dilluns, de gener 17, 2005

Two Sleepy Southern Days (English)

Two relatively quiet days in New Orleans...

Being on a vacation, a vaction for its own sake is a quickly dying pleasure in this country. it sems so few people know how to just sit back and do absolutely nothing. Fortunately, I am a Hedonist, and I can find lovely ways of filling up time without being in the least way productive. For the past two days, I have done little aside from eat, drink, sleep, read, stroll and loll around.

The weather is a little colder than I am used to in New Orleans for this time of year, but so far it has been very sunny. While a bit nippy, the sun has a way of warming you up nonetheless; the sky is a radiant, lovely blue, and the perfume of exotic woods burning in Uptown fireplaces all along St. Charles Avenue fills the air.

Yesterday, Sunday, I joined Barbara on a trip to her brother's house for dinner. Her brother, Alfred, and his almost fiancee Sylvia were the hosts, treating us to a real Louisiana Delta meal of broiled chicken, stuffing, eggplant with shrimp and iced tea, nothing exotic, just good, down home food. In addition to Alfred and Sylvia, Barbara's other brother, Donald, and his wife were there also. Aside from eating and conversing, all I did was wandered around this lovely monstrosity of a house and relax. I caffeinated myself through the morning and tippled beer through the evening.

Today was not so different. I caffeinated through the morning, then went out to souvenir shop for those who have insisted on my bringing something back, making this my only likely day to spend in the French Quarter, a place which has become kitchy and somewhat boring over time, being, like so many things in America, toned down and filled with common place rwtsch. I spent the afternoon lounging and reading, and nodding off. Normally, even on vacation, I would take more advantage of being in a place like New Orleans, but the two slowest days in these parts are Sunday and Monday, especially when that Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Interestingly, in a city which is more than 67% black, I saw no signs of MLK celebrations, eventough I was out in the middle of the day for several hours. The fact that today was a holiday, no matter which holiday, was one more reason to lay low; everyone had off, and since I tend to like to go to places locals frequent, the places I like to visit were full of locals, so it was hard to do much of anything!

One thing that has not taken a break: my brain. Barbara is an extremely intelligent and fairly eccentric person, so we have a lot to talk about, with relatively little argy-bargying. Tonight, for example, we have been discussing the evils of the Bush regime and that of corporate welfare. One product of our conversation tonight was the reinforcing of my firm belief in the necessity for everyone to go to college, not even so they can get a better job, or a job at all, but so that they become more well-rounded people. Frighteningly, only 24% of people in this country have bachelor's degrees or higher. It hardly seems surprising then that so many people voted for Bush. Some of his voters would have been college educated as well, but he slid through on the votes of the uneducated underclass of America who tumps Bibles, lives in fear and sin, and votes with their knee-jerk reactions rather than their heads. Of course, it is true that a person can be open-minded and well-rounded without having gone to college, but the chances are without a doubt much slimmer.