It happens every year but for some reason this year it sneaked up on me. I imagine the financial turmoil currently affecting the world and more specifically the company I work for must have distracted me to some extent but it is now officially Carnival weekend. I can tell it is Carnival time not simply by looking at the calendar but by several other telltale signals. The streets are more congested than usual, there are ramshackle structures popping up all over for beverage sales and hordes of confused looking people in shorts milling about and speaking with Yankee accents.
We normally refer to these odd looking wanderers as either JBCs ( Just Come Backs) or Freshwater Yankees. These are generally locals who migrate for as little as 3 weeks to the USA and return with an American accent they did not previously have. They are, as a group, benign but they can be rather grating on the ear and they make the lines at our local supermarkets just that much longer. The latter can be especially difficult on me as I hate having to linger for unnecessary periods waiting to pay for my herbs and spices.
Over the weekend we will have giant fetes aplenty, Kiddies Carnival and on Sunday we will have Dimanche Gras – a show consisting of all the elements of Carnival that runs from about 8pm to sometime after midnight. After that all semblance of order will break down in the Port of Spain as the traffic lights are turned off and the Savannah, which is normally a huge one-way roundabout will be made two way. Steel pan and music trucks will be parked everywhere and traffic chaos will ensure. At around 4 on Monday morning Carnival will start in earnest as J’ouvert takes over and thousands will march through the streets covered in anything from simple costumes to mud and oil. Noise will be everywhere and it will not stop until Tuesday night at midnight. There will be Monday mas and Tuesday mas and basically given my hatred of crowds and noise my nerves will be frazzled.
Happily, I don’t have to work on Monday or Tuesday so if I can manage to resist my tendency to wander into the office for no reason I can stay largely shielded in Cascade. That being said there are always friends from out of town who will want to use my place as a Port of Spain base so I will still see something of the Carnival experience as people don costumes and slather themselves with sunblock .
In unrelated news I took the Jung/Meyers-Briggs Personality test again and, not surprisingly, I am still an INTJ. This means according to the test I am :
INTJs are perfectionists, with a seemingly endless capacity for improving upon anything that takes their interest. What prevents them from becoming chronically bogged down in this pursuit of perfection is the pragmatism so characteristic of the type: INTJs apply (often ruthlessly) the criterion “Does it work?” to everything from their own research efforts to the prevailing social norms. This in turn produces an unusual independence of mind, freeing the INTJ from the constraints of authority, convention, or sentiment for its own sake.”
I can’t say I really disagree and it certainly explains why so many people think I am arrogant upon first encountering me. Happily I share this personality type with quiet a few famous folk including Dwight D. Eisenhower, General Ulysses Grant, Frideriche Nietsche, Niels Bohr, Peter the Great, Stephen Hawking, John Maynard Keynes, Lise Meitner”, Ayn Rand and Sir Isaac Newton are examples of Rational Masterminds.
Pity I can’t seem to live up to quite that level of greatness..ah well.
If you want to take an online version of the test you can go here: TEST ME