Like Ah Boss / by Cyrus Moussavi

Carnival in Trinidad. Every year there are several song contests for soca and calypso artists, and every year Machal Montano seems to win something. This year "Like Ah Boss" was the power soca champ. In practical terms this means that at least two semi trailers bearing massive sound systems are blaring this song at any given moment during Trinidad Carnival. Which in turn means several thousand people are aggressively shaking their asses to this jam at all times, day or night. I heard "Like Ah Boss" probably 40 times yesterday, and I'm not complaining. Every single time it comes on the crowd genuinely loses its collective shit, and it's a glorious thing to see. Pure joy on display.

It's hard to imagine getting so many mostly naked people together, feeding them booze in the hot sun, and blasting power anthems at them for hours with only positive results, but that seems to be the vibe. 

Here are some phone photos and thoughts: 

 

Someone has to feed all these hungry people. At the Savannah Park in the middle of town, an exhausted old couple served up beer and water and whatever was cooking in those pots. They could barely move with fatigue, but customers kept coming. Carnival is an expensive thing to participate in -- costumes, parade tickets that cost hundreds of dollars, food and drink. I wonder how many local people are priced out in favor of rich tourists.  

Someone has to feed all these hungry people. At the Savannah Park in the middle of town, an exhausted old couple served up beer and water and whatever was cooking in those pots. They could barely move with fatigue, but customers kept coming. Carnival is an expensive thing to participate in -- costumes, parade tickets that cost hundreds of dollars, food and drink. I wonder how many local people are priced out in favor of rich tourists.  

Serving the crowd. 

Serving the crowd. 

Staying with some ambitious young ladies, friends of a friend, american consultants to the island's ruling political party. But like everyone else they get the week (weeks?) off to get down. Walking downtown from the rich, traditionally white, hills of Maraval. Race and class are constant topics of discussion.

Staying with some ambitious young ladies, friends of a friend, american consultants to the island's ruling political party. But like everyone else they get the week (weeks?) off to get down. Walking downtown from the rich, traditionally white, hills of Maraval. Race and class are constant topics of discussion.

 Port of Spain. 

 Port of Spain. 

Feathers, facepaint, iphones

Feathers, facepaint, iphones