Day 11: Extraction Successful
Location: New Orleans, LA to Brooklyn, NY
This morning, when I was checking us out for our late flight, United Airlines offered us to change flight for $150 total, which was way less than when I explicitly tried to change our flight yesterday. Jumping on the occasion, I changed our tickets for a flight 6 hours earlier, which meant we had no time to dwell on our low mood. When we left the house with our luggage on our way to the airport, we discovered that the cloud cover had completely cleared and that a balmy sun was finally showing us New Orleans, LA with actual colors instead of the bleak variations of grey we had the days before.
A fair weather the day we were leaving was absurd, and to keep this mood we stopped at “Chez Pierre”, a french bakery slash Vietnamese kitchen chain with a gambling backroom. Cherry on the cake? The accordion music in the background while muted TVs were showing local channels.
Once we waited for our flight at the gate, I started reflecting on this road-trip and wondering what we could have done better not to start to suffer from homesickness as we drove through Florida with a culminating point in New Orleans, LA. Unfortunately, our woes were mostly associated with the current meteorological and political climates. I’ve been driving before through so-called red states (where Republicans hold a political majority) under the Obama administration, but it didn’t feel as oppressive, and there was no political focal point as divisive as Trump has become through his successful presidential campaign and his first year in office. As for the cold front that took us ill-prepared by surprise, we really couldn’t have foreseen it when we booked our flights and rooms a couple months ago.
A posteriori the solution for a future similar trip seems obvious: keep to the blue states (Democrat-controlled states) and stay South enough not to encounter surprise cold weather, but it isn’t a happy thought; this closes us about 80% of the US, as Trump supporters have repeatedly boasted through US election maps overwhelmingly red. Maybe the problem is that, unlike most of my other trips, I understand too well the political landscape of the land I’m traveling through, and it affects me directly, I cannot assume the role of blissful tourist in the US anymore.
The Ford Mustang was a lot of fun though, and this makes me want to take drifting lessons to finally go sideways in a car in a controlled and mentored environment. (EDIT: I finally took drifting lessons!)
That’s all folks, see you next year!