AS TOLD TO BC PIRES
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.
My kids are 36, 34 and the last one, she don’t like to hear it, but she is 32 years old.
I have two grands, Surya, nine, and Arya, five. Yes, the spelling of my grandchildren names is from Game of Thrones. I’ve never seen a full episode but the younger ones in the family are all GOT fans.
When I was around 11, 12, we started to attend Sunday school, as something new in the village, and then I started going to church and enjoying it.
And what I learnt then, I kept. And that is what I believe in now.
I do take part in Divali a bit, with my mum, help her out, but I don’t go to temple. I don’t go to church, either. But I know what I believe in and what I pray about and who I pray to.
We sell alcohol in our kiosk. We don’t often get drunk people coming up to buy, but we’re not allowed to sell alcohol to anyone we can tell is drunk, anyhow. You can’t tell all the time if they’re drunk but, if they’re miserable, then you know not to sell them. And make them even more miserable!
I work shifts. I start off with a 4 am-12 midday shift. Then we do an 11 am-7 pm shift. And then the 6 pm-1 am shift, which is not a regular shift. I might not get it in every rotation.
My favourite shift is 4 am-12 noon because, although it’s hard to wake up at 2.45 am, I get to go home early or do my little shopping or whatever.
I get a lot of difficult customers.
One or two, miserable because they’re drunk. Then some who get surprised at the prices of the stuff because they don’t understand “airport price.” They say, “But, look, it marked $3-something on the pack!”
I travelled to the Bahamas and I was hungry at the airport and I paid US$12 for a very small sandwich. It was a lot of money and, by the time I was finished, I was still hungry.
But that is airport prices and a lot of people fail to understand that. They travel, yes, but they still don’t understand airport prices.
The best part of the job is meeting a lot of nice people from all over the world.
I see a lot of local celebrities. I enjoy that very much. I met Bunji Garlin and (his wife) Fay-Ann Lyons. They always buy up a storm! A lot of local stuff to take away and share.
I met Blaxx a few times.
I travel to work during normal hours, but, at four in the morning and after the 1 am shift, we have transport to and from home.
I enjoy travelling. You don’t have to wait on anybody. And the travel links to Arima are not bad at all.
A lot of activities have lessened down. Everybody in the family have their own things to do.
And the crime. You don’t really want to be out there. Things happen so bold nowadays, you have to be careful.
Even in the airport, where you have so much security, you have to be vigilant. You might have a drunk person come in and they don’t like the price you tell them, and sometimes, is get very quiet in the departure lounge, and the security is a long distance away. You have to really be careful.
I’m not happy at all with how things are going.
It doesn’t look like a bright future for our children and grandchildren.
You can’t leave your doors and windows open again. Is very worrying.
And it’s a shame. A beautiful country like this, and you can’t come out comfortable? You always have to be aware of your surroundings? Is like a prison!
After watching the Caribbean Premier League of Cricket on TV, I can agree with BC Pires that everybody in Trinidad is good-looking.
After (seeing) the crowds (in other territories) on television and making the comparison, I’m telling you that’s the truth right there.
I love Tobago. We try to go once a year, with family.
If I could eat only one thing for the rest of my life, it would have to be a doubles. Is really hard to beat a good doubles!
A Trini could be anybody – a white, a black, Indian, Chinese – a callaloo. You could even come from a different country and get een to the Trini thing. And be a Trini!
People want to be Trinis when they come. They love Trinis.
To me, Trinidad and Tobago means everything. It’s what I know and it’s everything that I enjoy.
Read the full version of this feature on Saturday at www.BCPires.com