Monday, 24 April 2006

Maybe this place needs another hurricane ...

21 April - The state of the city is still something that i m havin ga hard time dealingwith. In the daylight it looks a lot worse - buildings ar sealed and have industrial strength blowers drying them out, trash still litters the streets, donated car dealerships have sprung up, everyone is using mobile phones because the fixed lines haven't been replaced (i'm of the opinion that they should take advantage of this and make a push for the telephony to be completely wireless wireless city - its a bit of an opportunity - as it is, there are free wireless networks everywherer you go - even the city is providing one (although apparently if they keep it after the state of emergency drops it will be against the law). Watched a bit of tv last night and every second ad seemed to have something to do with Katrina - it will be a long time before this city puts this isn the past. Started the day with a breakfast at a local eatery cnsisting of eggs, bacon, pancakes and grits (ive kind of developed a hankering for them rits although I pretty much suspected I always would) which was delicious although the amount of butter and fat made my stomach seize up once I finished and then wnadered back to India House and got myself ready for a day's exploring. Public transport is free throughout the city until June (i wonder whether they realise that this is the way public transport should be - another opportunity) so I jumped on a trolley and bus out to the garden district. I walked into Lafeyette Cemetery and then the heavens opened up, sending me scampering to the nearest coffeeshop so I could protect Charley . Did a bit of a walking tour around the garden district before heading back to the quarter and strolled down the mighty Mississip and came smack bang into the middle of the French Quarter Festival. Most of the time when i've visited cities thus far it's been middle of the week or on a dunday and even though there is always something going so it's brilliant to come to a city and find myself at the start of a big festival. Watched a bt of big bangd jazz before a thunderstorm opened up again (hasn't rained for 7 months and it starts when I get here) so ran into an absinthe bar to hide (i could probably have run into a coffeeshop but hey, i'm on holiday and the greene fairy was beconing). Whilst there a local girl invited me to see a countrty band at an irish pub - have to say that it wasn’t the most apealing invitation I could have been given - don't like irish pubs and don't really like country but I assured her I would be there with bells on - - lets see her try to track me down! In any event it may have been preferable to have checked out the irish pub - wandered back down to the festival for a while which was quite excellent - really good big band music and all the restaurants had little stalls out (like the sydney food festival only with food that was, I hate to admit, infinitely better) and I had a shrimp po'boy, a barbeceue pork thing and finallysampled the mystery of sweet patata pie - I think i've realised what all the fuss was about. Back to Bourbon st to hook up with a bunch of Essex boys from the hostel who brought along andrrea, a niceish 19yr old ex-Nawlins native who was a completelete alcoholic. From the moment she arrived in downtown she was drinking, drinking, drinking. She dragged us to a place she used to work which was one of the most horrible bars i've been to in my travels - real meet market, full of hopelessly drunk tourits and music that one would definitely not associat twith new oreleans. Somehow a couple of us ended up at a strip club and then lost Andrea disappeared to go find a replacement nosering - went looking for her because she waas completely uff her face but had n oluck so returned to the hostel where the usual crowd of recalcitrants were boozing up from the beer vending machine. Stayed around to chat for a while and it turned out that andrea's boyfriend, a moronically dumb (as in nothing but grunts came out of his mouth) did have something to say when the subject of evolutkion came up. I never understand how fundamentalists think that the the third law of thermodynamcs has anything to do with a proof as to why evolution is impossible. Apparently Andrea got arrested at some pooint in the night but I later heard that it everythingworked out - I felt a little bit guilty but reminded myself that one can’t take aresponsbility for alcoholic women on a bender. Had my first little toke of a joint, which was nnice, although even though we did it two doors away from the hostel the night manager threatened to call the police on us with accusations of suspected looting of the abandoned houses. This place is strange.

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