Massage Marketing at Trinidad Carnival


I rolled over in bed about 10am on Carnival Tuesday morning. I had no plans for the day except to go into Port of Spain after lunch and mingle with the revellers. As I lay in bed mentally debating what’s for breakfast, my phone rang. Massage to be done.

Two of my clients who I had not seen in months decided to pay me a visit. I got started after 11am and was done by 2pm. While many were wining down the town, these two had decided to relax, relax, and relax. And I was most appreciative of the opportunity to assist. Some fish swim against the tide, much to their benefit.

It was about 4pm by the time I began walking pass masqueraders on Frederick Street, on my way to the Queen’s Park Savannah. The costumes were beautiful, and quiet fascinating…if one has an appreciation for details. I met a few acquaintances on the way (which must mean I only have a few), and we stopped, and chatted, and laughed, and shared opinions on costumes, and moved on.

Somewhere near the Museum I found myself in a jam. The security guards for the band that was about to cross over to the Savannah had cordoned off the space needed for the free movement of their masqueraders, and the remaining area on the roadside became a place where everyone was squeezed against each other while trying to move forward. I had to raise my chin and breathe deeply to survive.

Some used this opportunity to ply their pick-pocket trade. I felt the zipper on my handbag pulled. It was not a concern as I did not have anything in there, but I still looked to see who was that bold. It was a young man who looked at me daringly as he pushed pass. I could hear a woman near me alerting a gentleman that someone’s hand was in his pocket. Another man was left in tears as his pouch, bearing his money and passport, etc. was snatched away.

Of course, many asked why he came on the road with those things. Did he not see or hear the many advisories? I am sure that the man could justify his actions. Besides, there was no way to anticipate that he was suddenly going to be locked in on every side, especially when, probably like me, he walked freely up until these few metres to the Savannah.

So I made it to the Savannah. And I tried to get some photos of myself with the different costumes in the background. The gentleman I chose to assist me was not into digital camera. After four attempts, I was still looking like a moving blur across the screen. I thanked him for his efforts and opted for a younger guy. First try, bingo!

I walked around a bit and found myself on the other side of the Savannah where the bands were leaving after their presentation. I saw booths with cultural displays and items for sale. As I browsed I was approached by a gentleman who requested a photo of me.

(The last time I was in town for Carnival was back in 2007. I recall being over at Adam Smith Square looking at the revellers when a lady from a Central American country had approached me requesting to take a photo. She was an artist and saw something about me that she felt she wanted to paint. So, I posed for the shot.)

This incident immediately came to mind when the guy made his request. He introduced himself and said that he was a freelance photographer for a Canadian firm. I consented. The sun was setting and we moved a bit to a point where the last few rays could be captured on me. And when it was over I reached into my purse and took out two business cards. One for him, and the other for whomever he chooses to give.

And yes, I remembered suggesting that Massage Therapists should use the Carnival opportunity to do some marketing. And I had to smile at myself. In the midst of thousands of people, I had only given out two business cards.