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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Spice 2010 Review (8)

SPICE Review

After hearing some good reviews about SPICE band 2009, twelve of my friends and I decided to give them a try for Carnival 2010. Now I know many others have already given their reviews of the road, I can’t give my road review because by 1:00 pm Carnival Tuesday, I was so fed up of SPICE’s BS I went home. I will however give a detailed account of the ugly, uglier and ugliest experience that I had with this band. Before I do that I would like to commend two Spice workers, and I know them by name because they genuinely cared about our happiness during this dreadful ordeal. So thanks to CJ and Rene (second stop in costume collection) the girl with the golden locks.

So seven of us entered SPICE’s Mas camp in September to register for costumes, while walking through the Mas camp we were followed by a not so helpful worker Natalia, who continuously reminded us not to touch the costumes (even though we were not attempting to do this). The majority of us liked Thailand, however when Natalia heard this she quickly informed us that we would not be able to get all our sizes in this section. Of course this was before we advised her of how many costumes we required or what sizes we would like. Still, going on Natalia’s advice, we then inquired what sizes would be available in this section. She replied, “I can’t tell you what sizes are available in that section unless someone is actually registering today.”.... EXCUSE ME??!!! My cousin (who has very little patience for stupidity) asked Natalia if she was about to turn away thirteen potential masqueraders because the sizes available were a secret. No response. To make a long story short, we approached some persons with a little more power and sense than Natalia, found out sizes and eventually registered.

Three people from our crew were foreigners and one of them was actually coming to Trinidad for the first time for Carnival. Being one of the youngest, her mother was a bit worried about the crime problem in Trinidad and requested some private security for her. When we contacted SPICE on this matter we were informed that each officer used would cost $1000 TTD, we obliged. On the date that we were requested to pay for this security, we were told that the price had increased to $1100 TTD because we were required to buy a SPICE T-Shirt for $100. We inquired then, what the $1000 was for and we were told that it included a T-shirt, but those specific T-shirts were already printed, so we need to buy one at Hilton for $100..... WHAT??? So where did initial T-shirt funds go.... to charity? Still we obliged. Fifteen minutes later, a gentleman approached my friend and me at Hilton, to inform us that Spice’s security unit had reached its maximum (400 individuals) and our friend would not be able to have her PRIVATE guards. Now, I am unsure what PRIVATE means to the average person but usually it means that, I pay for them and they guard ME. What that have to do with Spice security? Needless to say, no money was paid to Spice and the personal security walked alongside the rope both days.

On Carnival Monday we were at first irritated that there was only one small entrance available for the 2,500 masqueraders to enter QRC grouds. Furthermore that small entrance was made even smaller by two lines of SPICE security checking ID bands before entry. While we appreciated the security it was unclear why it was obvious to no one that over 2000 masqueraders entering through one tiny gate would be a bad idea.

I will refrain from commenting on the lines for food and the inadequate seating arrangements as this was already addressed in previous reviews. One issue however that I must comment on is the fact that there were drinks available in the food tents to Spice staff but masqueraders who PAID to play were told to go outside to the trucks if we wanted a drink. Yet there was no one who informed us of this practice as we roamed from tent to tent in search of a bar until one of my friends asked a gentleman in a Spice Tshirt where she could get some water and was told ‘it have a standpipe over dey.’ Spice officials, please keep your staff informed of basic information so that they can provide same to masqueraders. Not everybody knows who Anya and Rocky are if they need information.

Carnival Tuesday, after choosing not to run down the truck, and buying beers and water from a vendor around the savannah, we approached QRC grounds. Judging, from our experience the day before where there were NO drinks available in the rest spot, we went straight to the drinks trucks parked outside only to be informed by an attendant that the drink trucks were closed for lunch and restocking. Yet we noted that some of the bar attendants were giving bottled water to Spice staff members. Again, why is staff afforded better treatment than masqueraders who paid for advertised services? On the inside of the grounds there were two tubs with hot water, monster and red bull available for masqueraders to drink. As we sit to eat, one of my friends discovers that her macaroni pie is smelling foul (SPOILT), two seconds later my cousin discovers her Arabic rice is also SPOILT. We then overhear a group of other masqueraders complaining about their food as well. We decided, we will get something better to eat, all we need is some alcohol in our system and we will be alright. Head to the drink truck, ask for a Rum and Coke, to be informed by the same attendant, “All de Rum done.” But wait nah..... The trucks were closed for restocking ..... RESTOCKING!!! Where could the Rum have disappeared to??? How unfortunate we could not have gotten drunk like all the committee members did.... We’ll leave the matter there. Needless to say it was at this point that I decided that I had had enough and I went home.

All in all SPICE, according to a good friend of mine, we played with you three times: FIRST, LAST and NEVER AGAIN. Your missing ingredient proved to be Customer Service and though I am sure you will succeed in the future, these are thirteen masqueraders you can definitely kiss goodbye.

You Don't Say!

Which dynamic design duo is allegedly taking a sabbatical from Trinidad Carnival for the next year? 

If this turns out to be true I am VERY curious to see how certain bands will fare for the Trinidad Carnival 2011 band launch season, because their touch was seen in MANY bands, including TRIBE (headpieces, frontline tails, collars) and they were also responsible for complete designs for Spice; all but one section!

Interesting news indeed coming on the heels on the fact that  sources have told me Spice seems to have  been dubbed  "new TRIBE" and were all but patting themselves on their back for the job well done this Carnival season. Not to mention that this design duo were looking forward to fabulous designs for the Savage Amazon/Amazoni Savage (sounds like warriors eh?) theme that Spice is working on .Who is going to design the band now? Why are these designers now on hiatus? It seems way too curious for me NOT to be suspicious of these latest developments!

One thing I know, I surely cannot wait for band launch season to see what is in store, counting down to July!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saucy's Carnival 2010 Costume Picks

I was holding back on giving my choices for top 5 costumes in the popular bands because I had not seen that many in person. After pouring through hundreds of photos from my friends (some of which I have "borrowed" for this post) I have made my choices. It is interesting to note that the SAME costumes keep being photographed over and over when looking at people's personal photos as well as the photo websites online.

Please remember that this is based on MY picks, I would hope everyone loved THEIR costume as much as I loved mine, even if your costume was not one of the top picks for me this year. I have to mention that overall I really loved Island People on the road; Chutney Baav looked great as well as Morgandani Individual (they get an honourable mention).

 I was disappointed in the decoration on Spice's corsets, they were really lacking compared to last year and there were some sections that floored me in the final version.. .China anyone? As for TRIBE, my sentiments did not really change on how I felt about the costumes post launch. The band looked great but my top picks still remained the same.The only costume that slipped was Osage, pretty costume but that was ALOT of orange with not that much contrast. The ladies looked gorgeous in it though, especially the "backline individuals" who took the initiative to add some embellishments! You go girls!

