One thing I had wanted to do during my vacation was make a trip to New Orleans to see the cemeteries. (I have heard the cemeteries there are beautiful, almost on the level of Pere Lachaise.) My plan to make a two-day trip and spend the night there was the first thing to fall through. I had hoped that a friend of mine would go with me, and that fell through next. I wasn't exactly thrilled about driving to Nola and back by myself in one day (+3 hours), but I've wanted to see the cemeteries there for so long, so yesterday morning, I set out.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer youself in any direction you choose.
The trip was smooth until I actually got to Nola. Rebecca made some stupid decisions, namely traveling by herself to a strange city without bringing a map. In my defense, I had only wanted to see the cemeteries, which are just off the interstate and should've been easy to find. But it turns out that Nola is full of twists and turns, one-way streets, the biggest potholes I've ever seen, and roundabouts (which I haven't seen since I left Europe)!
And if you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up her mind.
My nerves got good and frazzled, and then... I had my first car crash. I was at fault. No one was injured. The guy I hit said it was a bad intersection where wrecks had happened before. He didn't have any damage except for a flat tire, but poor Muse Watson (my car) was in bad shape. I drove to the closest auto repair place I could find, and they said they could fix him but it would take a week. I didn't know anyone in Nola and had to call my mom to come get me. Call me a wuss, but it was damn scary. It was my first wreck and I was so shaken-up. I had no idea how much it would cost to fix Muse Watson, or if my insurance would cover it, or if the guy I hit might sue me, etc. I wanted to scream, cry, and hit something, but I didn't. I forced myself to stay calm through the whole ordeal. I try very hard not to panic in emergencies, and I think this time, I did it.
I'm sorry to say, but sadly, it's true
that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you.
I had no car and about four hours to kill in a strange neighborhood. First I waited in the repair shop lobby and read People magazines until they closed. Then I sat in a tiny bookstore until they closed (I bought Letters from Rifka to read while I waited). Then I browsed around in a pet store until they closed. Then I took a stroll around the neighborhood. Once out of my car, I saw Nola is a beautiful city. The area was so urban. There were corner delis and cafes, businesses and churches, flowers in bloom, and beautiful old houses with balconies draped with Mardi Gras beads and wrought-iron gates topped with fleur de lis. I wanted to take pictures, but my hands were too shaky.
All alone! Whether you like it or not,
alone will be something you'll be quite a lot.
And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll see things that scare you right out of your pants.
I was eating dinner in a Subway when Mom called me, screaming at me for directions to where I was. (Apparently she, like me, map-quested worthless directions.) I had to run to a Wal-Green's and buy a city map, then ask directions from a sheriff. Staying calm in emergencies is not Mom's strong suit. It was the most stressful part of the day. It took almost another hour for her to find me.
Today I called my insurance company and the repair place in New Orleans. Muse Watson will be fixed by next Friday, and all I have to pay is the deductible. I keep telling myself that at least no one was hurt... except my pride, my good driving record, and my car. I can't stop beating myself up about it all!
But I do have some good news: Grandma's making spaghetti tomorrow, and on Sunday, I plan to celebrate Purim for the first time with a festival at the temple. I'm a bit nervous about that becaue I have no idea what it'll be like. Tuesday is the first of three new NCIS episodes (starting with Out of the Frying Pan), and I can't wait to see how the storylines with Ray and EJ will play out!
My poor Muse Watson!
So be sure where you step. Step with care and great tact,
and remember that life's a great balancing act.
Just never foget to be dexterous and deft,
and never mix up your right foot with your left!