Here's a link
to the first batch of pics I've managed to upload onto Flickr. I'm
afraid that you'll have to forgive a) my utter ignorance of Louisiana's
flora and fauna and b) my spoddy image-filing system which is pulled
sharply into focus. And yes, the spiders really were that bloody big.
New Orleans is full of linguistic perculiarities and treasures: Burgundy St pronounced with the stress on the 'gundy' not the 'bur'; Tchoupatoulis, the area of the city known as chop (the local joke goes, 'if you can spell it, you're not from here'); Clio, or 'CL ten' as it's known by the Yats; here are a few of my favourite idiomatic ticks from the Big Easy:
pantie-waisted - wimpy/weak ghetto-greeter - guard-dog keep it on the down-low - keep it quiet/be discreet where y'at - how are you?
For a fuller and richer sense of it all: Yats Wiki
Now, I'm sure I should have started my first blog post post-New Orleans a little more gently but I just can't. 85 degrees to 35 degrees in the space of a plane ride is enough to make a girl cry. And if you don't believe me about the witches-tit here's a handy formula, a Fahrenheit-to-witches-tit conversion
(this roughly works out to one WT at 20 degrees... I digress). Faced with an inbox of 467 unread mails and a few hundred photos to tag and put on Flickr feels very daunting. New Orleans was without doubt the scariest place I have ever been. The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is far from over. The reminders are everywhere; the rescue markings written on the buildings and the marks written into the people. It's a tough, beautiful, sad, unique city. I never thought I'd go anywhere that made me look like a panty-waisted tee-totaller (I was wrong). Being without technology and connection for the duration of my six-week stay was something I started as a self-imposed experiment; the reality of being actually without connection to the world beyond Louisiana state lines was tough, and pretty lonely to be honest. I'm not going to attempt to unpack my head on everything just yet, but will try to unravel the spool over a few posts.
The countdown has well and truly begun. Scarcely have I managed to pull one lot of clothes out of the suitcase and into the washing machine than I find myself working out what I need to pack for the next trip. On Wednesday morning at 08.25 my flight leaves for the first leg of my trip to New Orleans and a new adventure. I'm going to work on a show called The Palanquin Diaries which is being performed at Voodoo Festival. I've decided that there is something I'd like to try. I'm going to attempt to disconnect myself from phones and (gulp) internet for the duration of my stay in the deep south; six weeks to be exact (not to mention the fact that I have no idea if digital connection is a possibility). To stop me from going completely bonkers I'm going to keep a photo journal (something I've never done before) and rekindle my snail mail tendencies. I'll also write bits and pieces down if and when the mood takes me. I've been trying to collect postal addresses from people who'd like a card from me whilst I'm away. You have until Tuesday to add yours.