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Carnival

Posted: Sat 10th February 2001 in Trip Two
Position: 10° 39.7' N, 61° 30.7' W

'I Wanna Come Home All covered in Mud' The WhoMarilyn Manson, eat your heart out

J'ouvert Morning

After missing the Panorama (Steel Bands of 50 to 100 musicians, with multiple instruments) due to excessive consumption of Alcohol at the TTSA pre carnival fun race, half the crew didn't turn up and to fulfil the sailing instructions 3 of us were obliged to drink the bottle of rum given to us at the briefing. All was peaceful right through Sunday, until 1:00am when we caught a maxi taxi into Port of Spain, where we donned our costumes. Resplendent in our Flour Bag surcoats we consumed much beer and rum punch, before beginning our parade through POS (Port of Spain). A mixture of mud and paint was liberally applied, by/to anyone who seemed appropriate*.As the Power Boats Scorpions Pan band crawled off towed by its tractor I found my self out in front waving the banner all over the place.The 2 escorting Pickups of security took up their places on each side, their primary job to hand out the Rum punch and Beers the pick ups contained. As SONY said about the Playstation, do not under estimate the power of rum punch.

WHAT IS RUM PUNCH?

Rum Punch is a lethal mixture of Orange Juice, Grapefruit Juice Angostura Bitters and LOTS and LOTS of RUM Not Just any rum either, but 80% by volume white rum. This means that the brew is a fragrant (the bitters) fruity drink and since the strong rum is mostly alcohol and doesn't taste of much, the whole concoction doesn't taste like there's much rum in it........... THIS IS DECEPTIVE, drinking more than a few rum punches will render you incapable if not horizontal with remarkable efficiency; I love it.

Muddy Crew!We proceeded around the streets of POS dancing shouting (nothing about Carnival in Trinidad is quiet) smearing passers by with mud, well extra mud - there's no such thing as a clean Trini on the first night of Carnival.
The culture of Trinidad is wonderfully inclusive, the tourists don't just sit and watch the events go by - they're expected to join in. Most do, often because they've been to carnival before. After carnival when I ran into Campbell and Skana off Dreamtime, Campbell said "after what we'd heard (from me) we thought it had been over-hyped, we believe it now". Skana just said "we're coming back".


Occasionally we'd run up against other bands (Trinis use the word band as in "band of men", as well as musical band) with their sound trucks, usually we had plenty off warning a sound truck is audible from miles away. I remember some of our friends off Wingbeat saying look after Sam, I cheerfully agreed and pogoed off on my merry way to where ever I was going. Where I was Calvin and Jane, off Wingbeatgoing was anyone's guess. I remember charging into a Chinese take away and attempting to buy breakfast - there was a sound truck outside holding us up at the time and since they put out about the the same wattage as Glastonbury, communication was impossible, but what I ordered, what I got and what it tasted like, I have no idea, presumably I enjoyed it.

My agreement to look after Sam proved to be dishonest, at some point he and Rauni managed to lose the band. By the time I'd noticed the people who'd made the suggestion had disappeared also, I assumed, wrongly, that they were together. It was only after we'd triumphantly marched back to our start point at the rugby club (a hour latter than planned, 7:30 am) and returned to the TTSA clubhouse that I realized that this wasn't the case. Sam and Rauni turned up (separately) about 9:30. I'd already cleaned myself up by jumping in the sea and scrubbing, with the help of 2 American ladies

I When something nudged my leg I assumed it was a sponge (which I didn't have) and picked it up. The jellyfish, being sober, was probably more surprised by this than I was - I discarded the Jellyfish on the assumption that jelly fish are probably not the best things for removing mud. I still have no Idea what the best thing for removing the mud is, 3 showers later I've still got bits.

Renegades pan band.

My flour bag was discarded at the taxi, my T-shirt earlier in the evening and some unknown point, my shoes I left on the dock so as not to pollute the dinghy, sadly they too appear lost.

After discussions with experts, who are easy to find amongst those who have consumed much alcohol. It was decided that we should take Sam to the hospital to get stitches put in his head. By the time I'd been come back the the boat for money and returned to TTSA it was noon. - Why bother with bed? So I went looking for Dreamtime, which meant I went to to the pub. The bar man who'd been out all night and myself discussed the nights festivities with the others in the bar, who'd missed them after which I went back to POS for a Roti.

WHAT'S A ROTI?

