Tuesday, May 16, 2006

97 Trip

I wrote about a trip I took in 97 on an email lsit and thought I'd reproduce it here.

I did a two week road trip on my own in 97 throughout New England, New York State and Canada.

I was shocked to discover thtat we speak different languages!
Whenever I stopped to eat to I learned to tell the waitress ' surprise me' when she started to tell me all the different ways I could have my burger cooked or the 1000 different dressings and salads etc. I didn't have a clue what she meant. I was so tired and stressed most of the time, I just wanted to scream at her ' just bring me a f'ing burger, I don't care what you do to it''!!! I did learn I loved Ranch Dressing and that proper chips were called Home fries.

Service was a real foreign thing for me. It was excellent! Here it is crap.

I found it scary to see people carrying guns(Maine and NH).

When I first set out from Logan in my left hand drive car, I saw armed police guarding roadworkers. 'Shit,' I thought. 'Crime really is bad here if road workers need to be protected.' I later mentioned this to a hotel receptionist and she laughed and told me they were a chain gang. What a good idea! Better than being banged up 23 hrs a day as happens here.

No wonder Stephen king set most of his stories in Maine. Very scary place. Beautiful but scary. I was expecting 'Murder She Wrote' but got 'Salem's Lot' instead.

When I stopped to eat, people would stop and stare at me. Okay, so I had a shaved head, three dangly earrings in my left ear and royal blue Doc Martens-normal and conservative for London.

I couldn't get over the portion sizes. I ordered a 'Philly Cheese Sub' in Burlington, VT. Out came this huge long bread thing stuffed with a cow and a half and a ton of cheese.
At a Cchinese I ordered one meat dish and one rice dish and got enough for 4 people.

One of the weirdest things was driving Route 7 in Ottawa. Covered in snow and nothing for miles that i could see. Suddenly i saw a sign saying 'Chinese Food' or something. I thought I was seeing a mirage. Sure enough, further along, there was this chinese restaurant in the middle of no where. Very Twilight Zone. I asked the proprietor what they did out here in this cold and snow, winter, and she said they all stayed in. Explains everything, i thought.

It was -20F most of the time and gorgeous. I saw waterfalls frozen mid fall, frozen lakes and icebergs floating down the St Lawrence river.

Scariest moment: I had stopped to walk in the woods and when i started to go back to my car, saw this truck full of men and guns nosing around my car. I didn't know what to do, so I coughed so they could know I was coming back. They dispersed after staring at me a while. I got back to my hotel and receptionist asked if I was alright cos I was shaking and pale. I told her what had happened and she said it was just the neighbours checking me out as they didn't get strangers there. What f'ing neighbours?!!!! I didn't see any homes or people! I thought I was about to star in Deliverence Two!

Oh and I also had breakfast once with a woman on her porch in the Adirondacks. She invited me in after I convinced I was not a govt agent after her taxes(!!!). As we were sitting there she told that the day befoe a bear had come up and taken her food. BEAR?!!! I had been walking on my own in these woods. no one told me there were bears in there!

Oh and when I left Presque Isle in Maine, the hotel man told me to be careful of the moose. Don't annoy them. They will total your car. I let go of the fact I had no clue what 'total' meant because I thought it more important that i know how I could annoy a f'ing moose?! What, don't talk politics to it? Forget to Praise The Lord? Just how do you annoy a moose?

Oh and a funny thing: I saw and ate at a café called the Road Kill Café in NH. I took a picture of the sign hanging out side which showed a raccoon getting squashed by a tyre. Made me laugh. But by then i was nearing a nervous breakdown anyway.

Yes, we are very different nations.