And now my top 5 costume picks in the top 3 most popular bands:


Zari Frontline
I was not impressed with this frontline at TRIBE's launch because it looked very unfinished with just a skimpy bra, belt and somewhat large headpiece. Add an asymmetrical back pack, interesting detail, and a fuller headpiece to the basic frontline costume and this one wowed on the road. Every masquerader in this costume, save one, had to be a size 4 or under and they looked awesome!

Xi Ling Shi Frontline 
I loved the backpack on this costume, lots of movement and very pretty with the two tone feathers. Gorgeous representation on the road as well, the ladies all looked so regal and delicate!

Mystery of Loulan
Loved it, almost the entire section came out with their large headpieces and most kept them on all day because they were not as heavy as people thought they would be. I think both options of the frontline looked fantastic and the backline also looked pretty cute.

Threads of Morocco
Stunning pink in the frontline really sold this section for me. I loved the arm details as well as the wire bra. The backline girls also looked great under the sun.Wished more of the frontline wore their cape! It looked great in photos.

Awesome large headpiece and backpack on the frontline was a "wow" when I saw it in person. Great colour combination. The entire section looked great.

Island People

I LOVED this costume on the road, gems were glittering in the sunlight from a distance. Absolutely gorgeous!

Surprise hit for me on the road, everyone I saw in this section looked amazing.Also have to mention that every single Island People male rocked their costume. 

Even though I am not a fan of burgundy costumes this one looked really nice, not to mention it was one of the larger sections in Island People so it also stood out on impact as well.

I thought this costume looked fabulous! Loved it at the launch and on the road.

This section gets top marks for all the lithe, hard bodies in this costume. It was skimpy but the women hit this one out the park! Very sexy section.

One of the most well constructed sections in Spice, I did not see one costume looking as it was missing anything. Great impact on the road with Individual, Frontline and Backline.

Moroccan Heat
Surprise road hit, I was not floored by this section at the band launch but on the road it popped. Everything worked, the shade of orange on the masqueraders, the gold was just enough contrast and I loved the headpiece despite the fact that it kept leaning forward.

Wings of Isis 
This costume went both ways for me. On larger bras the decoration looked a bit sloppy on the stretchy spandex base and the headpiece construction differed from the prototype. However on the smaller bras the costume looked like what it was supposed to be; one of Spice hits.

Rubies of Mumbai 
The best section in Spice for me, on the road.

Lovely costume! I loved the backline lots.

Brian Mc Farlane's Resurrection The Mas Review

Hey people, seeing as every other band has gotten a review, I decided to write one for Macfarlane as well...

After playing for the first time with him in 2009 in Africa, I set my sights on Resurrection and registered in Black Indian. I registered in person and this was a breeze at the mas camp. Macfarlane is EXTREMELY traditional as he displays sketches and only bits of the material is brought out for you to see. For those of you who may not like this, I assure you his staff are friendly and will answer every possible question about the costume. Your other alternative is to wait some days closer to carnival when completed costumes are put on display.

After receiving an email with the collection dates, I went to collect on my assigned day and met some challenges. The costumes are distributed at the mascamp, but the camp is just too small to facilitate the smooth distribution to so many people. To avoid the rush , I went early and received everything except my headpiece which was not ready. I wasn't upset about it not being ready, but AT LEAST you could have called before hand and apologised (as I had made transport arrangements - considering the headpiece was so large!). I had to go back on friday where there was a MASS of people but luckily I was able to slip to the side and get mine easily. I hope members of the Art Factory see this and make the necessary adjustments for 2011...a larger space for distribution is costly but makes things easier.

Clad in Burlap and Mud we hit the streets at midday, in a significantly larger band. Macfarlane does not really fuss about who takes a jump up in the band, so there were many friends and family of actual masqueraders jumping up as one. Tony Prescott and Surface kept the music pumping, until a costume from Legacy damaged the truck (?)..but this was quickly corrected. I DO NOT like his chit system for the drinks (water is endless),, because just like last year it reaches a point where they just hand you without a its pointless. Furthermore, the drinks truck is just a regular pick up truck as compared to DKEWE which had a trailer converted into a full bar!!! Also, he really needs a wee wee truck ( but we all know how he feels about that!!!) As this year there were less CLEAN port-o-potties along the route (surprisingly, Piccadily street was the cleanest and only supervised reststop on the entire route). Come on Brian, you are more creative and resourceful than that! But monday was a BLAST and the mud really saved our skin from that blazing sun!

So, I met that band at 8:30AM and we all made final adjustments and posed for pictures. The mirrors in the park (on Rosalino street), is a nice touch as it helps with any alterations you may need to make. The band left extremely late, close to 10:00AM and we took FOREVER to cross the stage on the Avenue. So I quickly deduced that we were in for a long day. We crossed South Quay around 4ish, after waiting for hours!!! However, I must commend Macfarlane as his workers kept passing through the band and ensured that we were well hydrated, with water and juice. Surface also kept the music pumping so although I was fed up of waiting, at least I was wine-ing while doing so. His repair team was also out in full force, fixing any costume that suffered a rip or other mishap. After south Quay, we headed to Picadilly street, where we got into section again and PALANCED across that stage too! Then this was where the wait got took us 5 HOURS to get to the savannah, as we were stuck behind D KREWE and DreamTeam. At this point many left the band, but somehow I found that energy for one more lap to PALANCE in front of the cameras! The only downside, was that after crossing there is usually the slow chip back to the mascamp. But because people were SO exhausted everyone just headed home....

All in all, Macfarlane gets an A- from me. Friendly staff, a great family vibe in the band and a GREAT costume that has presence on the road. If you want a traditional experience, without the unnecessary extras, a costume that you can actually PORTRAY and a full day's worth of playing mas then Macfarlane is for you!


Friday, February 26, 2010

More Theme 2011....

Beija Flor Rio Carnival 2010

Ronnie and Caro - SURVIVORS

2010 Trinidad Carnival - TRIBE Ignite

Greetings peeps, Kermit D. Frog here bringing you coverage from Trinidad Carnival 2010. After barely escaping Snowmageddon in Washington, DC, I found myself at my first carnival event for the season, Tribe’s Ignite. Since I had only arrived in Trinidad earlier that afternoon, my plan was to fete like a madman for the 5 days left in the carnival season and Ignite would be the warm-up party that kicked off the frenzy.

