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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Island People Mas "Heroes" - The Review

This was my first time playing mas with IP and I was extremely excited. I played in the section INKA. I’m sorry to hear how much torture other people went through to pick-up their costumes because my costume pick-up was a breeze. I was in and out in 20 minutes. I picked up my costume on the Wednesday before Carnival around 4pm. I paid for my costume then went into the next room to pick it up. The woman walked me through each piece that was in the box. I have to admit I was not happy when I saw the Monday wear. Especially the “Super Hero” shorts. They were ridiculously tiny. I don’t know who they thought was fitting into them. I got a BMobile mug, a deodorant and some type of protein bar as I left the costume pick-up room. Luckily I’ve played mas before both in T&T and at home in Toronto so I had packed various shorts options just in case something didn’t fit. Besides the Monday shorts being tiny, the costume bikini briefs for Tuesday were too small and the bra had no type of support, but when I read on FaceBook about the long wait times, I decided not bother going back to try to exchange sizes. I ended up wearing my own shorts on Monday and my own shorts and bra on Tuesday.

On Carnival Monday I saw some people with IP pouches and women with IP t-shirts on. I don’t know if these were given out in compensation for something else, but if they were available at the time when I picked up my costume, it would have been nice to be offered one or at costume sign-up be offered a choice of a t-shirt instead of the one-shoulder top that the women were given to wear on Monday. But that’s neither here nor there, it didn’t stop me from having fun.

Carnival Monday went well. My friend and I met the band at the stadium and headed out onto the road. We enjoyed ourselves tremendously. The music on truck #3 (truck with the pink banner) was wicked! It was pure vibez the whole way. Drinks were flowing. We did have to buy food along the route on both days though because we didn’t see any signs of snacks being handed out. Maybe we were too far back from the food truck? On Monday we crossed the stage at a perfect time because it allowed us to walk back to my guest house which was right by the Savannah. However, apparently we left too early because we missed the announcement that the meeting time for Tuesday had been changed from 7am to 6am. So when my friend and I got to the stadium at 7am on Carnival Tuesday, there were a few people there, but no trucks or security in sight. After some walking around and asking questions, we realized that the band had already left! Luckily we got into one of the “meet the band” shuttles that IP provided, however that turned into a joke. When the shuttle bus was full, the driver turned to us and asked “do you know where the band is?” Huh?! I thought he was supposed to know!! How can you take us to meet the band if you don’t know where it is? Someone in IP on one of the trucks should have had walkie-talkies or some kind of communication going with the shuttle drivers so that they could let them know where the band was. We ended up driving around POS asking police officers if they had seen the band. Eventually someone in the shuttle called their house and had a relative give them the code for IP and they texted the “Find ah band” phone number which texted back and let them know that IP was on Abercromby St.

We finally met up with IP and the fun began. We ended up having a block party on Abercromby St. because we were there for probably about 2-3 hours. But it was all good. I like the route that IP took on Tuesday. It was perfect for us. Cross the stage then head for a rest stop. We left the band after the rest stop at the Oval. It was just enough for us.

I would play with IP again, but I would have to really take a long hard look at the costumes. I personally wasn’t excited about how my INKA costume turned out. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but somehow it didn’t excite me when I got it. I actually preferred Monday’s wear! But costume aside, when it comes to vibez and customer service, I wouldn’t hesitate to go with IP again. Any time I had a question, I would send an email to IP and I would usually get a response within an hour or two. The bathrooms were really clean for being port-a-potties, and there were always drinks available. My suggestions for improvement would be to start costume distribution earlier than they did in order to avoid the long lines and hassles; have some type of communication with the shuttle drivers; and send a mass email the night before if there are any changes to what’s printed in the schedule book (I had my BlackBerry with me so I would have gotten it). But other than that, I had a great time and would do it again!

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