The twerking begins
At 1pm sharp, the parade got moving, the first time I'd ever seen something in the Caribbean start on time. The "DJ" -- who is really more of a hype man who plays music -- interrupted the ear-splitting soca music about every 35 seconds to say something along the lines of, "Are you ready, Tribal??" or "Put your hands up, Tribal!" And for the entire parade he DID. NOT. STOP. I'd say I wonder how he gets that kind of energy, but some questions are best left unanswered.
For the first hour or so, the parade was pretty tame. People in tiny outfits gingerly danced along the road while the hype man asked, "Is Tribal ready to get crazy?" Rhetorically, I assume. But as the rolling bar got lighter, the twerking began. First one couple in front of me. Then another. Then, like a bunch of dry-humping dominoes, the entire band was going at it with their clothes on. I think.
It was fantastic to watch. At normal clubs, if a guy tries to grind behind a girl he doesn't know, he's met with, at best, rejection, and at worst, a punch to the face. Not at Batabano. Here it was almost like saying hello. Men would just walk up to women and grind on them, the women would respond by grinding back, then both would move on. Nothing said, not even a name exchange.
As a marshal it was my job to make sure nobody left the parade route, but it was an entirely lost cause. As the drinks kept flowing "jumpers" began to run from the parade and dance with people standing on the street. And if I tried to stop one of the women, she’d just grind on me until I forgot I was trying to stop her in the first place. It’s like the grinding was some kind of Harry Potter spell gone horribly, horribly wrong, where people were rendered zombies by dry humping.