Saturday, March 10, 2018

Bad food this week

I was disappointed terribly twice this week with food. Earlier this week I had Wendy's for the first time in Trinidad. The double burger and fries smelt nice. The cheese was the most flavourful part of the burger. The beef was plentiful but very much lacking flavour. I was not eating but there was just barely any taste. I took a bite of the lettuce by itself - it was crunchy but tasted unnatural... I put a packet of their ketchup on the fires and the best way I could describe the taste was smoky. After finishing the meal I was full but not content. I was actually a little upset. A few minutes later I started wondering what I had really eaten because I was not feeling well. The food was making me upset. I did feel better a couple hours later. 

The second bad buy I made was for Poutinois. I had the large with regular cheese and mushrooms and onions. This was also the first time I was having this. I did want to see how this new thing tastes. The cashier told me to use tamarind and garlic sauce because they were the most popular. It looked interesting but I was disappointed by what I got. It was regular fries, cheese and mushrooms and onions which was not impressive. The taste was not flavourful and not worth the price. After I finished it I felt similarly to how the Wendy's made me feel - full but not content and slightly upset. 

Neither of them made me ill but they were not worth my time and money. I guess I need to consider by eating choices more before trying new things. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Dollar Street

Eye opening info about how the world really is instead of the images pushed to us in the media.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Side hustles in Trinidad

The economy is heading downward, prices are rising and lots of people are losing their jobs. Here are some ideas for quickly starting your own business or small gigs you can do to earn your money. If you manage these properly, these can lead to more customers and your business will grow. Stay humble and recongise that you can learn something from every customer you meet.

Crime is NOT an option.

1. "UBER"
While 'pulling bull' or 'PH' is the name we know it as, taxis are always in demand. Getting a Taxi badge and having your vehicle plate changed and inspected regularly would be required if you want to be above board. There are a few different apps which allow you to be an on demand taxi, however their legality is questionable.

2. Cooking
Food is always in demand and some people have become hugely popular from relatively simple things such as pies, doubles, sandwiches. Some people fill their car with lunch boxes and deliver to business areas around lunch time. When their car is full they go home and their work day is done. It is simple to get your food badge but you should practice and get feedback on quality and taste before you start ramping up production.

3. Simple home repairs
If you know basic plumbing or carpentry and can deliver a quality looking job you are already ahead of other people in the trade. This could be to fix simple problems such as water pump pressure tanks, run a line for a new tap, change leaking faucets etc.
Any sort of electrical repair should only be attempted if you are trained and know what you are doing.

4. Car wash
With so many cars in the country, almost any business related to vehicles would be popular. You could differentiate yourself by having a steam cleaner/vacuum, air scents etc.

5. Cleaning/maid services
This could be very simple or complicated depending on your abilities. Indoors, you could sweep, mop, cobweb, iron clothes, cook meals, do laundry, babysit etc. Outdoors you could power wash, cutting lawns, landscape, clear gutterings etc.

Finally, Showcase your talent
This is a sort of catchall for many things but the idea is no share your special skill to entertain and motivate people.
Can you sing? Dance? Do BMX tricks? Play an instrument? MC events? Being a part of weddings or parties might be your calling.

For all of these you can start a facebook page and upload some of performances or customer reviews. Having an online presence with social validation (reviews) goes a very long way for any business.
Also consider having free rewards for regular customers, eg. a free car wash after the 10th paid one etc.

You should use common sense when doing these such as not keeping large sums of money at your business place and avoiding sketch areas to ply your trade.
I am in no way advocating to break the law or avoid paying taxes or any other fees associated with running a business.
It takes money to make money so you may have to ask nicely for a few favours until you can get more established.

If you have any more ideas, leave them in the comments below :)

Topics: How to earn extra money in Trinidad and Tobago
Ideas for quick money
How to make easy money

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Lost luggage at Piarco

I have a friend who recently had the experience of reaching baggage claim at Piarco and not finding their bags. Other passengers on the flight had the same issue. He made a report at the far end of the baggage claim hall to an agent at the counter who had a sign for the foreign airline company above them. He received a receipt of the claim and was told to go through the red line. The agent was unable to give any information about the location of the bag and was only there to record the complaint. A phone number was written on the top of the receipt and he was told to call it for more info. This process would be the same for any airline. Here he was told to walk through after the officer read his papers for the lost bags.

When he got home that night he downloaded the United Airlines app which allowed him to input his flight info and get to track his bags. The bags apparently did not get transferred to the new plane during a connection.

The next day he called the number that he was told to, however he was transferred to the mechanical maintenance department for Caribbean Airlines. The man who answered it said he had no idea why his number was given out and to call the main Caribbean Airlines number. When the main number was called and the operator was made aware of the situation, she apologised repeatedly for the issue but said that nobody there could help because it was a different airline. She also said that their number may have been written because they simply have a big presence in the airport.

