Free Essay

My First Experience

In: English and Literature

Submitted By ebelesamuel
Words 1056
Pages 5
Ebelenna S. Anekwe
March 23, 2016
New Orleans Louisiana, USA
I was born and raised in western part of Africa, Nigeria to be exact. I have lived in Africa all my life and I loved the African culture. I have not been a globe trotter but every part of Nigeria and Africa is pretty much the same. My first major travel experience is to come to New Orleans, Louisiana United States of America to study after spending eight (8) year in a Nigerian University (University of Maiduguri) without graduating. Everything is entirely different in this part of the world. Unlike some parts of Nigeria that currently does not want westernization including western education. I clearly see what makes America great and New Orleans the crescent city facing the Mississippi river and the birth place of jazz with rich culture.
I boarded a Delta Airline to the United States to start the spring semester in Southern University New Orleans in January 2014. I looked forward to seeing the beauty of America as I’ve always see in movies. As I got off the plane at Louis Armstrong International airport (MSY), got hold of my luggage, I started to notice the difference and it dawned on me that I am over 100,000 miles away from home. Evidently, it was different out here than what I use to know. Everyone knew their way around. I barely could communicate because no one had the patience to understand my thick English accent. I tried to speak to a white lady by a corner and she walked away from me after saying “I can’t understand you”. I felt humiliated and wished I could board the next flight back to my country. America was too busy for me at the airport. I spent over 2 hours trying to connect with the International Students director (Josephine Okoronkwo). I got different comments like; “you not from here”, “do you speak French or Latin” almost everyone I met or spoke to at the airport, asked me “where are you from?” they often added “your accent is strong”, “you have an accent”. I felt odd because everyone spoke very fast or does not complete sentences. The airport was absolutely beautiful.
Meanwhile, I discovered the architectural design of the buildings in New Orleans, it was magnificent and excellently constructed. The famous Mercedes-Benz Superdome was one of the best structures I have ever seen. Its 273-foot (83 m) dome, made of a lamellar multi-ringed frame and has a diameter of 680 feet (210 m), making it the largest fixed domed structure in the world. Having a seating capacity of 76,468 makes it one of the best places to watch New Orleans Saints. The French Quarter is the oldest part of New Orleans. The original twenty blocks that formed the fledgling city of New Orleans that was laid out in 1721 around the Place d'Armes, now Jackson Square. Most of the houses in the French Quarter were built before Louisiana was sold to the United States in 1803. The area has been surprisingly well preserved, and as a result it is full of historic buildings designed in Creole and Spanish style with beautiful laced balconies and shuttered windows. The compact size and low car traffic (there are no parking lots) it is best to explore the French Quarter on foot. The engineering of the bridges, the road networks, the traffic lights and coordinated movements of cars is beyond my imagination. In Nigeria, traffic laws are never obeyed and it increased accident rates and loss of innocent souls. I was mesmerized by the buildings and the functionality of electricity including street lights and power in general. In the 25years I spent in Africa, I have never stayed a day without the electricity going off and on. The housing designs here are so comfortable you could only see those types of building in a Nigerian politician residences that has stolen the national treasures and kept the masses wandering. The experiences of these world class sites is still on top of my list of unforgettable memories.
The New Orleans food and music leaves a lasting impression. Every of the meal from gumbo to crawfish etouffee, the savory Cajun specialty that is one of the city’s tastiest dishes makes me yawn for more plates. From jambalaya to red beans and rice that makes one wish everyday was a Monday in New Orleans. Muffulettas, beignets, po-boys and oysters. The New Orleans cuisine is nothing short of fabulousness and the restaurants downtown serves those best with fine wines and jazz music playing in the background.
Africa has a rich and beautiful culture but my first mardi gras experience in New Orleans kept me in awe till date. The popular practices on Mardi Gras which include wearing masks and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, sports competitions, parades, debauchery, etc. During mardi gras season, it was a celebration galore. I saw more joyous people than I have ever seen in my life. I overheard people taking about how they flew in from far and wide to be part of the biggest party on the planet. I was happy seeing people smile, merry and party. I went to some of the parades and it was nothing short of fun and excitement catching beads and throws with the famous saying “throw me something mister”. I was able to see queens and kings of different kwere ride by on floats. I caught a well-designed shoe from the thriving celebrity Solange Knowles during the famous Muses parade. They were colorful, full of glitz, glamor and grace. I admired seamlessly the marching bands and dancing dolls display skills as I dance to the southern creole tunes profusely. I experienced seafood diets and the famous king cakes to the brim and instantly fell in love over again with New Orleans. Though I never got the baby. What more can I ask for than my New Orleans (New Awlins) – ‘the big easy’.
New Orleans has been a blessing as I have learned so many new things and met several people that has been a source of inspiration on both my spiritual, academic and emotional life. My New Orleans experience is one that will forever hold close to my heart when I return back to Africa. God bless America.…...

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