I try to psych myself up though to be more excited than nervous, & tell myself that everything will be fine, just relax. I make the long drive, sit in traffic, and I'm blasting Soca on my way to the mas camp.
When I went to Saldenah's launch & saw this mohawk headpiece make its way through the crowd, I had a great feeling... then seeing it onstage, I just knew - that was the headpiece for me!!! Different, not the usual, and very full & powerful. I liked the real bra & the not especially skimpy waistband. I try to play in colours I've not played in before, & lately I've wanted to play in orange, so I happily chose Tembu Warriors.
I was told at the mas camp by the section leader Nicholas that there was an issue with the original headpiece feathers and they couldn't get them. The 8 frontlines have that original headpiece though. They said they sent an email to their masqueraders letting them know about the headpiece change. I didn't get an email. I notice that this change to the costume isn't on the Tembu Warriors facebook group either. I did actually make an effort to contact the section leaders, I sent a facebook message on July 12th complimenting the headpiece and asking a question - but I never got a response. This would have been an opportunity to let me know about the headpiece change.
Of course I'm very dissapointed with the smaller size of the headpiece, but I'm displeased about not being told. I don't know what happened there.
I do realize that changes are often made with costumes due to supplier problems, etc. I just wish I knew about the headpiece change. If I knew ahead of time, I wouldn't have been so unhappily surprised when I picked my costume up.
On the positive side, the La Senza bra is perfect, great choice on that guys, and the waistband with the boyshorts cinched up looks good. Nice touch with the orange water bottle.
I understand that this is the first year Nicholas, Janette & Anton are putting out a section, and they are good pleasant people, not annoying to deal with. I asked for, and was given compensation for this. I trust they will work out the kinks, the most important one being inform all customers of their costume changes.
I then made my way over to the Crees of Canada table the pick up Trini-in-Toronto's costume. I was at the end of a line with @6 people ahead of me. I was not acknowledged for at least 10 minutes. I had to wave my yellow receipt to get the attention of the one woman collecting masqueraders money. She asked for my money, and I said sure, I'd like to at least see the costume though, and she told me they collect the cash first. I then stood in front of their table for over an hour waiting. I've never, in 10 years, had to wait so long to pick up a costume. They (4 people including Curtis) were still hot gluing pieces to the male costumes (the vests and shorts).
I was rather snippily told by the woman that if I had paid first I wouldn't have had to wait so long. Um, what!?! The people ahead of me were of course being taken care of first, what kind of craziness are you trying to give me! Steups!! Costumes still being made the afternoon before Caribana is poor organization. AND, turns out, he wasn't given a waistband!!!!!!!! Unacceptable!!
Mas makers, I know your business is designing and making mas, but you've got paid customers who buy your product, so that means you are also in customer service. When you have a wonderful product you are proud of, greeting people and showing them some respect should be easy. If it were not for us masqueraders buying your costumes, who are you making mas for?