Saturday, March 8, 2014

de greatest show on earth

Today is Ash Wednesday,  start of de Lenten season, fuh 40 days we gine deprive weself of certain worldly pleasures, so we say, some gine give up pork(all kinds) others alcohol,  cigarettes, some gine fast and some gine give more generously and try to be better people.
And today thousands of weary revelers, weary and exhausted, sun burnt, toenails missing, blistered feet, muscles aching, bodies sore gine be heading to church fuh Ashes, seeking forgiveness fuh the excesses of de past few days.
In months to come Carnival babies will arrive, there would have been relationships forged, some lost, some forgotten, others forgiven, as the greatest show on earth played out in Trinidad and Tobago.
If yuh never experience Carnival in Trinidad yuh should do so at least once before yuh dead, a spectacular event executed with the efficiency of an Israeli military operation, even de criminals does tek a break and allow the show to go on and de Mas men does produce year after year the most amazing costumes to fit equally amazing females.
I say widout fear of contradiction that I never see so many beautiful women in one place as in Trinidad Carnival. And while we like to criticize some aspects of Trini life, de chaos, de bad drive, crime and kidnapping, corruption, Kamla and she ATM talk, when it come to organizing Carnival, Trinidad and Tobago is supreme.
And it is not just Carnival but entertainment generally dat Trinis excel, them in a class by themselves.
Years ago( and I am changing de names of de participants to protect myself from homefront interrogation) I was spending time with friends in Victoria Gardens, dem did big race fans and would set up their own tent round de Savannah, complete with catering and barmen, they even had their own bookie.
After one such day, filled wid music and horse racing a car load of tired souls retreated to Victoria Gardens round 6.30 de evening, de Vendor asked de matriarch “how many people coming for de party tonight, can I do anything to help?”
Eh, eh, market, she say, you gone mad? Wha you talking bout, I would be a crazy woman to have a fete tonight!
Well, said I in reply, dey gine to be scores of very disappointed people arriving here fuh a party tonight because as I walked around de Savannah wid Harry he was inviting everyone to a fete here tonight!
De matriarch went crazy “ Ah going to kill Harry when I see him” but in the next breath went into action, by 9.p.m dat night a massive pot of Pelau was ready, ice drinks and bar ready, chairs and tables set up, barman in place and a D.J. to boot, you would swear dat dis fete was in planning fuh weeks, I have never seen anything like it, it was like watching Mark Maloney tear up de bushy park race track.
And of course every Trini came, except Mr Harry, de girlfriend asking me where I last see de man and I tell she I left he drinking with some people at de Savannah.
Around midnight I hear de phone ringing,who should it be but Mr Harry, “can you come for me Market,” yuh boy had fallen asleep under a tree on de Savannah, just wake up and calling from a payphone!
He went home, held a fresh, joined de party, all was forgiven but I learnt dat night, de greatest organizers of a fete come from de twin island republic!

I Market vendor gone fuh now, you have a blessed and a wonderful day, yuh hear?


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