Jillionaire’s Guide to Trinidad Carnival

February 12, 2010

Words by Jillionaire Juice

If you’re like us, you are too broke to go to carnival but too stressed by 2010 not to, even if it means debt-setting down to Trinidad on a stolen credit card. In that spirit we asked our boy Chris aka Jillionaire Juice, the host of TriniJungleJuice’s “Pon D Corner” segment and man about town to give us a quick and dirty guide on the ins & outs of fetting, Port of Spain style:

jilยทlionยทaire (noun): a person whose net worth is valued at more than a jillion dollars – one that is witty (yet profound), charming and full of style.

HELLO UNIVERSE! Jillionaire here, signing in from the nexus of the carnival universe. I know it’s winter, but right now it’s carnival time in Trinidad & Tobago, which has been dubbed ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.ย  Most people hear carnival and think of Brasil, but any carnival that you’ve most likely been to – Caribana, Labour Day, Notting Hill – was born of Trinidad carnival. Basically, anywhere a trini goes to live, he’s gonna invite the mayor around for some brown stew chicken and rice ‘n’ peas, and convince him to have a parade.ย  For those of you who are first timers–or thinking of visiting–I’ve put together a top ten list of DOs & DON’Ts:

10. Have a doubles. Switch (of Major Lazer notoriety) drunkenly referred to them as ‘baked beans in a pancake all rolled up’, but this street meat consisting of curried garbanzo beans on unleavened bread is probably the best tasting thing you’ll ever put in your facehole.

9. Drink lots of water. Stay hydrated cuz the blistering heat will punch the get-up-and-go-ness right out your ears. Drink lots of rum too, it makes you far more attractive to the opposite sex.

8. Learn how to wine. Basically involves thrusting your pelvis against your intended prey, sort of like a simulated sex act. Find a chick who’s really good at it, and just say ‘please, kind miss, can you teach me how to wine?’ Spend hours practicing your new found skill.

7. Play mas. For the girls, it involves throwing on a bikini and some beads, and running up and down in the street for two days. For the boys, it involves throwing on some boardshorts and drinking yourself into a stupor. One way or other, enjoy the spectacle.

6. Go to Maracas Bay for a Bake ‘n’ Shark. Best sandwich ever, just ask Andrew Zimmerman. Or don’t. Regardless of his opinion, you’ve gotta try it. The beach itself isn’t much to talk about, but ask for Richard, his cousin Natalie, or Tanty Rita – she got a mean Bake ‘n Shrimps goin’ on too.

5. Be sure to check out at least one big fete. Fetes are big outdoor concerts featuring live bands blaring soca the entire time. Picture eight thousand people jumping up and down to the loudest soundsystems ever, with all the track going at 160bpm. You kinda get the idea, but you have no idea.

4. Take lots of pictures. You’re gonna have a lifetime’s worth of stories, but your friends won’t believe you – carnival is crazy like that. Plus it helps to remember who you met where, when you’re tryna hit the chicks up on facebook.

3. There’s probably tonnes more stuff I could put on here, but I’m busy swimming in overproof rum and wining up on European girls. Plus I just got in from a boatride off the coast and I’m bout to pack my cooler for a party up in the mountains. Hit me up when you land. You’re welcome.

PS You can hit him up via Twitter, Myspace, Red Bull Music Academy or just look for upcoming releases of caribbean music on Jillionaire’s own Feel Up Recordings. The handy airhorn cut-out comes courtesy of the electro-terrorists over at Schlachthofbronx, download the rest of their DIY Carnival kit here. -the Editors