We’ve all been there. The love of your life dumps you. The best sex of your life moves away. Your “the one” says you’re not their “the one.” These scenarios are all too familiar.
And while the initial pain may be tough, it’s the lingering longing that’s truly the beast. The insatiable desire across time and space has real physical side effects. The heartache. The emotional turmoil. The depression. The listlessness. The wallowing in despair.
It’s all consuming.
This feeling has a name. It’s called “tabanca.”
The definition is:
An extreme sadness and/or a depression following one’s breakup or separation from one’s significant other.
And what does the best significant other provide? Sexual stimulation? Fun? Thrills? Exuberance?
And what does Trinidad Carnival provide? Sexual stimulation. Fun. Thrills. Exuberance!
Yes, all of those things. So, it’s no wonder, then, that carnival goers quite literally fall in love with the very experience of being at Trinidad Carnival.
And therefore, it should be no surprise that when the “party done” and the trucks go silent and carnival goers are wearing clothes that cover over 30% of their bodies and no one randomly wines up on them in the middle of the street and trucks aren’t dispensing rum at all hours of the day and night… It should be no surprise at all, that when we’re back in our “real” lives that we find ourselves drifting into emotional darkness.
This too has a name. It’s called “Carnival Tabanca.”
And this too is real. In 2013 soca star Bunji Garlin reported actually suffering from a fever shortly after Lent from his case of Carnival Tabanca. His distress lead directly to the recording of a song dedicated to his and others’ pain and misery.
Now that I’ve finally had my first Trinidad Carnival experience (complete with hitting up Tribe Ignite, the pan yards, some history in the Kambule Riots re-enactment, feteing in the day at Soca Brainwash, getting dirty at Dirty Dozen Jouvert, playing mas with Passion, and everything all those experiences entail), and now that I’m back in the “real world”—now I too get to experience first hand the pain that is Carnival Tabanca!
Some of the extreme symptoms include wearing pieces of your costume around the house for no reason, scouring the internet for photos from Carnival (like these on USA Today!), booking flights on Jetblue and rooms at the Hyatt a year in advance, and, of course, constantly playing soca music at work, home and everywhere in between.
For me, this last one has been the most successful at achieving some reprise from the suffering. So to share my Carnival Tabantruck (don’t ask!) temporary remedy, here’s my playlist of the top songs heard on the street at this year’s Carnival. They will compel you to wine uncontrollably on the subway. They’ll have you going low in the line at Starbucks. They’re just what you need!
Hit play now!
Naturally, there’s Like ah Boss from Machel Montano. Not only did he dominate the International Soca Monarch competition with this tune, but it was also the Road March winner being played over 390 times throughout Carnival Tuesday!
From there, there’s Kes promising to “fete ‘till we fall down;” Ducking and Overdoing It both proclaiming that we won’t make it to work tomorrow; plus Million, Loner, and No Apology firmly stating that what happens on the road stays on the road.
There are more tunes including Ah Feeling from Barbados, Vagabond, Phenomenal, Ola (which won the Groovy Soca Monarch title), and finally Party Done.
As your resident 2015 Tabanca specialist, I recommend listening to this playlist three times a day, or any time your case of Carnival Tabanca flares up!
Until next year!