Do you know the feeling when you return from a great trip and you just can’t get back to your normal daily routines? It is as if your body has already arrived while your mind still keeps wandering. Everyone is asking you how it was and you just can’t find a way to put all the unforgettable experiences into words so you just say: “It was amazing!” well aware how much injustice you just did to your cherished memories.
After our trip to New Orleans (sorry, dear NOLA, they don’t know you as good as I do, therefore the official name) I’ve been experiencing these symptoms again. Only this time they are even more severe than usually, so I worry a bit if this is just an extremely bad case of post-travel blues, or if I got infected with the NOLA bug. Let me give you some examples:
1. Checking if any of the musicians or bands are performing in Europe
We’ve listened to some great musicians perform on the Frenchmen street and at other places in the city, from the Candlelight Lounge in Treme, to Preservation Hall and Little Gem Saloon. Suddenly my list of favorite jazz performers has grown and the top places are all taken by Kermit Ruffins, John Boutte, Rebirth Brass Band and the likes (in no particular constant order). So it is perfectly understandable that I want to know what is going on with them and if I can possibly hear them anywhere in Europe, right? Exactly. That’s why the first thing I did when we returned home was to check all their concert schedules. And I also started following everyone on Twitter (the ones I wasn’t already following in the first place, to be clear). So far it looks like we will need to travel to Switzerland in June and the Netherlands in July, that’s not to bad.
2. Watching the first episode of Treme again
I can admit it now. It was the Treme series that finally made us book the tickets and mark our calendar for the trip. I was already determined to go while watching the Top Chef NOLA edition, my mouth watering each time. Miha (my paying half) though made the fortunate mistake to introduce me to the Treme. So after listening to my constant “pleeease, let’s go to New Orleans” mantra through all four seasons in the end he didn’t have a choice but to give in. To be honest, I think this show made a pretty good job educating people about this great city. After all, if it wasn’t for Treme, we would never see a real jazz funeral. Oh yeah, we crashed a funeral too. I know, my friends thought I completely lost it, when I enthusiastically explained how lucky we were to be in town just in time for this big jazz funeral with real Mardi Gras Indians. How could we miss an opportunity like this? But if you watched Treme you may have some more understanding. And you know what? “Our” funeral was even more fascinating than in that show. Simply because we were second lining right along!
3. Seriously considering wearing beads for work
Ok, this last one got me worried the most. Throughout our stay in NOLA I was looking down on tourists wearing beads knowing that at any other time except Mardi Gras you just look ridiculous with these colorful necklaces. But my beads are truly special, you see. I got them as a souvenir at the Backstreet Museum. I was so fascinated by the magnificent Indian costumes and Francis’s sincere passion for the rich Treme traditions (of course we’re on first name terms with the owner). So when he told me to take these beads with me I felt as if he was offering me one of those precious costume masks as a gift. I chose them in elegant white color. Now let me be clear about one thing. I know that cheap plastic beads can hardly be regarded as jewelry by anyone older than ten. But I would proudly wear them – not as much as fashion statement but as a special sign of admiration for what they stand for in my memory. I would probably have some difficulty explaining my sudden turn into kitsch, so luckily my better fashion judgement prevented me from wearing them so far. But one of these days I might just give in.
So, what do you think? Is it the bug or not? I didn’t want to delve deeper into the fact that I also checked the ticket prices and flight connections for New Orleans for a theoretical date somewhere in future. Just in case if it is the bug, you know…