Sunday, July 5, 2009

Cottonmouths, Carpetbaggers, and Drunkards - Welcome to NOLA!

Okay, a bit late on the welcoming email, since i arrived in New Orleans five days ago, but it is a welcome nonetheless.

My sister and I arrived on Tuesday, June 30/July 1, 2009 at midnight to a relatively quiet night in the Quarter. We decide to say hello to our surrogate home for the next two weeks by doing what we do best, drink and bar hop on Bourbon street.

First off, we head to “Jean Lafitte's Old Absinthe House”, whose only redeeming quality is that it is a historical building (opened in 1807), I think it is haunted by a sour bitchy bartender who insisted on giving me my first shitty vodka tonic south of the boarder.

Next we head East down Bourbon looking for inspiration, and we find it, unfortunately in a pseudo hot spot called "Fat Catz". A bustling night club spewing out R&B and a whole host of strange and delightful characters from the 65 year-old Indian man who tried to recruit us as strippers/hookers, to the drunkard tourists shifting their eyes to the beat to the delightful woman in the red dress with long blond locks looking for some tail. Two for one drinks at this establishment, which gives you a mild incentive for visiting this place, unless of course you enjoy watching 6'2", 25 year old trashed tourist men hitting on petite middle aged women. Does not matter how much you drink there is no excuse for this behaviour! We end up leaving after watching a young man serenade his woman with some fancy hip hop moves.

Next we end up on the street engaging in a lively discussion about relationships while standing underneath the "huge ass beers sold here" sign. Naturally we make our first friend of the night in the form of Will the street poet, who gives us a poem and a recommendation for another bar, which I will refer to as "Johnny Walkers" because I fucking don’t know what it is called. Thankfully this joint was adjacent to Bourbon; however, at the door we were greeted with a sign that warned us to be on the look out for "pickpockets and loose women". Surprisingly this did little to dissuade us. It was a darkly lit cute little joint, with a handful of Quarter denizens who insisted on mocking our accents by pretending to be from Chicago. I guess they didn't understand that Canada was a country not a suburb of Chicago.

Taco, our masterful bartender, poured me the best vodka tonic that night; however, with that heat (90 degrees Fahrenheit - almost 40 degrees Celsius) and lack of sleep, piss in a bucket would have been acceptable. Okay maybe not, but you get what I'm saying. Next we engaged with an elderly man named Steve, who told us Texan style jokes (Why don't you need to buy a woman a watch? Because there is a clock on the stove) and talked to us about universal health care. The latter became a regular topic of conversation with the people we have met on this trip.

Brittany Spears' "Toxic" comes on in the bar, we take our cue and move across the street for some grub - cheese pizza slices (1/2 the size of a large Canadian pizza) - the vegetarian's delight. It's about 3:30am now, and we make friends with a patron of the pizza establishment, named Stephen. Dr Stephen (he is a doctor, I'm not making this shit up) and us have many conversations ranging from topics of spirituality to parental abandonment. And then of course I try to recruit him to BC, unsuccessfully I might add - he doesn't want to work for a socialist country. Jebus! These Americans think we are socialist, are they fucking kidding me? Okay, maybe we are comparatively speaking. Ahh whatever, we were drunk, then we all headed to a gay bar, where apparently it was Michael Jackson night, but all I heard was Rob Zombie. When DJs start confusing Michael Jackson with Rob Zombie, it is time to go home.

We stroll into our hotel room around 5 am, and are pleased to find Angel re-runs on tv. We watch about 10 minutes and pass out. What a beautiful and fitting way to say hello to New Orleans.

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