The Making of a Carnival Junkie.

22 09 2008

Addicts are always looking for bredrins and sistrens to smoke with. Its no fun smoking alone and we are all guilty of spreading this drug we call carnival.  We go, we spend anywhere from 5 days to a month, we return home on a natural high.  We still blazing the hottest tunes from the season in our Ipods, car and home stereos and streaming at work.  We show all the losers who never experienced carnival our pictures, the websites, we tell them the stories, talk about the food, the weather etc. etc. and somewhere along the line, they say.. “I’m coming with you next year”. 

Fast forward 1 year and guess what you have by your side??  A noob!! a Carnival Virgin. Wide Eyed, bushy tailed and excited to experience this madness you so eloquently described.  And despite all that you have explained to them, they still don’t have a clue what they are in for.  When we say yuh not going to sleep, we really mean.. your not going to sleep!. Yes, there will be a man with a fire hose in the fete and it really does hurt if you stand directly infront of the spray.  Yes, there will be mud and paint in the crack of your ass jouvert morning, I told you not to wear yuh nice sneakers and what the hell are u putting on makeup for?? Yes, we really do drink all day and all night.  Yes there are fetes that start at midnight, 4AM, 6AM, 8AM, 10AM, 12PM, 2PM, 4PM.  and we are going to all!!  Yes, these really are some the most beautiful beautiful people in the world, and they don’t care about yuh beer belly or yuh stretch marks.  Dey want to wine wit you too!  Carnival is really Heaven on Earth (and no, this is not a plug for IslandPeople 2k9),

So yuh friend come, they struggle to believe the bliss, the joy, the happiness and the freedom they are experiencing.  They are in complete euphoria and the high is like nothing they have even experienced. Ash Wednesday come, they are exhausted and beaten down, but they made it through like a pledge process.  They limin up Maracas, in line at Richards and talking to other noob masqueraders, comparing notes of the fetes they did not go to. The bands they did not playwith and places they have not limed or eaten…. and what does your Noob say? I have to come back next year to do that.  I have to come early fuh AC (insert # here), I have to Go Bacchanal Wed since I went Customs, I have to Salybia since I went Beach House, Tribe or Uwi? I want to go to this $200 Fete named after some Brian Lara Fella. I want to play Tribe/IP next year.   Your Noob is already laying dey plans and intentions 364 days out…and worse off, dey recruiting other Noobs the minute they land back home.

Year 2 come and your Noob is a little more independent this time.  He/She has her training wheels off. They still need you but is willing to walk down to Arapita Avenue or the Main road by themselves.  U think to yourself… “they grow up so fast” and it almost brings a tear to your eye.  They out there making friends.  Hell, they seem to have more friends than you.  Dey Mashin up all de fetes, wukkin up on anything on the road.  Masqueraders, Trucks, police officers, telephone poles.. a poor unsuspected stray dog all feel the wrath of this outta control 2nd time masquerader.  Dey really have the time of their lives. Moreso than the first time… The high is even higher.

Dey need more carnival and dey need it now!!  Marking off dey calendar, DC? Vincy? Antigua? Caribana…ahhh Cropover in August.  That has to be the next best thing right??!! well, dey go… see some familiar faces, Cropover is nice.. beaches is nicer.. but its no Trini.  But good enough to hold dem over.

Only 6 months to TNT and the days already counting down and registration fuh next year mas about to begin.  Dey at the computer..counting down the seconds, credit card propped up between the function keys waiting to get in their section of choice.  3…2…1.. registeration open….band servers freeze. Dey callin u cussin!!! mad dey can’t register right now!! and then asking..What the fukk is Senvia?? is that like paypal? or Why I have to pay full price now??  You simply laugh, cause yuh cousin inline registering you at the mas camp anyway.  You tell dem keep trying, it will open up soon.

After that you don’t even hear from them again.  You figure they had enough.  So yuh go to make yuh plans fuh next mas.  Come to find out, the place u usally stay is booked!!  Ok, no scene.. yuh go with alternative.  Yuh call yuh driver.. He has some other people already this year. hmmm.. OK. scene. you will make do.  Yuh reach Trini and who do you see right there in Piarco??  yuh noob. and wit yuh driver!! picking up some new carnival virgins, to take dem back to your place which dey booked in advance.  yuh thinkin… What de mudda c—???

