A Trini Carnival Tabanca


Dear Basia

My name is Tanya, I have been having a really difficult week, for some reason. In fact, it has been a difficult year, but I have been managing. I got up on Monday feeling really down. No matter how I tried, “I just can’t shake this feeling..ah jumping up and down on the road like a jumbie.” 😝

My boyfriend and I broke up about six months ago, but I did not feel anyway, because he was baggage and I saw it coming. I was kind of happy in a way because I knew I would have found another man by February 2021, when I go to Trinidad for Carnival. I am a Jamaican living in London, but I go to Trinidad every year without fail, for Carnival. Trinidad carnival solves all my problems. I have been doing it for 25 years now and it has never failed me.

Today is particularly hard because I would have been in a party called Bayiew, where I could have wined (twerked) on any man I wanted to. I would not have had time to think about my break up with that loser and when the party is over, I would at least be going home with a phone number.

Highlights from Bayview fete 20207 Qualities A Woman Wants In Her Man

Basia, I really don’t know what to do with myself. I feel really aweful. I have a headache from all the silence. My brain only accustom to persistent loud music at this time of the year and I can’t believe I am not hearing pan music, seeing all my friends from university who come to Trinidad carnival every year, from all around the world. And we will greet each other by singing, “So long ah ain’t see you, geh meh ah wine nah…I say you hiding, they say you went foreign..”

I cannot begin to tell you how depressed I am. I never thought in a million years that Trinidad carnival would be canceled. This is the first time ever. The worst part is they choose to cancel carnival when I am single and Valentinesis Sunday. 🙄 An absolute nightmare. Basia I decided to write you because I know you are a “Trini”. What should I do? I cannot take it.

One Love Tanya🇯🇲

Dear Tanya,

Thanks for reaching out. I feel your pain. What you are experiencing is something called a “Trini Carnival Tabanca”. It can be very severe, if not controlled early. It is also quite common and there is no vaccine or medication that can be prescribed to deal with this ailment. The only thing that can take care of this feeling is Trinidad carnival itself.

Me in Soaka 2020

As for your ex boyfriend, it makes no sense reconciling with him, particularly if you never took him to carnival with you. He would not understand why you cold sweating tonight (because today is Fantastic Friday and you missing Bayview fete) , or why you have fever by Sunday (because you missing Soaka breakfast party and Lara fete) , and he would not know what to do with you when you go into a coma by Monday or Tuesday, (because you cannot play mas)

What do I recommend?

  • Look at your photos from last year and never take carnival for granted again.
  • Call up all your friends and family to plan a zoom party.
  • Find out where they sell a “Trini roti” near you or doubles. Cook some pelau and buy some Johnny Walker whiskey and coconut water for chaser, or rum and coca cola (as Trinis like to call it rum and cokes).
  • Put on the outfits you would have worn to Machel Monday, Farmhouse, Bayview etc. Play your favorite soca music loud enough for your neighbors to call the police and wine!
  • I want you to go quick and order some paint from Amazon for the virtual party we planning on Sunday morning in our “back yard” via zoom. If outside too cold stay inside.
  • As for Monday and Tuesday, put on your costume from last year and go for a drive while playing your favorite soca music loud. If the cops stop you tell them, “#blacklivesmatter.”
  • I promise you by Ash Wednesday you will be so tired, you will be back to normal and looking forward to carnival 2022.

Tanya, the truth is, carnival is the same product every year. The promoters hike up the price for entry to their parties every year. They sell limited tickets for their fete to make you feel that their party is the place to be and you hear the same music, and see the same performers in every party you attend. They even use a piece of board or some wire to create a partition between different areas at the venue and call one area VIP and the other VVIP, but in actual fact everybody listening to the same music, seeing the same performances etc. They do it to steal our money by giving us a false sense of importance.

Year after year, the parties are the same. You see the same people dancing to different music( in clothes some of them bought on credit, that they going to return when they get back to their respective destinations). In actual fact, the success of the party is about the vibes, the people you meet up, who you have not seen for a long time. You can meet up with these same people right now via zoom and play some music. This year we have to choose safety by wearing our masks and staying indoors.

To be honest, I heard that some people actually happy for the break from carnival, so they could finish pay off all the loans they take for their costumes and party tickets from last year carnival. At the rate this pandemic going, if we ever have a carnival again, people will be debt free and masks will be a part of our costumes. In addition, there will be no need for VIP or VVIP sections, because all patrons will all have to party 6 feet apart, wearing masks and face shields. So promoters will now have to charge one flat rate for general!

Tanya, don’t be so disappointed, you are not the only person experiencing this tabanca. Right now I am cold sweating. This morning, I forgot carnival was canceled, and I text my Trini girlfriends asking them if they had 2 extra tickets for Bayview 😳.

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to BasiaBlog write to me Ask Basia

Stay strong✊🏽🇹🇹


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