NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana. I have a musician friend who tells me this is her soul city. I have a photographer friend who tells me she would like to go back there and do an expose on the homeless. Yet another friend agrees that it is a terrible place.

New Orleans is not for me. It is crime riddled, dirty, polluted, stinky and an undercurrent of so much anger that it feels like it is going to explode and burn up this sinking city at any moment. Yes, the city is slowly eroding into the ocean because it was built below sea level. Every hurricane that passes through there, eats away at it. Whole cemeteries float away and in general this city has scared me into promising that I’ll never go back there. The voodoo alone has put the caboose on things for me.

There is big hype about the New Orleans food, but I have found it mediocre at best and terrible for the most part. What made it even worse for me is that once you hit Bourbon Street you have to stand outside for hours in either extreme heat, rain or cold weather to wait for a table.

When night falls Bourbon Street becomes an insanity. Throngs of people hit the street. In places the noise is deafening and there are overly drunk people staggering around, some throwing up in corners. Cling onto your purse. There are too many muggings for my taste and on some level it took me back to the scary days of living in Africa. Well, OK. Perhaps not quite as bad, but just enough to trigger scary memories.

We did have a good bayou experience touring on an air boat, seeing the swamps, alligators and Spanish moss. I did have a good time with a friend visiting a plantation house and having lunch on Bourbon Street.

The best part of New Orleans for me was leaving with the knowledge that I’ll never return. Hide me away in the quiet wilderness or countryside of North America and my heart will rejoice.

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