Big apologies to my 23 followers about the late posting of my review of Tuesday in Bliss. I have been playing catch up at work, cleaning the apartment, and unpacking the large cargo that was brought back from Trinidad (if those customs officers only knew!).
So we ended Monday happy, the feet lil tired but after a long soak in epsom salts and hot water and a painkiller, I was ready for Tuesday. I got ready fairly early (by my standards) and ate a good breakfast because I knew that I wasn't going to catch Bliss' breakfast. Now the Titan's belt did not have any hanging gems but a fabric fringe so I did not expect to be cut again by the costume belt (if you read my review of Spice last year, you know that same thing happened so I thought I learnt my lesson). Apparently it is now a norm for costumes to lose gems before they are worn so most of the gems came out of the metal clasp and the prongs successfully ripped my stockings and my skin...why am I cursed to have ripped stockings every year??? I probably used quarter of a bottle of clear nail polish the entire day to keep the holes from turning into runs.
Ultimately, I had to wait to get my make up done because I was late as usual and my spot was rightfully given to other customers. But it was worth it. Again, I loved Makeda's makeup- not too much but just my style. I was extremely pleased with the results which held up the entire day with only a little blotting powder applied in the afternoon. So you know I missed the stage! I met the band the same place as Monday but no scene because I had crossed many stages in my mas playing life but my disappointed was that I had never done so as a Frontline masquerader.
By lunch time we are at the same lunch spot in St James but I did not get there as early as I did the previous day and could not secure a blanket nor a space under a tent. This reall sour me because I had on a white costume and I needed to take of the backpack. However, a couple of the rope ladies were so kind to lend me their table for the backpack and I used the bandana from the goodie bag to sit on. I opted for the barbeque lunch that day which again was warm and very adequate. I then had an LLB and a water. Now to use the bathroom...reall pressure... It wasn't so much the wholepiece but the belt had to removed in order to use the toilet and to make matters worse, it was impossible to remove it on my own because it was laced up in the back so this had to be my only pee stop for the day.
After lunch we headed back up St. James following the same route as Monday. At first I was skeptical about this route that avoided the spectators but I saw the benefits; there was no one trying to get into the band, we had the streets to ourselves and it just felt safer. What I wasn't too clear about was the need to turn down the music when we passed the mosque on Mucurapo Rd and the call for masqueraders to stay on the left side of the truck out of the view of the mosque..is this some kind of law I'm not aware of? If it was some kind of morality thing...then explain why some men from the mosque were straining their necks to watch the band? As my mother always say, if something bothering yuh, doh watch or close yuh ears!
Like Monday, I loved the music...although I felt one of the DJs played a tad too much older songs which was unnecessary because there are so many many new tunes. I also wanted to hear Benjai's Trini played more often. I read that Yuma had 17 trucks so I'm glad for the 3 dj trucks and 2 drinks trucks in Bliss; it's supposed to be an intimate experience anyway so why would we want so many trucks hogging space for masqueraders? However there were 2 smaller trucks at the back of the band before the toilet truck; after trying to get a drink from those attendants I was told that both trucks were for a "private truck"...no eh how much more "intimate" can you get?lol
Because of the not peeing stance, I held back on the alcohol on Tuesday because I don't really like to drink too much when it's really hot and Tuesday was waayyy hotter than Monday! And the drinks were flowing; kudos to the bar and the bar staff. But with my fass self I drank 2 flutes of champagne....bad idea! I just liked how cute the flutes look but note to self- "self, champagne and sun doh mix!". I then started feeling warm all over and nauseous so I decided to sit in the rest bus. I walked up and down looking for this bus...no rest bus! If any Bliss masqueraders read this post, please let me know if there was a rest bus. Thank you to a lady with a bar on Tragarete road who let me sit on one of her chairs and gave me some ice cold water...bless
Not too long after, I was back in the band heading down French Street to Arapita Ave, deviating a little from the Monday route. We then crossed the Victoria Square judging point so I say well we going downtown for sure today...but then they made a left on Richmond Street to head back to Jenny's for the after party. I am not keen on this after party business; I just like being on the road but I later learnt about the jam up downtown which would have been horrible so I guess going to Jenny's was the better decision. So my day ended there which is was fine with me.
Now I saved the best for last...so all this time I was enjoying myself I didn't tell you that one side of the bra became detached from the rest of the wholepiece. As the afternoon passed, more and more of the stitching became undone leaving me with a fear that one of my boobs will pop out for sure...I would like Bliss to tell me what a masquerader is supposed to do at that point; this problem could not be fixed with glue or pins so am I supposed to walk with a sewing kit as well???? Now you maybe thinking "well that's made in China for you!" but no, the swimsuit was made right at the Carlton Savannah, Port of Spain Trinidad. After paying TT$5600 for the costume, don't tell me no crap about you also have to pay for the all inclusive experience yada yada...as far as I am concerned I paid TT$5600 of my Government of Jamaica frozen wages for a costume cuz playing mas means wearing a costume so if anything is supposed to be of the best quality is the costume. I am so fed up of masqueraders complaining about their costume or parts of their costume falling apart...this should not happen! And the bandleaders pay no attention and continue to sell low quality products for exhorbitant prices. I have no problem paying the exhorbitant cost if the quality and design of the costume match the price...
Overall being on the road with Bliss was loads of fun but my primary concern with playing mas is my costume, not if I got to drink JWB or pee in a scented toilet so I feel like I was robbed of my money. Imagine that you purchased an outfit and when you wore it for the the first time, it ripped apart; what would you do? You would return the outfit and probably never shop there again. If you've followed my blog or know me, you know that I don't have band loyalty and would jump ship very quickly if I am dissatisfied especially with the cost of the band so I am not grateful that Bliss accepted me to play in their band; I don't owe them any favors so I don't have to play with them again. And honestly I don't know if I will. I had a great time because I didn't want to let the costume issue spoil my carnival experience and the customer service to address problems was extremely impressive but I can't move move past the fact that the main part of my costume did fall apart.
The cost of playing mas has been increasing but the quality of the costumes has been decreasing and yet people still continue to support these bands (me included) so it's really up to the individual masquerader to decide to take a stance. I admit without apology that I love the stooshness of these bands and the extra perks they offer but at some point I want to feel as if I'm not taken for a fool because I'm willing to throw money after them. So I'm glad that Tribe/Bliss has indicated that we can submit suggestions...I'll be sending that e-mail very soon.
I've not thought it through yet but I feel as if I need to take a break from playing mas next year (and no, I'm not heavily medicated or intoxicated) or even play with a low key small band in a really gorgeous FL or Individual costume. The bf even suggested that we try Sando mas but the point is that I will be doing something different next year.....