Thursday, January 10, 2008

American dreams

"Time travelling"

My trip to the US arrived! I started from home at 7am on Tuesday morning, then arrived in Chicago, was delayed and eventually arrived in Arizona 24 hours later. However, due to time zones it was still only 10pm Tuesday. I'm a time traveller!

I did write a bit on the plane, but the whole trip from US to UK I sat next to a very quiet Mexican - no conversation whatsoever. My, that was a looooong flight!

At Chicago I needed to buy some supplies, so I found a small Hudson's stand and bought the required item (why now! Not fair, not due for another week...). The tall gentleman at the checkout (see? I'm learning American!) said 'Hey, do I detect an accent? Where are you from?' I answered 'London' and he was charming. 'Have a great time, come back soon' and it actually sounded genuine. Now the security man who saw me through to airside at Chicago said 'Here you go sir' without looking up. Bah. Charmed and insulted in Chicago! Oh yeah, it was rainy too - not windy.

The flight was delayed though so instead of a two hour wait I had a three and a half hour wait. I had one drink at the bar and then just sat and waited. And waited. By the time I got on the flight I was really not with it at all. The plane was cold so I only managed about an hour out of the three to get any sleep. One hour out of 24 - not my usual quotient.

As I flew over the US I noticed that everything was straight lines and so well lit. Empty lots, long empty roads - everything lit up like Christmas. And some buildings too as we came in over Phoenix - outlined in lights to make them look like escapees from a badly drawn cartoon.

When I eventually arrived in Phoenix, more than a little tired, I saw Nadine immediately. She was exactly as I expected. Her smile was wide, her arms too. We hugged like we'd known each other lifetimes, not just 18 months and over the net.

She drove me to her home in her black convertible Mustang (Alex, you'd love this car!) through the city and out into Glendale. Sean, her eldest son, was waiting up for us. We stopped at a Safeway to buy some bread and fruit.

We sat and had a glass (or two) of wine and talked for another two hours. I have no idea if I made any sense whatsoever. Nor if they understood me. But I knew I had arrived. My goodness, I was really in America! Wow, Bryan, I'm here. I'm really here. When I got to bed, I slept well. Very well indeed.
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