One Year Transplant: The Pros and Cons of Louisiana

I have officially been in Louisiana for one year. And this blog is one year old now. Huzzah!
Alex told me that I can’t judge a new place until I’ve lived there one year. Well, it’s been one year.

The Pros

The People
The people in Louisiana are actually not overly friendly. However, I’m very obviously a yankee. The reason I have this in the pros is because whenever I go to Arkansas, we meet really nice people. I don’t think I’ve ever paid for coffee in a gas station in Arkansas because they see my Alaska license plates and they talk to be about how awesome the military is. Overall though, I’ve met some really nice people in Louisiana and they’re very good about trying to keep in contact. Unfortunately, I’m such a homebody that I never see any of these people.

The Food
The food in Louisiana is awesome. From Jambalaya to Cajun seasoning, I have to say that the food here is just all around good. The veggies are just so fresh and flavorful, the food in restaurants, even chain restaurants, are just so much better than the chains that are up north. Olive Garden in Louisiana is actually good. I have no idea why.

Gas Prices
Gas at Sam’s club by my house is $3.04. That’s way cheaper than I’ve paid since before I moved away from Minnesota.

Sin Tax
I don’t smoke, but my friend who does told me that $3.50 a pack is dirt cheap. And when I visited Minnesota recently, I realized that alcohol is dirt cheap here too. A bottle of whiskey here is ten bucks, in Minnesota the same bottle of whiskey was $19. Also, junk food is really cheap. A bag of chips is $2. Minnesota it’s closer to $8. The lack of sin tax is nice.

Surprisingly, it helps me deal with the bible belt

Surprisingly, it helps me deal with the bible belt

The Cons

The People
Yes, the people make and break this place. It’s one thing to have friendly people, but it’s another to have people who are incredibly racist. I will be totally and completely honest: I don’t understand racism. Who cares if you’re white or black? Gay or straight? I honestly, truly don’t care about what you look like, I just care about the sweat on your brow and how kind you are to others. I’m coming to hate people who are upper class. They say that the lower class is lazy, but after working a crappy low paying job, I can say that I’ve never worked so hard for so little. It’s ridiculous.

The Weather
On Christmas day last year, it hit 80 degrees. That was the first time that I was able to wear flip flops on Christmas. Additionally, it is impossible for me to get into the Christmas or any holiday spirit here. I think this is because I’m used to a very temperate zone. Thanksgiving and Christmas, and also Easter, always had snow. Well, Easter usually had a blizzard or the lilacs were just starting to bloom. The fact that winter didn’t start until January and it was spring by February freaks me out and I hate it.

Cockroaches
I’ve mentioned my love for cockroaches several times. And I can tell you that I’m a much better housekeeper now than I ever was. However, I’m a better housekeeper because we have those wonderful cockroaches mooching on everything. The fact that I clean my kitchen and a three inch long cockroach hisses at me and crawls behind the stove went from being terrifying to just irritating. I’m getting tempted to burn my house down.

Not that big here, but if they were, I would never leave the north pole

Not that big here, but if they were, I would never leave the north pole

The Critters
This is to address the opossums in my garbage, the 30+ pound swamp rats that hang out in my yard, the armadillos littering the road dead, the raccoons that chase kids down the street, the scorpions that are in my yard, and the snakes that appear in my yard if I don’t mow it regularly.
I moved to Alaska to get away from snakes. There are no snakes in Alaska. There were only garter snakes in Minnesota. We have snakes that can kill you here. Not cool, Louisiana.

DAMN SWAMP RATS!  THEY'RE NOT EVEN CUTE!

DAMN SWAMP RATS! THEY’RE NOT EVEN CUTE!

Sales Tax
Until I was living in Alaska, I had no idea that food and clothing was taxed in other states. Minnesota is a wonderful place where food, excluding junk food, and clothing is tax free. The rest of the tax in the state is 6%. In Louisiana, everything is 9% sales tax. Including groceries. Which is ridiculous.

Overall: I would sacrifice a baby goat to the corn gods of Iowa to take me from this place. Alas, the military says I have to stay. So I’m going to continually try to find the good in this place, be it eating tons of delicious food, or going to the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier to check out the outlet stores.

What are some of the pros and cons of where you live? Would you want to live somewhere else? Tell me in the comments!

