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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hyatt Opens in Trinidad Next Month

I have been reliably informed that the Hyatt Hotel will open the doors to it's 4 star property in Trinidad on December 20th. Those who were eagerly awaiting it's opening in time for Carnival should know that bookings are now open on the website. However, a stay at the Hyatt will not come cheap as rates start at $345.00US to $405.00US per night for Carnival weekend! Of course the convenience of being on the doorsteps of Port of Spain cannot be beat as Hyatt's location is walking distance to downtown!

Artist's impression of the Hyatt Hotel, Trinidad, on the left:


Bringing Sand to the Beach

Carnival 2008 will be a first for me and the hubby, he is playing in one band and I in a next! Yes, we played in different sections this year but that was in the same band and since he was quite adamant about choosing his OWN costume, something he likes, instead of falling in behind me in a hideous costume he ended up choosing a costume in a band that was not TRIBE; he is playing in Harts.

Now I do not mind that he wanted the choice of picking a costume, after all he is paying for it not me, but I am quite curious to see how the two band thing will work out for both of us especially the logistics of getting into/out of Port of Spain on Carnival Tuesday and the fact that we have to find each other after a long day of imbibing the alcoholic spirits. We received a lot of confused queries from friends this year when we kept explaining that we were not playing in the same section, so you can imagine now when we tell everyone that we are in different bands; most people are curious to know if I don’t mind “setting him loose” among all those Harts women. My retort is he should be more worried setting me loose amongst all the TRIBE men! Ha!

Anyway, I fully intend to enjoy this opportunity to play mas with my girlfriends and the hubby and I have an understanding when it comes to playing mas and giving each other space. He fully invaded Island People this year and took photos with all kinds of women to prove it, while I was enjoying myself in TRIBE.

However not all couples can handle the stress of Carnival such as the ability to overlook a “tief wine” with that sexy specimen in a skimpy costume. If you know you cannot handle seeing your significant other grinding up on another woman or man I suggest you make that clear from BEFOREHAND as Carnival is a time when most people let rationale out the window. Of course it is the culture to dance with strangers on the road while playing mas, but those visiting for the first time may not be fully aware that this means strangers who are intoxicated and wearing nothing more than a bikini.

Last year I gave you all some issues that arise when guide "Bringing Sand to the Beach” and for those who missed it or are just too lazy to go back in the archives, please note the salient points if you intend to have a relationship after the last lap on Carnival Tuesday:

The thing is though that many relationships and friendships do not weather Carnival, because the thinking is why bring sand to the beach?! With a plethora of beautiful men and women invading our shores for Carnival, some people are greedy, wanting to eat their cake and have it too. What do I mean you say? Well, let me explain it this way, many couples break up for Carnival only to reconcile on Ash Wednesday and long standing friendships sometimes come to an end after Carnival for the following reasons:

* Either male or female wants to party without their significant other, which leads to accusations of ulterior motives for not wanting significant other at said party. This can also extend itself to J'ouvert and even playing mas. Big arguments occur over someone wanting to go on a boys lime or girls lime for Carnival. Worse yet you telling your boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife you DO NOT want them to play mas with you, that is serious thing!

* Hostility and pressure from friends who don't want the significant other in tow for any Carnival related activity. See, when one person out of the crew brings along their boyfriend or girlfriend that cramps the style of the rest of the crew. They don't want that significant other to see them in their slackness i.e. wining on anyone willing and able or liming with the "outside friend" because significant other will report on their behaviour to THEIR significant others. Get the picture. So sometimes the choice comes down to friends or significant other. If you choose friends, well you in the dog house for sure! And if you choose significant other friends does be just as vex! Before I got married hubby jumped up on the road with me on Carnival Tuesday and my girl friend was quite annoyed, asking me if he was staying with us "all day". The next year she made sure she had her cousin play mas with us, so that when me and hubby chipping down the road she would not feel like the third wheel.

* You are forbidden to play mas. Yes, it happens, imagine in this day and age when you are paying for your costume yourself, your partner is telling you they don't like the idea of you playing mas! Well, I don't have to tell you how many relationships are ended on that level of jealousy and insecurity. Some of them even want an input on exactly what costume you can and cannot wear and even how much it should cost! And you know these raging lunatics sometimes go so far as to hunt you down on Carnival Tuesday, if you decide to go ahead and play against their wishes, looking to embarrass you by dragging you out of the band! I have never witnessed this personally, but my mother told me stories of this happening back in the day.