Well, no scene..cause yuh home and its time to free up, nothing can stop yuh.  Nor can it stop the junkie you created.  Dey independent and on dey own. Yuh tell dem be safe.. we will bounce up inna fete or on de road. If they need yuh, call me on this # if its b-mobile or that # if its Digicel.  Be proud of the monster you created.  They love and appreciate your culture, your people and your island.  Time to go out and make a new Junkie.


Bastan Karnival

7 09 2008

This will b very short.    Decided to check it out and play mud.  Booked Hotel.  Found out price of playing mud raised because it was “all-inclusive”.  Wanted tuh cancel but hotel already booked.  The $75 fuh mud was not worth the price and the experience stil eh justify even half of it.  Stormers stormed and outnumbered masqueraders, 1 truck fuh 2 bands, food (lol) allyuh cah b serious, costume (lol) allyuh relly cah be serious and security tried…………but was not sufficient.  This was my second visit tuh Bastan and ah could give ah 99.99% guarantee I eh going back.  


New Jersey is often described as the armpit of America because of the Industrialization………….but I dare tuh say Bastan is d buttomhole of d America.  I have never seen so many wutless looking and acting West Indians in meh life.  Oh d tings dat ah see dat make meh feel so shame.Doh get meh wrong ah know and have met some decent West Indian folks from out dey………..god be wit allyuh. And fuh d first time in meh life ah almost get trampled in ah organized band.  From looking at the Boston Carnival organization website dey looked like dey had history and pride.  But from d looks of tings………….sumting eh right.  I dun.

Cropover is Over Fuh You………Idiato

7 09 2008

Sorry people, ah shame, its been almost ah month since d ting over and ah been back to reality.  But allyuh should be use to meh wutless and unprofessional “journalism” by now…… on wit d Cropover report.  Ah had all intentions to do it b4 ah did reach back but meh laptop decided to play tricks on meh.  Oh before ah fuhget ah would like to say a special fock you to Windows Vista for getting corrupted and focking up all meh files and not allowing meh to type dis ting up before ah had come back from Bim.


Reach JFK bright and early and board d plane nice and easy.  Ah travelling light… checked bags so no bags to get left behind or lost.  Had a hour delay but no scene because when it come to plane I prefer to be safe dan sorry.  Ah rell sleepig eh since I eh get no real sleep d nite b4.  All of ah sudden like 4 hours into d flight ah commotion on d plane………ah look in front ah meh and ah see some people struggling…….now is dotish I wake up dotish eh but d first ting dat come to meh mind is dat ah have to fight somebody on d plane because terrorists trying to take over……………few seconds later meh brain cells finally start operating and ah realise a gal ketching seizures.  Luckily a young lady in d opposite isle was a nurse and she valiantly jumped into action and stabilized d gal.  Ah was really impressed by d way she handle d scene.  D gal was ok and we land like ah hour later. 


Oh sweet Bimshire ah reach………ah almost feel as sweet as when ah reach Trini fuh Carnival.  So ah clearing customs now and ah fella call out meh name…….is 1 ah d Kriminals who fuh d purposes of dis Blog ah go dub him as “WineFuhYuhLife”.  So we clear customs and immigration.  Head straight fuh d bar to celebrate we arrival.  One ah meh UK frens was suppose to meet we dey but she was coming tru Trinidad and of course had delays.  Now it have 2 kinna delays when yuh coming from Trinidad to Barbados.  Dere is d plane being late delay and den dere is d “all ah allyuh is criminals so everybody have to go to d red line to get dey bags search” delay. So she was late and meh 2 odder crew members was late.  We ketch a cab which is never a problem in Bim and head to we apartment.  We settle een and organise we tickets fuh d first fete GLOW.

