Well, That Was Unexpected

Real life is stranger than fiction...depending on which authors you read, of course.

Monday, July 14, 2008

from el cajon to el cajun country...Auf wiedersehen!

yes, I have arrived in marksville Louisiana. Thus named because someone named mark's wagon broke down here. i'm not kidding. if you hate yourself, go and look up the city history on the internet. it's already been an awesome trip only 36 hours in though. Observe:

one of the students in our training today came up to me, and said that on her certificate she would like her full name not her nickname which is Weda. i say "okay, sure, what's your full name?" she says let me spell it for you "A-U-F-W-I-E-D-E-R-S-E-H-E-N". i really thought she was effing with me. turns out her mother's college roomate was named Aufwiedersehen and that's who she was named after. not remotely kidding. made my whole damn day.

i am staying in what is probably one of the nicer rooms at the paragon casino and resort here in marksville. it is a room in "the atrium". The atrium has lovely little wrought iron balconies all of which have a beautiful view of...the inside of the hotel. particularly appreciated by Julie Inc is that directly below is a pool/pit full of alligators. not joking. they are small, but yes, they are real!pictures soon to follow (right now my internet connection even with my aircard is woefully comparable to various 2nd and 3rd world countries 10 years ago.)

we went and bought some groceries for breakfast and lunch from Wal-Mart, which we were told is the biggest and best grocery store in town. and yeah it looked like a moderately ransacked vons, allright--these "super wal marts" are super crazy. I desperately wanted to go to the Piggly Wiggly just to say..I had been in a Piggly Wiggly (much like i wanted to be able to say "i have been to Vladivistock!", but cheaper.) but John wanted to go someplace he trusted, and frankly, would teh piggly wiggly have had the light silk soy milk i so enjoy? it was risky. I vow I will get a picture of me at the piggly wiggly! ahem.

so for dinner John and I went to Big Daddy E's cajun cooking restaurant in the casino. we were wondering what their gumbo was like, and so we asked our waitress to describe gumbo to us because we were from california, and humor us, we didnt know what it was. see, we do know what gumbo is, we just didnt know what THEIR gumbo was like. Well, she is trying to explain and she is looking at us like sad lost children: it's like gravy, but not gravy, it is soup, just thick and brown, like gravy, but not..., john and i were thinking maybe the equivalent would be someone asking a californian what a california roll was, or maybe carne asada? anyway, she brought us a small cup of the gumbo to peruse. it was really not bad--chicken, sausage, rice. then i said i wanted a cajun martini. it was the first martini on the list, it looked intriguing and spicy, and was only 5 bucks. said waitress--very sweet and adorable (carded us and then apologized for thinking we were young looking, for which we gave her a large tip)comes back looking ever so worried: her manager doesn't think i will like the cajun martini. she says "just the flavors arent usually liked by...outsider yankee foreigners (she used the euphemism "people" in reality, but it couldnt really be disliked by "people" if it was the first martini on the menu, am i right?). the gumbo incident had surely already reached the marksville evening news and the manager was really just looking out for me...not knowing that my mexican-trained palate laughs at their spices. seriously, i eat tobasco for breakfast. anyway, i assured her that i just wanted to try it and was happy to pay for it even if i didnt like it. and it was sort of tasty. what it needed was salt, but it can hardly be blamed for that. the experience reminded me vividly of when i ordered my first chocolate hazelnut mocha in taiwan and the workers behind the counter kept whispering and i was like wondering if maybe they didnt understand me, or maybe they didnthave hazelnut, or maybe taiwan coffee was actually dragon spit with powdered bull horns for virility--you know, not "good for women"...but instead they were like "miss, we don't think you will like this drink...it will be too SWEET!" hilarious. and it took me 10 minutes to persuade them to let me live with my insanity and have the drink for better or worse. apparently in louisiana and taiwan i am a foreigner. nanu.


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