Mardi Gras is quite the experience down here. Apparently it is a week long celebration full of parade after parade. Yesterday afternoon we got into N.O. and went straight to down town right around General Robert E. Lee Circle. Another parade was just ending up and there were drunk people some 4 deep. Most of them were college kids it was quite evident.
We had set seats in assigned stadium seating so we walked over and sat down. Had some Subway sandwiches for dinner that we had picked up just down the street. I felt SO bad because I could not understand the lady making my sandwich!! I had to ask her three different times what she was saying and finally I figured out that she was asking if we were going to the parade. Embarrassed I finally said, "Oh yeah, we're going to the parade." I'm sure we stuck out like a sore thumb.
The name of the parade we were waiting to see was called, "Endymion" and Marissa Tomei was the parade marshall or whatever they call the "host" or "main talent." Gene Simmons from Kiss was also there but he looked a little hung-over, I'm not surprised. I think everyone was a little hung-over.
Let me give you some advice if you come down to N.O. for the Mardi Gras parades. Mainly, pee and poo well before you get there because the "port-o-potties" are T E R R I B L E!!!!!!! They were full even before the sun set and the parade began. By the time that the parade was in full swing I couldn't hold it any longer and had to head to over to these toxic terd boxes. By this time it was dark and I could just barely make out the little urinal they have on the side in there. I did my thing and walked out only to find my lower pant leg all wet. I guess the shitter was already full and piss was leaking out of the damn thing! It was SO SO SO disgusting you guys.
The parade, however, was really pretty fun and I highly recommend checking it out if you're ever down here for Mardi Gras. Pay the money though and get the tickets for the assigned seating so that you don't have to deal with the drunked, college masses pushing and shoving along the route.
There are these guys who walk along the parade route who carry propane tanks on their backs. The tanks are attached to this metal pole with 3 fire nozzles burning out against the back drop of an attached metal plate that they carry. It is hard to explain but it is basically like a pole with a metal sign being lit up with 3 big flames (I might have a picture of this later to show you). Anyway, as they walk by people toss coins down in front of them and they pick up the money. They dip their flame-lit signs down near the ground so that they can see the coins flashing on the street. The tradition behind these guys is pretty fascinating. Apparently, these fire lit metal plates were what use to light up the parade floats in the past. They would walk along side the floats and the money that was tossed to them was their pay.
We ended up with quite a few beads as well. For those who do not know the people on the floats throw bead necklaces in various sizes down to the crowd below. We ended up with quite a bit o' treasure but let me tell you catching beads is dangerous. Several times I would get hit in the head by these strands of beads and they sting pretty good. One shot got me right in the teeth!!
At one point a group of police came walking down the street with a few guys in hand cuffs and everyone would clap and whistle at them as they would walk down the street. The guy next to me kept saying, "That's right. Take out that trash!!" It was pretty funny I must admit. Some of these guys were so drunk they could barely walk.
Anyway, that was our first day here and so far so good. I just wish that I could have a drink or two.
---End of Transmission from Nouveau Orleans---