Nine Things to Expect When a Cajun Moves to Your Town
We've all been there at some point in our lives. We find ourselves somewhere outside of South Louisiana surrounded by people not accustomed to the things we say or do. We might let out a "C
1) Expect Really Good Food - Here in South Louisiana, we have food at gas stations better than most fancy restaurants in your town. That's not an opinion, it's a fact pretty much kind of.
We'll cook gumbo, jambalaya, boudin, pigs, meatball stew, bread pudding and numerous other things you've probably never eaten. We cook well, and we cook in volume, so get ready for us to "run you a plate". More on that later.
2) Expect to Start Having a Lot of Festivals - Spending our weekends having a good time is literally in our DNA. It's our "Joie De Vivre" or love for life if you will. One way we do this is with festivals.
On any given weekend in Louisiana, you'll find a festival or three somewhere. To us, you can throw a festival for just about anything. We have festivals for rice, shrimp, music, and even the Loup Garou, or Rougaroux. Here's an interactive map so you can prepare yourself.
If your town has, let's say a Fruit Of The Loom factory, you can get ready for the inaugural "Underwear Festival". I'm not even kidding, and you're going to love it.
3) Expect Unsolicited Help - One of our finest qualities is our willingness to help those around us, whether you ask for the help or not.
If you're at work for the day and you come home to find us fixing the loose boards on your deck, don't freak out. When you invited us over the other day, we noticed your kids tripped on those boards when they came over to say hello. We didn't want any of you to get hurt, and we had exactly what was needed to fix it, so we just took care of it.
No, you don't owe us anything, we're just glad we could help you out. Don't feel weird about it, we're not keeping score.
4) Expect To Run Low On Beer - Exactly what brand of beer remains a hot debate and varies from Cajun to Cajun, but your town's supply of a particular brand is about get scarce.
When you grab a six-pack to unwind, we're going to grab at least a 12-pack. Don't get nervous, this doesn't mean we're going to be a problem or that we have a problem.
We have strong French roots and many of our behaviors reflect that. Because of these behaviors, and because we're Saints fans, we've probably also built up quite a tolerance the likes of which you're not accustomed to.
It will be fine, I promise...unless we say "Hold my beer, I wanna show you something". Then, you should definitely be a little nervous, because anything could happen.
5) Expect Us To Dance With Your Men And Women - We may approach your significant other at a bar or wedding and ask them to dance. Honestly, this can happen at a restaurant, or even at the grocery store. This does not mean we're trying to pick up on them.
When it comes to music, we either know how to play it, or we know how to dance to it. We grow up learning how to Cajun Jitterbug in the kitchen with our Grand Parents. When the right song comes on, we can't help but look for the nearest dance partner and start tearing it up.
If you get mad at us, we're not going to know why and the entire situation is going to get very weird.
6) Expect Us To Ask Where The Nearest Drive-Thru Daiquiri Place Is - There are mythical structures in South Louisiana called "Drive-Thru Daiquiri Shops". I'm here to let you know, they're 100% real.
I know you're asking yourself "How can this even be legal?"
Well, you see, if you keep the paper from the straw on the straw, then it's legal here. Seriously, we have no clue how it's legal, we just go with it.
We're going to ask you where your drive-thru shops are because at some point we'll forget you don't have these. These aren't as vital to us as music, food or dancing, so we should get over it fairly well, maybe.
7) Expect Us To Name Drop Like You Know Who We're Talking About - So, we'll be having a conversation with you about something that happened to us, let's say at work on any particular day, and be all like "Man, when I went to lunch today with John and Wes, we almost got in a wreck".
You'll have no idea who John and Wes are, and it's OK. We don't even expect you to know, as it won't be an integral part of what we're trying to tell you.
We are very personal and personable people, so saying we almost got into a wreck with "a couple of people we work with" just isn't going to happen. We also won't say "My mother called today", we'll say "Mama called today" as if you've known her your whole life.
8) Expect Us To Ask You If You Want Something Before We Throw It Away - By nature, we're pretty frugal, but very generous people. We're not hoarders, we just have a problem throwing things away if we think someone else would want or need it.
Swing sets, shoes, dog kennels, food, clothes, you name it. Before we decide to get rid of something for good, you'll hear us say "Before I throw this away, I wanted to see if you would want it".
We'll ask you this a lot too, but don't take it the wrong way. We're not asking because we think you need it. Don't read too much into it.
9) Expect Us To Drop In Unannounced - Admittedly, Cajuns are some of the biggest offenders of the unannounced drop in. We refer to it as "Making a pass".
Remember earlier when I said we're going to "run you a plate"? "Running a plate" is simply bringing you leftovers from the enormous amount of food we've cooked, and it's an integral component of the unannounced drop in. Yes, we have cell phones, and we could easily call or text, but that's just silly.
Also, very important for you to know that if we do actually call or text you before we "make a pass", we're probably already in your driveway.
There you have it, your very own guide on what to expect when a Cajun moves to your town. In the event that we do come to your neck of the woods, please know how excited we are to meet you and teach you about our culture, and to also learn as much as we can about yours.
We love to learn new things and will be chomping at the bit to find out everything we can about your town, and celebrate it along with you. I mean, we've got to find a reason to have a festival, right?