Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Mile High Club

Oh dear. Why wasn’t I blessed with hand writing you can read the next day? Or the next week? As I stare at the many pages of notes I made on my holiday with a blank blink, I’m having trouble deciphering the codes and abbreviations which I no doubt at the time thought were ingenious and would be no bother to interpret at a later date. What the hell does z wiggle wiggle ts mean? Probably something like ‘and then we scaled the mountain, the clouds dense and the thunder close, unsure of our future we drove on into the eye of the storm, people screaming, crying, running in the opposite direction all around us, but we had no fear because our friend had recently met Jack Bauer himself and we had a lot to live up to…’ but who knows. Whatever sonorous marvels I may have penned is never to be known. It’s just z wiggle wiggle ts now and forever more.

I shall have to work from memory.

Gareth and I have just returned from America. It was wonderful. We did so much that I felt like we were away for months, and I wish we were. We really did climb a mountain, a mile-high mountain no less. (Ok, in a car. Our car climbed the mountain. We listened to the tour CD and looked out of the window) We visited all sorts of peculiar towns and beaches. We went to Canada. We ate in posh restaurants and a few not so posh. In one, you were encouraged to throw monkey nuts on the floor. We ate a lot of food. That’s basically all we did – eat. If Gareth and I moved to America I reckon it’d only take us a month to start looking like someone had stuck a pump in us and blown up the balloon. The special K diet was out the window, the eat-whatever-Gareth-does diet was passed through the window of every drive-by we drove by. It was great.

To my alarm, random strangers in America just start talking to each other while waiting for a train. Imagine! When I recognise people on my commute, I just pray we’ll all keep our eyes down and no one will speak because I don’t want to have to spend every morning speaking to people.

On our train ride into Boston a mother was telling her young son about her home town, York. A woman passing through turns in delight and says ‘I used to teach in York!’ to which the other woman engages enthusiastically about the Class of ’86 until they exhaust all similarities and the passing woman continues on her way. If that had happened to me, in England, I’d have given her a startled look for deeming herself worthy of joining in my conversation, mumbled a response and then slagged her off for her friendliness.

Everyone is so enthusiastic over here – the shoppers and shop keeps. It’s tiring. Rhianon, Gareth’s sister and my tour guide, poses the notion that it is all superficial and that if you ever try and get some real customer service, you’ll end up tearing your hair out.. which, a week or so later, we were to find out all too painfully… but to tell that story would be to jump to the end of the trip, which would not be at all chronological and would get me in all sorts of a muddle so for now I’ll just affirm that yes, the customer service was terrible and had Gareth on the phone to Continental airlines for over an hour, (I’ve got a new name for Continental Airlines…I’ll give you a clue, you just exchange the first vowel for another vowel) while he tried to alter our flight plan, to no avail.

I, in support, ate my dinner. But I felt his pain.

Whoops, just told the story. Nevermind, it wasn’t that exciting anyway. I’ll move on to something riveting now. Mile high mountains and bear wrestling, that sort of thing.


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