Lifestyle Magazine

Coffee Street

By Bewilderedbug @bewilderedbug

It’s been a while since I did one of these Writing Memes from Mama Kat, but I saw the prompts this week and it brought back such a flood of memories that I had to share this with you.

Coffee Street

This prompt that has me so nostalgic was prompt #2: Write about your favorite place to eat when you were a child.

If you remember, I grew up on the small island of Trinidad in the Caribbean.  If you are wondering where that is, it is the lowest island in the Caribbean archipelago and sits next to Venezuela.  In fact, you can sometimes see the mountains in Venezuela from Trinidad on a clear day.

Anyway, when we were small, we ate out every Saturday night ( I believe it was Saturday?  It could have been Friday.  Hey, I was only in single digit age, give me a break!) – and my sister and I used to look forward to that night every week.

We would pile into the car and my father would drive us into San Fernando to Coffee Street.  Coffee Street was in the heart of town, and had numerous restaurants lining the road.  We would head straight for KFC.  See?  Nothing fancy, just a memory.  We would go to KFC, line up with my Dad while my Mom saved a table and then sit at the table and chow down with our parents.   It wasn’t the KFC so much as the experience that is important to me.

I remember that the tables and chairs were fixed (I suppose they were like that in all fast food places in the good old days…oh, could you pass my denture tablets please…) and that when I sat on the chairs, my feet would not touch the ground.  I remember that when my little sister was born, my father used to go sit at the table next to us because the fixed chairs only allowed for four or six to sit, and KFC on Coffee Street was the place to be on a Saturday night.  It was always crowded.

Did you know, to this day that experience affects me?

When I met my husband, and we started getting serious and talking about kids and marraige and all of that fa la la that you dream will be all cookies and cream you’ve just met, he asked me how many children I would want.  My reply?  An even number.  I don’t care if it’s two, or twenty, I just want an even number, so that when we go to a restaurant we’d fit perfectly at a table.  And that was a serious answer – even though I think he thought I was crazy the first time I told him this.

It wasn’t until I explained why – that having my Dad at another table was just not “right” in my five year old brain (again my age approximation may/probably is wrong).

Anyways, back to the past – the tradition kept on for quite a few years after (I’m not sure when we stopped it) and soon KFC was followed by a trip across the road from KFC to “Willie’s Ice Cream”.  Willie’s is now one of the best known Trinidadian-based ice cream stores in the country, but at the time it was a little hut across from KFC that served some of the best home-made ice cream in the most intriguing flavours we had ever seen at that time.  After a few years, MunchKings opened up next to it and we used to frequent that store for my parents’ favorite peanut ice cream and then the plethora of our favourites (ranging from local and foreign fruits to chocolate to plain old vanilla).

To this day, when we go to Trinidad, I enjoy driving down Coffee Street – if not for the humanity of the area (because, after all, San Fernando is now a City like no other), for the memories.  So many memories.

Good times.

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