Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 2nd 2014 Contents | SERIOUSLY? |
By Roslyn Carrington
IT'S CARNIVAL weekend, and if anyone from another
planet were to land in the middle of the city, they would de-
termine that the civilisation to be found here is primal, loud,
dirty, and lacks anything resembling a social order. People
wandering around semi-clothed, spontaneously breaking
into song, sitting on roadways, defying traffic. Lone males
being assaulted by gangs of aggressive females, and seem-
ingly enjoying it. People dressed in colour combinations that
push back the outer boundaries of the spectrum.
T&T has gone mad.
But you have not. You're not against Mas per se; it's just
that you're not all that fired up about being there, in the
thick of things. You'll have a listen to Panorama and check
the papers to see who's out front in Soca Monarch, but
God forbid you actually go down to Ground Zero! So how
do you while away two whole days, keep out of the melee,
enjoy yourself, and still stay sane?
Forget the beach
The first thing that comes to mind for the mas-dodging
crowd is a trip to the beach. But the problem is exactly
that: it's a CROWD. The beaches of T&T are no longer the
sand-strewn safe harbour they used to be. The only dif-
ference between Maracas and Adam Smith Square over
Carnival is the bake and shark. Best avoided if you prefer
more than six inches of personal space around you.
Try cooking a dish you've never made before
Carnival staples like fried chicken and pelau are sacred
institutions. But why not while away your hours trying
something absolutely original? The Internet is a gold-
mine for kitchen-aholics, and major Web sites like Gour-
met, Allfoods and Epicurious are overflowing with new
ideas. Print out a few good ones, and pop down to the
supermarket toute suite, so you'll have everything
ready for your culinary adventure come Monday or
There are some great free apps and websites out there,
as well as some videos on places like YouTube that you
can work along with. You won't be doing headstands by
the end of two days, but you just might discover that a
few minutes of simple, relaxing poses and breathing ex-
ercises can quiet the storm in your head. You may even
take it on as a lifetime change. For those of you who have
avoided practicing yoga because you're concerned about
the meaning or content of the chants, here's a simple so-
lution: don't chant.
Declutter ONE living space
Okay, maybe this is pushing the whole "stay home and
have fun" concept, but we aren't advocating a major
overhaul. Just pick ONE area; a closet or a bathroom,
say, and take down everything --- EVERYTHING --- from
all closets and shelves. Make a game of it; for every bag
of useless bric-a-brac you throw away, you get a little
reward. Preferably something chocolatey and very, very
bad for you. But the main reward will be the sense of
calm you feel the next time you walk into your clean,
neat space. Ahhhh.
Make a mini time capsule
It doesn't have to be a stainless-steel vault you bury in the
yard. Get a sturdy box, or, better still, a plastic container,
and collect a few items that resonate with you emotion-
ally. Photos, the ugly bracelet your child made for you in
art class, the skinny bikini you used to flaunt but now can't
get past one knee. Carefully label each one, not just what
it is, but what it means to you. For God's sake, don't use
vague labels like, "Me and the crew, last week Wednes-
day." In years to come, that will drive you mad.
Write a love letter
Write a letter to your children, your parents, your spouse,
telling them how you feel about them and how much they
mean to you. Do it by hand, to make it more personal.
Write a letter to your future self, telling her of your hopes
and dreams for her. Seal it; write on the envelope the date
you wish to open it again --- say, one, two, even five years
from now. Put it somewhere safe. And while your sta-
tionery is out, write a letter apologising to someone you
have hurt. You don't actually have to send it.
Seriously. Absolutely nothing. We dare you. Don't laugh;
it's harder than you think. Lie on the front porch and feel
the breeze wash over you. Turn the TV off. Take a nap.
Take several naps. Long ones. Count the tiles on the ceil-
ing. Count your blessings. Close your eyes and focus on
the starbursts of light on the inside of your eyelids; let
them draw you in. Thank God for two whole days of com-
plete, absolute, and utter nothing-to-do-ness. And go to
work on Wednesday feeling refreshed.
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