(PS: For those of you keeping score at home, yes, I’m back in the states. Told ya on Day 1 I wouldn’t update this travelogue in any sort of organized fashion. And I am an Oreo of my word).
Attended the largest street party in Europe…and left shortly before it became absolute mob madness. The Notting Hill Carnival is definitely something that would have been a blast if I had companions at moment. When I got there, it felt very much like Halloween in West Hollywood. Everyone in the streets, lots of drinking and both men and women wearing very few clothes. I have never seen so many women’s bottoms in my life!!
Though, great ideas for Halloween costumes.
The English seem to have a different standard of body-shaming than we do in the states, or at least LA. The video above is some of the best of the best looking folks, but there were a good number of people who I’m sure had sparkly personalities, but maybe could have done with bigger sparkly bikinis. To be fair, most people couldn’t pull off the dearth of clothing featured on the street that day. Myself included. There are plenty of things I look lovely in. Floss and carpet swatches are not among those things.
While I’m watching this parade of self-esteem exercises, the imperfect human in me thinks this is great and is glad to know that while I’d never allow someone to stick a sparkly triangle onto my front butt and then parade around the streets, but that if I did, there is a place that would accept me. And that place is Notting Hill, London, UK.
For reals, though. Pasties technology has come a long way! It’s muggy in this city and the fact that none of those ladies’ codpieces got moist and slipped right off is pretty spectacular. I imagine they use similar adhesives on space shuttles.
The English also have a different attitude toward partying. Included in the brochure I was handed at the mouth of the event was a note about how to most effectively get drunk (neat Rum), a post script saying that the gaggles of scary lads with their sagging pants are just there to have fun and chase girls, so please don’t mind them and an invitation to go ahead and grind up on someone because that’s what Carnival is about–dancing with strangers.
I feel like in the US, the brochure would have pretended that only sluts get drunk and/or dance and that there would be no boys with saggy pants on the grounds because they would have been arrested upon arrival just for good measure.
The only knowledge I’d had of Notting Hill was the movie Notting Hill, so it was nice to see the street alive and real. It would have also been nice to see Hugh Grant, but the samba bands were pretty spectacular.
By the time I left, the crowd was shoulder-to-shoulder and mostly drunk. I can see how this would be an amazing place to be with a group of friends. Alone, though, it started to feel a bit like the one Mardi Gras street fest I went to. I was young then. And willing to get beads. At first it was silly and fun, but by the end, I was being lifted off the ground by strangers. Not okay. I’m sure nothing like that happened in Notting Hill last night, but I felt like I had enjoyed as much as I needed to. So I found the prettiest park I’ve ever seen, I sat there and I wrote a bit.
Now having a cup of tea and I think I understand why I didn’t like tea before. I never drank it with milk. Or actual sugar. Or from leaves. Always bagged tea with no milk and with Splenda.
I’m realizing that it’s very possible that I actually only like milk and sugar; but never mind that. This tea is amazeballs.