So folks, with a hop, skip and a jump we arrived safely in New Orleans (N.O.). Having left London in driving rain and 8 degrees it was a pleasure to alight from the airport at dusk to a warm breeze, 22 degrees and mild humidity. We were given the traditional ever rude USA welcome by our taxi driver – NOT, he was Indian, very helpful and pleasant. We spent the half hour ride to our hotel chatting about India and where to find the best Indian restaurants in N O. At the hotel check-in we were greeted by your typical over confident and positive American receptionist – NOT, she was a delightful shy young lady from India. It turns out that she had only just joined the company and was having difficulty operating the computer. Her accent was so strong I couldn’t understand a word she said, so Linda acted as interpreter. Turns out she had us listed for an easy access disabled room! Many years ago I read a book about the power of words. One useful tip was on how to get upgraded at an airport, hotel, car hire company etc. It suggested the non offensive phrase “would it be possible to have a courtesy upgrade please?”. Despite my temporary hearing difficulties, I understand her load and clear on this occasion…..she said no! Nevertheless do try it, as it often works, and true to the book no one is ever offended by it.
Having checked in and anxious to delay bedtime for as long as possible (we are 6 hours behind the UK which means we were in danger of going to bed almost exactly at the time our body clocks were telling us to get up) we set of for dinner at the hotels sports bar. Our waiter enthusiastically approached our table,crouched down on his haunches in that patronising way they do over here, and said “howdy sir, ma’am, my name is Randy and I’ll be your host for tonight” – NOT. Are you following this theme? He looked a lot like Imran Khan (yes I know he’s Pakistani), was charming and very helpful. Yet another member of the sub continent brigade. As many of you will know, further north in America all the waiters seem to be from eastern Europe, much like the UK. Not so here. So far it seems this area has been claimed by the Indians and I don’t mean Running Bulls clan!
Joy of joys we can receive Radio 4 on my BBC radio App. This means that Linda won’t miss a single episode of The Archers. And I can continue shouting at the politically biased John Humphries on BBC Radio 4 Today. Bliss!
Fear not, I won’t witter on like this every day. Jet lag wrecked my nights sleep so I am sitting in bed a 5.30am killing time until breakfast is served.
First sight of the mighty Mississippi river