Who would have thought that Soaked in Soca would approach ME, Benita Rose, to feature on their site with my very own blog? Not me, that’s for sure.
When I received a message saying: “I need to speak to you at our next boat ride”, I thought I would get suspended from all future events for my outspokenness and unruly behaviour at previous events and also generally in life. Like so often, I thought to myself “Benita, what did you do or say again?”, having absolutely no clue what I got in trouble for this time. Little did I know that my outspokenness and unruly behaviour had actually made a better impression than I thought. Although this is only part of the reason why this blog has been created (trust me, you will find out why if you keep reading my blogs), it was the beginning of “Miss Rose’s World”… and you are now part of it, so stay with me if you’re up for an adventure!
But to start off first… how does Miss Rose fit so well to what Soaked in Soca is trying to spread in the world… “Soca music & Caribbean Culture in Europe”?
As a German by nationality, I count as one of those who are internationally considered to be extremely serious people who never smiles, have no rhythm in their blood and usually with rude characteristics. Okay, I am actually rude sometimes (confirmed by Shal Marshall, who unfollowed me on Instagram shortly after he realised this), the rhythm I had to literally inject into my blood with the help of several hundred Caribbean papis (stay tuned for my next blogs and find out how!), and “serious” or “not smiling” is quite the opposite of what I represent. So sorry to all people who love generalising. Nonetheless, I am 100% German.
After growing up in Germany, life brought me to Trinidad & Tobago one day, and since then, I have never really left, always finding a way of spending as much time on the island as possible. I would humbly consider myself a serious analyser and wannabe-expert on Caribbean culture, as I threw myself into cold water and somehow needed to understand why my beloved islanders were being so incredibly weird at times, despite their awesomeness that has been making me go back every year. On a serious note though, “life” didn’t bring me to T&T, it was my instinct telling me I needed to go to this place where they have a cool carnival (with music I knew nothing about), plus my initiative to actually make it happen. Me being in my studies during that time, I looked for a way to combine both my career ambitions in international development with my real dream of drinking rum & coconut water under a palm tree on a Trinidadian beach. I sent out some bikini pictures and managed to get an internship at a United Nations organisation in Port of Spain, plus a scholarship to pay for it all. This system, by the way, has brought me to live in 5 different Latin American & Caribbean countries for several years in total (basically from Curacao all the way to Dominican Republic, where I live today), and during this time I’ve gotten to know probably 60% of the Caribbean. Okay okay, I admit, I did it without the bikini pictures, but with smart moves, slick words and general bad-ass-ness. :)
What I am trying to say is that: I’ve spent “some time” in the region. But as you know, people like details, and since this is my blog, I can and will give details… many details.
All in all, my experience living in Trinidad & Tobago, among other Caribbean countries, is completely different to those of the typical European Bacchanalist. I feel quite at home in both worlds. This is why Miss Rose’s World represents a cultural rollercoaster-ride combining my personal perspective and anecdotal experiences with Soca music & the Caribbean world.
If you are up for it, follow me on my adventures and stories from around Europe & the Caribbean.