It was October, 2016.
Our first hour in New Orleans on a steamy hot summer’s night was a challenging one, as we stood outside our AirBnB with no one answering the door.
Ok, let’s not panic.
What’s to panic about?
There were minor issues concerning loitering in an unknown neighbourhood, with no mobile/phone coverage and standing out like sore thumbs. While at the same time, reassuring ourselves, all was okay as we stood and waited, those 20 minutes seemed like an eternity, until the happily “stoned” owners arrived home.
After 30+ hours on a train, from New York, we were in dire need of a shower and had a huge desire to lay horizontally; both came after we had a chat and cuppa with our hosts. Both are kiwis, well, one full-blown one and the other half American and half kiwi, which is one reason we chose to stay at their Airbnb, to hear their experience of being ex-pats living in New Orleans.
This city is raw, and in your face, sadly, many of its residents do have a significant problem with alcohol. This gem of information was eagerly relayed to us by our taxi driver simultaneously as he happily told us in detail how he knifed a passenger last year. It was all in self-defence, so justified he reckoned!!. This comment made the squire and I look at each other with eyebrows raised and thinking, some people do have a tough life!!
Another funny moment, with the emphasis on the weird and not so amusing as we were walking around town, and this chap came up to me and said: “You look like a gal, who would get me Liquored-up” Being a polite visitor to New Orleans I only used “F*CK off” once, and it worked, as he didn’t seem to understand the friendly version. Some people don’t, for some reason. Even with these moments, we felt safe to wander around the streets and walked back to our Airbnb in semi-darkness with no hassles.
All that aside, so far, it is one of the most unusual cities we have visited and unlikely or wanting to revisit. It’s a walkable city, though it was a nightmarish walk across a two-lane street to get to the next part of town, without a crossing or lights. If walking became to tiresome there was hire bikes in numerous places around the city. I had the opportunity to try one owned by our Airbnb hosts, Rick and Liz. Note the beads on the handlebars; these are given out at Mardi Gras time. We were given some when we flew out to Houston, a fun memento of a fascinating and eccentric city.