Diaspora Diaries, Chapter 10: You, Me, Cyanival

I sent the same text message to my Dad and my bestie, Fashion Designer, Jin Forde.

“Me, You, Cyanival”

with the dates of my visit included. My dad replied with three beer emojis. Janelle called me as I read her text response of “Oh Laad Oye”.

I have witnessed the excitement of booking your flight home for mas, but I totally underestimated what it meant. I have always been privileged to be able to attend every event leading up to the best two days of the year; from band launch season, straight up to J’ouvert. Some years, my unappreciative self even talked about going abroad and missing Carnival completely.

The worst year ever, was when I decided to stay in Charlieville and watch Netflix on Tuesday. If I could time travel, it would be to go back to the day I thought that was a good idea, and slap myself. Carnival is the perfect girlfriend you take for granted when you live together. The minute you break up and move out, you realise she was the best thing that ever happened to you and you do whatever it takes to get her back. Ugh, men. Gross. Wait, what are we talking about again?

The Carnival teasers have begun, and my three year no-costume hiatus will be coming to an end in 2019. After working behind the scenes in costume, I was tired of it all. I couldn’t be bothered to try to get a six pack, nor choose a generic, overpriced costume from a heap of feathered sameness. This year I am recharged with level homesickness, and The Lost Tribe is making all my childhood dreams of winning Mastana Baahar come true, with this year’s theme “Taj”.

The road will not miss me. My hands will scratch the pitch. This has been the word of God.

I have to pinch pennies to survive in NYC. For the whole day, I had a half of almond butter and jelly sandwich, and a homemade protein shake a la my private chef,  Nutribullet. However, priorities are priorities, and Carnival trumps food in my book. Hey, I consider it a kick start to my Carnival bod. All the countdowns, outfit planning, Carnival pop-up shops in D.C. and Brooklyn are part of a new pre-Carnival culture I never lived. I just want to find a group of friends to fly with! Plan our girl gang Monday Wear. Get our hair braiding appointments. Figure out where we’re going to crash!

I once flew to Trinidad from London during the season, and there was a definite energy on the flight. Most passengers were standing, sipping mixed drinks in small gatherings at someone’s designated seat. I was asleep, or at least trying to be, in a middle set, middle aisle. A friend I knew from high school days plopped down next to me, excitedly telling me of the fetes he had planned. This was not a flight, it was a pre-lash. I get it now!

Everyday from this day until February 27th (which is when I land in sweet TnT) will be considered in terms of its proximity. I am so excited to start learning the new soca and picking my costume! I need new boots! I’ll need to get something and maybe wear it in over Winter. What about stockings? I’ll need to have someone grab me up my shade at Micles.

Ah, the to-do list begins. Can you tell I’m excited?



Stephanie Ramlogan

Stephanie Ramlogan is a NYC based Trinidadian Fashion Stylist and Writer, mostly known for her wildly popular blog NoMoreFashionVictims.com. You can reach her at writeme@stephanieramlogan.com or check her out at StephanieRamlogan.com.

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