New Orleans – The Adventure Begins
The plane trips were pleasant enough. Nothing out of the ordinary to report. People always ask “How was your trip” first thing. Usually I chalk universal questions and small talk up to not having anything else to talk about, but “How was your trip?” is a question that is really asking for a story with a follow up for current needs. It’s a fabulous question.
“How was your trip?”
“Fine, thank you. There was a rough landing or two but over all everything was fine. But the stewardess never came back after she dropped of my drink. I’m so thirsty.”
“Can I get you something?”
Isn’t that lovely. What a fabulous question. My trip was fine, both of the landings were a little rough, but Southwest always has two things: funny stewards and rough landings. I drank ginger ale the whole time. I love ginger ale, but I only think to drink it on planes. I think mom had us all drink it once when we flew from
It was raining when we touched down. The cab ride was fine, everyone getting off the planes were taking cabs. I felt stupid in a line of tourists and conventioneers. I wanted to shout “I’m not one of them. I’m a writer.” But of course I am one of them, I’m just staying longer. But no one seemed to be renting cars, and when I got to the city I realized there wouldn’t have been much of a place to put them anyway. There isn’t an awful lot of parking. In the cab were signs about the fare, this wasn’t a meter situation like in San Francisco, there was a flat rate to the French Quarter and to Down Town. There were flate rates for a lot of things, but there was also a meter somewhere, I just didn’t see it. The fair rates read like a menu. Here are the places you can go and how much it will cost. I was also warned that I should set a price with the driver before we go and make sure that is the price we stick to. I was also warned that air conditioning is free by law. It all seemed very complicated. I tipped the driver too much when we got to the apartment. I hope all tourists tip too much.
But I have to stop that practice because I have yet to find a Wells Fargo ATM and if I want to be able to tip at all I need to find one, other wise I’ll be giving a lot extra to both the city of New Orleans, the ATM machines, the businesses where I find those ATMs and Wells Fargo for NOT using their ATM. I’m sure I’ll find one sooner or later.
The apartment I’m staying in is beautiful. It’s a creole style construction built in the 1800’s. It has four rooms. The living room which has a full bed, a couch that pulls out into a bed and a full futon. There is a satellite TV, air conditioner and broachers for things to do in
After the initial shock of everything being so nice wore off, I realized I was in a vacation rental like any other. The furniture all picked out with a loving hand with an eye towards making the place feel old and a mind to keep the budget small. The effect isn’t far from feeling like I live in an old woman’s house. There are doilies and old rugs and teapots and fake flowers (some with the price tags still on them.) I can smell the cigarette smoke of past tenants, and here and there I can see their ashes. The bed seats have the telltail burn marks. The air is so full of room sanitizer and air freshner that there is no way this room wasn’t used by smokers. But there is a genital sort of honest charm to it. Drunken revelers my not appreciate it, but I do. I read on a review of a hostel “It’s not great and there isn’t much to it, but if you came to
Feeling at home is hard for me. It is one thing to lay about a room or make food in a kitchen, it is another to take a shower or sleep. Making one self at home seems to imply a general sloppiness of living. Don’t be afraid to get in the fridge and eat anything, put your shoes where ever, leave your dirty clothes about. But making your self at home means you are comfortable being vulnerable there. In short, I didn’t sleep at all last night. I left the TV on so I couldn’t hear the house noises, I left a few lights on so I couldn’t see the house shadows. I’m pretty good at scaring myself silly. I’d imagin little noises were people trying to break in, that I’d wake up with a stranger standing over my bed, that there were ghosts in the house. Also, it is hard to sleep without Matt. Even at home I have a hard time. It’s odd, I can’t sleep with lights on, or TVs or Radios, but I’ll have them on the first few nights I’m alone because I don’t want to face the dark. I think I finally found sleep around 5am, when the light coming through the windows was enough to scare the ghosts and villains away. I turned off the TV and slept a good sleep for three hours. Consequently I got up later than I wanted to because my body was finally getting rest and resisted by urges to rise. But I needed to get up. I have no food here and I really don’t want to spend all my money eating out. I heard there was a farmers market and a French Market, both of which I wanted to try. Also, I needed to recon a grocery store, maybe a Walgreen’s, a Free WiFi source (if you are reading this in July I found one) and a Wells Fargo ATM. Also, I wanted to see the place with out my camera. I just wanted to walk around a little and look.
The French Quarter is beautiful. All the tall shuttered windows and the lace like embellishments in iron and wood. The rainbow of painted homes and the hanging plants. And everywhere I looked I saw for sale signs. That was unexpected. Hanging in front of those old doors, hanging off the balconies, posted to walls and in windows. That many for sale signs never look like a good think, it always looks like a bad thing.
The other thing I saw were lots of closed signs. Take heart dear readers, I do not mean they were closed and gone away, I just mean that I got up earlier then I needed to. The city wasn’t up yet. Myself and the other tourists were wondering about will silly looks on our faces wondering what to do with ourselves. Most shops don’t open up until 9am…and those are just the T-Shirt stores. The ones I wanted to go into didn’t open until noon. I had always planned on staying in and writing in the morning, now it was cemented. I can sleep in too. Silly me. In a city of drinkers, what was I thinking getting up before noon?
I did stop by Café du Mond for bingets and coffee. They were tasty, but really, how hard is it to mess up a square of fried dough? I’ll go again, but not until after I’ve tasted the other similar places around. A balloon man made me a flower and we chatted for a while about
It is also very hot here, but at the moment it is not unpleasant. I know it is not all that hot, and not all that muggy. I’ve felt worse and been warned about worse in
Here’s to retreating!