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Sunday, March 6, 2011

My Trini blog Carnival blog - episode II

Alright, so i came back to the hotel last night from the all inclusive fete that i went to last night and I was beat. See, for me Soca music is not just something to listen to. It's a spiritual beckoning, or more directly to the point a true reason for I to get on bad, get insane, gone mad. Maybe they will have a straight jacket for me tomorrow. I hear I need to pace myself. This is gona prove hard for me because my natural inclination when I hear Soca music is to jump up, begin some form of gyration (all in the hips fellows) all of which exert energy..for me, lots of energy. We'll see how it goes....All for broke or tek it easy some..
So day two (Saturday) started for me (not today Sunday, light day today but fete at Hilton later tonight) with breakfast at the Hilton. I had my usual fare of ham omelete, boiled egg, chicken sausage, bbq short ribs,,ya heard me..smoked herring and I had my first doubles..yes, I feel ashamed seeing as Joy's roti in Ft.lauderdale is so close to my kitchen..5 minutes I think. Doubles, has to be the quintessential snack food here in Trinidad. it's expertly seasoned Chana (chickpea) with some nicely spiced Chadon Bene (condiment sauce made with cilantro, garlic, thyme and spices) sauce sandwiched between two  light puffy dough pastry. Deeeeelish. I have always ran away from eating Doubles because it has no meat in it. Hey, what can i say, I'm a carnivore at heart. And I will be remiss if I didn't mention that kick ass bowl of pumpkin Chakra...cooked Pumpkin that is mashed and seasoned I'm thinking with some pepper, coconut milk, Geera, Masalla etc etc. If you are from Jamaica this is where you summon that mash pumpkin and butter memory. damn di ting sweet so till..Fiyah!!!!
Being in Trinidad during Carnival is infectious, it's a different vibe all together. I have been here before but not during Carnival. I remember asking the taxi driver at the time how come i don't hear any Soca music on the radio stations. He said that you won't hear none a  dat till it's carnival time. Well look here bwoy, Soca music deh all over di place 24/7. On every car radio, by the pool at the hotel, Across the Savanah, in the stores you enter..lawd it deh everywhere. I wanted Soca, I have it everywhere. Heavy Afrocentric beats and comedic lyrics in every song you hear. This makes me happy. So much so that I had to go check out the kiddies Carnival. There with Marcia and later in the afternoon finding by accident her cousins, enjoying a thrilling experience. Now I must say this, if I were in Miami I would not be going to kiddies carnival but the curiosity certainly got the better of us. Nope, we were not disappointed. I thought I was already in carnival heaven..well, for small people with parents in tow.  I don't know how many bands there were and I wasn't even counting. Heavy beats and ridims from the big trucks was just blowing my mind. No, there was no Dora the explorer or Sesame Street music being played..Dem kids get broken in real young cause the same music di adults listening to is the same music the kids listening and dancing have to bring dem from dem a baby pon breast my yute..Yes kids will be kids, but they for the most part all seem to have been enjoying themselves. Looking so cute in all their costumes. They were troopers, enduring everything from hot sun, rain, wardrobe malfunctions, tiredness to just plain discomfort and aggravation of not being home to watch cartoons. The costumes were bright, colorful,  intricate, complex to simple as stilt walkers with no shirts on and bodies sprayed in red paint. We were moving through the crowds snapping picture after picture and every chance I got I had to buss out a Soca jump up dance. I was soooo estatic..glad I came.
Amidst all this, and a couple of Caribs and Stag - Local beers here - having a bite to eat is so important..Chicken foot souse..Did you hear me, I said chicken foot souse. I haven't had chicken feet since I was a kid and I tackled that cup of toes like I had been eating it all my life.. Succulent, tasty, vinegared goodness. A chicken foot never tasted so damn good...well, I seem to remember that curry chicken foot  Miss Dinah made when I was a kid, but that's a different story all together. Watching the varying groups and bands cross over the stage - process whereby all bands cross an open stage to get judged on their costumes and energy level to rank who's number 1 - was a far different experience than when I did it at the Miami carnival. Watching kids feeling what I felt was an amazing thrill..I wanted to jump into their costumes and dance with them. Umm, there goes that nasty word that gets me in trouble, Dance.. for this is what I did a lot of at the All inclusive fete (party wid food, nuff "juice, and hypnotic gyrating soca beats - I went to. Soca Monarch finalists such as Iwer, Patch, Blacks (no real names needed here, waste a time) performed some of their hits, mad DJ spins wreaking spontaneous gyrations, bumper crawls and slams and vertical leaping as if one was an Ashanti Warrior. Aside from a brief respit for drink refills and brief conversation interludes, it was all about the dancing, swaying and wine down expertise. You haven't danced till you have gyrated pon a girl's bumper ( backside if you really want to know). Alas, it was time to go..well for one we all had a pick up time from the driver and the damn pawty done..nice rahtid house to you see..Nuff money in a Trinidad still. I really couldn't make it to the other party that started at 4am, Vail. Nope, not a true Soca Jumbie.  May get there one day though. I crawled into bed at 3am. J'ouvert is coming up on monday morning at 2 am..Sunday I will chill...


  1. So glad you got to experience the "Greatest Show on Earth" first hand Hugh. You'll love J'ouvert! Paint, mud, powder, plenty bacchanal! The secret is chip, chip, chipping down the road. Have a happy and safe Carnival!

  2. Guess you still partying now, or maybe you recovering from j'ouvert.
    Really enjoying reading the blogs, looking forward to some pics, loving the food descriptions, enjoy as much as you can without getting colic, and if you do, a little rum will make it all better.
    Stay safe, have fun, and keep on blogging, thanks for sharing our carnival experience.