02 July 2012

My Fifth Top 11

It's been a while since my last Top 11 list.  I came up with the idea for this one last week, and I've been collecting potential entries in it since then.  Every time I went to the Bus Terminal in Basseterre, I made a mental note of all the entries I could remember, and picked the best ones here.  If you don't recall what I'm referring to here, this post has a simple primer.  So without further ado, for your reading pleasure,

The Top 11...
Bus Names in St. Kitts, Caribbean Side

11.  De Original  Not to be confused with the other Original.
10.  Up 2 De Time  But there are no less than 4 of you on the road.
9.  Juggler  And does your skills in jocularity transfer nicely to your chosen profession?
8.  Sailor  A fish out of water?
7.  King of the Hill  In the land of beaches, the man with a hill is king.
6.  Street Freak  Congrats!  You've managed to find the one job where this is acceptable.
5.  Love Sponge  A one-sided relationship if ever there was one.
4.  John Glen  Circumnavigate the island, orbit the earth... it's almost the same thing.
3.  No Comment  But... I... never mind.
2.  Bashment  If this is before the accident, what would we call you after?  Wreck-ment?

...and the number 1 bus name in St. Kitts:
1.  De Ninja  Then why can I still see you?

Had quite an eventful weekend, defined largely by one 8 hour period in particular.  At 9:00 on Saturday night, I went into town to meet a friend for the 16th Annual St. Kitts Music Festival, which hosted four performers on Saturday night: (in order of performance) The Liamuiga Project, Roberta Flack, Toni Braxton, and Omarion.  The first was a jazz ensemble with an accompanying dance troupe, although I didn't get to fully appreciate the performance as they were done before I arrived.  Instead, to my chagrin, Roberta Flack had already been on stage 10 minutes when I entered Warner Park.  My disappointment was soon cooled, however, when it became clear that the performance I was anticipating from Ms. Flack was not to be.  Instead of a seasoned, graceful, powerful but charming performer singing on stage these lovely melodic ballads, we in the audience were presented with a crotchety, strung out old woman whose vocal range had clearly diminished and who never left the piano keys even when she wasn't playing.  She opted to play her three hits at the opening, but the mood was very unrefined and lacking in poise, and it was mostly downhill from that point on.  She played a few Beatles covers, but nothing seemed to settle in until she pulled out SKN's favorite power anthem.  That was the only point that I felt like the audience had a good time while she was on stage.

Now, we're talking about a EC$100 ticket here – so the price of admission was clearly wrapped up in a youthful 44 year old Toni Braxton.  Wearing only a sheer wrap over a sequined one-piece, the audience was graced to enjoy a pair of hips that would not quit.  Boasting a handful of hits from her long career, and singing each of them interspersed with some pieces I was not familiar with, her performance was met with much more excitement and audience participation (an element that was, no joke, squelched by Ms. Flack a couple instances).  Even a sudden downpour at the outdoor stadium could not stop her performance, though it did cut out the sound equipment a half-dozen times or so in the 15 minute deluge.  It was a memorable and exciting experience, even if the rain scared off my Kittitian friends and sent them home prematurely to dry off.  For a night that was, by all accounts, much more reserved than the other, more youth-centric nights, it was a worthy investment in once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.

I'm finally starting on Washington Archibald's second book about life in St. Kitts, this one more of a memoir than a political history, entitled A View From Baby's Traffic.  The great conceit of his work, I'm quickly discovering, is how this blooming idealist portrays his world as a sort of fatalistic hopscotch: brief moments of ecstasy floating in a chasm of despair and disillusionment.  And instead of a clean, graduated continuum between the two ends, which probably serves to better exemplify real life, he instead loves to tell his stories in a way that make superhuman leaps from one end of the spectrum to the other in a matter of just a few sentences.  It makes for a jaunty but entertaining ride through what would appear, in the global perspective, to be an utterly insignificant bit of historical geography.  But I'm learning more about the realities of living in SKN every day, and enjoying it while I do!

Also, there's a lesson here.  I think.

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