Having been to Ignite before, I knew that this would really be a warm-up. This was not the type of fete where the attendees would be jumping and waving and wining en masse. This was a nice fete, with nice pretty people all jamming nicely and having a nice time but not really wining too hard. Now mind you, this was no tourist party! This was bonafide fete and while the majority of the crowd would be dressed more to impress than to wine, I fully expected to enjoy myself and to use the night to immerse myself in the carnival vibe and set the tempo for the rest of the weekend and, true to its name, Ignite did just that.

As usual, Ignite was held in Jenny’s Car Park and when I arrived around midnight, the fete was in full swing. After getting my cup and making a toast to open my carnival season, I made a round of the party to see what was going on. As is the custom with Tribe events, the eye candy was in full effect. The ladies were as beautiful as they were plentiful and before I knew it I was seeing spots dancing before my eyes. It took me a few seconds to realize that these spots were actually flashes from my camera which, unknown to me, I had apparently begun using. I guess my subconscious stalkerrazziness felt I was taking too long with the drinking and walking and gapeing and thus I was sticking, and so had decided to take over with the picture taking in order that you my readers not miss out on any of the sights.

What can I say about the fete that is not captured in the pics? Not very much my peeps; what you see is what I saw. The people chilling were as relaxed and happy as they looked; the ones wining were as enthusiastic and excited as they appeared; and the ones simply profiling were happy just to be seen and photographed by yours truly. The drinks were flowing, the music was playing, a cool breeze was blowing and from the minute I walked in to when I left over 4 hours later, everyone was having a great time and as I chipped out to the sounds of the rhythm section, I knew that the my carnival had started nicely and I was definitely in first gear and looking to shift to second. Little did I know that a few hours later at the next event, the Silent Morning boat ride, I would be bypassing second altogether and skipping BRADAOW directly into third.

Enjoy the pics peeps, Silent Morning is coming…………..shhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Island People 2010 Review (5)

This is my second year playing mas with IP. I’m am overseas masquerader.

Costume Collection.
Last year because of our late arrival we collect our costumes carnival Friday. Can you say total and utter chaos!

Good lord, it took us 3 hours to collect our costumes and this is only because we worked as a team (2 in the costume collection line, the other 2 in the payment line) So this year my friends and I were the first at the mass camp carnival Friday morning.Well let me say this, it took us under 10 minutes to pay off our balances and collect our costumes. Kudos to IP!The staff were kind and courteous during out short stint there and imagine our delight when in addition to a goodie bag, we were directed to a goodie table where we could take as many free items as our hearts desired. YEAH!I wasn’t greedy so I only took what I needed, sun block (standard size J ) cranberries, and a few IP calendars for my friends back home that could not come to T&T to PALANCE!!!

Carnival Monday
The band moved off on time, it would appear as we met them on Aripita ave 30min after their agreed move off time.

Let me say the Monday wear idea I was not to happy with at first as I was super excited about wearing those sexy little boy shorts. But I must say I enjoyed seeing the creative side of my fellow masqueraders! Skirts, tops, sari’s, even the men took full advantage using the fabric to make dhotis and head wraps, true to theme.

Everyone was in full carnival mood and by the time we crossed Synergy’s stage it was full palance for the rest of the day.

The DJ’s were on point with the music, the snacks and drinks were flowing and don’t get me started on the eye candy!!!! IP men are the BOMB; I am still trying to recover from my eye candy induced diabetes J

I appreciate that the band stopped on both days for lunch, it was a much needed rest on both days. The down side for me with lunch was that day 1 we were not served until 5pm, the worms were biting by this time, and on both days I heard masqueraders complaining that the food was to salty. Now I don’t know if I have a metal tongue or what but I found the food to be both filling and tasty.

Another thing I would like to comment on, which I thought was clever, is that during lunch only non alcoholic beverages were served within the Oval. This gave those persons who needed a chance to sober up the opportunity to do so.

I also appreciated the demographic of the band, not to young, not to old, just right!

Carnival Tuesday
My friend and I stayed just off Aripita Ave and noticed the band moving up the road at 6:30 am with no masqueraders, just security and music trucks. What the ASS????

We thought that maybe they were going for gas or something because our booklet said the band wasn’t moving off until 7am (apparently it was announced on the music truck that the band would move off at 6 am instead, guess I wasn’t as sober as I though LOL).Imagine us still at home 9am waiting for the band.

We finally decided to get off our lazy butts and made our way to Charlotte st where the band was waiting to cross the savannah.When we approached the band I was pleasantly surprised with the look of the band. No wondering what the hell they trying to depict.I had some serious costume envy when I saw Mudra, Taal , Kalpana and Chandsitarie, they were even more beautiful in person than online. The band over all I thought was extremely true to theme. Oh and again the eye candy were out in their numbers J

I registered in Raja Aur Rani, not my costume of choice but definitely my price of choice based on what was left at my time of registration. The actual costume was not that impressive and based on the quality of the costumes last year it felt kind of cheap. Thumbs down on this. However I made the best of it and rocked it like a true B.A.B.E.

The band was noticeably smaller than 2009 but I think as a masquerader that was a plus. Lots of room to dance and misbehave and an ease at the bar and snack trucks, even the bathroom line wasn’t so bad.

Moving on.

Although we waited almost an hour in the HOT ASS TRINI SUN to cross the “stage”, I must say the vibes never died. IP masqueraders know how to PARTY! This was the atmosphere all day long.

Let me say this I was skeptical about giving IP a second chance but they really re-invented them selves this year and delivered A1 service.
Over all it was a fun filled experience and based on 2010 I would definitely play with IP in 2011. A step up from 2009 for sure.

Oh let me also give props to Marlon Grant (I think that’s his name) he was very hands on with IP, even serving food on both days and dealing with disgruntled masqueraders.

The No Bra Trend.......Hmmmmm

With so many bands offering select sections with the Rio Styled Wire Bra in lieu of a regular bra top for masqueraders, it was no surprise that many masqueraders whose sections did not offer this option went and got their own bras customized as the demand for this sexy style has reached phenomenal proportions.

Jean Cool of Samba Costumes boasted that he was doing lots of orders for Trinidad Carnival and I would have to attest that I saw customized wire bras in every single band, from TRIBE to D Krewe to Harts to Spice!

Wire bras were even a very popular Monday Wear option as I saw many, many ladies in TRIBE sporting them:

And while it is a growing trend for women to show off their assets as well as physical manifestation of months of hard work in the gym, where do we draw the line between a sexy, scintillating costume option to right out straight up nudity by wearing NO BRA at all?!

