In Barbados a Carnival Timetable Prevails

In Barbados a Carnival Timetable Prevails

I’m at my first Trinidad Carnival and from what I’ve seen so far — the children’s carnival and a steel pan competition  — it’s a whirl of color, music, dance, competitions, and fun all occurring at typically inefficient Caribbean speed.

Did I say ‘inefficent’?  I really need to stop using that term; I believe the socially correct term here in the Caribbean is “laid-back-hey-mon-wat’s-de-hurry” speed.  The children in the Kiddies’ Carnival were so adorable that I wasn’t bothered by the parade being stuck in one place much of the time.

But last night’s Panorama competition seemed unnecessarily slow, with up to 45 minutes of a single song being played over and over again until the next band’s 8-minute appearance on stage – playing the its interpretation of the song we’d just been listening to.

Trinidad Kiddies' Carnival 2009
Trinidad Kiddies’ Carnival 2009

Still, once I got my Type-A self to take a back seat, I have to say the Pamorama competition was lots of fun and really super entertainment.  The talented, 100-strong group Silver Stars took the gold in the prestigious competition, winning $1m playing an upbeat rendition of “First In De Line.”  Waiting 45 minutes for them (and seven other bands) to come on?  Hey, mon, don’t worry ..

Our Trini holiday had auspicious beginnings. Or maybe not auspicious.  Maybe the events leading up to our holiday were just typically Caribbean.

The day before leaving Barbados the entire country spent much of the day without internet (here’s a wonderful piece from Barbados Free Press on a similar outage a few weeks ago).  Imagine if other whole countries were down for the better part of a day; economies would fall (further).  Here in the Caribbean?  Hey, mon, don’t worry …

The day we left for Trinidad, the toilets at Grantley Adams International Airport were not flushing.  Imagine if the same problem occurred at JFK or SFO or LAX.  On second thought, don’t imagine it … really, don’t.  Hey, mon, don’t worry …

We boarded Caribbean Airlines  on time but then sat waiting 40 minutes to take off because some doofus tourist had lost his wallet in the airport. Sweat the delay? Hey, mon, don’t worry …

The J’Ouvert souca bands play in the streets tomorrow beginning well before dawn; as an early bird, I really can’t wait; the energy will be wonderfully upbeat and loads of fun.   Muddy people hugging revelers like us is involved, so best to get a good night’s sleep and wear casual clothes.

Right now, we’re vegging in our hotel room at the Hilton, where we’ve called the front desk three times trying to get coffee sent up.  Need caffeine?  Hey, mon, don’t worry …

I won’t.

2 Responses to “In Barbados a Carnival Timetable Prevails”

  1. Hammer says:

    “Hey, mon, don’t worry …” I think this is excellent advise.

    “I believe the socially correct term here in the Caribbean is “laid-back-hey-mon-wat’s-de-hurry” speed. ”

    The quotation above set me thinking… How would it feel to be in a tropical paradise that’s going at the frenetic pace of say New York city.

    For a born islander like myself that’s scary to say the least…

  2. planetbarbados says:

    You’re so right. A main reason people visit Barbados – or any Caribbean country – is for the slower pace. Speaking to your point, Hammer … in the airport a couple of weeks ago I met a couple from San Diego who had won a trip to Barbados on the Regis & Kelly morning show. They were on their way home.

    They told me that before winning this trip, they had no particular awareness of Barbados before, despite having visited numerous other islands in the Caribbean. They also said it was, after this visit, by far their favorite Caribbean island. Why, I asked. “The people, the beauty, and the pace,” they responded.

    I’m fully aware that my issues with slowness are my own. And you’re so right, we’d lose the “paradise” part of “tropical paradise” if life were NYC rush-rush. Thanks for your comment.

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