Sunday, March 27, 2011

TRINIDAD CARNIVAL'11

 What appears to most as scantily clad people grinding in the streets, really has a deep rooted history, which many colonized nations share. Africans created Carnival as a celebration of their new found freedom on the abolition of slavery. Today, Trinidad Carnival has evolved to becoming the biggest in the West Indies. Soooo growing up West Indian, Carnival was more of a chore for me. I would drag my feet to the soca rhythm and cross my arms while staring at revelers in contempt. Over the years I've grown to LOVE it.

Now fast forward...we've landed in TT Friday night and one of our many fabulous hosts - Lovey has scooped us from Piarco International and we're now en route to our home for the week in Woodbrook. You'll definitely hear me say throughout this post...we couldn't have had better hosts...shout out to the Superville family ;-) After settling in, it's time to get ready to hit the road. First up Girl Power (no Spice Girls were involved... I promise) Simplest way to describe Girl Power hmmm a concert/party held outdoors. I had a blast!!!! I caught up on all the current music, drank to my heart's content (rum and beer were unlimited) and sobered up over corn soup and a greasy mess called Doubles (I'm not a fan). Not to mention I was inches away from Machel Montano's (Trinidad's biggest export) pelted waist and I swear when he flashed his dreads a little sweat landed on me...*sigh*. We left around daybreak 5ish..at this point sleep is setting in and my friend tells me that "oh by the way did you realize your tights were see thru"..so I'm now scampering to the car as fast as possible as not to offend the streets of Port of Spain with my underwear, but I digress we get to the car and low and damn behold glass is shattered, purses have been stolen and these lames even stole the side mirror...bienvenidos a Port of Spain, right!?!

Machel !!!

Saturday
After trying on our Tribe (our band as they say there - no instruments involved) costumes, a few of us realize we need some major alterations prior to Carnival Tuesday. We spend the day at Tribe Mas Camp , but only after getting some KFC...I swear I DON'T eat KFC, but this KFC is sooo good any vegan would be begging for a two piece. While at Mas Camp, I fall in love with a man named Val. He seemed to be the HBIC (head bitch in charge) and I wanted to recruit him to be my new Gubby (Gay Hubby). I mean he was FIERCE...the wickedest hair cut and accessories and a face that screamed "don't eff with me". Trying to help everyone in dire fix-my-costume frenzy, Val was running around like the hare in Alice and Wonderland. I think there was an instant connection, but neither of us knew how to go there, ya know!?!?  Net Net...costumes were fixed...I was given a more matronly option of tankini ...*blank stare* there goes the sexy ;-( A few more errands,  then early to bed for us as the next morning was a "breakfast party", which starts around 4a.

Sunday

We get to breakfast party- Diamond Vale- around 5ish and I'm as happy as a pig in shit...I love a party that is 1) all inclusive 2)full of pretty people 3) outdoors. The music was EXCELLENT, the drinks were great and I was having one of those Lady GaGa "so happy I can die" moments. Note, you really never get too drunk because the sweat that you exude from all the dancing takes care of that...it's a nice ebb and flow. The sun rises early in TT and now you see what Mr. Man you were whining on really looks like..."oh great you're missing a front tooth"...but all is good, because this Angustora rum is running and I'm here for de carnival ;-) D'Vale ends at 12p and we got every last drop in...you learn when rolling with my girl Niks (and Ramona - future post), the party does not end until the speaker box is being unplugged. We finally ride out, sleep for most of the day and then spend the rest of the afternoon "liming" (as the trinis say) on Ariapita Avenue - a Port of Spain hotspot.

Monday 
Monday Mas is best described as "the practice run"...you wear whatever you want. My girls and I wore hot shorts provided by Tribe and tshirts we brought. Ready, set, goooooo... 10 hours of dancing, chasing drink trucks and lots of man on woman and woman on woman whining!!!! Chipping down the road, bumping into friends (inclusive of my sooon to be Gubby Val) and pure debauchery sums up my perfect Monday Mas.