At least the first masquerader in D Krewe, pictured above, used gems as pasties to retain some modesty and not run afoul of the law BUT the masquerader pictured immediately below is straight up topless in body paint! Apart from the fact that I am left wondering what section she was in and where is the costume she paid for (she was wearing the correct masquerader ID bands in TRIBE) the more pressing question is how come she was not arrested for indecent exposure like the unfortunate jouvert reveler in San Fernando?

I am patiently awaiting next Carnival when someone shows up in full body paint... and nothing else or a wire bra and tapasexo! Might as well go all out Rio seeing where the trend is headed, and speaking of that where is our Sambodromo!? I am thinking the whole "street parade" is defeating the purpose of  portraying pretty mas however that is another topic for another day. So, what are your thoughts on the no bra trend?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Island People 2010 Review (4)

Hi Saucy

I chose to play with Island People for the second time this year for two reasons: I loved their costumes because they were a departure from the standard feathers and beads designs that almost everybody's doing, and secondly they were willing to kiss people's ass after last year. I've learned that the best time to catch a man is when's he's down or up and coming: to win you back he'll kiss your ass and still ask if that's enough. Usually things go in your favor. Twisted, but true. The result: I HAVE NO REGRETS.
Let me review, with a point system starting at 100 fun points and deduct from there.

Carnival Monday
I met the band on Ariapita Ave and things were just mellow. Security was up and alert. I was wondering who the celebrity du jour was. Hold up. There was none yet, the masqueraders were priority. Brilliant. I got a drink and pizza slices and checked out my fellow masqueraders in all kind of designs and saris with the cloth we got for Monday wear. Macfarlane for the sexy with some hoochy touches dahrling. Then some were just too cute like homegirl below.

I dub her D Kutchela fairy: awwww isn't she cute?

I observed that the look of the band changed from last year, as in lots more grown and sexy people playing. No teeny boppers a.k.a "lil chirren" (that's "little children" for the non-Trinis/West Indians) to run amok. There were mid to late 20-somethings, but mostly the 30 and over set. Grown folks having fun and it was beautiful. And trust me that changed a whole heap about the band's vibe and flow in addition to the band actually being more organized. There were signs on every music truck stating what sections should be where. This little detail did make a difference since no such thing existed last year and that resulted in a chaotic band.

Music truck with sign

Shurwayne Winchester up front singing, Hindu temple float and bridal hut float (I think) to the front. Kutchela in dey tail!

However, I have to take away some points for the absence of Hennessy. What??!!!! How the devil was I to drink my Red Bull? Nah man, I’m deducting 20 fun points for that. But then again, Mr. Johnny Walker Black was most present all day for both days. He flowed like water, no, he flowed more than water. Y'know what, I'll give back 5 fun points. I wasn't left thirsty at all on Monday. Nice. Music was on point all day. Double nice. Nearing the Savannah “stage” to Busy Signal on truck 7 as he “hot it, ‘ot it, ‘ot it” on the mike. Whatever dude. Vibes nice.

Lunch was at the Oval, no eating and running foolishness that the “lil chirren” called for in the past. We sat in the stands, we ate, we chilled. Lunch this year was indeed better. It’s not international gourmet but it definitely tasted better than that 'lau and low mein mush of '09. So for lack of fine style, I'll deduct just 5 fun points. I'm not a huge eater on carnival so I'm a little lenient on this.

Carnival Tuesday
Wow, is it possible to complain about a band being too organized? I got to Ariapita at around 7:35am and we heard that IP was long gone. Eh? IP did not play with the time. Jah!

I forgot all about breakfast at the Stadium. My friend and my carnival-thirsty behind decided to just meet the band on the road thinking they weren’t far, somewhere on the Avenue. Riiiiiight. They were already on Park Street nearing Charlotte Street. My crazy ass should have eaten the breakfast at the Stadium and then take the shuttle. And I heard later on from another friend that there was a spread of sada roti, tomato and pumpkin chocka, bake and salt-fish and a few other dishes I can’t remember. What an idiot I am. So I got mini-rotis as breakfast from the snack truck. Bummer. Later on a man was walking through the band sharing out single-serving plates of pholourie and mango chutney. Later on there was khurma and peanuts snacks. Theme boy! I would have like another snack truck to be located more up front for the other masqueraders up there, so minus 5 fun points.

I was loving the fact that people stayed in their section for the most part, until after the Savannah (then it was a mix up but that happens all the time anyway). And still get on with the jamishness. I was able to move through the band, return to my section and not be confused due to the signs on the trucks. Oh yeah, people actually stayed in their sections. Grown and sexy masqueraders were the business. Big people mas allyuh. Plus less people played in IP, and the band was better for it. Enough room to palance, parlay, and breakaway.

The costumes looked hot like the weather. They translated well in person. The frontline divas were werrrking their cage bras and nekkidness. Even Raja Aur Rani female costumes which I thought were hideous looked ok. Just ok. But the males were on point. Points for the guys. But I have to note that my Jaipur backline was a disaster for stockings. I absolutely loved my costume but that bling on the belt caused major damage. Bling + tights = ladders from hell. My tights were a shredded, I-was-in-a-catfight-with-Shenene mess, so much so that I HAD to take it off and go bare legged for the first time ever. Yikes!!!!
*note to self: must lose 100lbs by next year to forego tights. Current weight is 153 lbs. Goal weight minus100 is 53lbs. Surefire skinniness, y’all!!!!*

It felt weird being without my beloved tights but I got a lot more compliments without them so hey. We gonna party hard, hard. Whoop whoop, whoop whoop!

So to my calculations, IP lost 25 fun points. They earned 75 out of 100 from me.
This year was my BEST carnival in years. I had maximum fun. This should say it best : “Island People in d air, Island People in d air, Island People in d air, Island… I…I….I…”

Congrats to the other Lewis brother (the more organized one, not sure of his name) and Co. for taking the bull by the horns, reigning in the foolishness and making Island People the band it had the potential to be - organized and fun. I haven’t had this much fun since my Poison days. Yes I’ve had a string of bad to mediocre to ok carnivals since 2006. This year was totally worth it.

As long as this new IP management stays, I’m there God’s willing for 2011. Now let's aim for 100 points now. That means bring back Hennessey, more strategically placed snack trucks, and upgrade the lunch some more. I say this for the kind of price you're charging now, c'mon. So Mr.Lewis, I hope you're reading this blog eh. Don't let your brother run things again. Ever. Thanks.


Mas Jumbies Jouvert 2010 Review (2)

This year as I did since they started, played J'ouvert with Brian Won Wong's Mas Jumbies. I was delighted to see that my review which I thought was going to be the first one, was actually trumped by a newbie to the Mas Jumbies family - welcome newbie. My review will be brief because having background knowledge on what it takes to actually BRING a band in the United States I will not want to sound in any way biased or try to have the validity of my review questioned or even mistakened for allegiance to said bandleader even if it is after all only J'ouvert.

