Submitted by megan on Mon, 06/09/2008 - 00:13
1) The first afternoon I spent in NOLA I spent at a very nice cafe. I was working, which kind of sucked, but I also ate a big ham and cheese sandwich, which was a big treat for tastebuds that generally don't get the luxury of wheat or dairy, had a huge glass of smashed lemonade, which involved the juice of one and a half lemons, and I took some time to g-chat with Shelley, something I also rarely do but enjoyed very much.
After a few hours of typing and surfing and power pointing, drinking water and lemonade, I really had to pee. This is the problem with going to a cafe alone with a laptop in a strange city. But I watched for a while, and cafe custom was to take your wallet/purse and leave your laptop to be guarded by the kindness of strangers.
Protocol assessed, I looked around for the toilet. There was a door to the left of the counter, a normal looking door, with a hand-lettered sign above it that said Bathroom! and had an arrow pointing down at the door. This seemed like a dead giveaway.
I fished my wallet out of my bag, stood up, walked over, pushed through the door and stepped outside.
That's right. Outside.
The door shut heavily behind me. I could feel an irrational fear welling up. Here I was, in a strange city, my laptop on one side of the door, possibly tethered to a reality with which I was no longer connected. Was this leafy hallway the hipster version of Narnia? Was I meant to stop the evil machinations of a skinny woman wearing shiny leggings and large sunglasses?
I poke fun, but I did have a moment of panic. Real enough that I turned right back around to open the door and ensure that my reality out here was connected to my reality in there. It was.
And then I was amazed. I mean really, what the fuck? A bathroom? Outside? But what do they do in the middle of win-? Riiiiight. In the middle of winter, they put on long sleeves. It really did take me a minute or two to grasp that I was in a place where an outside toilet was feasible.
Honestly, it still weirds me out a little. It is such a fundamental difference from my experience of the world. Can you imagine this at the Manx in February? You'd have to start getting ready to go for a piss halfway through your pint. Hey, could you pass me my scarf and tuque and coat and sweater? I'm going to need to pee in 10 minutes, I should start getting wrapped up.
2) I present to you the chips accompanying my giant sandwich and smashed lemonade. You'll notice they thought the name of the flavour was so catchy it should be protected. In case you were wondering, I did actually eat them and no, they didn't taste like crawfish, spicy, cajun, or otherwise.