I was told this column was missed last week. Honestly, it’s hard for me to believe people actually read what I write, let alone miss it when I don’t; but it’s your funeral I guess. Last week, I spent a majority of my time being consumed by work and Carnival events, as per usual. One thing I began to notice was that I had become less and less interested in the shows and more interested in what time I was going home. My stamina was wearing thin and I wasn’t able to stay up anymore. Imagine how many times I fell asleep as I tried to write this, but if you’re willing to read, I’m willing to sacrifice for the readers.

After all of their preparation, the contestants of the various queen shows finally faced off for the titles. While backstage, I saw things like some of the ladies dancing on stage then running off directly into the arms of their chaperones for medical treatment; some of them with pulled muscles gliding flawlessly on stage; and another who was using a ventilator machine in between takes so that she could breathe properly. There was also a copious amount of cotton candy consumed by yours truly. There has never really been an opportunity for me to see locals perform in shows also organized by locals. I’m really impressed by the level of quality that we can achieve. The younger generation is doing a great job at innovating and there are lots of the older generations who actively support youthful ideas and keep up with the times. It’s been wonderful to debunk that myth on my own and now I can object whenever someone spins those fallacies.

Okay, so I’m guessing everyone wants to know how I spent Jouvert, so I won’t hold you hostage anymore. Come with me as I spin a yarn of a tale of a very long night. The time was 3:45am and I was just stepping out of my car. As I wondered how much sleep I’d lost in the past few days, my mind skipped to unicorns and I knew there would have to be sleep on the horizon for me, or my mind would turn to gelatine and leak out of my ears. If I replay the scene of people and giant trucks for some reason, the ending monologue in the Thriller video comes to mind. Yes, I have listened to the song enough times to memorize that part. Also, it is weird; but you’re reading this article, so you can handle much more than that.

Just imagine it! “The foulest stench is in the air; the funk of forty thousand years.” This could be a reference to the very pungent body odour wafting through the people. “Grizzly goons from every tomb are closing in to seal your doom.” Try being claustrophobic and seeing all of those people already poised to suffocate you. “And though you fight to stay alive, your body starts to shiver.” Two words, “sleep” “deprivation”, it can literally make your body shiver. Or you can link it to your body being tired and the music makes it come alive again. “For no mere mortal can resist the evil of the Thriller.” In this case, just replace the Thriller with Jouvert. See what happened there? You just saw the logic!

There was a point while the trucks were lining up where I began to psyche myself up. But alas! I may not be a mere mortal, as I clearly turned back. The mixture of intense sounds, smells and visuals made for a very disturbing experience for me. There was every intention to do it; but I just gave up. I may have failed to deliver what an actual Jouvert is like from start to finish, but this is about my experiences, so I don’t feel like I’ve disappointed you. To my friend who was ready to accept me with open arms into her tiny posse of bacchanalists, I’m sorry I was more than happy until I got lost in the sea of people.

The end result was me walking shamefully back to my car, which was parked too far to walk. So basically, it was me taking a bus back to it. But, don’t fear, I didn’t give up hope. There had to have been something keeping me from running out of the Village every night it was packed. Then it hit me! I’m a backstage kind of person, someone who is much happier witnessing chaos than being part of it. So I poised myself to take pictures from the sidelines once the parade got back onto the Pondfill. I loved it! This was how I experienced Jouvert and I loved it! I got candid shots of friends and I didn’t have to throw up on someone because the crowd got too thick for me to handle.

Next week is my last instalment as a Reluctant Reveller and I am thoroughly ready to watch King Momo burn, but I’m thinking of what will happen after I see it. Tune in next week as I wrap up my experiences, after I reflect on the past few weeks and give my verdict on all that has gone down.

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