Doubles, aka Trinidadian street food. It is the go-to food once you don’t have much money at the moment and you’re hungry and need a quick bite to eat. It is curried channa or chick peas nestled between two baras, but that is just the bare essentials. Now a doubles comes with other added goodies such as sweet sauce, chadon beni sauce, cucumber chutney, pepper, the works. All you need to do is tell the doubles person (the person selling the doubles) what you want on your doubles, that is, after they tell you all the additives that they have available to embellish it with, and they would handle you nicely. You can also ask for a triple as well. A triple is where you get three baras instead of two with the same curried channa and any of the other additives that you want. It costs just a couple dollars extra but is worth it if you don’t feel like eating two whole doubles or one isn’t enough. A triple is like the go between the two.
Now, back in the day, a doubles was one dollar and fifty cents, then it raised to two dollars then three and then four, such is inflation. Then, when the government changed and they decided to raise gas by a few cents to earn additional revenue after the previous government went on an epic spending spree that did not benefit me or the majority of citizens in any way, the cost of doubles suddenly went up by an entire dollar. What a thing! I don’t usually buy doubles but there is the rare one or two occasions when I do feel to eat one or when I am running late for class and I need a quick bite if I didn’t have time to grab one at home.
It was on this one particular morning that I did not manage to have breakfast at home that I decided that I would buy a doubles from the van that was perched on top of the street from my school since that would curb the hunger until class was over and I would be able to concentrate on what sensei was saying. Additionally, I also decided that trying out their doubles would be a good idea because I had purchased an aloo pie (potato pie) from them and it tasted really well.
So I happily trotted over to the van and asked for a doubles. However, the guy did not ask me if I wanted any additives on my doubles, he simply slapped the channa on one bara, then put the other bara on it, wrapped it up, flung it in the bag and then had the audacity to tell me that it was five dollars for one. WHAT!?? Five dollars for just a plain doubles?! What rubbish is this!? I could not believe that people were selling bare doubles for FIVE DOLLARS when I got my doubles with all the additives I wanted for a whole dollar less elsewhere!
Needless to say, I was very stunned, especially with his indifference to his service towards me. It was as if I was a bother and he wanted to be rid of me fast to serve another customer, who had just pulled up in his new shiny van, since serving him meant serving someone worthwhile, while I was standing there being a nuisant fly that was irritating him and he wanted to get rid of it. I paid him quickly, took my doubles and walked down the hill, hurriedly eating one of them before I got on campus and then eating the other when I got there. The doubles itself did taste good, but I was very upset at the level of customer service indifference that I was given AND the fact that I paid five dollars for just a plain doubles. As a result, I made up my mind that I would not be purchasing any more doubles from them again. Ever.