Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Absence makes the heart grow fonder (or the blog grow duller)

No, I haven't been away on exotic travels. No, I haven't even really been having much fun to be honest. So ... hence my absence from the blogs of late. I've been feeling considerably uninspired. And I have to admit to having been wasting a great deal of time catching up with long lost dear friends on that newfangled thing 'facebook'.

But I've been looking at my stats and I feel a twinge of guilt that people still visit though there is no one here to offer them the hospitality of a good read and sometimes funny story of NOLA goings on.

So here are some photos of Dazza and I's trip south of N'awlins - we drove 75 miles south to the gulf hoping to stumble upon some rural gem of a town but instead found what we suspected, a drawn out Katrina disaster tour. Hardly a house was to be found. All there was were foundations with Fema trailers where small towns and villages once were. It was sad. So much so I couldn't bring my self to take photos (I have an idea that I've got for a collection of photos I'm going to post on this subject nearer the 2 year anniversary of Katrina).

The landscape was rural marsh and swamp that gradually gave itself over to more and more water. We never "arrived" at the Gulf - and the road got smaller and smaller passing oil industrial plants (and "Halliburton Road"!!!) that we eventually turned around and came home. But we first stopped in Venice (nicknamed 'the end of the world') for some fresh Gulf shrimp from a Vietnamese woman who had hundreds of chickens outside (I guess her family were likely bored with seafood!). The shrimp were huge and gorgeous and scrummy with garlic and white wine. We also stopped at a small roadside market and got HOT pickles and pepper jelly. So the trip was not wasted.

Friday, July 13, 2007

This is my favourite thing!!

Found a new N'awlins blog with brilliant lyrics for "These are a few of my favourite things" New Orleans styleee!!!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

NOLA and Glesga Humour!

I've just read an interesting wee post on longayelander's blog about how my fellow Scots are doing what they always do when faced with a frightening situation - they laugh about it!!

There is a true William Wallace in the midst of Glasgow (that's GlasGO) and his name is John Smeaton. He ruled the airwaves of the British media bringing the big lovely rolled up vowels of the Glaswedgian working class to the confusion of anyone outside of Govan. His heroism has been told and retold - how it was 'ah good job ah wis there' - to knock one of the men from the Jeep to the ground to let the 'polis' arrest him. It has inspired a website where people have bought him 1,000 pints to say thank you! There you can witness the youtube videos of this great man of Glesga patter!

My favourite quote (same as Katie's) on the website is the following:

"Those hapless al-Qaeda boys were to find out that Glasgow has no respect for international terrorism. Nobody gets between 10,000 Weegies and a £99 week in Ibiza booked on Thursday night through Barrhead Travel.

And most of all, no-one messes with The Polis. Not in this town."

It all feels very similar to NOLA. The satirical costumes of mardi gras, the New Orleans satirical paper "The New Orleans Levee" subtitled 'we don't hold anything back'. The bloggers' biting wit.

Maybe this is why I feel at home here. Whilst the rest of America quakes in fear of this war on terror, N'awlins laughs at the ridiculousness and tries to find humour in the sorry state of affairs that is post-K NOLA, so that humour can carry us to another day.

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Wicked Witch of the West & the Truck Tornado

New Orleans is a magical place. I have said this before and I'm saying it again. Now just because it is magical it does not follow that that magic is always necessarily a good thing or a pleasurable experience.

I have one such magical tale to tell.

When I got home one evening last week, I parked my car and got out. When I looked down there I saw a pair of shoes. They were set out as if their occupant had either vanished or had laid them in the bottom of their closet. They were black slingbacks. They may have caused their owner some pain and thus had been discarded on the walk back home. Their placement on the side of the road, beside the trash can, was definitely a mystery.

These shoes reminded me of the Wizard of Oz. Every time I looked at them I heard the high pitched shrieks of "I'm melting, I'm melting!". I rushed indoors to get my camera to capture them.

Jump forward in time.
2.30 am.


What sounded like a bolt of lightening hitting the ground outside our front door, woke me abruptly from my sleep. Then, as if to ensure that I was in fact awake, a car alarm went off. This is the normal progression of most thunder claps in the middle of the night in New Orleans. Only this time there was no sound of rain and no subsequent claps of thunder were heard.

Dazza and I stumbled to the door to peek out. When we looked our cars had moved. Oh no!!

We grabbed some clothes and stumbled into the night, cautiously, not wanting to get caught up in any nasty incident.

We found that our big station wagon Passat had been shunted about 8 feet into our teeny weeny little Honda Fit. There was debris on the ground from what looked like a red vehicle but there was no vehicle to be found.

We did find our neighbors also wandering around trying to decipher the loud noise that woke them and how many of their cars had also been hit by this mystery vehicle.

Our big fear was that they had gone. Vanished like a tornado leaving us to pick up the pieces of their pandemonium.

But out of the darkness our neighbors at the end of the block started yelling out to us. A woman had seen the whole thing from her porch as she waited for her husband to get home from his late shift. And she told us that the two guys wandering around at the end of the adjacent street were the cause of our tornado and that the pick up truck they had been driving was parked the wrong way on a one way street.

The cops turned up and arrested the drunk (very) driver and his passenger. To our amazement (at their drunken stupidity) we had the name of the driver and he had insurance!! The cops were very professional and nice. And we were all thankful no one was hurt.

But what about the shoes and their melted occupant. We all discussed their presence (I was not the only one to have notice them) and now absence. We all assumed they must be underneath our little Fit, squished by its little tyres. But when the next day we moved the cars, poof .... they were nowhere to be seen ......