New Orleans & Mardi Gras

First of all you may notice there has been a change to the style of the blog. Well this is because the place I was hosting it is shutting down so today I decided to move the whole thing into wordpress. Hopefully I have managed to subscribe the people that were already subscribed. Now on with the post.

Insane…. that is one word to sum up the madness that is Mardi Gras. New Orleans has (obviously) a really different feel from San Francisco but I will say something, your average person on the street (or in the bars) is really friendly. I have felt very welcome here but have had both a good and a bad time. I had to change hostels here because the one I was in just had a weird feel to it, I also managed to offend someone by speaking my mind (go me!), let’s deal with Mardi Gras.

We all know America is the land of excess and they do things bigger and ‘better’ here. I don’t know what to fully feel about Mardi Gras, it feels like generally a good party the atmosphere is generally good but the amount of excess is truly incredible. All through the festival which lasts about 2 weeks they hold parades and in that they throw these beads, millions and millions of beads, all made from plastic which is probably not recycled and I can’t help but think of the waste. Families leave parades with large bags full of these things, and there is a recycling program who will actually pay you for the beads and one would hope that the New Orleans cleanup crew donate all the beads they sweep off the streets but this is America we are talking about and I get the feeling that the number of people who recycle them is minimal. Apart from that and the bizarre situation during Mardi Gras when you see girls show their boobs just for a set of beads it has a great feel to it. Everyone gets involved and everyone is friendly people share bags of beads amongst other families or children because that is really who all this is for. The adults take to drinking excessive amounts of alcohol and partying pretty hard, I am sure that bad things happen during Mardi Gras but they didn’t happen to me.

New Orleans itself is a great place, a complete melting pot of culture and music, coming here for the end of Mardi Gras was a good idea because once it was over I was more than happy to not have to walk on beads. I don’t think I could cope here for much longer though, 7 days has been more than enough. The general atmosphere here is good and people here are either really friendly or really nosey as I have had a conversation with people not only in bars but in the street too. People in New Orleans love talking about New Orleans which has lead me to find some out of the way and off the beaten track places. Talking to people is quite important in this trip because it will help me find potentially better places and might even give me a bit of a head start on my next destination. Weather has been a bit on and off but it is that time of the year, I did get to hold a young Alligator which was totally awesome. I have spent way too much money already and need to start to budget in Denver, eating out less and definitely drinking less.

Me and an Aligator
Me and an Aligator

I am so glad I changed hostel though. The new place is much quieter and I have been able to catch up on my sleep and relax a bit more. It appears that when I am sleep deprived I am a lot less patient with people. I had a bit of a run in (nothing physical) with an Australian traveller who was questioning why I was in a hostel. The conversation came about because I said that I am not in a hostel to make friends, he decided that was enough to start to rip into me about it. I basically told him that if he does not like what I am saying then do not listen into the conversation and I didn’t ask for his opinion. Okay maybe those were not my exact words I do remember swearing at him oops… See this is what I am partially worried about that I have a bit of a temper and when I loose it all forms of politeness goes straight out the window. Still you have to get angry sometimes right, seams like so long that I have been able to act on that anger and the combination of me not caring what he thinks, lack of sleep and alcohol obviously made it easier to unleash. I am quite proud of myself for standing up for myself and speaking my mind but it did disappoint me that he was able to push my buttons in that way and I rose to his goading.

So one more day in NOLA and then I have an early flight on Monday morning up to Denver. Looking forward to seeing what Colorado has to offer.

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