Mississippi: back down South

 

Hello to you, dear friends!

You’re probably used to it by now: we’re running a bit late on the publishing side, so we’re writing to you about Mississippi from California. Remember how we told you about being disappointed with Nashville and Memphis? Well Mississippi completely erased that. We loved Mississippi, with its abundant vegetation and its native blues. We really felt like we were entering The South. Towns got smaller, with less houses and less fast-food chains along the road, while there were more pick-ups around. And it took us more time to process the local accent!

We decided to drive along the Natchez Trace. It’s a huge road that travelers from Tennessee would take when walking back from New Orleans, after sailing down the Mississippi and selling all their merchandise, including their boats, having to put up with snakes, ambush robberies, and high humidity… However, sitting in our little city air-conditioned car, we loved it.

We were lucky: we got to meet Audra and Jeremiah in a little town called Guntown. Audra is a Democrat from California, and her smile beams in the entire county. Jeremiah, on the other hand, is a Republican from Mississippi, endlessly questioning and reflecting on Airbnb guests’ culture – with a great sense of humor as a bonus. Angel, a family friend who’s loads of fun too, is also originally from the county. Once the kids were asleep (we want the same when we grow up!), we grabbed some beers in the garden and talked about all of the controversial-topics-not-to-bring-up-during-a-roadtrip under a sky full of stars: abortion, gun control, religion, immigration… We even talked about ghosts. That was pretty surprising for us: Americans seem very pragmatic and much more down to earth than the constantly-debating, concept-obsessed, abstract French people. So, it took us a while to get used to the fact that a lot of locals believe ghosts haunt some of the houses in the area. It just didn’t seem to add up or to make sense, but that’s what understanding a different culture is all about: grasping contradictions. We should have known better: Louisiana’s famous spirits are just a few hours’ drive away. Antebellum houses in Vicksburg are the perfect area to picture them, and there definitely is an overwhelming gloomy feeling when you cruise the deserted cotton cities of the region, like Greenwood.

Oh and we caught a glimpse of the swamps. Not much more than a glimpse. Mosquitoes: 1 – Adèle: 0.

Patchwork of local antebellum homes:

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