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Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Just another tourist..."‏

Diana LaRussa aka F. Karimah lives in Louisiana and works as a seamstress. She has traveled the globe and has managed raising 4 children along the way. Diana was my high school sweetheart. Diana is dakinetalk's first guest blogger.  Send your guest blogs to; jrsensei@hotmail.com    if  you would like to express a story, memory, joke or just wish to share anything, that's dakine!

My wanderlust began back in 1974 when I graduated from high school. My boyfriend (James "Kimo" Rosen, yes that James "Kimo" Rosen) and I decided to sight-see in the US, Canada and Mexico using an Ameripass from Greyhound bus. When I told my parents that we were going on this adventure  (notice I said"told'), the only thing my father said to us was, “don't get her pregnant!”. Well, that's about the only thing that didn't happen on this trip!

To make a very adventurous two month story fit into the guest blog addition, I will explain the photograph that I took last week in New Orleans. (photo above)

After much frolicking around on our trip, doing everything we could possibly do in as many places as we could do them in, we landed in the French quarters of New Orleans, starving, dirty and broke. We found jobs cleaning, restocking the Hot-dog wagons as well as selling weiners.

At the time, it meant a place to bed down (we lived in the loft above the place the weiner wagons were stored each night). We had been sleeping on the floor in a New Orleans hostel (called the "Head-Inn") and were given the bathtub to sleep in since they were overbooked!! (haha) Wow, a place to shower! It meant money because we earned a  small percentage from each hot dog sold. Food-well, we had to pay for the Hot-dogs but not the buns-we ate buns by the tonnes.

Some of the walk-bys that were regulars on Bourbon street where we worked were transvestites. I had gay friends in High-school therefore this wasn't shocking to me. How I knew this was that when the 'guys' were looking for paying customers (IE:walking alone) they spoke in male voices but once they strolled by us with a customer, they had very female voices. Back and forth they went-they knew us as 'the ones who had the weiner cart' so they were friendly. I remember one had told us to 'fleece' the customers for their change. The customers were so drunk that they wouldn't notice anything missing.

The night-clubs across from us had girls on swings who had pasties on. The doors would get flung open for potential customers to get a quick look at the girls who had each 'breast swinging pastie' going in opposite directions!! This a trick I figured my boyfriend would love to see me do in our little cubbyhole above the weiner wagons. alas, I was too tired at the end of the day to even think about 'preforming'. After-all, we cleaned all of the carts each night to earn money to continue on the adventure of our celebration that high school was over.

We fled from this hot dog haven when we got word one night that the owner of the carts had been shot dead selling hot-dogs just down the street from where we sold. I don't even think we waited to get this verified as we had seen so much 'on the streets' by then, that this could have only been how it was supposed to end for us in the French quarters of New Orleans.

All this came rushing back to me as I took this picture last week,(above) I chuckled when I took the picture, the guy behind the cart probably figured I was 'just another' tourist.

I think I was much more than "Just another tourist," don't you?

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