A disorientatingly large crowd.
Unexplainably expensive drinks.
(Eventually) drunk boys and girls from all over the world.
ATM machines that charged $8 on every transaction. Absence of any topless black girls. A heavy police presence, most of who came out of the state of Missouri. One of the cops we spoke to said he had come from Chicago. A confusing labyrinth of alleys at the Soulard Street where the event took place.
Rude, drunk and aggressive boys.
Liberal Brazilian girls with names written on all part of their clothing.
Colourful beautiful costumes, and beads.
Delicious turkey legs.
Somebody that looked so much like Prof Wole Soyinka.
Loud music. A long unending carnival of different kinds.
ID required for all drinks bought even if said ID belonged to someone else. Patriotism: the crowd yelled “USA. USA!” when the parade of American military men marched past.
A lively carnival atmosphere. Thousands and thousands of beads thrown into the crowd.
In New Orleans, Louisiana where the celebration has its largest following in the United States, as in St. Louis Missouri where on this day private transportation was suspended for reason of order and ease of movement of scheduled large buses and the numerous visitors, the Mardi Gras is always a colourful carnival featuring a series of activities during the days preceding the so called Fat Tuesday. Before the fasting of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, it is the belief that all indulgence are in order, and that believers (since it started as a religious festival) should eat all they could. This explains the amount of drunkenness and liberal behaviour that has defined the event as a cultural identity for the season, and for the cities in which they take place annually in the United States and all over the world.
Update (Friday February 19th 2010): There is an article in today’s NEXT newspaper about the event. I wonder who wrote it.