Day 36 – New Orleans

—— Converted from outline form: 2013-9-18 ——

This was a long day as well.

The events may be jumbled as it seems the outline that I kept for this day got a bit mixed up. I’ll try to clear it up as well as I can.

Although before starting on this day I should clear up some things about what was lost when the car was stolen. I had taken in my bags and backpack, so most of my things I still had, including my computer. The only critical and sentimental thing that I lost was my grandfather’s watch. But in the end, it’s just a watch, and I have many other things from him. Sean on the other hand was not as lucky. He had left his whole suitcase in the car, and currently only had what clothes he brought with him into the hostel. I think he lost a jacket he really liked too. We had left many souvenirs, including postcards we had been keeping from each city we visited.

In the morning we were still miserable. Sean’s mother had been suggesting that he return home on a plane, and I thought that was absolutely a horrible idea. We couldn’t just abandon a road trip in the middle of it! It wouldn’t feel complete. Sean mostly agreed with me.

We walked to the library in town. Or rather, we tried to take the trolley there but it passed us by, annoyingly, so we used our foot power to take us there. Of course, it was closed. But we did manage to take the trolley back. I grabbed my computer and once again we set out to the downtown area. We walked down Bourbon Street, which was an interesting place to be.  Went to the enVie Cafe again, although our favorite waitress Jessica wasn’t there. We used the complimentary internet, and wrote our story up to the internet somehow (this was before Facebook was around, so I think we were just using AIM and emails). I posted to my livejournal:

Friday, July 9, 2004 2:28:07
New Orleans, Barrack Street and Decatur Street of the French Quarter
The Envie Espresso Bar & Cafe
AIM Conversation

monkz (2:28:07): hello nikhil
nikhil (2:40:24): hey man
nikhil (2:40:25): hows it going?
nikhil (2:40:27): where are you guys?
monkz (2:40:31): uhmmmmmmmmmm
monkz (2:40:32): hehe
monkz (2:40:35): funny you should ask
monkz (2:40:40): we’re in new orleans
monkz (2:40:44): dude:
nikhil (2:40:46): sweeet
monkz (2:40:47): BEST STORY EVER
nikhil (2:40:50): lets hear it
monkz (2:40:54): well
nikhil (2:40:55): did sean kill an elk?
nikhil (2:40:59): with a buckknife?
monkz (2:41:02): do you want the long version, or the short version?
nikhil (2:41:06): long version
monkz (2:41:09): ok
monkz (2:41:10): so
monkz (2:41:14): we arrive in new orleans
monkz (2:41:19): at some sketchy hostel
monkz (2:41:22): cool cool
monkz (2:41:30): i bring in my suitcase, sean brings in his bag
monkz (2:41:39): later that day i bring in my computer and wires and stuff
monkz (2:41:42): that was 10 oclock
monkz (2:41:57): i wake up the next morning, and after taking a shower
i go out to the car…
monkz (2:41:59): and…
monkz (2:42:02): its gone
monkz (2:42:18): HOPEFULLY sean moved it while i was in the shower
monkz (2:42:24): but, he was still in bed
monkz (2:42:25): sooooooooooo
nikhil (2:42:27): haha
monkz (2:42:29): the car got stolen
nikhil (2:42:30): shit
nikhil (2:42:58): you wouldnt say best story ever unless you found it
again would you?
monkz (2:43:11): we might
monkz (2:43:23): turned into the worst morning of our lives
monkz (2:43:26): like totally cliche
monkz (2:43:29): it was AWESOME
nikhil (2:43:37): HA
nikhil (2:43:43): so still no car?
monkz (2:44:36): yep
monkz (2:44:41): that was yesterday morning
monkz (2:44:48): dude
monkz (2:44:53): we’re sitting on these brick steps right
monkz (2:45:00): a few minutes ago it was sunshiny
monkz (2:45:06): and it turned into a tropical storm
monkz (2:45:11): like usual new orleans
monkz (2:45:14): it started hailing
monkz (2:45:20): and there was this huuuuge puddle on the street
monkz (2:45:25): and A TRUCK PASSED BY US
monkz (2:45:32): sprayed water ALLL over me and sean
monkz (2:45:38): i thought it was HILARIOUS
monkz (2:45:42): sean thought it was miserable
monkz (2:45:53): just out of a movie or something
nikhil (2:51:29): so what now
monkz (2:53:15): i’m gonna copy and paste here
(copy and pasted)
monkz (2:53:22): well
monkz (2:38:02): seans mom is forcing him to go on a plane back home
monkz (2:38:12): and i’m going to take a train through texas
carrie (2:38:34): she won’t let him stay with you
carrie (2:38:39): what about grey hound
monkz (2:38:48): and my dad is driving down to el paso and we’re gonna
drive to santa fe to meet up with my mom and we’re gonna do whatever
there, then they’re going to go back home on a plane and i’m going to
take my dad’s car the rest of the way
monkz (2:39:01): she won’t let him stay with me, that is correct
(/copy and pasted)

Another AIM Conversation
carrie (2:49:32): ha!
carrie (2:49:35): that is hilarious
carrie (2:49:40): you should just make a movie
carrie (2:49:42): about yoru trip
carrie (2:49:44): i mean really ben
monkz (2:49:50): i know
monkz (2:49:51): really
carrie (2:49:52): more stuff happened to you two than i have ever heard
monkz (2:49:58): except the video camera got stolen with the car
carrie (2:50:22): doh!
monkz (2:50:55): ::shrug
monkz (2:51:02): its been a spritual experience
monkz (2:51:03): ya know
monkz (2:51:12): 2000 miles from home with almost nothing
monkz (2:51:19): makes ya a lot less materialistic
carrie (2:52:03): right
carrie (2:52:05): i feel that
carrie (2:52:07): but ugh
carrie (2:52:08): that sux!