My J'ouvert experience from start (collection) to end (drenced in paint and drunk) was an exceptional one! I arrived into Trinidad in the throws of distribution I believe and had both ordered costumes hand delivered to my door by none other than Mr Mas Jumbie himself! How is that for customer service, and I didnt even have to pay a service delivery fee (which if offered I would have taken) - hint Brian. Again, after looking at the costume which was neatly packaged in an eco-friendly labeled bag and contained all of the essentials for J'ouvert (which to some may be nothing lol - LIKE my colleague who has to be forced to wear anything lol) I was pleased to see that for the third year - the leap from traditional J'Ouvert costumes (read crocus bags and oil paint) has now landed on haute couture costuming fit for a 3am stroll in Port of Spain. This had me excited and I made a quick trip to Jimmy Aboud to get yet more stuff to add to this costume just cause I wanted to PALANCE in style!

I left to meet the band at 4am (even though the form said 3am meeting point) I carefully read the route and as planned met them at the end of Chacon Street preparing to head to South Quay. This was perfect timing since (from reading the previous post) I now understand that there was some difficulty with the truck set up etc etc. After that the road experience was perfect, drinks were flowing and the vibe was awesome.

What Brian has achieved which is no small feat within Mas Jumbies is secured a place that people - whether local or visiting - can enjoy this ritual of early morning mas in a secured, comfortable, MOVING environment. His clientele is mostly foreign based and as such the need for clusters, pulling, tugging, pushing from here to there and the ever uncomfortable feeling of someone wanting to violate you is LOST once you meet with this band and begin your journey on J'ouvert morning. Now, I do understand that to some - without the pushing and pulling and everything else - they dont think J'ouvert is J'ouvert which would explain the number of people that no longer participate but c'est la vie.

The band is SMALL, the band is WHITE (I meant the paint used!) but what the band is - IS FUN! And once you are a fun person who is open minded, appreciative of the culture and have an understanding of what this artform means to Carnival and what Brian (as an artist) has transformed this medium to be, would be the best $55 - $60 US you would spend in your life. How is that for a charitable donation! He has made the artform much more acceptable at least to me! Many people think J'ouvert is about wearing anything you want and come out to have fun. But there were the days of Rabs Immortelle, Burrokeets and many others that traditional costume WAS A MUST! - I am glad that this is not lost!

Each year I thoroghly enjoy Mas Jumbies and this year was no exception. I would be remissed had I not say that financially I know this could possibly be a hardship for the management of a J'ouvert band irregardless of the size, so the need to want MORE PEOPLE TO JOIN would be something of a priority for the management of Mas Jumbies. I though would love to see the band stay the size that it is, but I am also one that likes when good things are SHARED - So I encourage all readers who feel so compelled, to join Mas Jumbies' facebook page, keep up with the good work that Brian has done with this band and come take a part of the J'ouvert experience. It is a lot of fun!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mas Jumbies Jouvert 2010 Review

I signed up to play in Brian Won Wong's Mas Jumbies Jouvert Band.

Registration was as easy as breathing. Once I registered and pay-pal'ed my funds, I immediately got a confirmation email from Annette and a warm welcome to the band.

Once I reached Trinidad, and went to pick up my costume, I was warmly greeted by Lisa the contact person, Brian the owner of the band, and another artist friend who was there liming. They were very kind and welcoming. A lady who I assume to be Brian's mother was making accra in the kitchen. While Lisa went over the details of the band, and sorted out my costume and goodie bag, I munched on some delicious hot out of the oil accra. They even offered drinks! Belly full, I left happy and ready for jouvert.

Jouvert Morning.

The band was suppose to meet at 3am at Victoria Square, and move off at 4am. At 3:30am, my party arrived to a very quiet Victoria Square. Hearing no music, we thought the band has left us. But this was not the case. The music truck had apparently been tampered with by bandits and had been moved. The police were trying to locate our truck.

No worries. One of the committee members had their car parked there.

Music played from the car while we got slathered down in white paint and glitter and enjoyed bujol and bake, and coffee. It also gave us some time to see and chat with some old friends who were also in the band, and make a few new friends as well. The vibes were good, and no one was complaining.

Twenty minutes later, the word came. Our truck had been located, and we were going to walk from Victoria Square to Phillip Street to meet the truck. Even this part was fun. We were a band of colorful old time characters painted in white moving through town on a music truck finding mission. For me, it was all part of the jouvert adventure.

It took us about a five minute walk to meet our truck, and then it was on like boil corn!! We were on the move!!

When we first moved off, there was no drink truck, no security, or anything... just us, some good music, and great vibes... which I would have been quite content with. It seems as if the music truck escapade had thrown things off, but only for a little while, because once we were almost downtown near south quay, the security guys and the drinks truck found us, and they got organized. Things were falling into place, and an already good vibe had just gotten better.

I loved the costumes, and the feeling of old time market women, stick fighting men  really held the theme.

The band was small, but large enough for us to get on bad, and it had a good "family" vibe to it. I would feel absolutely confident in letting my children play jouvert with me in this band.

We even went downtown behind the bridge! I know some people would say that this was unsafe and the neighborhood is "bad", yadda, yadda, yadda.... But I felt in light of the theme we were portraying, Echoes from the Past,..... that nothing else could have been more appropriate than going to the place where the very spirit of carnival was born, and where the original market women and stick fighting men emanated from. That march behind the bridge took on a whole new spiritual feeling for me.. and what a great feeling it was.

Throughout the course of the morning, Brian, his family members, and friends, randomly walked through the band to ask if everyone was ok, and if we were having a good time. I assured him I was having a great time!

I am big fan of promoting Trinidad culture to non Trinidadians, and some members of Mas jumbies are worth a mention here.

There were three young ladies in the band that someone said were from Australia.

 From the time we located the music truck at 4am until I left the band at 9am, these young women jumped up, wined, jooked, and put a whole new spin on the song... " I winin on anything!".

 LOL. It was downright entertaining just watching them have a good time on their first trip to Trinidad carnival. They were grand, and I hope to see them back next year!

The size of the band of was perfect. We had a few stormers, but not overwhelmingly so, and I felt totally safe. The music was good, and the drinks truck ample. Customer service was top notch from beginning to end.

All I have to say is see you again next year Mas Jumbies!

Spice 2010 Review (7)

My Spice Experience.

Well, well, this was my first time with Spice, and I must say it was not an entirely rewarding experience!!!

