Only In Acadiana
Acadiana is one of the most unique places in the world. With an eclectic blend of cultures and an emphasis on community, fellowship, and fun, it's safe to say we do things a little bit...different. Though it would be impossible to capture the unmistakable spirit that makes up Acadiana in a few paragraphs, here's a brief list of some of the more familiar idiosyncrasies that may seem odd to foreigners, but are completely familiar for those lucky enough to grow up in the greatest area in the country.
1. We Leave Boats Everywhere
Roadside emergencies are common throughout the country. Vehicles breakdown all the time and in many cases the only solution is for the driver to abandon their vehicle to seek help on foot. While an abandoned car on the side of the road is nothing strange, Acadiana tends to put it's own spin on the situation.
At least once a week somewhere in Acadiana, you will pass up an abandoned boat and trailer sitting on the side of the road. Though most of us hardly bat an eye at these occurrences, from an outsiders prospective you must understand that this is not normal. I mean, what the hell happened that caused someone to leave their boat? Did the boat run out of gas? Did the person pulling the boat decide they didn't want to go fishing anymore? What is the story behind the abandoned boat?
While they may never make any travel brochures or show up in any commercials, seeing a boat on the side of the road is always a reminder to me that I'm home.
2. We Have To Be Told Not To Bring Ice Chests Places
Ice chests are fantastic. You can put your food and drinks in them. They keep things cold, and you can sit on them when you're tired of standing. Ice chests are such a big part of culture in Acadiana that nearly every home I've ever been in has a special area outside where 14 ice chests that have been collected over the years are stored.
Unfortunately, Acadiana's love affair for ice chests means that every public event that takes place in the area must have specific ice chest rules. If you don't tell us in writing that we can't bring ice chests, we're going to bring them. We're going to bring a lot of them. And then we're going to sit on them.
3. We Buy Seafood On the Side of the Road
In most places in the country, buying seafood on the side of the road from a dude with a windowless van and a sketchy handwritten sign would be a one way ticket on the pain train to the nearest hospital. However, in Acadiana, not only do we buy our seafood from these roadside vendors, we know their names and argue with our friends over who's got the best roadside guy. While most of the country is content relying on supermarkets for the freshest seafood, here in Acadiana we know that if you really want the good stuff, you've got to buy it off the back of a pickup truck.
4. We Carry Around Seasoning
The major complaint for any true Cajun when visiting other parts of the country is that the food just isn't spicy enough. For the most daring of Cajun pallets, even the food here can be found lacking of the desired heat. For that reason, many of us carry around personal spice cabinets. Only in Acadiana will you see a lady pulling her favorite hot sauce out of her purse or a man getting a packet of seasoning out of his pocket. We've got an addiction for spice and we keep it around us at all times.
5. We Fight Over Shaded Parking Spots
For most of the universe, the best parking spots are the ones nearest the destination, but like so many other things here, that's not how it works in Acadiana. When the summer sun is beating down on us, it's common to pull into a parking lot and find parking spaces near the front of stores open while cars are huddled around the areas of shade. If you've ever sat in a car left alone beneath the Louisiana heat you understand why. Though we may have to walk a little further, we'd rather have a spot in the shade than have to deal with getting into a car that feels like the center of a volcano, because honestly, who likes burning themselves on seat on seat belts.
6. We Own Old Smokeys
I recently read an article written about an outsider who described something he found interesting while tailgating at a UL game that I had never noticed before. We love Old Smokeys. Though it may not seem strange to us, most of the country does not carry around a small arsenal of smokers everywhere they go. We on the other hand love our smokers. For many of us one Old Smokey is simply not enough. We collect them like baseball cards. They are under out patios, in our barns, in the back of our trucks, and on our front porches.
How'd you like our list of things only found in Acadiana? Can you think of more? Let us know in the comment section and be sure to "Like" this page to share it with your friends.