A Roti is the most popular dish in Trinidad, closely related to the Buss Up Shot (literally "bust up shirt" Trini spelling often follows their pronunciation "d" or "da" for 'the') It contains Indian food, beef or chicken curry mixed with a sort of dall of chickpeas and potato wrapped in a special bread.The bread is normal white dough with vegetable shortening and baking powder.

Roti Man

First you make it into balls about half way between a golf ball and a tennis ball, then you flatten 2 of them out to bout 6" diameter spread margarine on 1 side of 2 of them and combine them together. Roll them out to about 15" diameter.To cook the 15" pancake like thing, get a large (18"+) aluminium plate and put it on a gas stove. Brush it with cooking oil and carefully spread the dough circle out on it. Brush more oil on the dough, and turn. Ether wrap the chicken curry and dall in the resulting baked bread thing or crumple the bread up on the cooking plate and thump heavily with wooden spatula. This will break the bread up a bit,for the bust up shirt effect. Serve dall and curry along side it. I eat a lot of these, I've only seen them once in England, in Neasden, it wasn't good.

Serve with "da coolest beers"

POS was still heaving, the sound trucks were out for the preliminary judging of the Mas completion, at carnival everything's a competition, the Soca, the Calypso, the Pan and the Mas** Costumes. All the kings and queens dressed in their huge costumes, presumably praying there wouldn't be any wind. A few hours of this was enough for me, my legs hurt from dancing around all J'ouvert night so I went home for an early night.

Tuesday Mas dawned after a good nights sleep, early rain occurred while we were in Independence square POS, however unlike the rest of Trinidad I wasn't wearing a bra/tabard and Knickers covered in sequins. Sam and Rauni however were, they were out with Barbarossa, one of the biggest Mas "Bands", with the Soca band "Trafik" on their leading sound truck.

SOUND TRUCK? WHAT THE &%^" THAT?

There are no floats in Trinidad carnival. All the participants walk, however three are certain vehicles that follow them with drinks or what ever and some times ever 100 person steel bands. However the king of the road (street) is the Sound truck. A sound truck is a shipping container transporter (40' lorry bed) with a large generator just behind the cab and the rest of the truck piled to a height of about 8' above the bed with speaker stacks pointing all directions.

 

Sound Truck

These trucks put out a wattage similar to an out door music festival. The volume control is a delicate and important control. It is carefully set to a level a fraction below what makes the speakers distort, and left there. There are about 40 of these trucks, and they are LOUD.

I want one! I'll show that Chris Eubank***

Sam and Rauni, all togged up, met up with the Barbarossa group in Independence square, I went in search of fags, taking the suncream with me. After taking a ganda at the rest of Barbarossa all 5000 odd of them, I returned to find Sam and Rauni's section aproaching the judging point by the docks. As the bands approached, I was quite suprised when a Trini woman, in broad daylight, in the middle of a street, charged up and proceded to put her bum in my crotch and roll her hips. Obviously no one paid any attention, this is called "wineing" a traditionl Trini dance. The woman turned out to be our friend Eulene who I'd been expecting as she had booked the same costume as Sam and Rauni.They carried on the parade route and I went to check out the competion, which was stiff and numerous. Poison, the largest carnival group, stretched back about half a mile! The parades high point is the main judging point in Queens Park Savannah, a large park in POS.

Rauni, Sam and Eulene, in mas costumesWhen the sound trucks reach the Savannah and the danger of overhead power cables is leesend the Band leaders and DJ's get up on top of their trucks and start calypsoing along to encorage/organise there bands. Organising and more to the point getting them off the stage is quite a feet.

 Poison who have the reputation for been the worst behaved band as well as the largest took over an hour and a half to cross the stage. Last year apparently they were disqualified because they wouldn't get off the stage. When Barbarossa were crossing the stage one of the sound trucks passed within 2' of a policeman on a horse, the horse didn't even flinch. I asked the copper (when the truck had moved on) about the apparently they spend 2 months before carnival training the horses, all the Police cadets dress up in carnival costumes and march past the horses to the acompanyment of loud Soca music. Sounds fun.

Shortly after this I returned, very nackered, to TTSA where many bemused yachties, oftern with salvaged bits of carnival costumes were drifting back home. Sam and Rauni returned later having obtaind more cheap beer....and sunburn. We went to a quiet bay the following day for an after Carnival Lime****.


* - i.e. EVERYBODY
**Masquerade
***Anyone not from Brighton won't get this.
**** Lime - verb to "hang out" or noun place to hang out in.

