by María L. Trigos S. Gilbert

From my last article, Two Worlds Embracing, I received some questions from one of my readers. I will answer them in this article in combination to some of the posted questions that myself included in that previous article. I think the following: No, it is not true that people’s opinions are always so accurate.

Certainly I wouldn’t agree with all of those opinions. Yet I want to elaborate more my own opinion about Louisiana in reference to people’s points of view. Nevertheless, I do think it is fair to write USA citizens’ opinions besides my own for the sake of all of us, people who are actually living in the state of Louisiana and people who are not actually living in this state where I live, Louisiana.

Forming Opinion
It is difficult to have an opinion about a place where one is not living in, unless one has lived, experienced, or studied some of the state into consideration. In this case we are talking about Louisiana. When World War II was going on, I wasn’t alive, nor even close to being born. It is a disadvantage to have an accurate opinion about the occurrences that took place in those days since I wasn’t alive during that time. So what is left to do when one wasn’t around or even close to it?

In my opinion, it is a matter of doing some reading and studying. Now, where Louisiana is concerned, I have a real opinion, for I’ve been living in this state for three years and a half. So yes, I would say that Louisiana’s cuisine is excellent because I have tasted it since I got here. I love Louisiana’s cuisine, and from my short experience into other states Louisiana has a marvelous cuisine. I am in love with its shrimp, crawfish and catfish. The cooking of Louisiana is very homemade, and I like that very much. Women and men here are pretty concerned about having three meals a day, and it seems to me that they always get what is best: in restaurants or at homes it seems to me that meals are well prepared.

New Orleans
Now, let me write about New Orleans; is it a wild-fun city? Oh, yes, it is. New Orleans is a super fun city where one should be able to find many things to do, the priority is to have a marvelous time. There in New Orleans you may have an unforgettable neat experience. The food, the people, and the events are just to make anyone’s desire to come back again and again. This has been my case.

I never get tired of going back to New Orleans, and hope to go there this summer. I am looking forward to my next visit to the wild-fun city of New Orleans. There is so much art in New Orleans that the eyes don’t get tired of seeing any of it. I also like very much the opportunity to interact with folks from there and also folks from all over the world, including Latin Americans. I get the chance to listen to some French like I get the chance to listen to some Spanish. I met a nice couple from El Salvador, and I am hoping to have the chance to interact some more with this couple. They are like my husband and me: the mix of a Latin woman with a North American man. Certainly I love this combination due to I am part of this mixture.

Louisiana has crazy weather changes: Is it true? Yes, it is true. Louisiana has a very changeable weather from morning to afternoon, and from evening to night. Here you never know exactly what the weather is really going to be like, even though you may pay close attention to the forecasters? Do I love Louisiana’s weather? Yes, I do because here winter time is not always as long as it is in some other states of the USA plus you more likely get a bit of every season.

The Seasons
Spring season here is super nice; my eyes get glued to the fascinating flowers’ colors. It is impossible for me to not think about my mother during Spring since I am always buying my mother flowers when I visit her in Caracas, Venezuela, where my mother and I are from. When Fall comes, the colors of the trees’ leaves are just amazing.

Fall reminds me of Galicia, Spain where my father is from, and so part of my heart. Louisiana’s trees’ leaves colors in combination with its swamps have been the inspiration for many writers and painters. One of these paintings is in the airport of Monroe, Louisiana.

My last season to make note of is Summer, and for it I just have to say that it is as hot as a powerful oven. In my case, I love Summer because it is a good time to keep the good shape of the body. So I think that as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.”

Defining Illiteracy Up
The other opinion, which I got from some other USA citizens, in my previous article is: “Louisiana has a great number of illiterate people.” I think there are illiterate people all over the world, and I also think that there is not such thing as an illiterate person in the whole sense of the word.

Because if we think of the strict meaning of the word, it just means uninstructed. Who is able to state that he or she knows it all? As far as I am concerned, I am not a person who knows it all, and even more, I don’t want to know everything. I think that we learn what we like, what we must, and at times, what we should.

All these cases of the learning process limit our knowledge, yet it narrows our specialty, making us masters in one area or more. This is what I think of the education of people in Louisiana. They are not illiterate at all. They know things that I don’t know as I know things that they don’t know. All over the world life is a constant learning and instructing when there is disposition from both parts, the instructed and the instructor.

