On my flight home to Kentucky last week for Thanksgiving, I ended up sitting next to (what turned out to be) a very, very strange woman. She was nice enough, but--and I say this with all the love in the world...sorta--it was a solid reminder that there are all kinds of people out there and some of them are just nutcases. Straight up "I'm-on-a-day-pass-from-the-asylum crazy. No two ways about it. Anywho, she was asking me all about New Orleans; has it come back since Katrina? How much of the media coverage was accurate? What's it really like to live here? In talking to her I really started to think about this city that has become my adopted home and as such, have decided to make a list, to pay tribute if you will, to all of the wonderful, unique and frankly really weird things about this place. Here goes:
Only in New Orleans is "I got caught in a second line" a totally valid and legit excuse for being late to work. (Yes, this really happens).
Only in New Orleans can you attend the Annual National Pirate Convention each April. (Though let it be noted that it is still completely acceptable to dress in full pirate garb year round. We do not limit this priviledge to just one weekend per year).
Only in New Orleans can I see a woman out for her daily jog at 9:30 on a Sunday morning carrying a beer in one hand and a bag of potato chips in the other. I mean, maybe she needed a snack along the way?
Only in New Orleans can one eat beignets and drink cafe au lait at 4:00 a.m. after a night of debauchery in the French Quarter.
Only in New Orleans does the entire city shut down for the better part of two weeks to party for Mardi Gras.
Only in New Orleans is a complete stranger "Honey" or "Baby" or "My Love." Oh and--shaking hands? Yeah I haven't done that since I've lived here. It's a foreign concept to these people. In New Orleans you greet people with a hug and a kiss, always. It kinda freaked me out at first, not gonna lie, but now when I meet people and they only want to shake my hand I'm mildly offended.
Only in New Orleans did I literally jar my car battery loose over the course of normal, everyday driving on the streets here. How sad is that?
Only in New Orleans can yer mom an' dem go make groceries.
Only in New Orleans is, "Who dat?" followed by "Who dat!" a complete conversation.
Only in New Orleans have I had some of the most incredible experiences of my life. Maybe it hasn't all been sunshine and rainbows for me here, but I'm gonna miss this place.