Of zabocas and quenks.


It was a mixed day today so let’s start with the positive which is that avocado season has started and soon junkies such as myself will have our fill. Known here as zaboca by all but the most uppity nosed types from Westmoorings, our version is somewhat different to the puny Haas variety normally found at the fruit and veg stands in North America and Europe. Ours are bigger and with a lighter texture and can get decidedly large. Because we do not import avocados from other regions it is very much a seasonal treat that is much anticipated. While other cultures come up with clever ways to use the avocado in creative dishes here in T&T we like ours served just the way it is – either just sliced and served or eaten with local crackers.


I shall start this next bit by explaining that a quenk is a wild pig that lives in this part of the world. After work I dragged myself to the gym in a torrential downpour and made my way up the steps to the gym with my $5 in my hand for my traditional bottled water. There was a newish young lady at the desk so I smiled and asked for a bottle of water offering my money. Getting the water and continuing with my normal routine with Clyphil would have been far too simple a scenario though. Oh no. The wretched woman at the desk asked me where my membership card was. I politely explained that because I always lose mine it is kept at the front desk and pointed to where it was. This wasn’t good enough for her as she insisted I take it with me. I told her that for all my time at the gym this had not been a problem for anyone before and, in fact, it was reception who suggested I leave my card there. This too wasn’t enough for her as she asked if I could not read the sign on the door saying that all members show their card. I politely expressed surprise that she was able to read the sign on the door and that I was showing her my card by telling her it was on her desk. She went on to say that she was following procedure which prompted me to suggest she should have sought employment at Dachau instead. 


By this point in the proceedings i was starting to nose breathe and was on the verge of going into full verbal assault mode. I  told her that whatever floated her boat was fine with me but I was not changing my plan to leave the card at the front desk. Did she go into customer care mode? Nope. She proceeded to tell me that her boat was floating just fine which led me to inform her it must be a pretty strong boat since it was obviously carrying a lot of extra cargo. Sadly, at that point Clyphil heard the ruckus and told her he would hold my card  for me – though even that led her to keep babbling something about  procedure as the two of us walked away into the gym proper.


It turns out that the other four guys in the gym at that time had also had problems at the desk that day and one of them was actually fit to be tied. Why do some people work in jobs that clearly don’t suit them. I am sure there was a prison guard position she could have filled. I would never dream of doing something outside my range of abilities like coal mining or teaching daycare. We need to get back to the state where customer service really falls on the shoulders of those who are able and trained to handle it. Good luck with that I guess. I would probably have better luck if I went outside and prayed for 1957 Chateau Lafite to fall from the sky.


One Comment to “Of zabocas and quenks.”

  1. Oh I love avocado but we do only get haas ones here. Seasonal treats for me (growing up in the SE) have been asparagus and corn on the cob (though it’s ubiquitous all year round from the supermarket) but the local in season stuff can’t be beaten.

    Yes, that woman on front desk sounded like she’d be very well suited to working as a prison guard.

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