Nonsense Arguments
When Monroyans, people from Monroe, Louisiana talk to me about certain issues, I really try to pay close attention. I think that we ought to respect people’s opinions and interests. Otherwise, we may end up in nonsense arguments. I am going to mention two examples: men from Louisiana know more about hunting and fishing than I do. Women in Louisiana know how to cook all kinds of meat and sea food, while my knowledge of those things is still limited to time and desire. I know more about Venezuela, Latin America, Spain, and some others than some of the majority of people in Louisiana know about those places. Once again that’s life: there will always be someone who knows more or less than us in one way or another.

Bad Roads
Does Louisiana have route problems? Sad to admit it, but it is very true. In Monroe I have observed that the Governor is trying very hard to work on the routes. Yet it is still a problem in many places not just of Monroe, but Louisiana in general. As I said in my second article in Go Inside Magazine, Caracas & Monroe, the routes make me feel at home.

I must watch at all times in which lane am I going to drive for the sake of my kidneys and car. I guess that the problem is going to get better if we reinforce to our governor the importance of it, for those who are living in Louisiana, and for those are just visiting from time to time. I do think that the governor of Louisiana is a very nice person who is trying hard to deal with Louisiana’s problems as much as he is trying to focus on the good things that the state has to offer to other citizens of the USA when they come here to visit or to stay.

Pretty much here people feel always welcome by every single person in the state. So I would be an optimist in the political situation because I do think that he is trying very hard to do a good job. I applaud his good intentions and work! Certainly in and out of Louisiana there are always people who will complain about anything just for the heck of it. Nevertheless, I am a person who would like some actions not just from the governor, but from the everyday citizens who are supposed to be part of each progress in the state of Louisiana. Is it too much to ask? I don’t think so!

A Cyber’s Life
Now in what concerns about my previous article, Two Worlds Embracing, I posted a question among some others, but here I will talk about the first question I wrote:

Ø Do cybers have a life, you know, I mean besides online?

I may answer this question with a single yes, but I know we all want a bit more feedback in what it refers. It is hard to have an online life if a person doesn’t have an off-line life because an online life is the reflection of what goes off-line.

How would you talk, write, and gesture the things you don’t know unless you live them? This certainly is a very rhetoric question. This is why the Microsoft world has tried so much to make its programs in a way that they may relate to the closest to reality, and even more to the closest to the imaginary future that goes in and out of our minds.

We are at all times communicating: by gestures, looks, silences, and words (written or spoken). These nonverbal and verbal communications take place at all times, online and off-line. As I mentioned previously, I have gotten flowers, hugs, kisses, tears, and smiles in many e-mails and webpages that are all trying to communicate in the best way what distance limits in its best form.

I am a person who likes to talk to different people on a daily basis. Sometimes those conversations are interrupted by time or opportunity, yet if the person with whom I am interacting has an e-mail address, we simply say, “I’ll tell you by e-mail the rest of this.” It is fascinating talking and writing what was thought to be strictly for a matter of face to face contact.

Nowadays, we well know that as we are reading magazines and webpages of all sort of things, there are still hard copies of all what is on the Internet. So yes, cybers do have a very real life in and out of the Internet, but the Internet has become very handy for a matter of time, space, and comfort from both parts: the cybers creators and the cybers navigators.

At times it has become a way of expressing what might not be so well accepted in a “real” time conversation with some receptors. Yet the point is to get the messages across the best way possible. I would say the Internet has done a lot for many people, including me. The Internet has become a home for many cybers, mixing this two world, online and off-line, both looking to comprehend and respect each other to their maximums.

Surely I should confess that I have read so much hard copy and online articles and documents that I have to really try to concentrate where I read this or that in order to quote well the source. It is a blessing to count with the off-line and online worlds. One may say it gets a bit complicated.

Needless to say, life isn’t easy for the most part of it. Life is a challenge, but we must know what kind of challenge and for what. Is it to live surviving? Or is it to live fully? Sad is to survive in either world, off-line or online, but the true joy of living is almost indescribable. One day I wrote a friend this world, “Ole!” In response I got something like this, “Oh María, I love bull fights.” I answered back in another e-mail, “Dear, I love bull fights, and I also love to bull fight life.”

I have a very interesting life off-line, and so I have the same online. Do I love both lifestyles? Oh yes, I love both, and they seem to be quite adorable for the most part of both. In my next article, here in Go Inside Magazine, I will answer some more questions that were asked of me previously. For the moment, I want you to digest this part of the big meal.

You just have eaten a part of a series that is dragged down not by meaning but of thought and its significance.

Once again I thank you for your marvelous attention,

María L. Trigos S. Gilbert