Tash and Val

Carnival Tuesday
The house is in total mayhem...there are 10 girls running around...putting on makeup, gluing beads, rigging bras...MADNESS!!! We hit the road a little late, we've missed the breakfast call and all they have left are yogurt and bananas...I chose the yogurt (mistake #1). I mean, really, who slurps down warm yogurt and chases it with rum at 9AM ? Shamefully, I did. We get off to a slow start. Everyone that didn't come out on Monday is there on Tuesday...think 6-7000 people with headpieces and over sized feathers on their backs as well (why the hell is your costume 5 feet in diameter?). Secretly, I'm hating...the costumes were GORGEOUS!!! Two hours in my tummy is not feeling well...in my head I'm moving fast and smiling, but in reality I'm achy, my head hurts and I have the urge to puke (tmi?). My crew is aware and GOD bless them because everyone took their turn to check up on me. I'm steady sipping my rum, because hell, didn't someone tell me that alcohol kills everything ?...they lied. We're moments away from the stage (which is like the  highlight of the whole road march) when Laura (one of the Supervilles) says, "Honey, you want me to take you home? We're close !" At first I'm like "Nah, I'm good,"  until one of those dry heave moments hit me and I'm like "Yea, on second thought let's goooooo". Tears were in my eyes when I thought, "Omg ... she's sacrificing her stage moment to take little ol' me home...wooowww, I love this girl !!!"  One shuttle ride and one hitch-hiker move and I'm home. Feeling defeated I drag myself into the shower then off to bed. A few Supervilles were home and checked on me, made sure I ate and took some meds. What felt like two days later, I woke up feeling slightly depressed that I had miss half the day, when one of the Supervilles said " you look better, lets gooooo back on the road" (did i mention this is the BEST host family ever). In two flashes, my costume is back on...I hit the road with the Supervilles and we lime on Ariapita, watching other bands pass, until we get word of Tribe's location. I found my friends, who welcomed me with hugs and kisses and quickly filled me in on what I missed. Rum and coke back in my hands, I finished the night with a vengeance.


Wednesday - Are you Ready to go home?!?! Nooooooo!!!
Wednesday is known as "we liming at the beach day" so I was super sad to be leaving. But I boarded my flight giggling to myself about all the funny moments over the 5 days.

Tribe costume -$660
RT ticket to POS- more than it should have been because I waited too late
Memories of my Hajj- priceless

Trinidad & Tobago Carnival...officially Glamtrak approved.

Special Mentions
Superville Family - Mwah Mwah, much love to you all for opening your home and being sooo accommodating
Dani and Wani - Thanks for making sure we looked official...oh yea!
Kese/Joseanne - You girls rock! Thanks for the jokes and spirit gum
Niks and Tash - Thank you for inviting me into your Carnival crew and making sure I didn't flake... you know I'm the runaway masquerader
Stephen - Thank you for sacrificing your manhood and walking around with that makeshift purse all Monday, just to make sure I had all the right bells and whistles for the road
Doneisha - Thanks for sending Stephen with that care package and keeping my countdown to Port of Spain alive
Ramona - Thank your for all your Carnival Veteran advice...you prepped me so your Kay Kay was on point when she hit the road
Mommi - Thanks for lighting the fire...who would think I would ever love Soca as much as you ;-)





MVP!!!






2 comments:

Doneisha said...

As a West Indian I must say the carnival bug damn sure did NOT bite me. Through years of supporting your preparation for TT carnival via Ja. carnival, I must say that no one is happier than me to see that you not only committed, BUT FOLLOWED THRU!!!. Dare I say that your real time TT updates via BB has inspired me to, wait take a deep breath.... give serious thought to jumping, yup I said it. The song says "Come to Meh"...and you definitely answered that call ;)

Baps, I get a big ups..."care package", that was a given, yuh know yuh girl always got her peeps.

Ahm on a side note...Val and MVP, WTF?!?! DWL

Can't wait to Glamtrak to your next destination Kay!

Tashina said...

Reading this really brought tears to my eyes. This is my 4th Trini Carnival experience and I must say, this year was absolutely the BEST! As you stated in your blog, good company, bess music, good-looking people and good food are all ingredients for a GRANDIOSE time!

I cannot wait for you to tell us about your next excursion! And in the meantime let's hold on to the memories and anticipate the new ones we will be making!

Keep on Living and continue to be great at it! :-)

 
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