 

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Carnival

Posted: Sat 10th February 2001 in Trip Two
Position: 10° 39.7' N, 61° 30.7' W

'I Wanna Come Home All covered in Mud' The WhoMarilyn Manson, eat your heart out

J'ouvert Morning

After missing the Panorama (Steel Bands of 50 to 100 musicians, with multiple instruments) due to excessive consumption of Alcohol at the TTSA pre carnival fun race, half the crew didn't turn up and to fulfil the sailing instructions 3 of us were obliged to drink the bottle of rum given to us at the briefing. All was peaceful right through Sunday, until 1:00am when we caught a maxi taxi into Port of Spain, where we donned our costumes. Resplendent in our Flour Bag surcoats we consumed much beer and rum punch, before beginning our parade through POS (Port of Spain). A mixture of mud and paint was liberally applied, by/to anyone who seemed appropriate*.As the Power Boats Scorpions Pan band crawled off towed by its tractor I found my self out in front waving the banner all over the place.The 2 escorting Pickups of security took up their places on each side, their primary job to hand out the Rum punch and Beers the pick ups contained. As SONY said about the Playstation, do not under estimate the power of rum punch.

WHAT IS RUM PUNCH?

Rum Punch is a lethal mixture of Orange Juice, Grapefruit Juice Angostura Bitters and LOTS and LOTS of RUM Not Just any rum either, but 80% by volume white rum. This means that the brew is a fragrant (the bitters) fruity drink and since the strong rum is mostly alcohol and doesn't taste of much, the whole concoction doesn't taste like there's much rum in it........... THIS IS DECEPTIVE, drinking more than a few rum punches will render you incapable if not horizontal with remarkable efficiency; I love it.

Muddy Crew!We proceeded around the streets of POS dancing shouting (nothing about Carnival in Trinidad is quiet) smearing passers by with mud, well extra mud - there's no such thing as a clean Trini on the first night of Carnival.
The culture of Trinidad is wonderfully inclusive, the tourists don't just sit and watch the events go by - they're expected to join in. Most do, often because they've been to carnival before. After carnival when I ran into Campbell and Skana off Dreamtime, Campbell said "after what we'd heard (from me) we thought it had been over-hyped, we believe it now". Skana just said "we're coming back".


Occasionally we'd run up against other bands (Trinis use the word band as in "band of men", as well as musical band) with their sound trucks, usually we had plenty off warning a sound truck is audible from miles away. I remember some of our friends off Wingbeat saying look after Sam, I cheerfully agreed and pogoed off on my merry way to where ever I was going. Where I was Calvin and Jane, off Wingbeatgoing was anyone's guess. I remember charging into a Chinese take away and attempting to buy breakfast - there was a sound truck outside holding us up at the time and since they put out about the the same wattage as Glastonbury, communication was impossible, but what I ordered, what I got and what it tasted like, I have no idea, presumably I enjoyed it.

My agreement to look after Sam proved to be dishonest, at some point he and Rauni managed to lose the band. By the time I'd noticed the people who'd made the suggestion had disappeared also, I assumed, wrongly, that they were together. It was only after we'd triumphantly marched back to our start point at the rugby club (a hour latter than planned, 7:30 am) and returned to the TTSA clubhouse that I realized that this wasn't the case. Sam and Rauni turned up (separately) about 9:30. I'd already cleaned myself up by jumping in the sea and scrubbing, with the help of 2 American ladies

I When something nudged my leg I assumed it was a sponge (which I didn't have) and picked it up. The jellyfish, being sober, was probably more surprised by this than I was - I discarded the Jellyfish on the assumption that jelly fish are probably not the best things for removing mud. I still have no Idea what the best thing for removing the mud is, 3 showers later I've still got bits.

Renegades pan band.

My flour bag was discarded at the taxi, my T-shirt earlier in the evening and some unknown point, my shoes I left on the dock so as not to pollute the dinghy, sadly they too appear lost.

After discussions with experts, who are easy to find amongst those who have consumed much alcohol. It was decided that we should take Sam to the hospital to get stitches put in his head. By the time I'd been come back the the boat for money and returned to TTSA it was noon. - Why bother with bed? So I went looking for Dreamtime, which meant I went to to the pub. The bar man who'd been out all night and myself discussed the nights festivities with the others in the bar, who'd missed them after which I went back to POS for a Roti.

WHAT'S A ROTI?