His Name Was Arthur

About a week after moving in to my house here in Louisiana, I was out in my yard taking out the dogs so they could do their business.  It was around 100 degrees and since I had been living in Alaska for five years prior to this, I was basically glowing.  Not glowing as in “oh, so pretty,” I mean I was glowing as in I looked radioactive because of how the sun was bouncing off my skin.  Seriously, Alex had to look at me with sun glasses because I hurt his eyes.

It was ridiculous.

Anyway, when I was out,  my neighbor, who scraps metal for a living, was in his yard with his friend doing his scrap  metal thing.  He came over to the fence, where I walked over and introduced myself.

“Hey there, I’m Leah.  We just moved here from Alaska,” I tell him, and he smiled.

“Nice ta’ meetcha.  I’m Ah-tha.”

This was my first interaction with a true southerner.  His accent was so thick I was barely able to make out the “Nice ta’ meetcha.”  I was seriously at a loss for words.

“Uh.. What?”

He clears his throat.  “I’m Ah-tha.  My name is Ah-tha.”

I could tell he was trying to clear his southern accent, but I seriously could not understand what he was saying.  I felt like I was being really rude.

“I’m sorry, what did you say?” I ask him, trying to speak as clearly as I can.

He gives me a weird look, and repeats what he said.  “I’m Ah-tha.”

After a few more times of me saying “I’m sorry, I can’t understand you,” his friend finally stands up, in a perfectly clear accent, and says this.

“HE SAID HIS NAME IS ARTHUR!”

My face, in a nutshell.

My face, in a nutshell.

Never, in a million years, would I have guessed that’s what he was saying.

And that was the last time I ever talked to my neighbor.

According to Google, Sookie Stackhouse is a Drunk Cajun Fairy

When I was facebooking one day, as many people tend to do, I ended up talking to my friend Shannon, someone I went to college with and is a perfect example of what Alaskans are like.  She’s odd, funny, gun loving, outspoken, and overall just a ball to hang out with.  I haven’t seen in her in god knows how long, but whenever I message her, I always end up laughing out loud.

This is how our conversation went.  She messaged me because she posted a status that said “I’m in love with my ex” to which I was like WTF?!  So this is how it all started.

 

Shannon: It’s a game. You should have never commented. The person who likes/comments has to choose one of the following to post as his/her Status. 1. We eloped! 2. We’re getting married.3. We’re engaged 4. Wedding bells 5. Engagement ring 6. I’m moving to another country. 7. I’m expecting 8. Ultrasound 9. I just bought a new Ferrari. 10. I just got a pet Alligator. 11. I’m still in love with my ex. 12. I’m in love with a stripper. 13. I’m a stripper on weekends. Note: You cannot explain anything, just post and leave it up for a few days and INBOX only your victims. I apologize (but not really, because I was a ‘victim’ too).  Also, yes, it would be VERY bad if I were still in love with my ex. He was an emotionally abusive asshole.

  • Me:  FUCK!  I guess I have a pet alligator now.

Shannon:  THAT WAS MY EXACT RESPONSE. Oh man I was hoping you’d go with Alligator.

Me: Because I’m in Louisiana?  It IS believable here.

Shannon: That is precisely why.

 

Me: If I said anything about a baby I’d get a shitload of angry calls from my family.  They’d be like YOU CAN’T FUCKING CALL AND TELL US! WE’RE VISITING and I’d be like NO DON’T DO THAT!  FUCK!

Shannon:  Right? Me too.  Ohhh man I miss you.

Me:  I misss you too.  I miss Alaska.  I miss Fairbanks.  Fairbanks was home.  Shreveport is just fairy country, but not even real fairies.  Just drunk cajuns who talk weird.*

Shannon:  Hahaha now I’m imagining disney-esque fairies with beer bellies swerving drunkenly through the air.  Bibbidee-bobeddee-buuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrp!

 

To which I laughed way more than I should have.  Then I decided to look up pictures of drunk Cajun fairies.  The only result was pictures of Sookie Stackhouse and various pictures of porn.

Well played, google, well played.

 

*Note:  When I say talk weird, I mean differently than me.  I’ve been told I talk very strangely because I’m from Minnesota, so I really can’t say anything about talking weird.