New Orleans, the city full of life and culture. The whole trip for me was a highlight – I actually had to pinch myself a couple times because being there just felt so surreal. I met new people, I ate amazing food, I had God-send Uber drivers giving me private on-the-go tours, I experienced Mardi-Gras and it was EPIC, I learnt about the history of New Orleans and so much more. As you can imagine it was VERY HARD for me to choose my top 3. Lo and behold, I finally managed to narrow it down to the highlights I will always look back on and laugh hysterically.
*My top 3 excludes Mardi-Gras as it deserves its own post
1) CVS Bae
*CVS is the UK equivalent of Boots/Superdrug. Whenever I see a CVS store I just walk in with no intention of buying anything and leaving with everything I don’t need (it’s a bit of a weird habit). One day during my trip, I walked into CVS and came across one of God’s finest creations working at the till (he definitely took his time with this one). Now my mind is thinking: “Okayy…alrightttt. There is no way I’m leaving this shop without buying anything.”
If I calculated it accurately I would pick up something random, get to his till twang him with my British accent (that everyone in NOLA loved might I add) and we’d live happily ever after. I picked up only God knows what and made my way to the queue. Everything was going to plan and I was next in line. He saw me and he was ready to serve – I was walking towards my future!!!
As I walked towards him, OUT OF NOWHERE a female colleague walked right up to his till stood in front of it AND directed me to the self-service checkouts…
If this wasn’t a real-life example of the term “Blockage“ – then I just don’t know what is. She straight up BLOCKED me. Even CVS bae was shocked, he said to her: “Dangg why you do that for? Why you send her over there, I was gonna serve her.” I honestly don’t know where she came from but I have to give her props, she was ready and I was sleeping on the job. The Lord did warn us to be alert in 1 Peter 5:8:
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
I left CVS with crushed dreams and less money than I came in with – I will never forget. BE ALERT AND STAY READY!
2) Popeye’s Chicken
Popeye’s was my next door neighbour – which was a blessing and a curse. I could see directly into the store from my dorm’s window and sometimes I would just go for the sake of going. For those who don’t know, Popeyes is an American fast-food chain for Fried Chicken which originated in New Orleans.
I was feeling quite peckish during the Mardi Gras parade and with Popeyes being the closest, I decided to get my dinner there. A young black female took my order and as soon as I told her my order she looked up at me in shock and said:
“OMG, where are you from?”
(I can tell she wasn’t expecting a British accent from someone who looked just like her)
Me: I’m from London
Her again (shouting to her colleagues): “YOOOOOOOO!! Omg guys come over she’s from London!!!”
I just see a large group of black people rushing towards me, even the two store managers! As hilarious as the situation was, it was also really nice to interact with my peoples! The girl who served me said I should “say something” so they could all hear my accent (which is the most awkward question someone could ask). And of course, my response was “what do you want me to say?”
Them:“YOOO she sounds just like the movies, that’s dope!”
This was then followed with them trying to copy my accent.
Them (in the worst British accent ever): “Do you drink tea with the Queen?”
We all burst into laughter as their reactions were hilarious. But in all seriousness, a few of them were shocked that there are black people in the UK – I had to educate them real quick! The conversation flowed for the next few minutes and we then went on to discuss my travel plans and why I came all the way to NOLA. Shortly after, my order was ready and we said our goodbyes!
3) CATS Karaoke Bar
Have you ever stumbled across a place by chance and it ends up being the highlight of your trip? This was the case for me with CATS karaoke bar.
My roommate and I decided to head out to Bourbon Street to see what was poppin! After catching a few Mardi-Gras throws and slurping down a few Hand-Grenades, my roommate was in need of the restroom. CATS Karaoke bar was the closest to us, so she went in to use the loo and I waited for her by the bar.
Before entering I wasn’t aware that it was a karaoke bar, I just assumed it was rowdy by nature. Whilst waiting for my roomie by the bar, I started dancing and singing along with the people on stage to Beyoncé’s Crazy In Love. Next thing you know a group standing nearby were encouraging me to get on stage. Long story short, I got on the stage and gatecrashed their whole performance – the crowd literally went wild (I’m pretty sure it was also due to the amount of alcohol they had consumed they were just cheering on anybody). It was epic and at this point, I knew I had missed my calling in life to be a singer/performer.
After my performance, I found my roommate in the crowd and we ended up staying for another 3 hours. We sang, we danced and we even performed a few more times!
Everything about this place was epic, it was good vibes all around. I LOVE karaoke, so this place won me over instantly. Secondly, the karaoke song selection was so diverse. You could choose songs from Elvis Presley to Nicki Minaj – I was impressed! Lastly, the MC/host did a phenomenal job of keeping the crowd entertained.
I will never forget this moment, it definitely was a highlight of my trip. And to think this would have never happened if I didn’t return to my hostel to change into something lighter for the weather. I wouldn’t have met my amazing roomie, and we wouldn’t have spent the day together!