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四处游荡的艾小柯

四处游荡的艾小柯

My Little Travel World


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两万里逃难记(29)——重返新奥尔良(上)


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       2005年10月11日

                          

小柯和大伟受姨妈之托,决定飞回新奥尔良察看家中灾情。市长宣布可以重回市里之后,小柯迫不及待的买了924日的机票,哪知还没走成,飓风Rita又来袭,无可奈何只好取消机票。在与Delta航空公司两天的不懈斗争后,终于等来了好消息:所有新奥尔良的灾民都可以免费在1030日之前改票。

            

机票搞定,重新改到105日,剩下的就是租车了。虽然在网上定好了车,还特意打电话到租车公司去问,在拿到车的前一分钟我们都不确认能租到车子:大部分的商业店铺还都没有开放,没亲眼看到心里总是要打小鼓。

           

出发前的周末,全家人上街大肆采购“战备物资”,也就是需要带过去的水,食物和一些清洁和修葺住房的工具。虽然早在网上察看过洪水水位地图,可这图的误差还是很大的。何况,除了洪水,房子还有可能遭受飓风的正面袭击,房顶是不是被吹掉一块,玻璃是不是都破碎了,谁也不知道。小柯和大伟总共带回家两个箱子:一箱子食物和工具,另一个纸箱是满满的水和八宝粥。本来还买了无数碗装方便面,后来发现没电又没气,方便面是无论如何吃不成的。好在走前一天小柯和邻居通了电话,邻居说家里竟然来电了!小柯欣喜之余,又把那些方便面塞回去五、六包。

            

上了飞机,小柯和大伟二人四目相对,大有“风萧萧兮易水寒”的悲壮,此去前途未卜,不知道等待我们的是什么样惨痛的景象;可转念又一想,管他呢,总之一切都已发生,是福是获都无法躲过,还不如放宽心,等到达目的地再哭鼻子也不迟。

              

一路顺利,我们于傍晚4点半第一次在灾后回到了曾经灯红酒绿,曾经浮华生色,让人魂牵梦系的家园。

            

取了行李等到租车公司的大巴把不多的几个乘客带入机场旁的停车场,首先映入眼帘的竟然是两棵被飓风吹倒的大树!虽然有了心理准备,第一次看到这样的景象小柯心里还是难过了一阵。大巴上的乘客也纷纷相对无言,神情黯淡。现在来到新奥尔良的大多都是这里的居民,回来察看灾情和计算损失来的。推己及人,谁也笑不出来了。

          

 租车公司停车场里倒下的大树

         

租车公司的车竟然都是全新,刚出车厂。我们租的那辆中型Chevrolet里程表上只有25英里,里外崭新。一路上车辆稀少,除了机场附近有点车流外越向我们家住的上城(uptown)开人越少。机场路两边Katrina肆虐的痕迹随处可见:歪歪斜斜的路标,破了洞锈迹斑驳的户外广告牌,Popeye残破的店墙,缺了一角的二楼阳台……很多街口的红绿灯都还没恢复,只能暂时放置stop牌子疏导交通。

几乎没几辆车的高速公路

机场路上

残破的广告牌

受损房屋

少了半面墙的popeye

和城市其他地方相比,上城遭受的损失相对较小,房屋大体都还保留原样。只有Carrolton Ave上被大火烧毁房屋的黑色断桓让人心惊。火灾残迹的对面就是一座巨大的天主教教堂,门口树立着一座洁白的耶稣雕像,旁边围着几只白色石羊,当然也少不了一只黑色羊羔静默在羊群一旁。不知道伟大的神看着狂风呼啸火光冲天,而自己却无力保护拯救这些无助羔羊的时候,心中是何感受?

             

到了家,看到那熟悉的青灰砖墙,小柯心里的一块大石总算落了地。房子还在,台阶上也没有被水浸泡过的痕迹。房门锁着,所有的窗户也都完好。开门进屋,里面一如原样,逃难前特意放倒的大镜子也还乖乖的躺在地板上。开灯,所有的灯泡都亮;开空调定温度到76度,通风口里的冷气也照常吹出。“老天,我们也太幸运了吧!”我忍不住脱口而出,不敢相信眼前的一切。

已是“曾经”的家

放下行李,穿过客厅,左边粉红色墙上的旧时回忆都在,提醒小柯过往的幸福时光。右手边的厨房却发出腐败的气味,地板上的通风口竟然长出一根绿色的牵牛花藤蔓,几片翠绿的叶子骄傲的在冷风中微微摇曳。看完叶子抬头看冰箱,小柯惊得几乎要晕过去!整个冰箱被笼罩在小飞虫的淡黄色云团里,那些美丽可爱的冰箱贴上都沾满了虫卵,小柯和大伟的结婚照片也不能幸免于难。小柯手扶厨房门框,通风口的寒气从下向上逼来让人不由得打了个寒战。之后小柯扶下身去,一手支在膝盖上,胃里什么东西在翻涌,差点要呕吐出来。扭头不看冰箱,其他柜橱都完好。水池里还放着Kiwi的猫草,不同的是所有的绿叶早已变黄,没了生机。

Kiwi的猫草

        

小柯和大伟租的房子是改良过的short-gun,也就是那种一个房间套一个房间如同火车包厢般一长溜的房子。过去新奥尔良的房子沿袭旧制是按照房子的宽度来收税的,所以相当一部分人家都把房子建成这种又窄又长的形式来逃避税赋。传统的short-gun最后一间是厨房,再前面一间是卧室,从客厅去厨房还要穿过卧室,很是不方便。所以现在大多数short-gun都改良一下,把厨房挪到房子中间,卧室变到后面去。小柯的家卧室和卫生间外面是客厅到卧室的过道,不再是一个房间套着另一个房间,所以厨房虽然污染严重,去还没影响到卫生间和卧室。尽管如此,我们还是决定立刻在厨房外面订上蓝色的防雨塑料布把厨房和过道隔离开。

             

第一晚就这样很平静的过去了。除了没有水,要用带去的饮用水洗漱外,倒也没有多大的不方便。只是没有了Kiwi在身边捣乱,有些安静。逃难前大伟刚给Kiwi做好的猫树静悄悄的站在房间角落,不知道自己的主人什么时候才回来。


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December 20th, 2007
Posted by aixiaoke | 永远的新奥尔良, 两万里逃难记 | no comments

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