In a way, before I left for America, New Orleans was more of a random choice, but when I decided to get a plane from Newark to Pittsburgh, any ideas of doing any long travel via train or bus were (more or less) out of the question.
I picked here, as it wasn’t a million miles away from Pensacola, Florida, where my uncle lived, and it looked interesting too. The flight down was pretty straightforward, a proper jet this time, though the flight docked in Philadelphia, before heading to “The Big Easy”.
Once I got there, it was very humid, and with all places that are hot and humid, the weather could change very quickly, hot and humid then heavy rain. In a way, I was glad of the rain. As the heat was pretty stifling if you weren’t used to it.
I got the taxi from the airport to the hostel, it looked a bit grubby, but it was okay overall, they had a pool out the back, food out there too, and there was a shop down the street, where I could get beer! Pity then, that I had to run back to the hostel, as the guy in the shop wouldn’t serve me without I.D…. (pain in the ass, but I had even more of the same in Florida).
I got talking to a few people in the hostel, an Aussie, who seemed to be getting on very well with a Swedish bird, an Englishman and another Swede guy, who seemed pretty civil. I encountered a bit of a crackpot woman, who came to New Orleans (to play music on her Cello/Double Bass, which was nowhere to be seen).
I got talking to a couple of eastern europeans, and then hit the sack. The following day, I booked a bus tour of New Orleans, and we seen what was left of the area worst hit by Hurricane Katrina. Crazy, that in one of the richest countries in the world, this area looked so run down. After that, we went into one of the graveyards, which was interesting, in that the graves were tombs above ground, as the city was built on a swamp, and the ground underneath would be moving around too much.
The actual tour was really informative, the driver was worth the admission price alone, super cool guy. Later on that night, I went out with ones from the hostel, and headed into town, it was a pretty cool night, got to see an actual jazz band, which was nice. We seen some street music, great atmosphere, had some Canadian who was out with us say that my accent sounded “dope”.
At the end of the night, I headed back with some Israeli dude, he seemed pretty quiet, but pretty genuine, rather than one or two of the fakers I met on my travels. Great experience, but not really a place I would want to be out at night on my own.
I would really recommend New Orleans as a place to see, but again, I would’ve stayed an extra night or two if I had the chance. Still, for some reason, I felt an emptiness, almost as if I didn’t fit in while being here, and was glad to be heading to Florida.