Friday, 11 December 2015

Ok, now for the fun bit

It sounds naive and so obvious but America is just so god damn American. It's almost a caricature of itself. Everything is so just like it is on the TV or movies. If it were England then I swear people would either be saying "Cor blimey g'vnor, up the apples n pears me ol mukka" or "golly gosh Jeeves, it appears that something is a trifle amiss". 

Donald the Pendejo which according to the guy sitting next to me on the plane means idiot. I think it was the polite translation...

Everywhere we looked the scene totally fulfilled (I mean like 'toadilly') the stereotypical sights that are so familiar to us all. The trucks, cars, road signs, "thank you ma'am" and "have a nice day ya'll" is all just so true.

Our evening out on Ocean Drive wasn't the pilgrimage that it seemed to be for others. Convertible 'American Dream' cars cruised the strip, cameras being held out of the roof, capturing the moment of what surely appeared to be the most emotional traffic jam in the good ole US of A.

The next day started early with a quick stroll down to the beach to check out the suspect looking weather.  As I left the boardwalk I found a puddle to wash the sand from my shoes and whilst I paddled in it I noticed a bunch of homeless guys under the Boardwalk, rousing from their chosen sleeping place. It seemed America wasn't quite so dreamy for all...

"Keep moving, get inside the terminal and pretend it never happened" I called over to kate The airport security guys were eyeing us with suspicion as we pedalled up the 'Departures' slip road. I reckon they would have been more than happy to give us a right old grilling on how we'd managed to get to where we did. The ride out through the Working Class 'burbs to the airport had gone well. 

The check in process for the bikes, although super slow, went well too. The lady wasn't quite sure what to do. There was lots of tapping on her computer, conferring with her colleague and at one point even a tape measure came out. But luckily it all seemed a bit too much effort so instead she opted to check the bikes in and just charge us for the additional bags. $80 all up as opposed to the $150 per bike clearly stated on the airline website. Result!

As we waited at passport control watching the guard I heard her thanking a guy for his service as she handed him back what I guessed to be his military ID. When I got to her I said that it was nice of her to thank him. She looked up quizzically and then in almost robot fashion said "Well of course I would sir. It's guys like him that make this country so great and allow us to live in the freedom as we do".

I know we were only in America for a couple of days but it seemed so familiar and easy to understand that it felt like much longer than that. Giving great service is such an American attitude but we reckon it's more like going back 20 years.  I mean check this out, wearing your shirt untucked has only just hit the streets here according to this ad in the inflight 'American Way' mag

Great service, fancy cars and materialistic clobber are certainly very available to those with cash but if you're just a normal Joe, like what we are, it's a land of long queues (or lines as they insist on calling them), shit food and the need to pay for things like wifi, health care and airport luggage trollies. Luckily though, I managed to nab one of them for free...

Kate not enjoying a well earned but very greasy pizza