Welcome to 2012!

Wow man, when I arrived in this country there were still two consecutive zeros in the middle of the year. Now it's the third Christmas and New Year behind me. Crazy 

The past two weeks have been an express train that came to a stuttering stop the day before work started again. No time to stop and think, just bulldoze on, take it all in, smash it in the face and hope that it all makes sense at the end. And luckily it still does!

It all started with the Greek arriving for a two-week fling with the lover he once had - New York City. We made sure acquaintances were renewed with the same lusty vigor with which they were previously enjoyed. 

Christmas at the Ellis' was warm and friendly and jolly as always - now with a new addition to that household in the cute as nuts, kid Joshua.  

The very next day we left for New Orleans - a small crew consisting of me, Jilly Bob and Warren G $ - for one of the most epic trips I have ever been on. There is very little justice I can do to this trip in words. In fact, it's probably impossible to understand without actually being there. You can get an idea from pictures on Facebook, but to experience the vibe of that city, the unbelievably-always-positive-and-hilarious vibe between the three of us and of course, the generous hospitality of the incomparable Asian Zing, you had to be there. 

Our first hours in the city were smoothed over by some hot apple cider and rum from Asian Zing, followed by some homemade gumbo from a cute little friend of his in her shotgun house. What a welcome!

Highlights of the trip included watching Drew Brees smash the 27-year old single season passing yards record held by Dan Marino. That's Drew Brees a.k.a Breesus, the New Orleans Saints' inspirational quarterback breaking the record in front of his home crowd, while we watched it at a friend of mine's family's place in New Orleans. Unforgettable. 

Each night Bourbon St and it's Hurricanes and Hand Grenades provided for entertainment in the commercial but oh so fun form in the evenings before a groovy local hangout/jazz club/dive bar treated us to some of the most eclectic mixes of characters and smoky jazz music I have ever witnessed. Ok, the most eclectic mix of characters and smoky jazz music I have ever witnessed. And these swinging and shaking scenes carried us late into the night.   

New Orleans food! Damn the food was amazing. Gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish, po-boys... so much and so good. Asian Zing's carpenter even brought us hot donuts one morning. When I went to thank him for the gift he said to me, "ya'll think those are good? I know a place man, that has the best donuts in Nawlins. It's kinda far away but I go there when I can, I'm a donut fanatic man. How long ya'll here for? Friday? Ok, if I go by that place again I'll pick some up for ya'll and you can tell me which you think are better alright? "

What a legend.

'Nawlins' is full of characters like that. Our cab driver on the one morning, an elderly gent, small man, was cut off in the slow-motion way that only happens down south by a little old lady of similar geriatric tendencies. He let her figure it out, shaking his head, and just said, "in a hurry, going nowhere. Grandma you shoulda known better... we should leave that up to these here young folk," as he tapped G $ on the shoulder. 

We saw another guy at a bar smoking his pipe, all casual like, to which Jilly Bob commented, "you don't smoke pipes unless you solving crimes." He then became an altogether other kind of character to us - sleuth-like and astute.

Cab drivers were some of the best though. One night we had Al. Al told us that bitches love money. Al told us a few other things that have no place in a blog of this repute. Another morning we had a rather large woman with such a genuine personality tell us about the Mardi Gras crewes that parade during the festival. Fascinating stuff. She told us we could have our own crewe if we wanted. She asked where we came from. "South Africa? What's that Cape you have over there? The Cape of Good Hope? Well, we could be like.... The Good Hope Gang or summin'... you know, and have horns and play tricks and stuff..." Bless.

There was the gay barman whose bar we happened to stumble into at 1am, the only people in the place, and have Irish Carbombs with. He gave Warren G a new nickname - Sweet Dick Daddy with the Candy Nuts. Cute!

All this time we treated ourselves to the best New Orleans had to offer - the French Quarter, a ferry across the Mississippi, old Algiers, the Lower Garden District... Warren G $ was so inspired he spent a lot of time thinking about tweets ("the rest is just life") and Jilly Bob probably summed it up best when she said on the last day, "I can't laugh anymore, make it stop", as she peeled off into more yellowy giggles. 

So with an epic adventure behind us, it was left to New Year's Eve to signal in 2012 and provide one last blowout bender to make the last two weeks a complete write-off, but the perfect springboard into the self-improvement that every new year brings. And so it was, another laser party at my place that we all, Warren G $, The Greek, Spriggles, The Real Rael Kenny, Jo-Jo, Lanie, and a host of others ringed in the new year, which promises to be a year to 'Two Thousand and Delve a Little Deeper'.