A Roti is the most popular dish in Trinidad, closely related to the Buss Up Shot (literally "bust up shirt" Trini spelling often follows their pronunciation "d" or "da" for 'the') It contains Indian food, beef or chicken curry mixed with a sort of dall of chickpeas and potato wrapped in a special bread.The bread is normal white dough with vegetable shortening and baking powder.

Roti Man

First you make it into balls about half way between a golf ball and a tennis ball, then you flatten 2 of them out to bout 6" diameter spread margarine on 1 side of 2 of them and combine them together. Roll them out to about 15" diameter.To cook the 15" pancake like thing, get a large (18"+) aluminium plate and put it on a gas stove. Brush it with cooking oil and carefully spread the dough circle out on it. Brush more oil on the dough, and turn. Ether wrap the chicken curry and dall in the resulting baked bread thing or crumple the bread up on the cooking plate and thump heavily with wooden spatula. This will break the bread up a bit,for the bust up shirt effect. Serve dall and curry along side it. I eat a lot of these, I've only seen them once in England, in Neasden, it wasn't good.

Serve with "da coolest beers"

POS was still heaving, the sound trucks were out for the preliminary judging of the Mas completion, at carnival everything's a competition, the Soca, the Calypso, the Pan and the Mas** Costumes. All the kings and queens dressed in their huge costumes, presumably praying there wouldn't be any wind. A few hours of this was enough for me, my legs hurt from dancing around all J'ouvert night so I went home for an early night.

Tuesday Mas dawned after a good nights sleep, early rain occurred while we were in Independence square POS, however unlike the rest of Trinidad I wasn't wearing a bra/tabard and Knickers covered in sequins. Sam and Rauni however were, they were out with Barbarossa, one of the biggest Mas "Bands", with the Soca band "Trafik" on their leading sound truck.

SOUND TRUCK? WHAT THE &%^" THAT?

There are no floats in Trinidad carnival. All the participants walk, however three are certain vehicles that follow them with drinks or what ever and some times ever 100 person steel bands. However the king of the road (street) is the Sound truck. A sound truck is a shipping container transporter (40' lorry bed) with a large generator just behind the cab and the rest of the truck piled to a height of about 8' above the bed with speaker stacks pointing all directions.

 

Sound Truck

These trucks put out a wattage similar to an out door music festival. The volume control is a delicate and important control. It is carefully set to a level a fraction below what makes the speakers distort, and left there. There are about 40 of these trucks, and they are LOUD.

I want one! I'll show that Chris Eubank***

Sam and Rauni, all togged up, met up with the Barbarossa group in Independence square, I went in search of fags, taking the suncream with me. After taking a ganda at the rest of Barbarossa all 5000 odd of them, I returned to find Sam and Rauni's section aproaching the judging point by the docks. As the bands approached, I was quite suprised when a Trini woman, in broad daylight, in the middle of a street, charged up and proceded to put her bum in my crotch and roll her hips. Obviously no one paid any attention, this is called "wineing" a traditionl Trini dance. The woman turned out to be our friend Eulene who I'd been expecting as she had booked the same costume as Sam and Rauni.They carried on the parade route and I went to check out the competion, which was stiff and numerous. Poison, the largest carnival group, stretched back about half a mile! The parades high point is the main judging point in Queens Park Savannah, a large park in POS.

Rauni, Sam and Eulene, in mas costumesWhen the sound trucks reach the Savannah and the danger of overhead power cables is leesend the Band leaders and DJ's get up on top of their trucks and start calypsoing along to encorage/organise there bands. Organising and more to the point getting them off the stage is quite a feet.

 Poison who have the reputation for been the worst behaved band as well as the largest took over an hour and a half to cross the stage. Last year apparently they were disqualified because they wouldn't get off the stage. When Barbarossa were crossing the stage one of the sound trucks passed within 2' of a policeman on a horse, the horse didn't even flinch. I asked the copper (when the truck had moved on) about the apparently they spend 2 months before carnival training the horses, all the Police cadets dress up in carnival costumes and march past the horses to the acompanyment of loud Soca music. Sounds fun.

Shortly after this I returned, very nackered, to TTSA where many bemused yachties, oftern with salvaged bits of carnival costumes were drifting back home. Sam and Rauni returned later having obtaind more cheap beer....and sunburn. We went to a quiet bay the following day for an after Carnival Lime****.


* - i.e. EVERYBODY
**Masquerade
***Anyone not from Brighton won't get this.
**** Lime - verb to "hang out" or noun place to hang out in.