I took the bus from Tallahassee to New Orleans last night and got here before the city began waking. The first time I visited NOLA was in 1996 before I knew my family hailed from the area. It had a sense of deja vu back then and felt like home in a way no place I’d ever felt before. Unfortunately, I only passed through once,(2000) since then. That sense of coming home hasn’t changed. The bus was interesting and I couldn’t sleep at all. There was an interesting man who’d just been released from a mental hospital and I enjoyed talking with him about his small town. He pointed out interesting sites and explained some questions about cypress trees I’d had. He was good people and very interesting in his insights on being institutionalized in the south. “Being in the hospital is like a cross between being at a resort and a jail,” he said. I’ll remember that as I revise my novel, it was such a visual explanation.
The city was gorgeous in the morning as I walked toward the French quarter and found a small cafe with solid wifi so I could get some work done. I’ve been so out of sorts with living in a busted car that I’m behind in everything. I spent a good couple hours drinking espresso and good chicory coffee and then I packed everything up and decided to explore a bit since my hostel check in wasn’t until afternoon. Now that everything is in one pack, it’s a little easier to walk but my knee isn’t happy at all. I took many breaks until I ended up at Jackson Square. Sitting on a bench, I watched the groundskeeper mow the same patch of grass repeatedly for hours. It was odd but fun watching him go in circles and then proceed to run the mower over the paved walkway lol. The tourists seemed to awaken all at the same time. In my head, I guess I imagined few tourists would be around in off season. I was wrong. They came through the park’s gates like ants and one after another, they stood in front of the statue women with a tilted hip and smile, men staring straight ahead as someone a spouse or friend or child snapped a photo. The poses were all the same and I wondered if any of them knew who the statue was. After watching for a bit, I ventured over to Café du Monde for my favorite snack. I love benets to an embarrassing degree and it took all my self restraint not to get seconds. Then began the long walk to the hostel.
Now, if I was in shape, or hadn’t had surgery on my knee and proceeded to gain a bunch of weight, the walk wouldn’t have been much. But I made it while swearing to lighten my pack again. On the way, I heard a strange sound. It was like… Pazuzu coming to take what’s his. Then I remembered that cicadas are supposed to be really loud. A quick Instagram question and yes… cicadas. I also tested out FB live when I ran into a brass band and it worked really well, so I’ll definitely be using that as I travel and run into interesting sites.
My hostel is lovely. It’s a great atmosphere and full of interesting people. I took an hour nap that turned into 6 hours and now I just need to find accommodation for the next 6-8 weeks. I’m looking into work stays so I can bank some reserves before I get to Mexico, but I’m also looking at some short-term rentals. Here is a video I recorded on Journaling. I’ve been doing this practice for awhile but the long bus ride brought to the forefront just how much my Journaling practice has trained my observation skills as a writer. Enjoy!