Costume Pick-Up --- Horrible! Why oh why, on Carnival Friday, when everybody trying to pick up their costumes with "d quickness" to get home to get ready to go and "party hard", you are instead spending hours waiting to pick your costume? You had three cashiers (if that is what you want to call them) and only two taking cash, the other one only taking links and MC (not sure why they weren't taking VISA). How many foreigners you know have links? So most people came with cash, so why not make all the terminal take both cash and credit cards? That way you can move thru the payment part of your transaction quickly and smoothly. Now, unto the actual collecting of the costume. There was enough room to have the costumes organized by section and in alphabetical order, with 2 or 3 customer reps for each section, with the understanding that they "pitch-in" if other sections are busy when they are slow!!

My next issue- with the average cost of a costume costing US$600, couldn't you invest in one or two designated "SNACK trucks", instead of having someone (I think it was Anya's mother ) walk thru the band with a box of aloe pies? This distribution (as far as I know, it happened only on Monday) began at the front of the band, so I am not sure if the people in the last section even knew there were snack sharing!

Next, Spice is not a huge band (which is why I played with you), so explain to me, when the last DJ truck, which was DJ Enforcers, was constantly playing "catch up" to the rest of the band, which then means the masqueraders were forever running down the truck. Trust me, that was not fun.

Finally - How in heaven's name, you could take me downtown on Carnival Tuesday, after 6:00 pm (outside start getting dark), watch as we "Palance" over the stage, rush up to Independence Square, make a right on Ambercromby Street, and right in front of the Red House, tell me "thanks for playing with Spice", cut the music and dismiss security. Are you crazy???! You know how many unaccompanied, scantily dressed women were in your band, and you choose the heart of town as the place to end you band??? Not smart. Next year, you need to have a designated "end point" , which should be posted in your little handbook you distributed with the costumes. And speaking of end point, we need a parking spot for Spice bandmembers.

Bear in mind, that we are going through a GLOBAL recession, which has forced all normal thinking person to use good judgment when spending their money. Which for me translates to --- value for my hard earned money.

Spice 2010 Review (6)

I'm sending you this email as I have finally decided to voice my opinions on SPICE.I am a diehard carnival person and I have played in every large band in Trinidad to date I started in HARTS, THEN TO POISON THEN TO TRIBE THEN TO believe me when I say I know what service is and what a packaged deal and costuming entails.

Beautiful costume designs...unique at that and the registration/signing up process was a breeze. Music was great, nice people and a fun time. Warm smiles, great service inviting you to play ensuring to you that you will not regret playing with the band and that they are indeed the missing ingredient.

I went to collect my costume with my girlfriend and 2 of her friends the costume collection was pretty fast, we were then told to proceed to the table with a pretty girl with gold locks gave us information on where to proceed. We proceeded towards the collection table where a very pleasant young lady assisted. My girlfriends’ costume couldn’t be located and had to be made from scratch as there was no box with her name on it. We waited patiently as the young lady I believe her name was Whitney found sizes ensured everything was suitable for my girlfriend. My question to spice is why should your staff have to be looking for costume sizes when we registered with the band the first week when registration opened?? The second problem girlfriend ordered a 34A AND THE BRA GIVEN LOOKED LIKE A 34DD!!! This was rectified after waiting for your staff to do some serious hunting. Why were sizes so off? The same time we waited to collect another young lady was very upset to be told that the XS bikini bottom she ordered was not available and she would have to go with a MEDIUM and she would have to hang on to see if an XS became available!!! WHY SHOULD SOMEONE HAVE TO WAIT FOR SOMETHING WHEN THEY PAID FOR ONE PACKAGE IN THE FIRST INSTANCE? We proceeded to the alterations table where I witnessed the nasty Trini side of females.

I’m not sure how your staff are trained but they should be informed to KEEP PERSONAL MATTERS TO THEMSELVES. My girlfriend was having her belt altered by a young lady by the name of Rebecca who hastily tried to cut and glue costumes with the aid of a glue gun and I’m quiet sure she is not a trained costume maker. She hastily glued stones and velcro to belts while gossiping with another young lady from another station. This I realized as she wasn’t paying attention to what my girlfriend was saying to her regarding the belt but rather gossiping and whispering about another young lady behind us with the young lady at another station. My girlfriend became highly annoyed and had to ask her if she was listening which she didn't reply because she was too engrossed in conversation about the young lady standing behind us. I asked one of the girls behind the desk the names of the 2 young ladies and I was told REBECCA AND NIA.

Are these 2 young ladies owners of the band? Spice, do you to a customer service session with your staff? Are your staff allowed to blatantly ignore paying customers? Is this your level of professionalism at which your staff is hired? After waiting 45 minutes at the alterations my girlfriend got fed up and said she will get her stuff altered by someone else. Why was the advertised jewelry and accessories not available? This is what was promised and yet all your staff could say was sorry it didn't arrive and serve BS WITH A SMILE? No refund was awarded nor a better substitute given!

The band was to meet at 9am on carnival Monday! That time is wayyyyyy tooo early to meet on Monday! My friends arrived at 930am to meet not a single note of music not security people at the meeting point. The band moved off the vibes was nice. Getting to the rest point at QRC was brutal. It felt as though the masqueraders were cattle being herded into a fence! WHY HAVE ONE SMALL BOTTLE NECK TO CHECK ID BANDS OF HUNDREDS OF PPL? Getting to the food tent to get a choice was another ordeal. 3 or 4 tents serving meals was not practical when you have 2500 plus hungry masqueraders! To my surprise there were no drinks available at the tents; I asked the band leader to be told the drinks are outside I told her the security told us we can’t go outside HER RESPONSE A SHRUG OF THE SHOULDERS SORRY!

In sweltering heat you have your PAYING MASQUERADERS SUFFERING AS THERE IS NOTHING TO WASH DOWN THE DRY TASTELESS FOOD??? Later I discovered a bin with water only to be told by others that the water is hot!! Now tell me SPICE WHY WASNT THIS THOUGHT ABOUT? Why not have several bins or BETTER YET 2 TENTS DESIGNATED FOR DRINKS? The band is not the size or magnitude as TRIBE OR IP that you couldn’t put personal touches for your masqueraders in mind! Maybe you should put that note in mind for next year!

Asking the bandleader's mom for assistance when forks ran out was a waste she looked at me as though I was asking for my $2800 plus my girl friend's $6000 refund a look of disgust her response...IT DOH HAVE ANY RIGHT NOW YOU HAVE TO WAIT AND STORMED OFF!

Tuesday the band looked beautiful, again some consideration should be made for frontline masqueraders imagine asking someone on the truck if they can hold my girlfriend’s headpiece to be told sorry sir we were informed that we cannot hold anything for anyone! In all the yrs playing mas I have never seen that done!! I asked and official who told me to go talk to the driver and he may be able to assist!