Well, there it is folks

Oh yeah, some coffe/burboun mix might have been involved yesterday to
cheer us up. And I semi-drunkenly wrote on my arm:

I lost my girl
I lost my car
I lost my sanity
It’s raining, WELCOME TO NEW ORLEANS!
(insert drawing of skeleton with thumbs up and big smile :D)

We talked to a few different people and then left. I think on our way back we stopped at an antique store, and I got a strange cheap pocket-watch, sort of to replace my grandfather’s watch that had been lost.

So after getting back to the hostel we sat out on the steps some more. Sean talked to his mother some more and discovered that she had already bought him a plane ticket home for that evening. He had absolutely no say in the matter, and I could see he was a bit annoyed by that, but also a little relieved that he was heading home. I think he was affected by the car getting stolen a lot more than I was.

Anyhow, we talked to Joey, who was a business friend of my mother’s. She had put him in contact with us so that he could help with anything, although there wasn’t too much he could do. He came to pick us up at around 6:30 in the evening and drove us into the city. He was a very cool person and told us all about the different parts of New Orleans, his business, the things he had done, famous foods and such. It was a nice relief. We were going to go play pool at this place his friend owned, but a) I couldn’t go in because I was under 21, although they probably could have made an exception because I was 18. But b) Sean was under 18, so that plan failed and we couldn’t go there. Instead Joey drove us over to the docks, and dropped us off at a good restaurant – Muffuletta (although this is the name of a dish, so I’m not sure what the restaurant name was). It was very, very good but we could only eat 3/4ths of it. Joey had to go somewhere and do something for a while, but he was going to come back and help take Sean to the airport.

We went to the bowling alley afterwards, and watched some southern people bowl for a long time. I beat Sean’s ass in air hockey, and we played various arcade games. Then we walked down the street, bought some Arizona Ice Tea, walked back up the street, played some more video games. I played air hockey with this little African American kid, but there wasn’t a puck so we used a dime or a nickel, and then when that wasn’t good we used an empty pack of cigarettes. We sat at the bowling alley chilling, and then Joey sneaked up and surprised us. He was ready to go a bit earlier but I didn’t hear my cell phone.

We drove Sean to the airport. For some reason there was a lot of cops on the way. Anyhow, got to the airport and said goodbye to Sean.

Joey drove me back to the hostel, but not before driving through downtown again. He showed me the area around the river, and told me what part of town not to wander into. Apparently this certain grass median was the dividing line between the French Quarter and a really bad part of the city. Especially Louis Armstrong Park. I wonder how these places are now post-Katrina. Anyhow, Joey drove me back to the hostel then.

I didn’t feel like sleeping, so I went out into the courtyard and talked to other hostel guests. I ended up doing this several nights.

So around the table from me clockwise were: Ron, Margret, Heather, and Paul

Ron was drunk, and I seem to remember he reminded me of Ron Jeremy for some reason, but he was a coherent philisophical drunk that talked about life and how we should all just get along (“in the words of ______”). He also was a singer/bassist. Margret was closer to my age, and kind of lanky and cute. She added to the conversation now and then. Heather made some comments before leaving early to do something or other. Paul was the quiet guy so he didn’t say much. Ron and I first got along quite well but then I introduced the Israel/Palestine conflict into the conversation and we started getting into an argument. What it was we were arguing about, I never was exactly sure, but it was an argument about something or other that Ron really got into it saying that I didn’t have my facts right. That really aggravated me but after a while I found it a bit pointless to continue the conversation so I just shut up. Heather came back and shortly after Ron left.

Heather was an interesting girl. She had a buzz cut, and worked as a stripper part time. In the past three months she had been traveling everywhere. She told us some of her stripper stories, or about meeting famous people, or climbing up to the hollywood sign completely stoned. She was a bit of a crazy girl, but I really like that kind of person. She also told us she had a very strange vision disorder where she saw the world kind of like how an old comic mixed dots of color to create the various hues. I’m not sure how true that was, but I thought it was really fascinating.

Next, a Scotsman named Sean came by. He had been in the military (possibly the Marines), and was now training to become a chef. He had this gigantic encyclopedia of ingredients that he showed me, which was very impressive. Heather left shortly after, and I think Paul also left, leaving Sean, Margret, and I. We told our stories, and I heard about some of their drunk adventures, Sean had some especially good ones, and we had a pleasant rest of the evening. Sooner or later it actually became morning, and with the sun rising I went to bed.


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