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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Theme 2011....

So, sources have indicated to me that TRIBE will be playing "Warriors" for Carnival 2011.

Somehow I am excited by the theme, I do hope there are a lot of ethnic looking, multi coloured, feathered, beaded and gorgeous costumes for both men and women that incorporates less bling and more organic materials! This could be a pretty interesting theme, looking forward to the interpretation.Can you just see it now?

Rio Carnival 2010

Spice 2010 Review (4)

Ok, so my review of Spice will be restricted to my costume collection experience since others have already reviewed the road.

Upon arriving on Spice mas camp before 12 on carnival Saturday already displeased because collection for overseas masqueraders was so late, my friends and I were issued numbers and escorted into the ballroom. Even after being some of the first to arrive we endured a 3-4hr wait before we finally collected. We were told that the reason for the long wait was that the online systems were down and the payments had to be processed manually. Fine, no problem. Stuff happens, so we sat patiently and waited our turn. Unfortunately however, some impatient folks who came in after us did not feel the same way and decided to disregard the number system and place themselves in front of everyone who had been waiting patiently. This, predictably, led to some chaos. After FINALLY making it through the chaos we were allowed to enter the space for collection. 
My friend in Isis collected her Isis costume and was pleased with everything except the bra size which was off (she requested a B and received what looked like a DD) When she inquired about it she was told she had to return the next day to exchange the top. Huh? Not sure why, but determined not to fuss she agreed. Same time the gentleman with my receipt returned with a backline headpiece in his hand and a box on his arm. Before he could open the box he apologised for taking a while and explained that he had some trouble finding my costume. I informed him that it was a frontline costume and he went back to look again, apologising and saying that must have been the reason.

 His second trip back produced a FL hp which he handed over with more apologies. While investigating the hp he opened the box to show me the costume and to my surprise, there looking back at me was a bl belt and bra. Once again, I had to 'firmly' inform the gentleman that my costume was FL and NOT backline, and def not a mixture of both. More apologies and a few minutes later he returned with a booklet and a confused look on his face. He opened the page to the prototype and asked if that was what I had been expected. Well.. yes, that's what I paid for, of course its what I expected! He walked off to consult with another comittee member and returned to tell me that my costume was "on the way". HUH?? "On the way from WHERE?" One look on my face sent him off to talk with the bandleader to "find out what was going on".

 He returned with more apologies, an explanation about the costume being "stuck in traffic around the savannah", a request that I return the next day, and an apologetic band leader. Several apologies and assurances that my costume would be there "bright and early" sunday morning, and I collected my headpiece, wristband, etc, and left confused and somewhat frustrated.

Upon my return on Sunday morning I explained to the gentleman at the door that I was there to collect my costume and nothing more, so I was immediately escorted to the collection area without any wait. My friend got her bra exchanged with no fuss, but I was not to be so fortunate. After explaining the situation to one of the young ladies helping with collection she took my receipt to a committee member who then took it to the band leader who brought it back to me with MORE apologies. This time I was told that my costume was on the way from Chaguanas. HUH????? "What the hell is it doing in Chaguanas when it was around the savannah yesterday? Did it go for a drive?" More apologies, more assurances that it would be there within the hour, but at this point all of this meant nothing at all to me. I received the same the day before and was not at all comforted by the apologetic smiles and explanations. (Up to now no answer about why it was in Chaguanas and not at the hilton) .

Hours later I returned to the Hilton to find the place in chaos with people trying to purchase/collect costumes last minute. Refusing to wait another minute I located a comittee member and explained the situation and requested that he located the band leader since I would deal with no one else at this point. His response to me was "does she know you by name?" HUH???? "If my costume is not here she WILL know me by name, trust me!!!" Off he went into the ballroom to locate the band leader (they were not letting customers in at this point) and he returned FINALLY with my costume. Opening the box had me (almost) forgiving Spice for my 3 trips to the Hilton and 2 different stories as to why it was not there when it should have been. A family member who was with me however commented that the glue on the costume seemed to be "still warm" and seeing that a few pieces seemed to have not been stuck on completely, they might just have been right. Another rumour that I heard going around the ballroom from some of the ladies helping with collection was that I was the only FLer in my section that wanted to remain in the advertised monokini the others wanted to "switch out". (something I overhead while watching them play 'pass the receipt' on sunday morning) Whether or not that is true is no excuse for me to have to wait until Sunday evening to receive my costume, especially after I registered since August.

 In the end my costume was beautiful and I loved it, despite the few minor changes made (a different shade of pink, which I loved, and a backline cape which I didn't bother to wear). It was also a bit heavy, because of all the stones covering it, and my hp was my biggest gripe as it kept literally falling over or flying off my head on the road. The fit itself was fine, but the feathers themselves seemed to weigh down the cardboard holding it together. I did however receive extra pieces, a backline belt and foot pieces which I wore instead of the regular ol' boyshorts, and that I definitely appreciated. The road was decent and I ended up having a ball. But please Spice, do something to reinforce your headpieces, and don't give ANY of your masqueraders the run around for a costume they're paying hundreds of USD for, months in advance. A little notification about the situation would have been better than 3 trips to the Hilton and poor excuses.
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