AS TOLD TO BC PIRES
My name is Gary Greenidge and I have to make do with Bajan doubles.
Greenidge is a good Bajan name. My dad was Bajan. My mom is from Grenada.
Me and my brothers are first-generation Trinidadians. Gerard is the eldest, Richard is under me and Robin is the last.
My dad was married before, so I have sisters and brothers from that side.
I have a sister who lives in Barbados too and family in Six Roads I didn’t realise I had. Pumpkin vine kinda thing.
My son Malakai Greenidge mom is a white Bajan, Andrea Medford.
I’m a man, I don’t have preference. If my heart flutter for you, it flutter for you. And I go where my heart go. Her heart show her me and things was all right with me and her.
They live in Canada now, but my son like Trinidad.
My girlfriend now is German, but she lives in Barbados.
I’m from Santa Cruz, Cantaro Village – but, no, BC Pires, I never bat with Brian Lara. But I went by his house by the Savannah as a young boy, because he had like my aunt.
In Santa Cruz, most people know each other, like a family. Santa Cruz now, so much development, you don’t recognise it when you go.
It still nice, is still home – but is different.
Barbados is small and close-knit. Everybody know everybody.
Even if they don’t talk to them.
I went to Exchange Presbyterian Primary, then Couva Junior Sec. And then Union Claxton Bay Senior Comprehensive, where I did my A-Levels, after we moved to Couva.
In 2001 I came to Barbados for a two-week holiday from my first job at Pt Lisas on Air Caribbean. I came Tuesday and they went out of business on Saturday.
So, boom, I end up stuck in Barbados. So, over months, I got my citizenship sorted out. I applied to two companies and one hired me.
And I just end up staying in Barbados and in that job about 20 years now.
For the length of time I working at my job, they still call me the Trinidadian fella. That’s the stigma that come with being the only Trinidadian there.
But is a nice company to work for.
The biggest change between Trinidad and Barbados is that the people are more closed as how Trinidadians are welcoming.
Bajans are not that open and straightforward friendly. Is up to them if they want to accept you or not.
Could be my second year in Barbados, I didn't go back to Trinidad for Christmas.
I made a friend at work and we were cool. I didn’t know anybody but him and I passed to check him.
It was shocking to me because he was, like, “Boy, what you doing here? You don't come by people house on Christmas Day! Christmas is for family!”
In Trinidad, somebody turn up by you, you don’t run them out. You offer them a drink. You sit down. You talk one or two old-talk. Then you walk them out.
In Barbados, they talk to you outside the gate! That was my first experience going home by a Bajan.
I ride out and went Miami Beach. I end up making friends with four English people on vacation.
I used to model and won the big Cargo competition in 2004. For a full year, I was all over the papers twice a week. My face was known. At Ship Inn, one girl knew me with my son’ mother and told some other girls, “He like white girls, don’t talk to him!”
They judge you on your relationships, I guess.
In Trinidad, you have the Creole and Indian thing in politics but, as BC Pires says, nobody not going to not wine on someone because of that.
I find that real strange for a Caribbean country.
I never play mas in Trinidad. At Carnival time in Trinidad, you could walk the road, you could lime in one spot and everything will come to you, you feel part of the festival.
But in Barbados, to enjoy yourself at Crop Over, you have to jump. In Barbados, in two hours, the Crop Over done, all the bands pass, you done jump, and you stand up on the road with nothing to do! By half-past two, three o’clock, you end up home or on the beach liming.
The best thing about Barbados is the beach. The sea. The water.
I love Miami Beach. Even if it have seaweed.
The Chinese food in Trinidad is the best in the world! I went Australia and their Chinee food is not as good. The green seasonings they use in Trinidad, you could taste it in the food.
In New York, you might get some Chinee food almost as good – but then, most is be real off! The best Chinese food in Barbados is the Japanese food at Naru’s (fine dining) restaurant.
On a scale of one to ten I would give the doubles at Six Roads an eight.
I guess to get a ten doubles you have to get it from a Trinidadian. In Trinidad, they adding different things, so you get different tastes and textures.
Doubles is very different in Barbados. But when you eat one, you still feel like you're eating part of home.
I was last in Trinidad three years ago, before covid.
You don’t have to work as hard and save as long in Barbados to go away as you do in Trinidad. I got the opportunity to go to Australia, London, New York, LA, China, Japan and Germany.
I would have been able to do that from Trinidad, but it woulda take longer.
In Trinidad, if you don’t stay focussed, you could get caught up in the lifestyle. You partying, you drinking, you liming, you spending money every day.
For me, a Trinidadian is love, energy, culture. The love is for your home. The energy is the anticipation, a vibe, this anxious, uneasy feeling, like something have to happen. Every Trinidadian could tell you, around February, in their soul, in their body, this energy inside of you.
Even living in Barbados, I don’t like to be home Carnival time. Because I know something going on and I need to be there!
And then, the culture always come down to the food. The Creole, the Indian, the Chinese – every food bring you together!
Trinidad and Tobago to me is love, is peace, is a comfort for me. I know how to operate, how to relate, and everything just runs smooth.
Read the full version of this feature on Friday evening at www.BCPires.com