Tuesday, February 17, 2009

3 Things You Must Know To Enjoy Carnival

Dont Get There And Say "If I Only Knew I Would..."

Sometimes a little knowledge helps a lot. Most of what we know comes from experience but fortunately you need not experience everything to get knowledge. I guess that's one of the reasons we read. At least the ones who do. Point is there are some simple things you can do to get much more pleasure from the Carnival festivities in Trinidad. Here are 3 things you will need to know before you venture out.

1. Extended Hours: Understand that everything that you do during Carnival will take a few hours. The all "inclusive" can usually extend itself anywhere from 6-10 hours. The good thing here is that everything you need in the way of food, drink and entertainment is available. On the other hand, large open public events like Panorama, or Kiddies Carnival events can take a lot longer and food is not included. A perfect opportunity for vendors of a variety of local pastries, delicacies, drinks (alcoholic/non) and food at premium prices. You may want to prepare for this by taking something from home to sustain you. Some people just love the idea of tasting the variety of foods, if you are not one of them be proactive.

2. Long Johnny Walks: Understand that during the Carnival season, the quickest way to get anywhere in Port of Spain is by foot. Wear proper walking attire. Ladies, leave the high heels at home instead opt for sneakers or soft flat shoes. And even with comfortable flat sneakers or shoes your feet will hurt if you are not used to walking. The funny thing about Carnival is that everything seems to be happening a couple of miles away and when you get there you have to walk a couple miles more before you get to the real happenings. Whatever you do, prepare yourself to walk especially on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Actually, if you intend to "jump up" most of the walking/dancing will be done in a band with your friends and associates. I promise your feet will hurt.

3. You Can't Play Mas and See Mas: Its ironic but if you intend to play mas on Monday or Tuesday, understand that you will not be able to see most of the masqueraders. It you want to enjoy the variety of shows you need to mingle and that dreaded word again "walk around". Of course, you can opt to go find a seat at the Savannah or some local sitting place and see everything. That's kinda like looking at TV with real people passing by and you gawking. Some people attempt to reach a reasonable medium by playing mas on one day and viewing the next. Tuesday is known for the day that the more expensive large colorful bands compete for prizes. But thats your choice.

Thats all I have for today. This week I'm playing host to a Canadian who have never experienced Carnival. Maybe I would be able to share some of her impressions of the place and the event.

If you can add another tip you think will be useful, please do so by making a comment below.

Enjoy Carnival and be well.

Tony Puck

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