So, I'm really enjoying the new job... it's an interesting departure for me to have an office job, but I admit I miss my job at Steamboat. Yesterday, my new boss asked me about my time there, and I went on a twenty minute tirade about how cool it was to work in the heart of the french quarter, for one of the city's many cultural icons. I must have made an impression, because today he comes up to my desk and offers to get a CD of the Steamboat Natchez Caliope music to play for me if I felt homesick...
Quite the wise ass, my new boss.
For almost 7 years, twice a day, I would have to hear the "loud, happy music" of the authentic steam caliope that adorns the Steamboat Natchez. Emphasis on the loud. I would plot daily new ways to sabotage the darn thing, and have my whole staff laughing at the prospect.
I will admit that when I first came back to the point after katrina, it brought a tear to my eye to hear the caliope's dulcet tones wafting on the breeze from across the river. It was a sign of hope to me, and I realized right then that someday, my city will be back as strong and vibrant as ever.
Of course, that was before being jaded by the past few months of the realities of post-katrina New Orleans. the state of the city has not improved very much, nearing 9 months after the storm. The Regional transit authority has stopped many of the city's bus lines and is planning on ending one of the streetcar lines, the national guard has been called in to help stem a rising wave of violent crime, people are worn and beaten with their daily lives, and the wait time in Burger King is still a half hour. While basic services have been restored to most of the city, many of the flooded homes still sit untouched while their owners try to get their lives back together, to a point where they might be able to start the rebuild. The other half of the city is in the world's largest trailer park, despondant, and without much hope. Summer only brings a new wave of misery with the usual intense heat that oppresses us as it does year after year, and the daily talk around the coffee shop tends to focus on the threat of the "next big one". Word is that they will evecuate the city if even a tropical storm heads this way. Not a bad idea with all the trailers... after all, high winds and FEMA trailers just don't mix.
I'm not in one, but would be pissed if a storm knocked on on top of my house.
Right now, I'm thinking of leaving New Orleans. Life here is more costly, and annoying than I ever believed it could be. Most of my friends have left for better opportunities, and it's difficult to not think that maybe I should do the same. I like the new job, and would hate to leave, but man... life is hard right now. I long for life as the rest of the nation is experiencing, where life is going on much as it has for many years, with hurricane Katrina a memory fast fading. Somewhere, kids still play, fast food is fast, and people don't talk about last year like it's some far off magic kingdom. Basically, as much as I love my hometown, I'd have to be an idiot not to at least think about looking for greener pastures.
Maybe I just need a vacation. I would ask the new boss, but he'd probably just install a heat lamp and a palm tree around my desk, and hand me a bottle of sunscreen. It's karma, I tell ya... years of picking on my staff with my goofy sense of humor have come back to haunt me.