If you have ever been to Barbados, you would certainly know about Oistens. If you don’t, then that means you are one of the many that believe Barbados is the “Lap of Luxury” resort country that is only for the rich and famous. If you do know about Oistens, good for you! That means you do more than just sit at the resort bar sipping on cocktails at what could be any beach in any part of the world. Oistens, for all intents and purposes is a gathering place. Old, young, black, white. They all gather here on Friday night for what can only be called a mini festival-flea market-dancehall-concert venue-buffet-soca style refuge from the previous work week. Located, appropriately enough, in the town of Oistens at the South end of Barbados. It’s where the tourist area ends and the more unique locals only area of the island begins. Situated just mere steps from the ocean, Oistens provides the perfect backdrop for a good time. It seems to offer two experiences for visitors and locals to intermingle with each other. One side of the area seems a bit more reserved. Uh, maybe a WHOLE lot more reserved I should say. The calm side of the fish fry offers the mainland USA grooves of the Temptations, Smoky Robinson and the like. The older folks are up dancing, singing and remembering their early days, pre Soca takeover when the music of the States was the music to live by and dance to. It’s calm here, laid back and if you want to get your groove on, somebody is more than willing to dance with you as the night carries on to morning. On the other side? Well, let’s just say this is the place where the youth rises and dismisses the slowness of the evening. A makeshift DJ booth transforms this area into a Soca fueled dance-off. Get on stage here and you better have some moves, because the competition is stiff, the dancing is unique and if you haven’t heard soca, it’s a way of life here. this is not your slow riddim kind of joint that you see in countless Caribbean countries. Situated inbetween these two very different vibes is some of the best food you will find in Barbados. Good fried flying fish, shrimp and all of the fixins, but remember to bring cash as you will find no use for a credit card here. And of course, have you a Banks beer or two, it will get you shaking and ready for the show. Either way, it’s not to be missed and don’t let anyone tell you to not stay past 9:00 PM due to safety. We had our young girls with us, like we always do, and stayed til close to midnight.
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