So, I was super excited about this weekend because not only does it celebrate my culture but everyone descends onto Toronto to celebrate it with us. The party’s, the celeb’s, the music is just so great!
Then I sprained my ankle at work 2 weeks ago and it all came crashing down!!
I was walking on company property between buildings when suddenly I stepped down, and my ankle rolled to the left. I was on crutches for a week then limping for the remaining 2 weeks. As I limped along it became very clear that I wouldnt be able to play mas and my costume would have to either be sold or just sit and rot!
For those that are not familiar with Carnival and Caribana let me give you a brief crash course in playing mas, bands, and why there is so much hoopla surrounding this event. Carnival started in Trinidad and was brought to Canada about 33-34 years ago by the people who emmigrated from the Caribbean as a annual festival. The term playing mas is when you purchase a costume and particpate in dancings and disaplaying it during the parade. A band is the group you play mas in.
Each band has a section leader who designs costumes surrounding the bands theme. For exmaple Carnival Nationz among the manybands in Toronto has a new theme every year. One year their theme was Flowers In Bloom. Each section leader designed a costume around a specific flower for example Sunflowers, Roses etc. Each costume in that section has a front line costume which is usually very grand and elaborate looking followed by a backline costume which is pretty but not as big as front line. The price reflects which line your playing; frontline is usualy quite expensive and back line is usually the cheaper of the 2 however it by no means translates to looking cheap.
Each band can be as big as a few thousands members comprises the revellers (those playing mas in costume), the dj’s and performers usually on a 18 wheeler truck, the marshalls who keep revellers together and spectators out, security (some bands empoy security guards), and the catering service providing food for the revellers or as small as a few hundred.
Its fun and exciting and its a time where you just let everything loose and have fun. You dance, carry on and just as we say, “have a time” meaning having a good time. You keep the costume and choose another one the following year and do it all over again. I love Caribana now formally known as The Toronto Caribbean Carnival (thumbs down on that stupid name) but my sprained ankle and “chipping down di road” was not going to work out favorably for me.
Normally, you go out on Friday night which would be a kin to J’ouvert in Trinidad, a big party you go to the night befoe the parade. Normally you party from sunset to sunrise, then head home, shower change and hit the road to pay mas in the parade. No such luck for me which sucked bad! So instead I sold my costume and instead went out on a date with a guy I met at Salsa on St. Clair a month earlier his name, for the purposes of this blog, is Mr. Europe.
I like Mr. Europe because he’s a cool guy. I have my reservations about him because I want someone I click with completly. I think I am ready to date but he smokes and I hate that. He is a bit aggressive with things when they don’t go his way. For example he tried to convince the waitress to get him a table on the patio even though she said he will have to wait 20 mins. Jury is out on him. I wont elaborate more on that date but I will be mentioning him throughout this blog.
It was interesting though when we met up this Friday. He and I were outside the restuarant sitting down and talking when he leaned in to kiss me and I remember at that moment while he was talking to me I was drawing comparisions between he and my ex. I stopped myself and right as I did that he leaned in and I had a internal freak out session and pushed him away. I kinda felt overwelmed and I wasnt sure if I wanted to kiss him when I didnt even know if I wanted him to stick around. Kissing (sadly right now) is a big deal for me. I felt like if I kiss him will it send the message that I like him, I’m sure of him, I want to get closer etc. Those are things I’m still contemplating which all led to the big push as I have come to think about it. He still wants to see me again. He’s currently in Montreal with his boys which I’m happy about. We will see how it goes when he returns.
Saturday was awesome but didnt start out that way. I hated browsing past cp24 and seeing snippets of the parade wishing I was there to wine and get on as is customary during Caribana. It sucked big time BUT I was going out with my cousin T later on so I focused on that and getting ready for it. I do my own hair so I gave myself a hair treatment and took my time making my treases look fabulous!
At 7 pm we met up at Dundas Square and sat on a patio for hours talking and laughing and just girl talking. So much fun. Then she and my ankle limped down Yonge street past little boys offering to give me piggy back rides, asking if they are to young for us and smiling at officers along the way. I think the funniest parts was when a guy named Thomas offered to give me a 10 K piggy back ride down the street and actaully stooping down in front of me for me to jump on! Funny!
Then there was the creepy African guy who hugged me and felt my back up telling me I have a strong and solid back. What the …?? Is that the new pick up line these days?
“oh wow, you have a strong, solid back! Lets go on a date?”
Seriously?? Your done!
As we limped along we checked out the American girls posing beside their male counterparts along a lot of cars blaring Drake and Lil Wayne. Then we marvelled at a HUGE poster of a play that my cousin was in way back in 2006. She was an extra and pointed to a person out of a myriad of people lying face down on the ground wearing white has mat suits. I was surprised she knew which one she was since all the bodies looked the same from that angle. *Kanye Shrug*
Moving on down the road at a snail pace we stumbled pon somepeople outside of a club looking like they wanted to just leave but didnt know Toronto well enough to go to the hot spots. Then we came upon a fire station where a firefight inquired about my ankle then told us about the shooting that happened earlier and recommended a jazz club down the street. We made our way down and was stopped by a bouncer who thought we were American. He was cute I’ll call him Mr. Muscle and he convinced us to check out the club for free. So we did. Cub was nice but no one inside to write home about so we went outside to flirt with Mr Muscle. It worked. An hour later into the conversation I was huging Mr. Muscle and he was giving me a kiss on the cheek. I know what your thinking. You let Mr. Muscle kiss you on the cheek but pushed Europe away! Not so. Yes I pushed Europe away but Mr. Muscle hugged me and I didnt expect him to kiss me on the cheek. I was surprised actually. That and I never thought I would be hugging some random guy outside of a club on Adelaide anyway but whatever! It happened. lol
I think is worth mentioning the American guy who had ample space to pass behind me but chose to pass 3 inches away from my booty and take that opportuity to touch me. Not cool! I think its also worth mentioning he funny California guy who offered to be my bf but only in the summer months because Canada is cold and he cant come here in the winter. He was funny! I also think he was serious…which was weird.
All in all Saturday night was amazingly fun! T and I have to do it again sometime! Cant wait for September 🙂