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August 30, 2004 / kaigani

Giving Notting Hill a miss this year…

I giving Notting Hill Carnival a miss this year

In the past I’d make up an excuse for not going — as in, I really should go, but…

I went the first two years I was here and had a lot of fun. But after that you begin to learn the routine:

  • wander around the Carnival route

  • look for a toilet

  • realise you’re on the wrong part of the route, and the main celebration has passed by already

  • look for a toilet

  • catch up with the Carnival in time to see all the dancers tired and sitting down

  • look for a toilet

  • stagger through mobs of drunk people and rubbish (sometimes interchangeable)

  • look for a toilet

  • hear rumours of an ‘afterparty’

  • look for a toilet

  • wander around Notting Hill looking for the ‘afterparty’

  • look for a toilet

  • give up on the afterparty and buy some strange stuff with rice from a food vendor

  • pee in some soggy sesspool behind a shop

And people do this year, after year, after year. Why? It seems to be part of the English mentality that says “because that’s what we do.” But at the same time, even they have to question it. Leading up to the Carnival, there were discussions around “maybe we should move the Notting Hill Carnival outside of Notting Hill” … yeah, ok.

The problem, I believe, is one of responsibility — or lack thereof. I’m sure there are event organisers, but i’ve never been able to figure out who, from casual observation. And I doubt anyone has been asked during, or after, how they are enjoying themselves. It’s a self-organising mob, to some extent, and self-organising mobs rarely figure out how to have fun.

If they do it again, it should have clear leadership, and things to-do that appeal to me … like an afterparty.

Because if they think I’m going to Notting Hill Carnival, just because … think again.

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