Sunday, March 1, 2009

J'ouvert and Carnival

1. So it's hard to describe what makes Carnival exactly what I'd always wanted every party I’ve ever been to to be like. Just saying, "There was really loud music and a lot of drinking. It was really fun… " doesn't really do it justice.

It felt like my own private musical: we danced with thousands of other people (many of whom were in costumes that matched ours, while the rest were in such ornate and creative costumes that I wish I matched theirs) and sang along with the best soca music of the year. Soca is written specifically to get you up and dancing; they play it in the months leading up to Carnival so that by the time it comes, you know the lyrics and the rhythms and you love them. I was expecting people to go all out, but I wasn’t expecting everyone to become moving art—the costumes were so striking that I couldn’t stop staring. We thought we were going all out by covering ourselves in gold glitter so that we shimmered like my favorite ring, but we were definitely out done. Every few minutes.

It felt like playing my favorite sports: the camaraderie surrounding us had none of the angst or desperation that I remember from Mardi Gras. Instead, there was a mixture of a team mentality, glee, and your average (and friendly) dancing-with-a-stranger. Plus, I didn't have a worry or care since all my basic needs were taken care of (thank-you, wee-wee truck and drink/food cart men and SPF 85).

It felt like just being in the moment and enjoying the spectacle, the color, the beauty, the life.

After getting up at 2 AM to go to J'ouvert Sunday night, dancing in the streets and getting splattered with colored mud until 7 AM, we went home, showered, and laid in bed, tried to nap, got up at 10 AM to put our costumes on and meet up with our band at 11 AM, danced until 8 PM, tried to sleep again, got up at 7 AM, and hit the streets. When we got home Tuesday evening, around 9 PM, we blasted the soca music and danced.

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