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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Advice from the Carnival Veterans to the Carnival Virgins

A couple months ago I asked members of the Trinidad Carnival Diary Facebook Fan Page to pass on their advice, as Carnival Veterans, to the Carnival Virgins.

 Here is a compilation of their words of wisdom. Take heed Carnival Newbies, these veterans know their stuff!




PREPARATION
  • Work on your stamina, I would say go to the gym not merely to just get in shape, but walk for long distances on a treadmill to build you stamina as those two days cover a good distance
  •  Use sunblock, especially for lighter skinned individuals and persons with tattoos (sun degrades tattoos), you will be in hot sun for two days, protect your skin

COSTUME
  • Try on your entire costume couple days before hand because you might need alterations.
  • Ladies, walk with safety pins. They come in handy for costume malfunctions and so many other unforseen stuff. They're small wonders that fit nicely in your purse so yuh cyah go wrong.
  • In addition to safety pins,take large hairpins on the road, to secure headpieces going awry.

FOOTWEAR
  • Wear gel/foam insoles with your footwear, even with sneakers. You'll need all the extra cushioning for those 10 plus hours on your feet.
  • Cut down your toenails, I know many women like to have nice toenails with enough length so they can french it etc, for your own benefit make the sacrifice around Carnival time and cut them down, otherwise you will lose a big toe nail.
  • Buy sneakers/boots a half to whole size bigger (yes you still need to cut down your toenails if you do this)
  • Beware of high heels, they might look pretty, but they will hurt your foot pretty badly.

ON THE ROAD
  • Take a ziplock bag that can hold your camera and/or phone in the event it starts to rain...you don't want to know all your pictures spoiled from your card getting wet...
  • Buy single packs of Wet Ones and keep in your bag, your skin gets covered in dust and  Wet ones help you feel refreshed.
  • If you want to have an enjoyable, memorable Carnival Monday don't over do it in Jouvert! And, to maximize your Carnival Tuesday, find yourself in bed Carnival Monday night, NOT on the streets of Port Of Spain!
  • Pace yourself, the liquor not going nowhere, sun hot plus drunkenness can be bad combo.
  • PLEASE remember to hydrate during the day. Although the Johnny, Hennessy etc will be flowing like water (hopefully), have a couple bottles of water, lucozade, redbull, gatorade etc. Hydrating yourself with MORE Johnny or rum does NOT work
  • Make sure and have a bottle of water with you before you go across  the Stage(s).
  • Eat well because the amount of liquor you will consume in two days might be more than you have in a year, and you dont want to be sick on the road.
  •  Organize a meeting place with your friends in case you get lost.
  •  Keep your cell phone close, and yuh camera closer.
  • Take note of the location of the medic truck in your band. You never know....
  • Organize your transportation home before hand. Don’t wait until Carnival Tuesday.
  • Sometimes the direction of the band changes so your pick up should be flexible to change location .
  • Every song that make yuh bawl ohhhh gaaaadddoo at 10 in de morning yuh doh have to to get on dutty for. Pace yourself with de jamishness in the morning yuh doh want to be bun within ten minutes of being on the road.
  • VERY IMPORTANT !!! Be respectful of your fellow masqueraders, it’s a melting pot but what is good for the goose might not be good got the gander
  • Carnival is about having fun! For the couples out there, please do not get upset if your significant other wines on another man/woman (once its in a respectable manner)... go, enjoy yourself and do the same too...
  • Don’t be a wise ass … sometimes it’s the alcohol talking so it best to avoid disruptive situations.
  • Carnival Tuesday if its getting dark .. be careful. Everybody and dey mudder looking for a last jump especially in St James.

POST CARNIVAL
  • Have some Epsom salts waiting for you at home because no matter what kind of shoe you wear, your feet will need pampering.

AND FINALLY....
  • The best advice my mother ever gave me was "Take advice from people who know better". So listen to what people are saying and take it on board. It might mean the difference between you having a wicked-ass time, or going home with ten black toenails at half-two on Tuesday afternoon.
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