Still on Friday. Moved to the night now. The plan was to go to the annual wine, rum and food festival at Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in Holetown, then go on to the after party at the Beach House a little further down the road which was due to finish at 2 a.m. I was a little apprehensive when Camella suggested taking the bus there (because she wanted to fully partake of all the alcoholic beverages on offer), and coming back by taxi. Not because I have anything against buses – (I’d taken ZRs, the local private mini-bus service in Barbados to and from my massage appointment) – but because I intended to wear heels. After all, it was a dress-up night. In the end I settled for jeans and dress-up top, looked great with my strappy high heels, but not the ideal footwear for trekking. I was mightily relieved when her partner offered us a lift to the bus stop.
We waited about half an hour before our bus arrived, and was a little perplexed when another bus which had been parked up departed at the same time. I should add that both buses were the yellow, privately owned ones. It became all too clear as the journey progressed why there were two. Our man seemed intent on overtaking the one in front, baring down on innocent drivers that sat between him and the bus in front, all this while constantly talking on his mobile phone. At one stage we were surprised to see a second person in the middle seat of the bus adjusting something on the dashboard. It was to our joint alarm the discovery that it was the same driver who had somehow slid from his seat will still driving and talking on his mobile. I know men are not usually know for multi-tasking but he didn’t have to go to such lengths to dispel the myths.
The hour long journey continued in that way, first one bus overtaking then the other, both competing for passengers, while our man complained bitterly that the other was acting illegally, should not be on that route at that time. It was positively scary at time the narrow gaps they squeezed into in their attempt to gain a few yards advantage. We were relieved to arrive at our stop in one piece, and I was possibly a little shakier than usual on the heels.
We made it to the Limegrove Centre only to be told that we needed tickets. How much were the tickets, we enquired. ‘$200 BD’ replied the lady on the desk ‘and in any case the event is sold out,’ she added smugly. There were, however, tickets for the after party, and a mere $150 BD.
Camella and I stepped aside to confer. No, we did not wish to pay that much for a party, and decided to check out some of the other venues in Holetown instead. After all, we’d come out to eat, drink and dance, it couldn’t be too difficult to find somewhere else in Holetown to fulfil those needs. WRONG. Holetown on a that Friday night is dead. A far cry from the vibrant, rocking place I’d been to on a Sunday night back on my last night in January.
‘We could always go to Oistins’, Camella suggested, and I didn’t need asking twice. So, back on the bus to Oistens. After a long wait (where about 10 buses to Bridgetown went by) our bus came -WITH THE SAME DRIVER AS BEFORE. This time there was no competition, just a bus already full with standing room only, and this time it was a disco on wheels. As we picked up more and more passengers, many who like us was dressed for partying, I couldn’t help feeling that we’d already started the party. The bus vibrated to the sounds of reggae beats and old-time dance music. People sang along, others danced – or as much as they could wedged a so closely to their travelling companions. Just as we thought the bus would burst open at the seams the driver called for us to move even further back to make room for more passengers. A few bold people asked where the hell else they could go, and although no one appeared to move, more passengers were fitted in. I was standing right under one of the speakers which made conversation impossible.
Now, this might all sound nightmarish, but it was in fact like a rammed nightclub with the added excitement of the bus taking corners on just the outer wheels. We were too tightly packed to fall over, and it was almost a disappointment (apart from the gratitude my feet felt) to be able to sit down after a few people had disembarked. By the time we got to Oistins we had struck up the camaraderie of those who have got close involuntarily and made the best of it.
So, after a two hour journey we ended up ten minute walk from home. The place was buzzing, the aromas were enticing and the dancing, was, as ever, delightful, especially the line-dancing outside Lexie’s. Alas, there was still the ten minute walk home in those shoes, up the hill, with no pavement.