In New Orleans, Louisiana, on a hot Monday morning in the early month of February waiting for a taxi to come pick me up from my friend, Sofia house, where I’ve be staying for the time being. Sofia left me without notice that she’ll be going to work from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm at her restaurant, “The Original Cajun Seafood.” I’ve never been there before, but I heard good things about the restaurant, when you enter the restaurant all you feel is positive vibes with people’s laughter and happiness. When you try the Meat Pies, Chicken Wings, etc it’s like you have been reborn again. Suddenly I heard a “Ding,” stating that I have a new message from Sofia.” Come to my job place at 6 and don’t be late.”
“Mhm, okay.” I replied.
HONK! HONK! The taxi driver signaling me to know that he’s here. During the drive the taxi goes on and on about the events that only happens here in New Orleans. Considering I don’t have clue about anything in New Orleans.
“There’s all sorts of activities here, only in New Orleans,” he said in a raspy voice. There’s Mardi Gras, Jazz music everywhere like mixture of blue, spirituals, and with rural. Also there’s Voodoo shops, Restaurants, Bars, French Quarter, Mausoleum…..”
“Why would I want to see a Mausoleum, that’s just plain creepy,” I said in my head with a gross out look.
He stop talking and tuned into some Jazz music. My mind went blank and I just stared out into the window, admiring the beautiful view in front of me. Dozens of people are outside looking very charming with glistening skin tones.
“Honestly this city is like the imagination,” I sigh in awe.”
Miss, we have arrive at your destination.” ‘Thank you sir,” giving him a warm hearted smile.
Sofia’s restaurant is more beautiful up front rather than her photos she had showed me. The outside of the building just astonished me deeply, with a brick structure that’s been lacy iron-work and the colors yellow and blue makes you feel welcomed all times. Now I see why everyone is so enthusiastic towards the restaurant. I walk threw the doors in the restaurant and saw people stuffing their faces, smiling, and dancing to Zycleco music. Honestly, it’s so lively in here, most restaurants is just so quiet and fancy like a sophisticated person.
“AAAALIYAHHH” Sofia yelled.
We hugged that seems like forever.
“Let’s go grab a table,” I said.
We sat all the way to the back, to be further away from from the music.
“I’ve been meaning to ask you something,” she said.
“Like what?” I replied.
“Let’s go to Mardi Gras tonight,” she said.
“What’s a Mardi Gras?” I said.
The music cuts off and all eyes were now on me. Didn’t realize I said that out loud. They’re looking at me like they seen a ghost.
“Okay everyone you can go back to enjoying yourself now,” she said interrupting the silence.
The music comes back on and everyone started to go back to what they were doing.
“Seriously? You don’t know what a Mardi Gras is?” she stated.
“No…. is that such a bad thing? I feel like a dang idiot.” I said feeling embarrass. “Listen, in New Orleans Mardi Gras is like theee bestttt partyyy, if you never experience Mardi Gras, then your missing out. So, that’s why I’m taking you there tonight at Bourbon Street.” She claims.
“I don’t know Sofia…. you know I can’t be at parties.” i said sounding worry.
“Yes, I know your only here for your Article story for, “The Best Cities All Times” but they never said you can’t experience Mardi Gras.”
“I guess you're right, let’s go get ready!.” I said trying to sound excited.
“Girl, you just got here. Don’t you want to eat?” She said.
Afterwards, we drove in Sofia’s car get ready for Mardi Gras at her house. We left to go get a hotel because you never know we might get tipsy.
This hotel room was so expensive it’s usually $60, but since it’s Mardi Gras night it increases $160 because there’s tons of people that will attend to Mardi Gras. We had 3 hours until Mardi Gras starts, so Sofia and I just chilling in the room listening to music and dancing. Well, night time hit pretty quickly and soon it was time for Mardi Gras. Sofia and I went to Bourbon Street and all you see was a huge party with parades, floats, dancing, masked balls, music that’s booming miles away. It looks so fancy and fun, I can tell tonight is going to be lit. Sofia ordered us a hurricane drink, that tastes fruity. Next, you know we started dancing wildly to this upbeat jazz music that has got everyone up and grooving. I saw this big crew named “Orpheos” filled with a lot of people with masks on their faces, throwing beads at random people. Even people started to flash for some beads. “What’s so special about the beads,” I said.
“During Mardi Gras, beads are expensive to get. They cost about $1200, that people flash for it. They’re special because they’re beautiful treasures, she said.
After the Orpheos, there was another crew called,”Zulu,” that’s filled with African Americans. They have black paint on their faces which I found dope.
“They painted their faces black because they’re making fun of Americans for putting make-up on to be a non-black performer,” Sofia stated.
Meanwhile, everyone is having a blast but, I decided it was time for me to go back to the hotel because tomorrow morning, I’m going back home. I went to the hotel and Sofia stayed at Mardi Gras to party some more. Once I got to my hotel room I flop on my bed, my head on the white clean pillow, and soon I fell asleep. It was morning and I feel like a truck hit me. I started packing because my flight is in two hours. Sofia came in the room with her make-up smudge.
“ I’m going to miss you,” she said
“I’m going to miss you too,” I replied
“But go take a shower you reek of booze,” I said. Finally, I was done with packing and needed a shower to get ready for this 5 hour and 20 minutes flight.
BANG! BANG! “Sofia hurry up in the shower, it’s been an hour already!.”
“Okay, stop shouting! I already have a hangover,” she said.
I was dressed comfortable in my new fluffy, blue, and red jumpsuit, ready to go to the airport. Sofia drove me to the airport, with tears in her eyes. “Sofia, what’s wrong.”
“Your leaving, I wish you don’t have to leave so soon,” she says.
“I know, but I’ll visit you when it’s a holiday, since your the only family I have.”
“Well, let’s have a one last music session in the car,” she said.
We started to turn up to the song “Better off Alone” by Ayo and Teo. Soon, we arrived at the airport and I only have five minutes to aboard my flight. Sofia and I exchanged hugs and and waved goodbye. And that’s my story about New Orleans.
“Wow, that’s a great story for your article, but look we have arrived at Sacramento, CA,” said by the stranger next to me.
“Wow, time flies fast when your talking. What’s your name.”
“The name is Kyle, Kyle Clark.”
“Nice to meet you, I’m Aaliyah.”
“Well, Aaliyah it was nice meeting you.”