Spice, I think this year you bit off more than you can chew! Money was clearly on your mind and not the promised package to your loyal masqueraders!

TRIBE Carnival 2010 Magazine

See details below, available from tomorrow, Wednesday February 24th for purchase:

click to enlarge

Monday, February 22, 2010

SPICE Carnival Band... The Good. The Bad. The Ugly

I could write pages and pages on my experience with SPICE, but it would be infused with too many emotions. I will attempt to keep my emotions out of this and speak strictly on the facts.

The Good.

- Spice employees customer service. EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT. I am speaking of the workers, not the management of the band.

- I would like to give a special thanks to the following people. Their help, concern, and just over all customer service was outstanding. Some higher ups in the band should take a hint from their workers.

*Miss Goldie Locs who worked at the second stop of collection. She has a head full of blond locs which she wears tied back. Always smiling with a twinkle in her eye.

*Marina who just sat and listened to me gripe without interruption, and showed true concern in the middle of all of my woes. I did not complain to her initially. She saw me standing up looking like I had lost my best friend and came over to ask me what was wrong.

*Leah... a beautiful spirit hands down. Great, great, customer service, always with a smile and a kind word.

*TAMMY! A total inside joke with me and one the workers. Every time I heard someone call her name, and saw her reaction, it provided a round of giggles for me. A sweet young lady and much appreciated.

Beautiful costume designs, (if they would have carried through on some of the actual prototypes). But still no denying, the costumes were lovely, and looked absolutely fabulous on the road.

The Bad

- Costume collection could be a bit more organized especially for foreign masqueraders

- Foreign masqueraders need more time to collect. Not just one or two days before carnival, in case there are any kinks that need to be worked out.

- Delivering costumes true to the prototype on costume collection day.

- Truly listening to the customer and giving them a voice. Listening would help to resolve conflicts easier than blowing off a customer's concerns, and really ticking off the customer.

- Issues with my costume, which were eventually resolved to my satisfaction.

- Well constructed costumes. The same costume which was adjusted to my satisfaction and that I was totally in love with. completely fell apart by noon on Tuesday. (My head piece literally broke into 3 pieces). It killed my vibes and left me quite sour.

The Ugly.

Bringing a mas band is a HUGE undertaking, and I have a much respect for the time, dedication, and planning that must go into producing a carnival band. I can only imagine the stress and pressure that band leaders are under, come carnival time, to meet the many demands from all sides (customers, the band leaders association, etc) that is required of them. All of these factors could easily a frazzle a person's nerves and make them a little "short". But what I find MOST UNACCEPTABLE is just flat out disrespect to a customer whose hard earned money is driving your business.

The women at the last point of collection was assigned to check costumes against receipts, and hand out wrist bands, and back packs. I was told she was the Band leader's mother. She had to be the rudest nastiest person I have ever encountered.

There was an issue with my costume, so I was told by another member of the spice staff, who I will call GENTLE, to proceed to the last table and collect my things, then to come back to see her. When I proceeded to the last table and passed on the message from GENTLE, Band leader mom blew her top and said this was incorrect.

Now I can understand how these little mishaps in communication, can occur. But instead of telling me that what GENTLE had told me was incorrect and I would simply have to wait, she lambasted me! Trying to keep cool, I told her I was only going on the directions that GENTLE, her band worker, had given me. She then stormed away from the table, walked over and proceeded to give GENTLE a tongue lashing. GENTLE was sweet as sugar, because she quietly took the tongue lashing, and even came over and apologized to me for the misinformation and on behalf of Miss Nasty Band Leader Mom.

I know it takes all sort of people to make the world go around, and I understand that not everyone has a sweet personality, but my goodness. When you have a pit bull, you use it to guard the gate, not to mind the baby. Each person should have their place, and this woman should have been stuck in a back office counting the money, instead of dealing with the paying customer.

That was the single most unpleasant thing about my entire spice encounter.

Designers mess up, costumes fall apart, miscommunications happen. There may not be enough chairs at the rest stop, food may not be good, security may have glitches... but for my hard earned money, that I could be talked to like I was a beggar on the street asking for a free costume, and not a hard working, paying customer whose business should be appreciated is unforgivable. At the end of the day, if Spice would have handed me a brown paper bag with a smile, humility, and courtesy, and told they messed up... I probably would have paraded the streets of POS in full paper bagged glory with no gripes.

It is no fun to be handed the too too special of the day on a silver platter, and be expected to think that this behavior is ok. Well it is not okay, and I can take my money and my self respect elsewhere in the future.. because if I wanted someone to too too on me... I could have that done for FREE

Makeup Artistry By Kirk Thomas, The Review

With the popularity of Kirk Thomas soaring after last Carnival season this year my makeup appointment on Carnival Tuesday was even earlier than last. In spite of the hour I had to be at Crobar there were ladies there before me as I met some who had a 2:30AM spot just finishing up when I arrived. There was a delay owing to some previous tardiness by a client so I was pretty happy to have an early appointment because the 15 minute wait did not really affect my schedule at all.

Once again I loved the location of Crobar that Kirk used this year, there were some other makeup artistes who were also doing faces at the same location as well, because it is pretty close to Stanmore Avenue where TRIBE departs from. And once again I was TOTALLY in love with what he did with my face! I am not going to show you the  state I arrived in or even the transformation that took place when I left but I was so excited over my look I was bouncing in my chair when my face was done. Best of all is that I was able to tell him the look I wanted and he was able to give it to me, making sure I was satisfied.

It is not only about having gorgeous eye makeup or gems, the face is literally transformed using makeup techniques leaving you wondering who is that much improved stranger staring back at you when you are done:







Ladies On the Road 

Still Going Strong At Night!

These Ladies were shy about their "before"

I was also pretty pleased with the longevity of the makeup; Kirk used a primer called "Absence" that was supposed to control the sebaceous glands to prevent oiliness during the day. Technically I cannot say if the glands were controlled completely , however personally my face was not a total oil slick, even under the hot sun. One of the bloggers I met asked how was did my face remained so "dry", this at midday when the sun was at it's most brutal. And, I was removing my face gems when I got home, they held up ALL day so I was pleased that the investment in professional makeup translated into a well made up face all day.

Of course Kirk would be my makeup artist of choice for 2011( I am hoping he has room for me as I know many ladies were booking him for next year even before the end of Carnival 2010! ) as another Carnival leaves me TOTALLY  happy with the work he did. I saw many, many ladies with gorgeous faces on both Monday and Tuesday so send in reviews of your makeup artist; were you pleased, how did the makeup hold up? Email

Many thanks to the lovely "models" featured in today's post who allowed me to use their photographs!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

TRIBE 2010 Review (3)

First time playing mass... first time in Tribe!!!