* Caught on camera! This happened to a friend of mine, her boyfriend was happy to "send her off" to play mas, while he sat at home and watched the parade on T.V. Well, Ms. Lady pick up a fella in the band and forget that there are cameras ON STAGE and there is her boyfriend sitting at home and seeing her crossing stage with a man putting waist on her from behind! Enough sparks flew in that house when she got home later that night, which is the worse time to try and defend yourself being drunk and tired. That was the end of THAT relationship. With all those party photographers like IslandEvents, Triniscene and Carnivalscene you have to be careful not to be caught doing something you should not be doing with someone you are not supposed to be with! If you horning, stay far from the cameras.

* The outside man/woman gets jealous. One of the hardships of being the "other man or woman" is that you don't get to be with the person you love when you want to, seeing as they are already involved with someone else! So chances are you end up spending Christmas and New Year's Eve alone, and in Trinidad that can also mean you are alone for Carnival too. You know some couples only go out together for Carnival. They hit the tents, all-inclusive parties, even play mas together, leaving the outside woman/man on the outside! If you all think Saucy don't know what she talking about, think again!Me and hubby gone Blue Range all-inclusive where we bounce up a friend and his wife. Now, I don't ever see that friend with his wife and was quite surprised to see them together for that party knowing full well he was always with his outside woman. Anyways, we gone to get a bake and shark only to bounce up that same friend's outside woman looking blue in the face and asking us if we saw the individual with his wife! Imagine the girl vex, SO vex that she decided to make the guy jealous by liming with another fella all night. Well that drama went on for the rest of the night with me and hubby staying out of every body's way.

* Your partner does not understand our culture. It's one thing to want to bring your non-Trinidadian significant other to Carnival, but before you do please explain to them what they should expect. People who are not used to "our ting" do not expect people to be so overly friendly come Carnival, and next thing you know you are being accused of flirting! Worse yet if you "tief" a wine at a party or on the road for Carnival, are too friendly smearing paint on other bodies during jouvert or you want to lime with friends you have not seen in a while on the road; significant other might feel oh so left out. Think carefully before inviting them home to Carnival with you, especially if it is a jealous, possessive type!

I hope all the relationships out there are strong enough to survive Carnival, do not say you have not been warned on the possibilities that can occur. Trust, understanding and respecting your partner will see you through every temptation that Carnival throws at you. When Carnival is over, you still want to be with that person, so don't do anything that you will regret. For those who are coming from overseas and leaving a significant other behind, make sure you have a very understanding partner and don't do anything when you get to Trinidad that you would be ashamed of them finding out.

And for all those couples playing mas together, wheter in the same section or band, remember Carnival is a time of freedom, don't shadow him/her all day. Give them some space and don't get vex if they take a lil small wine here and there (make sure you impress upon them the limits of that "small" wine though!) and know that at the end of the day they are going home with YOU.

No need for break ups and heart aches during this festive time, if your man/woman leaves you because they "not taking sand to the beach" don't sit at home and mope. Find yourself to the nearest mas camp, buy a costume, hit all the fetes leading up to the big day with your friends and forget that worries, after all it's Carnival!

New Blog on the Block!

With all the other Carnival Bloggers lapsing these days (school, work and even pregnancy taking up their time) it was quite refreshing to see a new blog make it unto the Carnival Roster. Someone sent me the link to "Wining Kriminals" when they first started blogging in October, however though the content is hilarious (a man's take on mas) I was keeping an eye on the consistency as you know many blogs start off hot and sweaty then they fall off the radar!

Well, I am happy to see that one month later Wining Kriminals is still going strong and have managed to keep me interested with some very clever and observant articles, like one called "Picking a Band or Section to Play Mas" where they described me to a T:

D Carnival Whore started off playing Kiddies Carnival and hasn’t stopped yet. She mudder, grandmudder and greatgrand-mudder passed the standard to her. She is faithful to one band and will planasse yuh if yuh dare badtalk she band. She have playing mas down to a science and you can learn a lot from this woman. There is also a very high probability that this masquerader will fall into the “2 band hoe” category discussed earlier. Nothing will stop this particular woman from making mas year after year. 9 months pregnant? no scene, House burn down and all belongings lost? no problem.. Husband threaten to leave if she go one more carnival??? Fukk him… A real Carnival Whore is relentless and tenacious. I would rather hand feed a rabid pit bull than get in the way of this womans mas.

These men have really been paying attention! Check out the rest of that article and the others at And let me just add that I hope they keep it up, I am looking forward to their anti-capitalist, male, skylaker, "bless us" with their view on Carnival and how Carnival should be.
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