GLOW was held at Party Stand……..A parking Lot wit a big tent…….and d stage under d tent.  2 consecutive years is rain, so ah guess d tent is needed.  Last year it was a decent scene.  Dis year it was a wasted night.  To make a long story short……….Krosfyah were consistently good……….Lil Rick sound like he was sleepy and d odders need to work on dey live stage performance.  Annodder ting…….when yuh having a fete wit live performers………….yuh doh put dem on 1 right after d odder…………let d DJ give d crowd some vibes nah.  None d less we had a bottle ah Johnny to work wit so we left dat fete at 6’ish………….NOT to return next year. 


Well its now Friday which mean is time fuh ForeDay Mawning.  We wanted to experience d real ting in town but decided to go Baje Foreday Mawnin Fete first.  Dey had it at some aquarium grounds and drinks was included in d admission price ah believe.  It was muddy, wet and full ah paint.  Initially it was kinna dead and juvenile but eventually tings picked up and we decided to stay dey instead ah going into town and be disappointed.   Ah was also warned by a few frens dat d town scene is reaaaaaaaal wildness…………and wildness in bim is relly a different level ah wildness.  


Ah boy its Saturday evening and is time to go AGAIN.  We get a few hours sleep…… ah food and d engines revving.  We decide to go a fete call BLISS.  And this my frens was d highlight as far as fetes go for this trip.  Now we get dey early because we was short ah ticket because ah certain fella was unsure of his vacation status.  We had to hire a taxi because it was out of Christ Church at Holder House in St James which was like 30 minutes away.  We get dere and security tight.  Explained we situation tuh a young lady who den explained to 1 ah d promoters and he was kind enuff to allow us to purchase an additional ticket.  Now normally I doh believe certain fetes sell out……..but at d end of d night dis fete was definitely sold out.  It was ram ram ram.  But back 2 d beginning.  We set up shop in d hot sun and d place empty.  But we like it so because we right next to d bar and Johnny and Coconut water running like…..well……water.  By d time 6/7 o’clock reach d party in full swing.  Meh partner was concerned because he felt dere was a large stush factor at this event……..but get wat……dem is people too…………rum flowing and music jamming.  There was an abundance of food, drinks and cicilized people.  And d DJs at dis event really played to d crowd.  What more can you ask for at an all-inclusive.   And at $65 d price was extremely right.  We leave dey arrung 9:30 pm and d place was jamming hard.


Yuh wah see pace.  We eh dun yet is still Saturday.  We r insomniacs so we have to go d Bajan Insomnia called 10 to 10…….which is self explanatory.  Now dis fete is split into 2 sections………General and VIP………..I have a child tuh mind and possibly more tuh mind so VIP is where I b.  During d course of d night we decided to stroll over in General because 2 b honest d VIP vibes was deader dan a doornail (wat ah surprise).  We wasnt in General 3 minutes and ah brawl break out.  But here dis nah…………d great ting bout brawls dat we witnessed in bim is dat dem fellas does b too tired to relly mash up each odder……..tired from wat yuh might ask.  Well tired from wukkin-up.  Is not no regular wukkin-up @ 10 to 10 eh kno……… a constant pounding fuh hours dat yuh havetuh see wit yuh own eyes tuh understand.  Ah eh never see people subject dey private areas tuh so much pounding in meh life.  But dis subject will be revisited next year.  Ah next fight break out on stage when Lil Rick and he son come on stage.  D fight once again was so slow and jokie dat Lil Rick was commentating d fight in slow motion like on d Matrix.  Honestly dar fete was a waste ah time.  I eh really wah talk bout it no more.  Good news is d bar didnt buss and it had food in VIP.  We left b4 it finish and it was d kicksiest ting.  Ah fella b d front gate vex fuh some reason.  But my boy have a wren in he hand banging on d gate.  D fella actually physically removed d front gate wit he wrench.  Security take ah turn in he tail and we eh wait tuh see wat happen.


