Returned the car and flew to New Orleans. Made my way to my accommodation and went for a walk and out for dinner. I met or spoke to a heap of different people.
Managed to get up in time to get the car back and arrive at the airport in plenty of time.
I didn’t quite park in the correct place at the rental place though and a security car asked me what I was doing. I had gone about 20 yards too far, I was supposed to stop where it said “stop”. I did stop but then I went and parked. I couldn’t see anyone until security came and then I looked out of the back window and someone was standing where I should have stopped, looking at me and the car. Felt very Nazis”ish” but they were very agreeable.
The car rental place is a long way from the airport and there are actually signs on the highway directing you to the Car Rental Returns. There is a bus which ferries between the airport and car rental depot. It’s free and regular.
I didn’t notice when I picked up the car, but on the way back I saw they had pokies or slots as they are called here, in the car rental place.
Other than trying to check in to Delta airlines instead of Spirit, I got to the gate in plenty of time.
As I was sitting typing up my diary waiting for the plane, a dog arrived , presumably to go on the airplane!
A little one , like a Chihuahua but I don’t think that’s what it was. The woman had a bag for it to go on the plane in. Don’t think you would see that in Aussie!
They were sitting one seat behind me on the flight and I din’t hear a peep from the dog.. maybe because I was asleep most of the time or the dog was very good.
Met lots of people during my first afternoon/evening in New Orleans (NO)
(1) I chatted to am older guy who was back in NO because he had 2 wives (EX) and 6 kids there. It cost him $US70 for the trip and he hadn’t seen them for 7 yrs. Said goodbye and picked up my luggage . Used the E-2 express bus (which took an hr) to get to NO centre and who should be on it but Guy 1. We both got off at the termination point and he made sure that I managed to cross the road and find the next bus stop ok which was really nice.
(2) Also on the bus was a Peruvian guy with his son ( who smiled at his father a lot for chatting to me) They had just returned from Lima. He had trouble understanding me because of my accent! Peru is definitely on mu bucket list
(3) I crossed another road to catch the 88 and a young, I think inebriated, black guy was there. I said to him (before I knew he was inebriated) I have just crossed the road and the bus stop is where I Just came from. He engaged me in conversation and asked my age. I said well u tell me, what do u think and he wasn’t far off as he said 59. His explanation for asking my age was that he was watching me and saw that I could walk OK and he always thought about his mum who shuffled along and was hunched over. He said he would tell her that he saw a woman today who walked ok and she was older than you. Obviously not just me, any woman. It turned out I should have crossed as we worked out that my bus stop was right where I was standing.
(4) Got off the bus and a stranger said hi how are you doing
(5) Found my accommodation which was a short distance from the bus and met Dawn, my hostess
(6) Went for a walk to get milk for teas (high priority) and most of the black people greeted me with a similar How you doing.
(7) Commented on a house as a person came out and he was friendly and dais I wish it were mine.
(8) Found a pound type shop ( I was looking for milk) and a kid of about 7 asked me how I was doing, black of course. They are all just so friendly.
(9) On the way back a black and white guy were chatting on a street corner and the black guy stepped back and allowed me though and was really friendly.
(10) Went across the road for dinner. Initially sat at a table. The dynamics were interesting as there were 8 people in the café, only one was male. Once everyone except me had gone I felt a bit “lonely” so I went up to the bar and asked Elliott to tell me about each entry on the menu. The mains were ok but the aperitifs I had trouble with. The descriptions were a mix of French (which I could manage) and local jargon which I couldn’t. Boudin for example is a pork and rice blend which is usually formed into a sausage or ball shape.
(11) A diabetic white American came in, Scott, who offered to let me try his meatloaf which did look good. PIC
(12) A lady came in and the chef came out and introduced her as her wife. I tried to have a chat to her but she was busy on her phone. I did find out when the chef came out to chat with her that they were hoping to go and live in Barcelona. Both were in the service industry so I assume it wouldn’t be difficult to get work.
(13) A young lady came in who said she had just moved to the area. Her name was Gena-Rose Northcote. I asked as she was a poet and novelist and I wanted to be able to say “I have met her” when she became famous. She had move to warmer climes for 3 months from Boston and had been in NO a shorter time than I.
An interesting evening. Elliot, the person who served me had travelled a bit and lived in different places, one of which was Kerala. He was amazed that I knew it but TP and I went there last year. I’m sure I will be back there before too long. He was there for 9 months and also loved it.
Was good sitting at the bar chatting to people as they came and went. Elliot and Gena-Rose were really scared about what would happen to the US under Trump. I didn’t know but certain states preclude people from voting because they demand certain ID such as a driver license. Many poorer people cannot afford a car so don’t have a license and therefore cannot vote. I was not aware of that. Our system may not be perfect but at least everyone can vote.
I said that it was democracy and the majority win but as in Aussie, there is manipulation, boundaries are changed and the like. Apparently, Hilary got more votes than Trump. This happens in Aussie too though because of the way areas ae bounded. Politics is a no no I’m told when meeting people but it was interesting to hear their views.
Other than the fact that not everyone can vote in every state it seemed a bit like Aussie. Someone can get 49% of the vote but they are beaten by someone with 30% . I am not speaking with concrete evidence here so feel free to disagree.
The Cheesy Cajun was where I ate.
I had Gumbo for dinner on the advice of my host.
He said it was the best in town. Followed by Chicken pot pie which was a chicken glutinous mix with a puff pastry topping. It was good but like a chicken pie you might get in Aussie. I found it interesting that it wasn’t served with anything.
Elliot said it was a one pot meal. It was described as being like shepherd’s pie but I had to disagree because both shepherd’s and cottage pie have mash on the top, not puff pastry.
Elliot also said he would like to come to Aussie but he was arachnophobe which is why he would not go. He had the impression that huntsmen were everywhere and that he would have to deal with spider constantly.
I told him that I rarely saw spiders and that red backs were probably more of a threat. I also said I had been there 40 yrs and had not been bitten in all that time even though I was not careful about avoiding spiders. TV programs must have given him the impression that poisonous spider were everywhere.
I had my first sip of a Bloody Mary. Gena-Rose offered it to me. It was spicy and tomatoey with a skewer of okra (apparently mandatory in NO) , olive, chili pepper and gherkin.
Scott also offered me a taste of his meat loaf. It did look and smell really god but I really wasn’t hungry after my food..
The place shut at 9 so I left. I did not have to let myself in as Isobel was still up and she opened the door for me. She must be at least 4!
A little different to LV and much more fun.