New Orleans: Day 2

by tosca on Monday, February 20, 2012

Another rambling-y style post from me in New Orleans. Really, do I know any other kind of post that isn't rambling-y? Non, bien sûr. 6 impressions from day two of my trip.

1. We wandered on down Esplanade Ave to Decatur Street (pronounced Da-kay-tur not Deck-a-toor) to see the French Market. It's early days as far as mardi gras celebrations go, so while there a lot of stalls, it will fill up a little bit more as Fat Tuesday (English translation of Mardi Gras) gets closer. And there's so much you can buy here in the way of geegaws and souvenirs: t-shirts with every possible lewd mention of Bounrbon Street you could imagine (e.g. I got Bourbonfaced on Shit Street), shoes, jewellery (egad the most beautiful jewellery), paintings, photos, food, much to see! The French Market has been in the same place since roughly the 1790s and was, originally, a trading post for local indigenous Indians. It is the country's oldest public market.

2. Sibling ended up buying another small case - carry on size - to chuck all of her French Market souvenirs in, and has spent the rest of our time here so far adding to it). I hadn't, really, but have decided just now to do the same tomorrow after our city tour. My bag coming over was full and it was only 10kgs. That means that I can legitimately fit another *does quick calculation* 13 kg bag in. Yeah, baby. I'll gladly take no carry-on other than passport, wallet, and tickets/boarding passes if I can take half of the city home with me as checked-in luggage :)

3. The food is total OM NOM NOM! Our first full day here and we stopped at The Gazebo Cafe for lunch after shopping at the market. The three of us ordered: grill chicken po'boy, grilled chicken burger, New Orleans sampler that consisted of gumbo, red beans and rice, and jambalaya. Don't be surprised if you find yourself ordering a dish that you cannot finish - they serve big and hearty here, and most places will pop it in a bag, container or box for you to take with you.

4. M&Ms come in bite size cookie style! How did I not know this? And why haven't I seen them in NZ before? And can I shake the hand of the genius who thought of that?

5. Alcohol can be found everywhere and in everything. Try the alchoholic smoothies mmmm booze with icecream. More than a few bars are 24/7. A lot of the drinks are truly potent. If you can, try to drink a few of the specialty drinks at their bar of origin :) Unlike New Zealand, it is legal to drink in public, so you can grab a cup to go and wander quite freely around the city, as long as your cup is a plastic cup or container. Safety reasons. Although don't be surprised if you flinch guiltily every time you see a police officer, and instinctively try to look for the nearest place to hide your cup. I've been here twice and I still do that.

6. People smoke in bars, unlike back home, so be prepared for gritty eyes, stinky hair and smelly clothes by the time you get home. Obviously, I've been spoiled in NZ :P

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