Yasu and I met on January 11th, 2004 in SPICE House (our dorm) on the campus of Emory University. The first impression we had of each other was not particularly great. To me he was some Japanese guy that did not make any sense and to him I was a rude Dutch girl. We had no idea that we just met someone very special. The first half of the semester we both did our own separate things, but halfway through the semester things changed…
At the end of the semester this month, Jungwon and I wanted to make one more big trip, and this time we choose the almighty New York City! I had been looking forward to seeing that city for many years and the desire became even greater after having landed in New York before the semester started. It was just a stopover, but it was my very first time in The States and in that city and I was quite dissapointed that I did not get to explore it in January. I unsuccesfully tried to convince Jungwon to go to New York City for our springbreak, but we compromised on California for springbreak and New York at a later date. And she kept her promise :).
A day after our last exams, we got on a plane to capital of the world, and we slept straight through the flight… We had been studying so much and sleeping so little during exam week, and out tiredness was catching up with us. I even slept through most of a Broadway show, just because I was still so tired and those damn seats were so comfortable! Luckily, we bought our tickets halfprice at the TKTS booth on Times Square, and Jungwon did manage to see the whole musical, and she loved it!
We were still recovering from our lack of sleep during the semester and had a very hard time waking up in the mornings, so the last night we decided to deprive oursleves of even more sleep, just to make sure we would be up early enough to do a little extra sightseeing and relaxing in Central Park before returning to Atlanta… Even though we were tired, we enjoyed ourselves enormously and the city was all and more than I had expected! It was the perfect way to end my time in The States!
After Jungwon and I had such a great time in California, I really craved some more roadtripping through the States! There were so many places in that country I still longed to see, and so little time to do it in! I wasn’t just in Emory University to study, I also was there to experience the country and do some traveling, right?
The B-school never had classes on Friday… I guess four days of classes was way too tiring for those future managers and they really needed a 3-day-weekend to wind down. Anyway, I always had a long weekend which was nice to catch up on some reading and projects for class. But one weekend in March I decided to do something else: go on a roadtrip to New Orleans! Unfortunately, Jungwon could not make it because she was in Emory college and they still practised the old-fashioned 5-day-schoolweek! So this time I went with Eva from Austria, a fellow B-schooler.
We rented a huge SUV for the weekend, a Chevy Trailblazer a.k.a. Freedom Vehicle #2! And drove through two states to get to The Big Easy. What was striking in the States that all the cities are very American (from a European perspective) but at the same time they all have their own individual identity. This city definitely also possessed a European feel to it, especially in the French Quarter (hence the name). It was a very nice city, with some beautiful buildings and huge and impressive cemeteries.
And the things that go on in that city… Especially on notorious Bourbon Street! Drinking starts when people wake up, but there are always people awake, so basically drinking never stops there. When we ordered diet coke with lunch, we were actually frowned upon and asked why we weren’t ordering alcohol! At night the huge-ass-beer-to-go-sellers turn up everywhere and there are bars selling every color and taste of daiquiri from big revolving containers making the place look like a colorful laundrette!
But the most interesting thing that goes on there is monkey watching, this is actually a term we use in the Dutch language and it means looking at passers-by as a form of entertainment. On Bourbon Street people don’t just walk by while looking up at the people on the numerous balconies, and the people on the balconies don’t just look down at the passers-by… no no… they have necklaces made of beads in every color and they are thrown up and down to each other, and when a girl catches the beads she bares her breasts! And all the girls are eager (and drunk) to catch those beads. And often people on the street are treated to a girl-on-girl french kiss and more by the people on the balconies… Sin City would be a more accurate nickname for this city than the Big Easy, in my opinion.