Monday, August 30, 2004

Random Observations

Well, I made it to Carnivale today and it was definately worth it. I ditched my meeting for my non-credit research seminar (but didn't feel too bad because I basically did all the work for the damn thing anyway). About 7 of us from the house left around noon and got back around 5.

Carnivale is basically one giant street party that just happens to have floats. I think my senses are permanently infused with the smell of burnt corn, barbeque, and reefer; a lovely combination if I say so. We walked around the area watching the parade for awhile, but then left the beaten path for some of the side streets, which is where the real party is at.

Basically, every street in the area is blocked off to traffic meaning that there are thousands and thousands of people milling about. Every block has 3 or 4 different speaker set ups where people just play music, shout over a microphone, and the crowd goes nuts dancing in the street, drinking and smoking. And when I say speakers, I don't mean those little things that sit on your desktop and pump out marginal amounts of volume. I mean those giant SOBs that you find at concerts, in some cases 12 or 14 feet high. We found one place where the base was so strong you could feel the street vibrate. Really gives new meaning to "the rythm is gonna get you".

We stopped in one such area for awhile and they were playing some great hip hop. True Jamacian entertainers ran the show. The MCs were having a great time whipping up the crowd, getting them to blow whistles and horns (forgot, that's the other thing - everyone buys these whistles and they blow them all the time!), and making sure everyone was dancing. We danced in the street like fools, just as everyone else was doing. Good fun.

When we finally decided to head home, it was a near impossible task. It took a good 1.5 hours to find our way out. We were all exhausted afterwards. I immediately went to my room and passed out for an hour.

When I got up, I tried to go to Tesco, a local grocery store. Forget it - bank holiday. Fortunately, there was another grocery store open. I needed some caffeine, so I bought something called Pepsi Max (which of course raises the question - since Pepsi tastes like open ass, why would you want the Maximum flavor of open ass?). Turns out, it was a diet soda. No sugar, no calories. I found that fascinating for some reason (probably because I have too much time on my hands). In the US, they would advertise the Diet angle. Here, I didn't know until I tasted it (and yes, it is Ass flavored to the max).

This reminds me of some larger thoughts I've been having about stereotypes and culture. One of the guys with us today (Yoshi), is Japanese. Everyone knows the Japanese love high tech, and he's no exception. At what point does the stereotypical affinity for high tech gear cease to be a stereotype? It is universally true.

At any rate, so far on this journey, I've met people from all parts of the world and for the most part, stereotypes have been accurate (yes, the French are rude). Does that mean that there are no stereotypes, only types? And what about the British. I don't think i've hung out with enough Brits to know, but it seems that they share something in common with us Americans - they have no identity. Some say that the Brits are more reserved - which doesn't seem self-evident (although maybe that's validation in itself). But I haven't seen it as I expected. The Brits I have hung out with have been outgoing and charming. Still, one stereotype I've heard about british girls is that they are snobby and standoffish. I don't know if those were the words of a snubbed American who sought the company of a british hottie and was summarily (justifiably) rejected, or if there is an element of truth, but it's what i've heard. More study on this is needed.

Ok, enough of the randomness. I'll post pics from the last week (Larry and Vanessa and Carnivale).


Blogger Dave said...

You can get Diet Pepsi too...

Just Pepsi Max is a new gimmick, because word quickly spread that Diet Pepsi tastes, as you say, like "open ass".

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can the white boy really dance?

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt he can dance cause white folk got no rhythm, and why the hell would you be drinking Pepsi to begin with? Coke is it baby!

5:04 PM  
Blogger SJH said...

I resemble that remark!

And I only took the Pepsi because they didn't have any Coke!

5:37 AM  

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