Saturday, 22 April 2006

Cajun Country!

19 April - Struggled a little bit to get up because of the marathon chat session th previous night and had to shake off one of the hostelcrazies, Elizabeth (for some reason she was stuck in Austin because of her sister and the evil, evil people at the salvation army ... Will you drive me to Memphis? I will pay you? - thank god it wasn't on the way). Dropped Callum off at the Amtrak and then took about 30m to get on the right highway to get the hell out of town. Another pretty gruelling drive - going through Houston is terrible, even if you don't get off the Interstate. I had a hankering for IHOP pancakes but every time I saw one the exit was half a mile back. Eventuallystopped at an absolutely horrible chain called Waffle House where I listened in on some real hard core Texans bitching about the world - these guys weren't friendly. At a rest stop I picked up a youngguy who's tyre had blown out and took him down to the next gas station and before I knew it I was in Weezieanna. I could have probably made it to my original destination of Norleans but thought i'd drop off to see Lafeyette which had been recommended by Murat (who lived there for a few months) and Callum who'd been there a couple of days before. Took the exit and made my way to the tourisinfo place which was just closing - however, the lovely lady who worked there opened up again, got my a map, called the guesthouse to sceure my spot and then drove down there so I could follow her. I can’t imagine anyone from anywhere else being so out of their way helpful. Before i'd even put down my bag I was grabbed by Jackie, a jersey girl who was down here for an Cajum music immersion camp and introduced to a few of her friends and before I knew it I was being given waltz lessons to the cajun band that was playing at the hotel's salloon. After I got settled we headed down to Randals where I had authentic cajun crawfish (kind of like a yabbie only less muddy) and saw the most bizarre little subculture i've seen on this trip. Lafeyyettte is the heart of accadia in cajun country and literally everybody at this place was dancing cajun style to cajun music - from kids to pensioners on A-frames. I have to say that I don't really like cajun music very much but it sure is catchy - we saw a weddin between two seniors where everyone pinned money to the bride's veil and I was distracted by a crazy texan from waco who extolled the virtues of the cajun people - Salt of the earth man!! Salt of the earth!
After drinking raspberry beer we headed back to the Blue Moon Hotel (where I was staying) where there was a cajun jam session in the saloon with lotsa dancin and singin and drinkin. Real friendly like people down here although once again the people I seemed to chat the most with where from any part of the country but the city I was actually in. Val, a very nice girl from Michigan, extolled the virtues of how cajun music can change one's life but I don't get it.

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