-three people who expecting me to give them a little change so they could go and buy milk because they broken. It travels in so many different ways, that kind of expectancy, after a while, you just feel tired. You’re drained.

Even now, when people know I’m in Trinidad, they call, “I want you to do this, I want that”. My greatest line from Trinidad – and they actually say this – is, “I want to use you for something”. They actually use the words, “I want to use you” – but like they don’t hear them. It’s something else.
Read more

Show more posts