A carnival exposé

welcome back everybody, how is everyone enjoying this summer holiday? I am glad and thankful for the warm weather. It feels nice to leave the house without a jacket. I have been trying to enjoy my summer, I hope you are also enjoying yours. My post today is all about carnivals. Have you ever been to a carnival or festival? If you haven’t this post is for you. If you have been, this post is also for you 🙂

For anyone that might not be familiar with the term exposé, it is simply bringing exposure to something. My carnival exposé is just my take on carnivals, what to expect and what not. I’m not attending carnival this year. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the carnival scenery, it is usually very colourful and filled with upbeat music, I like how it makes me feel. I just don’t want to be there this year, I have experienced it twice, there is really nothing new, I must admit I’m bored of it now and I can pass on the stress this year.

Sourced from Google images

People that have never attended any carnival will find this post informative.   I’ll be explaining what to expect or what to avoid. Of course, this will be based on my own experiences. The timing of the post might be a little late, considering that quite several festivals and carnivals have been done this year, but we still have a few left and there’s always next year.

I have only been to one carnival, but I have attended it twice. It is the Notting Hill Carnival. My first time in attendance was in 2016, the second time and I’m tempted to say my last time ever was last year, 2018. This carnival is notorious for celebrating the Black British culture. It is usually a two-day event that takes place in August. It has been active since 1966 till date.

Nottinghill carnival 2016

Of course, being a first timer, I didn’t know what to expect. To be honest, I didn’t do any research prior to the day. I just know, I wanted to have a good time, but the question is did I really have a good time?

I went with my friend for carnival, 2016. We got there early so there was no need to hustle and bustle before leaving the train station, so that was a good idea. However, that meant that we had stand and just keep walking for a very long time.

My first mistake was my outfit. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes. I wasn’t totally in love with my outfit.  I wore a sandal and later changed to slippers and a wore a big shirt over my shorts and top in the evening. I’ll suggest you wear trainers, as they are easy to walk in and very convenient because you will be on your feet for a long period of time.

My second mistake was carrying a backpack. I went with my friend Tolu that day, and we both had backpacks. You will think we were going on some trip. To make things worse our bags weren’t empty. We had the nerve to buy 4 cans of cider each, water and some other irrelevant things, therefore our bags were heavy. I’ll suggest anybody going should have just a bum bag or cross body bag. Also, just put only essentials in your bag like keys, portable chargers, cash, tissue etc.

We also had our bank cards that day rather than cash. This is another rookie mistake. Ensure you have cash because you’ll get hungry and the aroma of the street food everywhere will get to you. As you can imagine, the different food vendors were accepting just cash, so we had no other choice than to eat the chocolates and biscuits in our bags.

People can be so touchy and touch you anyhow, you need to be alert there. Ensure you are always conscious of the belongings. Also, don’t go alone. It won’t be fun for you.

Also, I remember I needed to use the rest room that day. The queue was endless, thinking about that day now, I didn’t enjoy it. There are some restaurants around, you can their rest rooms. As expected, there will be queues there too. I just advice that you are mentally prepared.

We were so keen on getting to the Nigerian stand, but there was no one. We searched and searched but didn’t see any Nigerian stand or bus. We eventually gave up and just decided to enjoy moving around with other people. It was quite a fun day just stressful.

Getting out the place was the greatest hurdle of the day. There were so many people in attendance. This means that the place was packed. The train stations nearby were no go areas. The crowd was just overbearing. Eventually, we got a bus after what felt like a lifetime of waiting.  

Notting Hill Carnival 2018

This time around I went more prepared. Outfit on check, comfortability level was very high. I went with more people this around. I just ensured that I improved on all areas that I wasn’t pleased with in 2016.

The crowd was also unbearable again. I found it quite exhausting. I just don’t think what carnival offers is enough to make want to go through such a stressful time like that anymore.

You don’t have to pay any gate fee or anything like that. It is free for everyone to attend. Your eyes will be fed with colourful carnival outfits and fire dance routines. It is something I encourage people to try and experience at least once. Most importantly, you get to celebrate black culture.

I haven’t completely said goodbye to carnivals, will still like to attend others but not Notting Hill anymore.

I will see you all next time. If you have any suggestions of any topic, you will like me to write about, don’t hesitate to leave your comment below or via email or my social media platforms. Thank you for reading, please leave a comment, like and share.

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