HI Saucy... From the day after Tribe's launch in July I was DAILY viewer of your blog so I decided to share my first experience with you..

Silk of Rajasthan.... LOVED IT..

After arriving at the Hilton around 9 am ( I requested an early check in) and being told that my room would not be ready until 3pm...I passed some time at the Rituals in the Hotel lobby until it was about 10am. According to Tribe's booklet that was inside of my costume box, that I read cover to cover MANY times, it stated that the band's "Parade Time" on Monday was at 10:30am.

Consumed by anxiousness I left the Hilton around 10:15 and made way by foot down to Stanmore Avenue. I got there around 11:00am..(stopped to talk to friends along the way)
when I got there I was supprised to see that the band was still stationed at Stanmore ave. now being the amateur that i am, i told my friend with me which was her first time in Tribe as well that "I am pretty sure we'll leave in a few" and so we did...
As the trucks moved...a smile from ear to ear appeared on my face.. this was It... it was the start of my very first Carnival Xperience...

Chippin 1,2,3 and Stop 4,5,6,7,8... chippin 1,2,3... and so on.... I was a little perturbed by the lengths of the stopping in between.. however it gave me time to look through the band to spot anybody I knew.. because it was just the two of us... also I didnt know how long the stopping was suppose to take but eventually I realised it wasnt suppose to be THAT long..

Paid no mind to it.. we made our way onto Charlotte Street... I ran into a few relatives and was having a blast... my girl and I soaked up every moment...we palanced, we chipped, we screwed the light bulb and we had a time...but all this action and we were in the same spot!!! (infront of the hospital)....

A little while after, things started to move.. then announcement came on to move to the right of the truck.. and with much compliance my "group" and I moved... RIght.. it was time to cross the "STAGE"

"People are you readdy, we Palancing in this Parrtyy!!!" I started jumping from the time i heard that... 1,2,3,4-- and they let us go... jump jump.. wine wine.. every piece of energy I had in me came out with the wine/s, jump/s and side to side palance I did... we crossed and I said to my girl.. this is the best feeling ever!! and its only Monday!!!
then I looked @ my watch!!!!

It was AFTER 2pm!!!!!- we both had our body paint appointment @ Murray Strt. for 3pm so we made a decision go leave the band, head to Hilton check on the room and head down for the paint and the join the band after... walked back up to Hilton to be told that the rooms were being cleaned and there is a 1 hr. wait... hungry and already tired we went down to the restaurant for lunch... we had the "dreggz" of the buffet and got a call by the time we were finished that the room was ready..

Now. rushing ....we got ready and made way to murray street.. arrived ontime, got the paint done and then to our DISMAY the guys tells us.. I hope you all not playing for the rest of the afternoon or else the paint will run off because it needs to set... we complied and went back to the Hotel and had a little R& R for the rest of the afternoon.

Before going to bed i set the alarm for 5am and said to myself....TOMORROW IS THE DAY!!!!...

Beeep , beep @ 5am--- hit the snooze button- didnt get up till 6:30....

although the booklet said tuesday's parade time was at 7:30 my girl and I realsied they meant 1hr - 1hr 1/2 later!!!So we got up got ready and got some b-fast at the restaurant.... we went back to the room to put on the costumes.. heading out from the room to the car park, we saw masqueraders in their BEAUTIFUL costumes heading down to the Savannah.. the excitement built up in me..

We got down to Tragarete rd. around 8:30 am...the band was still there..we quickly looked for our section, which was apparently non existent. the sign lady was there with a few persons behind her.. we went to the front of the band and met up with a couple of friends who said they were standing on the side but @ the front to see everyone and when Silk of Raj. came on they would join.... so we stayed with them for the VERY LONNNGGG period of time until our section came up.. we quickly joined in and chipped along park street.. however the wait on Charlotte street just like Monday was the WORST!!!!

I mean this was my first yr of playing mas but I just wanted to tell ppl.. "get in yuh damn section!! so they can stop wasting time organizing ppl in we can cross!!!" Finally it was time.. but i was thirsty as hell because the drinks truck left us and turned onto Keate Street.. and well the wait from keate street till the judging point was about 45 mins.. so I went to a vender to buy a bottle of water... $20.00 for a bottle of water!!! Yes.. $20 for a DASANI!!!

I was a bit hesitant to pay that price but then the announcement "Get ready Silk of raj. its your time!!!" came on, so I dashed the money at the lady without question and found myself behind the sign lady... as soon as the guards released their hands... all my previous complaints as listed above DISAPPEARED!!! It was the Best feeling of freedom I have ever had !!! The side to side palance and the onlookers cheering.. it was FANTASTIC...

After passing the judging point at the Savannah my cousin came up to me and said stop walking so slow.. we need to get to the park to catch a check my girl and I speeding toward the park with my few relatives and friend in tow ready to get a blanket.. lo and behold!!! NONE AVAILABLE..

With no energy to get angry, we found a spot at the northern side of the park and had the DELICIOUS lunch with gr8 dessert.. however every other bite had a crunch with the amount of dust flying round.. but that was ok. We had food from the international booth. whoever catered... NICE :)

Ok so my belly was filled and ethnic fatigue started kicking in... I saw a girl with a cardboard box and begged her for 1/2.. once I had the piece of box, my girl and I took a 45 mins sleep ......Then music to my ears.. OK Tribe lets go... "leh we go down the road, go down the road.. Carnival in the air..."- Patrice Roberts..a faint cheer spread throughout the park and ppl started getting up.. I got up washed my face and shook the few specs of grass off of me and I was READY!!!!

We made way though St. Clair, Tragarete rd.. and then Ariapita Ave.The wait on the ave was the worst but that gave me time to GET ON BADD!!!I said to myself.. its the end of the day.. and all I had was the time remaining, its time to use this stopping to my advantage.. I chipped to the top of the band, made way back down to the end and back up to the top!!! It was fantastic.!!!

The security really showed their purpose when it started to get dark as stormers saw an opportunity to get into the band.. however access was QUICKLY denied!!! As we crossed the judging point by Adam Smith Sq. i realised that this was the end of Carnival.. I soaked up everymonent with my friends and relatives.. and made way back to Stanmore!!!

Despite all my complaints about the stopping and everything about Tribe.. I WILL play with them next year again!!! The security was Xcellent as well as the music and the overall VIBE of the band..

Thank you Tribe for Making this Carnival Virgin's first time experience a tremendous one!!!
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