I'm off to Trinidad this week. Carnival! Trinidad's is reputed - at least in this part of the world - to be the best on the planet. I think it probably deserves that reputation - though residents of New Orleans, Rio and Venice and God know's where else may disagree.
I am a Trinidad Carnival virgin. But I have been to carnival here in Jamaica quite a few times and to Notting Hill a few times as well. Notting Hill seems to me to be much ado about nothing - with an audience of millions. Jamaica Carnival is fun - much smaller - and quite artificial. Well for us its just a reason to have a party - nothing to do with lent. Nothing at all, as it is actually held in the Easter period. And also, Soca music, though fairly popular, is not ours. Reggae and dance hall are our music. We do get some Jamaican music in our carnival - but Soca is the driver.
As for the tipple - everyone knows that Trinidadian rum is almost undrinkable - so all Jamaicans are expected to carry as much Appleton - or dare I say Gold Label? as they can carry. But I intend to give the old Royal Oak a try - really I do. Anyway, now that the Trinis have bought Lascelles, I guess they will finally have a decent rum. Its kind of sobering that Jamaica no longer owns its rum - but on the good side - at least I've got a good price for my shares.
Anyway - don't know how I'm going to survive a week of partying, drinking, wining and whining. But I'm gonna give it my best shot.