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Tag: New Orleans

An American trip: October and November 2008

An American trip: October and November 2008

During October and November of 2008, I took a month-long trip around the US of A. The main mode of transport was Amtrak train, and the trip tied in neatly with two conferences I was speaking at – one of which was in Chicago on the day Barack Obama was elected (and one heck of an evening that was). I did a lot of writing on that trip, thinking it was just a few people in the Outer Hebrides and…

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Texas: a thousand miles of bugger-all

Texas: a thousand miles of bugger-all

(Note to Texans: the phrase in the title is Brit slang for “nothing”, as opposed to … oh never mind) The train ride from New Orleans to Los Angeles is 1,995 miles. Factoring in the 3 time zones that the train crosses and the trip takes 2 days and 15 minutes. That’s a long time to spend in the confined company of a small group of people not of my choosing. So it was with dismay that my first dining…

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Surviving New Orleans

Surviving New Orleans

Rolled in to New Orleans on Saturday afternoon. The Amtrak station is off the centre of a town, and I had to get a taxi to the hotel (which I would come to despise) on the south of the river. The hotel turned out to be a converted motel. Partially converted. My room was on the ground floor, literally next to the street parking lot. No other rooms available (allegedly). Various signs warn guests to use “Every available security device”….

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New Orleans (1)

New Orleans (1)

That was … something else. A quick description of New Orleans at night (the city is rather different in the day). Imagine Stornoway on a November Sunday morning. Now imagine the TOTAL opposite, in every conceivable social, economic, moral, diversified, service, legal, illegal, loudness, risque way. And that’s pretty much it. Will write more soon; need to digest New Orleans experience. Like Memphis, it wasn’t enough time. However, I have a few days of being mainly off the grid due…

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Memphis, and the ride to New Orleans

Memphis, and the ride to New Orleans

After an excessively and stupidly late night drinking with Mark, Tyrone and Oscar on the train out of Chicago, I woke up to the coach attendant banging on my roomette door as we were early at our destination. It was 5:20am. “Leave me alone; I’m British!” “Sir, you gonna need to get your shit together; we pullin into the station real soon.” After the world’s quickest shower and a bag pack where more by luck nothing was left behind, I…

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