Saturday, May 20, 2006



Sorry about the title. You’ll have noticed that I use bad puns prodigiously, but I’ll try not to sink lower than that again.

Sorry also that it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Last weekend was a bit of a glut, what with nothing to do and free internet access! This week I added three states to my US total (now 38), visited two more friends and saw how the other half lives...

After my $1 megabus trip to Minneapolis, anything would have seemed expensive, but to drop $100 on three Greyhound tickets seemed even worse. In my time in the US to date, I’d avoided using Greyhound because of the reputation I’d heard they had – and I now feel totally vindicated in that decision! It would be hard to describe the Greyhound experience, but I was able to play “spot the white person” again (for the first time since Brooklyn); and one of the questions on the customer satisfaction survey I was given asked me to rate from 1 to 5 how well the driver “controlled the passengers”!

In any case, the upside of using Ghettohound was that I was able to visit Amy and her family in Toledo (Ohio), and then Tyler and his family in Indiana. Both were keen to show me around where they lived, and I think a highlight from Ohio was visiting Grand Rapids (not the Michigan one) and having ice-cream. Not in just any ice-cream shop, you know, but a traditional old-fashioned one with doilies in the windows and iron furniture inside… and that now also served Mexican food! You’ve gotta love immigration. Actually, there was a karaoke machine as well, which provided ample opportunities to embarrass ourselves.

Later in the week I took the bus to Fort Wayne (Indiana) where Tyler and his fiancée Carissa picked me up. I’m glad I fitted into their schedule: a month where they graduated, have rented an apartment and moving stuff into it, and then getting married! Tyler lives next to a lake (who knew Indiana had lakes?) and they have a sweet boat and lots of watery stuff. Unfortunately, the lake was freezing (well, 50º or so) which limited our in-water activity to jumping in and out really fast! Tyler went water-skiing, and I would have done too, except that you spend a lot of time sitting in the water on your first time. On Thursday we took a drive up to Michigan - the lake and the state - to see some huge sand dunes that have built up over time, and go to a funky little beach town called St Joseph for lunch. On the way back to Webster we passed through an Amish area, and saw men with huge beards, houses with no power or phone lines, horse traps and bicycles. Would you believe it, they even hang their washing out to dry! (Who'd have thought it.)

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