Mm-Hmm!

And today’s been a blur! Though truly in the best of ways. Rolling through Baton Rouge was a gift, and seeing New Orleans was exciting! I had no idea that the city was so big, but it was huge! In fact, on stepping out of the bus and into the station, I quickly realized I wouldn’t be able to see even a few square blocks of downtown even with an hour’s worth of layover. Unlike San Antonio’s central area, New Orleans’ downtown wasn’t just another easy walk for yours truly.

Rather, ‘the big easy’ was actually large, sophisticated, and ultimately weird in the way that great cities have to be to claim a truly unique character. In turn, I looked at my schedule and decided to just wait for my next bus at the station.

But for what it’s worth, I did have the pleasure of meeting and chatting with a New Orleans native on the bus! The kind woman was just visiting from Houston for the weekend, but she was nice enough to hand me her card and offer to show me around another time!

With J.T. as my witness, I’ll have to take her up on that offer later–no–soon!

I can hear her in friendly agreement now: Mm-hmm!

It’s fascinating, but people in the South really do talk like Forest Gump, with that infamous but also endearing southern drawl. For a moment, it makes me wonder if I occupy the same country that they do. On the one hand, it seems like the west coast is about the future, or all about building a world that succeeds in new, innovative ways from the past. By contrast, the south feels like a place founded on a deep sense of history, or like one of those worlds that’s determinedly committed to an older way of life until the wheels fall off. Both ways are so important, and yet I wonder how long it’ll take before we come to terms with our differences. Although, maybe that’s sort of what I’m doing now! And it’s all good! There’s plenty of room for all of us!

No matter how differently we might pronounce our words, one thing is clear: we truly are all beneficiaries of the lengthy, if lengthily complicated lands of the U.S.A. It’s been such a pleasure seeing more of the country in its entirety, and I can’t wait to find out more, with Miami finally on the horizon in the morning! Haha! </:D

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