Video by: Philip, Josh, Hannah, Cristian
Olivia: Today’s experience of life in New Orleans was in the transit. Here, it is common to ride the transit everywhere; this was something different for me. The transit is a nice experience and a cheap option for transportation; you get to connect with the city and to have some conversations with other passengers, get to know stories and adventures around the city and live the experience of riding the cable car. Personally, I think it will be hard for me to ride the cable car every day. To be able to ride the bus on time, you need to check your time in all your activities, being on time in the station and waiting for the cable car to get there. I feel that a busy, tight schedule will be hard to manage with the cable car. Today, I have been engaging in small conversations with random people. At Loyola University while waiting at the bus stop, I engaged in a short conversation with one student; in the transit I was sitting next to a couple that was on a vacation and I had a short conversation with them as well. I am getting more comfortable talking with people I have never seen before and have small interactions that will make my experience in New Orleans better.
Ricardo: My street car experience was simply awesome. What made it fun was the fact that it was a new experience for me. It was also fun because we went around New Orleans, looking at the different neighborhoods. What I also enjoyed about the street car was that it got so crowded. There was people all over the aisle. The only thing I didn’t like about the street car was the fact that I got dizzy form standing on the aisle and that it was so loud that it hurt my ears. The reason why I got dizzy was because the street car moved a lot. Overall, this was a great opportunity to see how the locals get around the city.
To be honest I didn’t really greet as many people as I wanted. The only time I had the opportunity to say, “good morning” to people was when I had breakfast at the hotel. As I got my food I said, “good morning” to the ladies serving the food. The other place where I asked a few people how their day was going was when I was at the elevator. But outside the hotel I didn’t have the opportunity to greet people. I didn’t greet any one as I was planning to because we’re always in a rush to get to a place, so I totally forgot about it. I hope I can do better tomorrow and greet people as I walk by them.
Elizabeth: Today I experienced riding the infamous New Orleans street car for the first time. Sitting under the morning sun and hearing the rhythm the tracks made was strangely relaxing. I enjoyed watching people get on and off the bus wondering where they were headed to and coming to the realization that although the people of New Orleans do things a bit differently they still live everyday lives just like us. Although the bus became crowded at times I was surprised at how comfortable I felt with people invading my personal space. Within the last few days I have really learned to grasp just how the people here interact with each other and have made an effort to adapt some of that into my own lifestyle.
I have challenged myself to initiate conversations with people rather than keep to myself and in doing so have felt more confident and just an overall happier person. I met a girl from Southern University of New Orleans in the hotel elevator who was here at a conference representing her school and I thought that was really exciting since we had just visited her school two days prior! She was surprised to hear that I even knew of her school and I think she appreciated our conversation. I am hoping to be able to implement this way of living as I return home as well. We’ll see how it goes!
Ryan: The town car, “Trolley” is the equivalent of our bus or railway system in Seattle. Today was my first experience on a town car and found it to be pretty fun that expressed some cultural differences. The conductor was extremely nice, greeted each person, and even helped us get a pass for the day. He would yell out each major intersection and pay attention to each person when they hit the bell to get off. Persons on the trolley were quiet but welcomed a conversation. People would tell you about different mom and pop shops to go to and even asked questions about Washington. One eye opener was how many people they would shove into the trolleys during busy times of the day. There was a point where you were back to back standing in the aisle, but even then you could still get a laugh or two out of persons in front or behind you with a simple saying. Yesterday during our debrief we received a challenge to welcome people we pass by or sit next to for spring quarter, which sounds simple until you really think about how many people you actually make eye contact with at school. Today I didn’t really change my routine because I normally say, “Hi” or “Good Morning” to people that I stand or sit next to. Although I did notice a couple of situations where I could have said a simple greeting to a couple of passers by. Especially at the Pelicans basketball game, there were multiple times that I could have said a simple greeting to people but didn’t. I told myself that there were some chances that I could have done it but didn’t because we are so used to avoiding simple gestures in our culture (not in a bad way). I am going to work on it and soon it will become second nature.