On Friday, we flew from Mexico to New Orleans. We are becoming quite the airport experts, Eva and I, whipping our laptops out, disposing of our water, and answering our questions as concisely as possible. We have even inspired friendliness from those who appear cut from disapproval. I tend to be visibly excited, whilst Eva gives the impression of being terribly low-key…I suspect the combo is endearing.
Travelling from place to place really does write off a whole day. All our flights are around lunchtime but, given the requirement to arrive a couple of hours beforehand, it means cleaning and packing and leaving quite early. And, believe me, you really do need to get there a couple of hours beforehand…some of these airports have skytrains and shuttles that literally transport you kilometres away to your flight gate (Dallas Fort Worth, anyone?).
In New Orleans, we organised a last-minute car (thanks Mum & Dad!) and, by the time we navigated the way to our Airbnb, it was after 8pm. Then, there was the pulley system to tackle, to get our luggage upstairs:
On Saturday, I hit a wall. I spent the morning washing and worrying that I was missing out on things, but truthfully, I really didn’t want to go anywhere. It put me in what felt like a lose/lose situation, where I definitely didn’t want to stay in, but I didn’t want to go out either.
Travelling can be challenging. Eva and I, as quite similar introverts, have discussed it aplenty while we’ve been away. We don’t want to compromise each other’s experience in any way, so finding where the line exists between wanting something for Eva and wanting it for myself has been interesting.
“Do you mind it I go?”
“Do you mind if I stay?”
I have expressed that I rarely want to broach anything new, but am attempting to push through, because a lifetime of learning has taught me that the fears are rarely founded and the rewards often worthwhile. That said, I think we have both found it difficult as we grapple for familiarity, and find it only in our (temporary) home base. It makes every new location a foothold-free space, and guarantees that each day will contain some level of discomfort.
With that in mind, at 4pm (an hour before sunset), I attempted to follow my wonderful mother’s advice and choose just one activity for the day: to find and see the Mississippi River.
We found it.
See the version with sound here (every time I listen to it, it makes me smile).
Then, wouldn’t you know it, one thing led to another, and we found ourselves at The Joint, which appeared on Season 3 of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (another one of Eva’s fabulously-entertaining, albeit tongue-in-cheek, favourites). There, we both consumed large portions of meat, while arguing about the appropriateness of obvious photo-taking (I am all for it, within reason, with Eva vehemently against).
We also managed a quick visit to the Mardi Gras Zone Supermarket, where we purchased the essentials: milk, bread, butter, canned iced coffee and spicy cajun crawtator-flavoured kettle chips, amidst aisles of mardi gras costume favourites.
New Orleans feels exotic, for want of a better word…it all seems terribly misty and mysterious. I really wanted to come to here, after reading a quote from John Goodman;
“If I could put my finger on it, I’d bottle it and sell it. I came down here originally in 1972 with some drunken fraternity guys and had never seen anything like it — the climate, the smells. It’s the cradle of music; it just flipped me. Someone suggested that there’s an incomplete part of our chromosomes that gets repaired or found when we hit New Orleans. Some of us just belong here.”
Tomorrow, I shall attempt to put my finger on it.