Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chapter Three - Jersey Shores

So there I was, sitting in a dingy bar, (as in dark, not an orange inflatable one) feeling knackered from a long day, with a grumpy barman and no baseball to watch. I searched the menu for something appealing but nothing grabbed me. I settled on the last item:
Hot Turkey or Club Sandwich
“I’ll have the Turkey Sandwich please”
“We don’t do Turkey Sandwiches”
“but it’s here on the menu…”
“No, that says you can have a club sandwich or you can have Hot Turkey”
Oh for crying out loud. So I get the Hot Turkey, (which is suspiciously served between two pieces of bread) but it doesn’t taste of anything. Indeed I’m beginning to feel a bit queasy, and being perched on a bar stool isn’t helping. I get a glass of water but it doesn’t help. I need to get more blood to my brain, I only know three ways to do that so I look around for a normal chair to get my head between my knees… there aren’t any. It’s lie down or fall down time.
Now I don’t like to make a scene, but I figure lying down is less dramatic than falling down so I pick an out-of-the-way spot in the corner and lie down. The blood can now get to my head and I instantly feel better. The barman has suddenly become Florence Nightingale and summons the “first aiders”. If you ever need medical assistance I recommend a coastal resort because those guys were there in a couple of minutes! On the other hand if you just needed a couple of minutes to lie down it’s not so good being ambushed by four people firing questions, who can’t understand an English accent.
“Why’s he on the floor?”
“What’s your address?”
“Have you eaten today?”
“He’s got an English accent”
“You’ve only had a Whopper meal for lunch? Nothing since?” (Only in America would that count as not eating!)
“He looks thin.” (That one cheered me up!)
“What’s your zip code?”
I’m trying to explain that I’ve spent the last ten days on an adrenaline high, that I’ve had a long day getting out of New York and driving down there in blinding fog, in an uncomfortable seat, carted heavy bags upstairs and this is the first point I’ve slowed down and…
“Have you changed glasses prescription recently?”
…ooh, there’s another reason! It’s no wonder I’m a bit queasy.
So the Seventh Cavalry return whence they came and I return to my butty. But the barman has returned to grumpiness:
“I’ll get you a box for that”
Oh, great, so I’ll just walk back down the road and eat it alone in my room shall I? Then I realise he hadn’t summoned help out of kindness, he was just afraid of a lawsuit. He couldn’t care less, as long as it didn’t happen on his property! Amusingly however, while he was off getting a box, his colleague warmed my bread based snack for me, and now it was tasting just fine!
Now the emotionally hardened amongst you may find this a surprise, but some readers put my wellbeing ahead of an exciting blog, so I hope I don’t spoil the suspense by saying that I’m writing this almost a week later, and I’ve had no problems since.
On the following morning I awoke to sunny skies. I was by the beach, there was a nice café next door for breakfast and I had a fast internet connection, so I decided to stay another night.
“I’m sorry, that room’s booked tonight”
“But you can have another room a few doors down with the same view and 2 queen beds”
Phew. So I transferred my stuff and moved my car to it’s new spot. I didn’t have to move it, but completing an entire day’s driving in reverse amused me.
I ran on the beach, spoke to my family and started to update friends. I realised that the only way to keep everyone up to date would be a blog, but the irony is that the more fun you’re having the less time you have to write about it. So I’d either be miles behind, or writing trivia about mpg! Well, the cruise was so much fun I wanted to write it down for my own memories. The rest? It is what it is.
Friday night was surprisingly good Karaoke and a bar chat with Martin, who runs a plumbing company.
Saturday morning was time for one last run on the beach, then I bid farewell to the Drifting Sands. I pootled South along the Jersey Coast, enjoying the scenery and bridges. I do like crossing a good bridge, and the yanks build them with a high arch so you get a great view, and a real sense of arrival in the next town.
I reached Atlantic City, which is like Vegas only less cultured. Anyone who’s been to Vegas and read that will probably understand why I then left Atlantic City. I should probably have stuck around and checked out the famous boardwalk but I wasn’t in the mood, not helped by my chariot.
As this will hopefully be a long trip I couldn’t justify another corvette so I’d plumped for a Mazda 6… or similar. Now if there’s two words guaranteed to put fear in the heart of a road tripper it’s “or similar”, and sure enough I got a Mitsubishi Galant. Which might not have been so bad, but the seats were woeful. Combined with the slight difference in posture driving on the wrong side of the road, I was uncomfortable all day.
In discomfort you can’t enjoy the simple pleasures of road-tripping, just rolling along with a good tune and a sense of freedom. Where every single thing you see is new to your eyes… and with this I began to question the whole adventure. The ship had been fun. Really great fun. I should be hanging out with people, having a laugh, not out here on my own. I should go home…
With a heavy heart I rolled into Delaware. Oh well, the world was going to end at 6pm

No comments:

Post a Comment