I do love N’awlins. Paul and I went there a few years ago and sat out on our porch of a house we leased in the French Quarter. The wind was howling and Willow trees were nearly bent over.
“Goodness, it’s a bit blowy,” I said in my location ignorance.
We then turned on the tv and on came the news. We were warned that an F4 was fast approaching the city, and would move around the city, and to “batten down the hatches” and stay indoors.
We nearly dropped our dinner in fright! We were like two Chicken Little’s! Weren’t F4’s something like winds of up to 300 k’s an hour?
“Oh my god!” we both exclaimed to no one but each other, over the fierce, howling wind. We just ran around in circles for about 15 minutes. “What do we do?”
We had no idea what to do, what not to do, or what to pack, or what to secure…or…or…
I imagined the house lifting off the ground like Dorothys house in The Wizard of Oz. I tried to shake the images out of my head, logic telling me that couldn’t possibly happen….that we’d be flattened instead.
Being from Melbourne (cool climate, like USA’s Michigan), we had never been on the outskirts of a cyclone/tornado before, let alone near one or even seen fierce wind like it.
The lovely African American woman, who owned the 100 year old, newly renovated Victorian house, calmly came over and checked to see if we had a torch in case we lost power. She was a cool as a cucumber. She assured us that it would go around us, not through us. She said “this sort of thing happens all the time and just stay indoors, we’ll all be fine, it’ll pass soon.”
I can’t imagine what she must have thought of these two, neurotic Australians going into cardiac arrest at the mere mention of a bit of bad weather.
Then, to add more excitement to our experience of America, we left there three days later and flew to beautiful Charleston. ( I adore the south). We flew, in a tiny plane (not enough room to stand up in), AROUND an F5, for the love of God. It took us 5 hours to get to a place that was normally a nice 2 hour plane trip.
I nearly damn well kissed the ground when we landed. Even the pilot was sweating, asking “Is everybody alright?”
I got off the plane and nearly had another cardiac arrest from the unforgiving, unrelenting, remorseless humidity. I went from a reasonable body temperature to a sweating, dripping ball of “Oh my goodness it’s humid isn’t it!”
Standing outside the airport saying “Is it always this hot?” was a dead give-away that I was “not from around here”.
What I really wanted to say, in a high pitched screech, was “Bloody heck, I’m friggin melting! For the love of all things good and pure, get me into some air conditioning!”
I was actually shocked that humidity could be that bad. But coming from Melbourne where there is no humidity, was a big wake up. Everything was damp inside the place we stayed; the clothes inside suitcases, our sheets and bedding, our hanging towels, table surfaces, my jewellery was even damp.
Seriously, I love the southern part of the USA, it’s fantastic. I cannot wait to visit again. Next time we’ll see Nawlins in the Spring.