I’ve already seen most of the main touristy stuff in New Orleans. I initially wrote that I’ve done most of the main touristy stuff but thankfully managed to correct myself on the appalling verb use! The walking tours of the French Quarter, Garden District, Cemetery Number 1 and Treme were all great. I’d considered a swamp tours but getting eaten by bugs kind of put one off that. I’m not sure that I’d feel comfortable going on a plantation tour with the racist historical context. And Hurricane Katrina tours are just wrong in my opinion. Yes they really do exist! However I spotted another free walking tour that sounding reasonably interested so gave that a bash.
The Culinary History Tour was given by Renee from New Orleans. Only two other people were on the tour. I dread the day when I’m the only person who shows up to one of these! New Orleans has an enormous amount of eateries and a rich culinary culture. Renee told us all sorts of social history and how cuisine fits into this. She also recommend some places to eat, both fancy and non-fancy. People into food would really love this tour. I’m not a huge food person but it was nonetheless interesting. Renee asked me where I’d eaten so far in New Orleans. I’d didn’t tell her that all I’d had was a Subway sandwich and some Walgreen noodles in the hostel last night. I was also picked on for being a foreigner. Renee asked me how to pronounce New Orleans. The obvious answers was clearly not the way that I normally do! It’s obviously either a shorter or longer version. I guessed longer with an exaggerated New Orr-Lee-Ons. Wrong! It’s apparently New Or-Lins. I also have a correction to make from an earlier blog posting. While in Mexico I may have suggested that Tabasco Sauce was a product of the Tabasco region. However this morning I actually discovered that it’s made on an island somewhere in Louisiana.
After the tour had finished I saw a cracking street performer in the French Quarter. Some would call him a beggar but I’d rather praise his artistic creativity as an artist. Or piss artist! The gentleman in question is one of those people who are sprayed in gold paint to emulate a statue. Except this statue portrayed someone lying on the pavement in an almost comatose state while drinking a large can of beer (also sprayed gold). I’m not sure if he was putting on an act of a drunkard or whether he was the real thing. As he struggled to keep still for more than five seconds and was supping from the can at a good rate, I’d suggest the latter! I really wanted to take a photo of him but I’d kind of had to have made a donation for this, essentially exasperating his potential alcoholic situation.
It had been pointed out to me by someone in the hostel that one of my new shirts (not the one that’s three sizes too big) is what he described as an El Chapo shirt. I was vaguely aware of this El Chapo character from a magazine article but was unaware of his fashion sense. El Chapo is an alleged Mexican drug cartel leader who is currently awaiting trial on some serious charges. My legal representatives have advised me to leave the description of Sr Chapo at that. He is somewhat of a cult figure with his shirts being worn by those who feel that sort of person is cool. I certainly don’t wish to glorify or condone any cartels that El Chapo may allegedly be involved with. When I looked up “el chapo shirt” on Google, an almost identical version of my new top appeared. There’s absolutely no way that I would dare to wear this shirt in the US or South America! So having lost two shirts in a Denver tumble drier, replaced them, the replacements being either far to big or likely to get me whacked, I’m still two shirts down. Therefore I headed over to the outlet place to get yet some more clothes to replace my dwindling wardrobe!
I finished off the day with a couple of beers in the French Quarter. When I say a couple, they are typically sold in 3 for 1 deals and therefore you have to drink them in multiples of 3. That hardly promotes responsible drinking!