Was it the 6 foot evil penis pistol with coco’nuts’ on top of the graffiti’ed car, or the man in a diaper dancing in the middle of the street? Could it have been the drag queen brides in killer stilettos, or rather the blow up girl with functional mouth proudly carried through the crowd. In fact if might have been pregnant male mannequin floating above the sea of revelers, all clad in black and red and devil horns and feather boas. Was it the tattoed lady in her 70's with the full petticoat and tequila sunglasses?!
Whatever that sensory explosion was that signified the Martinique four day carnival, it has blown my mind. Eclipsed all other experiences to date.
Were we in a peaceful bay, snorkeling by day and identifying the stars in the still dark night, just days ago?
How is it that in the meantime my captain has joined hundreds of men, stuffed into dresses of taffeta and sequins, adorned with bright shiny jewelery. That I have now two sets of blingy deeleyboppers and wore them through the town, blending in to the crowds - didn't turn a single head?
We had no idea what we were ‘in for’ when we sailed across the huge bay into Fort de France for their annual carnival. I expected a parade with elaborate costumes and lots of glitter. Who'd have know that the crowds would be as interesting and exciting as the official parade?! Who'd have guessed that every Martiniquan and visitor would join the spirit of the events and don the colours of the day? What a feeling to experience such an all encompassing vibe! Who'd have known that the parade itself would barely scrape the surface of what assaulted our ears, eyes, stomachs.
I’ve eaten chichis and bokits, seen more painted flesh of all ages and colours, and witnessed hairstyles that defy gravity and all sensibility. I’ve tasted Lorraine, the local beer in huge cans, and soaked up music and backfiring cars. I’ve danced and laughed and walked until my soles ground through the pavement.
And it has been a blast. An amazing experience. A cornucopia of sensory stimuli. Caribana could take a few lessons from these guys. No violence, no trouble, just fun fun fun and alot of exhibitionists!
|The cruiser partiers!!!|
Today is the final day, where everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, wears black and white and they burn an effigy of the king.
All of this is supposedly related to the Christian Lent, but with all the penises and diapers and cross dressing, I’m really not sure how it all relates. Either way, these people know how to shut down a city completely and just give it all up to the party. For four full days. During the week. Supermarkets - closed. Restaurants - closed. Thank god for McDonalds and the free wifi.
Though my feet and eyes and ears are tired, I can’t wait to witness this unbelievable spectacle for just one more day.
And then the next day we’ll go to a real mall! And then, yes then we’ll sail away to find a peaceful bay, and snorkel by day….