While driving in town the other day, I happened to get stuck behind a public transit bus. I suppose I should start this post at the beginning.
When I was growing up, my hometown wasn’t very big. Oh, sure, it took a long while to get from one end of town to the other, but that’s because the city is spread out. After the oil industry came back in full swing in the 90’s and Hurricane Katrina displaced so many residents in and around New Orleans, my hometown grew by leaps and bounds.
It’s to the point right now that real estate is at a premium. You can’t buy land unless you’re a business and the land that’s out there is mostly marsh. Houses and neighborhoods sprang up where sugarcane fields had stood for at least a hundred years. It’s insane.
So I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when a few years back, the parish government decided to give the area public transportation. It kind of blows my mind, really. I’ve been on one public bus (well twice cause I had to leave) in my life. I was in England with a Brit who knew where the hell we were going. I don’t know if I could recognize my upcoming stop if it hit me over the head.
That’s the sheltered part.
I frequently feel like I missed out on so many experiences because I wasn’t raised in a big city. However, I know I’ve had some unique experiences that people in the big cities have never had. Yeah, how many people can say they had to watch out for cougars as they waited for the bus? Or cracked an alligator across the snout with a cypress ball? *looks around* Yeah, I’m a country girl, but I want to experience the big city.
That’s why I’m so hyped about RWA Nationals being in New York City. Just thinking that gives me heart palpitations. Me? In NYC? ‘Scuse me while I try to calm my breathing. Terrebonne Parish has around 110k people in it. That’s the whole parish, mind you. New York has…people numbering in the millions! *pants* Oh, sure, you could say “Well, you had to have landed in London which is a monstrous city” but hello…I went from the airport to a bus. I didn’t get to see crap.
So excited and hopeful that I can actually make the conference. Me. In NYC. *blinks* I’m terrified and exhilirated all at the same time. What happens if I get lost? What if someone mistakes my Cajun accent for something else and think I’m a local? (I have heard that a true Cajun accent resembles a Brooklyn accent). What if I spend too much money buying crap I don’t need, like a dozen Statue of Liberty magnets? Argh! It’s mind-boggling. Of course, if I do go, I’ll have to put Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind on loop for the flight out there.
What scares you the most about traveling? Have you ever been somewhere completely unlike your hometown and felt distinctly out-of-place? Are you going to Nationals in NY, and if you are, will you let me superglue myself to your side so I don’t get lost?