Sunday night now we had 2 options.  D govt ran Cohoblepot or Euphoria.  For political reasons ah wanted to go Euphoria in support of d local artist who I felt were being disrespected b d way d government decided to pay ah foreign act ah ridiculous amount ah money to perform at a cultural even which was suppose to showcase the Bajan artists…………..and tuh add insult tuh injury d foreign act was listed as d HEADLINER and d local artists were listed as ALSO PERFORMING.  But ah was out-voted so we end up at Kensington Oval.  IF YUH SEE PEOPLE.  We really didnt watch d show just spent most of d time by d bar gaping.  D show looked like it was a success……BUT…….ah would hope dat next year it goes back tuh d Bajan artists and we get tuh see d Bajan culture.



Unleash D Beast.  Is Monday mawning and time fuh Grand Kadooment.  We reach d National Stadium early o’clock and set up base camp right near d neball court and start getting ready fuh battle.  Take ah breath……allyuh smell dat……is Carnival in d air.  Fuh some reason we band……..Baje International is not easily identifed………even 1 ah d Event Marshalls asking we wey d band.  Eventually ah notice we was #19 of 23, 24 or 25.  So ah saying tuh mehself good………ah like being in d back and let everybody else go early.  Next ting yuh kno a hear d woman in d Stadium calling we band name tuh cross d stage.  Oh well.  We miss   d 20 meter sprint across d track.  Its now aruung 1030am and we marching towards Spring Garden Highway.  Oh the memories of last year………tank goodness fuh dose memories……because dis year was PURE DISASTER.  Ah wasnt going and say much bout it eh………….but ah go keep it short.  It was a straight up race from d stadium to Spring Garden………we was DONE by 2pm.  Few tings dat perturbed meh in d band besides being robbed of the cost playing d ass in dis band.  d idioy from 106th and Park who was waving an American flag.  D idiots who feel d need to have foreign acts on d road when people wah enjoy demselves instead of disturbed b d freak show.  And d idiots who keep playing Feet Dont Fail Me Now.  Goodness gracious.  Allyuh was d wuss.  When ah look at a few clips on Youtube and observed some odder bands on d road and what dey offered dey masqueraders …………..allyuh could suck salt next year……and tuh infinite……….but is my fault………when allyuh did publish allyuh was bringing out a section in a shitty Trini band next year dat was a big clue of tings tuh come.  Ok……..ah feeling better now.  We went back tuh d open field….eat we food…..get some kicks.  We followed ah few bands down d road towards Party Tent.  We loss ah fella who was having a hell of a time and eh find him back fuh annodder 2 hours.  while searching fuh said individual who had no cell phone in case of emergency….hint….hint……..we see Alison Hinds and Biggie Irie performing for their band till d end of d route………found dis tuh b a very refreshing sight.  Dey interacted with spectators and it actually looked like dey gave a shit……..odder entertainers should follow this model of professionalism.   Eventually we find d missing fella and ketch ah car back tuh d apartment.  Oh yeah…..PX4 had ah after-party advertised………….but apparently it was juss fuh dem maaqueraders…………maybe next time allyuh dummies go put dat info in d ad.   Ah had energy tuh burn…….but nowey tuh burn it.


Is Tuesday mawning and dem UK people have a cruise.  Last year d weather was bad so it was cancelled with full refund so we was looking forward tuh this year.  We get down dey early………….but ah fella late.  He eventually reach and we set sail on d Harbour Master.  Niceness.  Drinks and food inclusive.  D bar tender is a jumbie doh.  Dat man mixing drinks and flipping d full glass wit ice upside down and nuttin falling out.  Ah see d man do dat like 10 separate times.  Lunch is served…………if yuh se d big healthy plate ah food.  D boat pull up by ah beach fuh people who wah snorkel or bade.  We choose neither……..we drinking.  Part boat jamming down d sea.  1 ting but d UK people is dat dey like dey Soca…….ah could appreciate dat.  1 odder ting bout dem is like all ah dem working fuh various media houses…………if yuh see camera and camcorder……dis ride might have tuh be renamed d Papparazzi Cruise.  D ride was a decent time and is really what a cooldown should consist of……….drinks, music, food and civilized people.




Wednesday night we decide tuh check out wat was going on down d Gap.  By then Soca had officially died.  Not a sign of any Soca music.  Is time tuh go home.  See allyuh next year………oh yeah….we did take a vote and decide we had such a good time dat we goin back…….I dun.