Well, it's that time of year again. Carnival! Well, the j'ouvert part of carnival. Folks/businesses organize troupes months in advance to get everyone into the spirit and set them up with costumes, paint, booze, and music for the big event. I had been going to kickboxing lessons sponsored by the Mudsunami troupe and had been kicking my way into shape via soca/calypso music and revving up my cardio just in case I decided to join (stranger things have happened). The day after Christmas, each troupe meets somewhere from midnight on to start getting their grind on. By 4am they hit the streets in jubilation and keep going until noon or beyond.
We had intended on being a part of it last year but passed out 2 hours before it started (well Michael did) so watched it on t.v. at a civilized hour. Today, we decided to at least line the streets and check it out in person (and enjoy the long-missing sun). We got there around 7:30am and thought we had missed it.
Nope. There it is. Strangely, we couldn't hear the music until we were almost upon it. You'll note the guy peeing in the corner. I didn't realize he was in the picture, but am surprised I didn't have more such shots. Guys were whipping out their wankers everywhere. I could have had a montage of the weiner wagging had I so chosen. I did not.
There were 9 troupes in this year's j'ouvert competing for, um, something. I'm not even sure what they were being judged for exactly. All had big trucks with big speakers booming loud music with gyrating, costumed, hyper people surrounding them. The trucks usually consisted of part live music, part DJ, part canned.
Some had winding (or tired) people on them, some had full bars.
They just kept coming and coming. As they'd pass our heart beats would merge with whatever beat was pounding out of the speakers.
In case we weren't surrounded by enough noise, I mean music, some speakers were set up on the street so we were getting surround sound. All different music, of course.
The revelers were decorated in whatever they could come up with to stand out. Paint helped. The guy on the ground was just rolling around and having a good ol' time. Don't miss the guy in the huge diaper either.
You have to admit they were having fun!
We were too, but bounced up and down about 1 1/2 hours before we decided that we got the point. The best place to have watched this would have been Ballahoo (although we wanted to mingle and give shout outs to our friends, so were happy on the ground level). If you want to watch the New Year's Day carnival events you might want to plant yourself there.
Lots of people, including us, lined the streets and just wandered up and down, trying not to get sweat, powder, paint, or booze thrown at us. Actually, the threat was more like running into someone we knew who was partaking in the festivities racing over to hug us. Yuck! Shawn, go hug Michael!
People, people everywhere!
No one was going to go hungry that's for sure. There were booths selling food, toys, etc.
The grand finale was this three-some upset about the VAT.
If you feel like you need to get into the brunt of it, here's a quick video. Is it the same truck? The same song? Oy. Of course, the general beat is still stuck in my head. oooh ah, ah, ah...oooo ah, ah, ah...
The official Carnival website says it has live streaming, so if you're wanting to really feel a part of things (or locate friends and obtain blackmail material), here you go. The main t.v. station should have all the festivities too.
Afterwards, they constructed a pretend "beach" behind the Treasury building downtown for people to unwind. Why they didn't go to one of the kazillion real beaches? I dunno. It basically consisted of more big speakers and more yelling. It also had beach chairs and a big pool.
We wandered down the streets a bit to see if we could catch one of Michael's right-hand men in action serving up some grub (one of his umpteen jobs). Yep, there he was.
When we tried to get a picture of his tent from the front, Star stepped in to say "ya man." Picture us doing the "bump" here (bumping our fists gently together - less germs that way). All the best mon. Peace.
Look at all this food (many chickens died for the J'ouvert cause today - a moment of silence please). It was endless and yet, incredibly, the KFC across the street had a line. Shrug.
Then we headed to our own complex's peaceful pool and soaked up some sun. Boy did that feel good.
So, it's another week and then we get the costumed carnival everyone's familiar with and we'll be in 2011. It's hard enough having to remember to put the day before the month here (27 Dec), but now I'll have to remember that it's 2 Jan 11. The stress!! I kid, of course (well about the stress, I do have to remember the date issue...not to mention which side the passenger's seat is in the car).