After a very relaxing afternoon on the 29th floor overlooking the river and reading, I slowly got ready to go out to experience the second evening at Mardi Gras. During my earlier wanderings I found a Japanese restaurant (Yokohama Japanese Restaurant) that looked as though it would be possible to get some decent food, so I headed back there for dinner. What do I say? Why is it close to impossible to find food that isn’t a fuck up in this country? The irony is that NOLA is known for the food. People travel from all of the USU to eat the food. I do have to admit that it is more likely for the jambalaya & seafood, but if a city has a reputation for good food, then you should expect a certain consistency across the board. Actually, as I write this I realised there actually is a very uniform consistency and that is – its fucking disgusting. People from Italy would all be commiting mass suicide if they had to eat this.
So, Miso soup – it was as close to Miso soup as it was to tomato soup. Salad (obligatory in the USU), I didn’t try because there was this very weird orange coloured dressing on it. Tempura prawns and vegetables (entree) – prawns with ZERO taste that fell apart in your mouth, the tempura vegetables were somewhat ok. Main course was Usuyaki – what is supposed to be finely sliced beef, wrapped around a small bundle of spring onion. The beef was overcooked to the point of being very close to burnt and the spring onion, I am not sure what they did to that. The steamed rice was ok. One thing is consistent when I eat in the USU, I rarely finish anything eat because part way through I also become almost suicidal. I am beginning to understand why MacDonalds does so well here. The food is consistent, you pay a fraction of cost of eating this other shit that is actually no better and in some cases worse. I see some trips to MacDonalds on the horizon!
Firstly I found a place on Canal Street to watch the evening parade. What I found to be really interesting was this. All the marching bands and majorettes, almost without exception are made up of Afro-American children. The uniforms are consistently gaudy almost to the point of ridiculousness. The general theme is either tall fluffy hats, inspired by Marge Simpson or plastic Roman centurion helmets. However on the floats the Princes, Princesses and Maids are all anglo saxon whites. Interspersed into this mix were Police cars, Sheriffs cars, a single Kubota tractor (?), a pick up truck with a chemical toilet on the back, and a group of 8 purple & gold Harley Davidson cruisers, with red flashing lights, sirens (used of course), an obligatory American flag on the back, ridden by middle-aged, overweight men in some type of uniform. From the floats they were throwing various plastic shite items, mostly strings of plastic beads, which were enthusiastically received. One girl near to me caught a small rubber penis.
So off to Bourbon St, which was absolutely jammed with people who were all determined to get rat-arsed drunk. With a singular focus, most people were well on their way to achieving this. Personally I think they were doing it to either forget or lose the food of that evening, but anyway lets not digress. I have to say, that given the sheer number of mostly drunk people the atmosphere was really relaxed and hassle free. I know for sure that if this was NZ or Queensland (Australia), you would want to be very careful being in amongst that many pissed people. Happening on the ‘Bucking Bronco Bar on Bourbon’ I stayed for quite a while. There was a back courtyard with a mechanical bull and was (relatively) uncrowded. Good music and great entertainment watching mostly younger women all on stage shaking their butts with varying degrees of skill. On the way out, walking down the street I took the time to stand under some of the overhead balconies that had a lot of people on them to watch the whole ritual of people trying to get strings of plastic beads thrown to you. The most succesful (unsurprisingly) were the girls who enthusiastically showed their tits and that was actually the majority.
Now here is the thing. I wonder what would happen if you came to NOLA at some other time of year, with a selection of plastic beads and then asked most girls to show you their tits in exchange for a string of beads. Do you think it would be successful?