Eventually, he was given the correct number to call which is for Airport Authority of Trinidad and Tobago 868-669-4868 ext 7512/7513/7514 baggage department.
It took a few attempts to speak to someone because the calls kept dropping and the woman was not able to hear him sometimes. Apparently they have major phone issues. The agent was able to confirm the information in the app which was that the bags were not brought to Piarco and they were expected to arrive the next day. She reconfirmed the contact info and said the bags would be delivered free of charge.

The next morning the bags were dropped off to him.

I recommend you take a picture of the contents of your bags as well as the outside so you can have more evidence if you have to make a claim for a lost bag.

Check the airlines app if they have one. This would be cheaper and probably quicker than calling an international number to speak to an agent.

How to track lost baggage in Trinidad and Tobago
Find lost luggage piarco airport
Port of Spain United, Caribbean, American, Liat, Jetblue, British Airways, Conviasa, Copa, Surinam airlines

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

How to renew Canadian visa

I recently renewed my Canadian Temporary Resident visa in Trinidad and this is my experience. I did all the work myself and did not need a consultant. This is in no way legal advice and you should not expect the same experience.  Each case is assessed independently. 

My entire application process was done online including paying the immigration fees using a credit card through the same site. I created a GCKEY in order to do this.

About 10 calendar days later I got an email saying I was approved and to bring in my passport to :
Visa Application Centre (VAC) – Trinidad and Tobago
4 Warner Street
(between Woodford Street and Cipriani Blvd)
New Town, Port of Spain
Working Hours: 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
Phone Number: (868)224-3098
Email Address:

Applying online requires that you have a decent camera (phone) or scanner as well as some computer skills to be able to compress them if necessary and compile all the images into a single file. It may also be confusing with having to keep track of all the individual documents you would have to create for each piece of evidence requested. There may easily be over a dozen individual files to be created. I did not sign each form that had a space to be signed because after the electronic upload you are asked to digitally sign the submission. The total time I took to compile all documents for electronic submission was approximately 8 hours. This does not include the time taken to request forms from banks, government agencies and employers. Collecting the paper documents may require days or weeks. 

I would encourage people to submit electronically since it would save the trip to Port of Spain to submit documents however you should be aware it may be more difficult to do this if you are not familiar with using a computer and the work required to submit. 

When your passport is requested, you may also avoid going to Port of Spain by using the mail in option, or you can deliver in person. If you choose to delegate someone to deliver the passports for you, the delegate must have a signed consent form (link here) for each person/passport. They accepted a scanned and reprinted copy of the consent form in my case with only page two signed. The form was printed half sized on a sheet of paper, so the four pages of the form fit on both sides of a single sheet of paper.

An important page to review is

Another option I could have taken was to apply when I visited the center or applied completely in paper. 

If you are eventually approved you can arrange for a mail in and mail return option or drop in and collect your passport when you are notified to collect.

There is an additional $25.86 CAD VAC service charge that has to be paid for each applicant/family member. No cash is used at the VAC.

If you are approved, you will get an email similar to this- 
" Your result is ready to be picked up at the VAC.
The following can pick up the package at the VAC:
  1. Client with one piece of original government issued identification and a photocopy;
  2. Designated individual of the client when a Letter of Authorization is on file must present one original piece of government issued identification and a photocopy at time of pick-up;
  3. Designated individual of the client who presents an original Letter of Authorization at the time of pick up must present one piece of original government issued identification and a photocopy and must also present a photocopy of one piece of government issued identification of the client;
  4. Authorized Group Representative must present one piece of government issued identification and a photocopy.

I received my email saying I could collect my passport about 4 hours after I dropped it off. Unfortunately I was not able to return to the office but in my case I dropped it off and was able to collect it on the same day. 


Parking is available on Warner street and a couple spots are available in the yard if the gate is opened.

There is a wheelchair ramp to get into the front door but the pavement is a little steep and there is a bump to get into the front door. The restrooms are located on the ground floor.

I suggest not going very early in the morning because it may be crowded. The same service is available all day. The staff is courteous and helpful.

I called the phone number (868-224-3098) and eventually got to speak to a person who was in a call centre in another country. His hours were american hours, so day light savings hours apply. He could not tell me about parking or any details about the facility.

It was annoying to continuously have to sign back into the GCKEY account if I was inactive for too long and it was confusing at some points for which form specifically was required. Some forms have a similar name such as IMM5257B and IMM5257E and the letter at the end was not always clearly specified. Sometimes I checked by hovering over a link and the form name would show up at the bottom of the browser.

How to renew Canadian visa in Port of Spain
Trinidadian renew Canada visa
Canadian visitor's visa expired Trinidad and Tobago passport
Where is visa office Trinidad

Monday, December 18, 2017

Google Pixel 2 discount

I recently purchased the Google Pixel 2 for $649USD and with tax this totalled $699.29. A few days later the price dropped to $599USD. I emailed them through the payments centre ( Click 'questions or concerns' under the invoice for your order, then click check my order status, then 'Email support'. A few hours later I received an email saying I would get a refund of the difference ($53.87) !

If you recently purchased at the higher price try to get your refund also.