Well, here I am in the Big Easy, New Orleans. Spent last night drinking beer and playing cards with quite a few Danes, just taking it easy. The hostel I'm at "India House Backpackers" is full of charm, lots of art on the walls, courtesy of previous guests, and a very homely feel about it. And of course, more characters to add to my collection (like Mike, the ex Special Ops ranger who was part of the rescue mission for those guys that got shot down in the black hawk in Somalia)...good times, good times.
This morning I jumped on a cable car (I love that they're just a normal form of public transport here) and headed to Cafe Du Monde - the oldest cafe in America...apparently. They're famous for their New Orleans coffee, which is brewed with chickory (charred hickory), but I wasn't much of fan. Their other specialty are these pastries, kind of like a donut with no hole, that are absolutely coated in powdered sugar. Very rich, very delicious.
I then spent a couple of hours wandering aimlessly through the French Quarter, which is very charming. A sudden huge crash of thunder gave about a minute's notice of a gigantic downpour, so I took refuge in another delightful cafe, and watched the world (and the people) go by - quite possibly my favourite holiday activity.
The rain abated for a while, so I continued my wandering, but when another thunder boom sounded, I thought I'd head for the hills and rest up for what is sure to be a big night tonight. I jumped in another cable car, and the conductor apologised for a car accident on the tracks just in front of us. He said there'd be a short wait for a tow truck and then we'd get going. But then, about 4 police cars, an ambulance and a fire truck came wailing up behind us. The conductor got the news on the radio that there was a person threatening to jump off the roof of the building directly in front of us. We could see him up there. The tow truck arrived and removed the crashed car, and we moved on. I hope he didn't jump - it was a derelict building, I hate to think that it was the last thing someone saw, climbing all those stairs in a junked out building.