A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about flypaper

Sleeping in the lower hammock is dangerous

Beware - Gold diggers around

semi-overcast 38 °C

The happiest person on our ship is the guy wearing ‘Crocs’. I first became aware of him towards the end of our initial shore excursion when I was thinking, “Its difficult to appreciate 3rd world despair when ones feet hurt”. I guess that idea extends to; the best place to raise funds for the needy would be at the exit from a chiropodist. I further surmised, “That guy packs his own luggage”. He has continued to wear them on every occasion – the restaurants, shows, lectures, excursions and in the gymnasium. He radiates confidence and security while I try to disguise my envy. The observation caused me to categorise my fellow passengers into: those who follow their wife’s instruction and those who don’t. It’s a fascinating study that doesn’t restrict to dress sense. Type and quantity of food on the plate, comments in the lift, choice of seating in the theatre and selection of new friends are all indicators. The majority of the passengers are easy to categorise. (1) The lady is obviously conscious of her appearance while the man is equally smart – and even puts on clean clothes for dinner. (2) The lady is appropriately dressed while her partner, although uncoordinated, appears ‘comfortably’ attired. In some instances, it seems he thought he may be asked to help in the engine room. There is a 3rd group - (3) Both partners appear they took a wrong turn on the way to a fancy-dress party. Unfortunately, exacerbating the understanding of this normally consistent group, is the fact we have experienced Christmas afloat. This gave opportunity for some to break out their red & white costumes. Funny hats, bizarre shirts, often emblazoned with advice for Santa or his reindeer) and ‘overgarments’ (I struggle for a better word, although I considered, regalia) that would, if still at home, result in their children consulting a mental health professional. I further suspect some believed their grandchildren would show up for the holiday as usual. I do hope the excellent medical facilities on board include counseling facilities,
It was one of these ‘cat 3’ people who joined us in the elevator up to our ‘stateroom’. We often have interesting 10 – 20 second conversations on the way ‘home’. The guy, who I was reluctant to engage, said, “Are you odd”? My quickly considered reply was, “We expect others to reach that conclusion as we seldom dwell on the subject”. While we completely understand those who consider us odd, especially as we have a very strange accent and Flypaper is often possessively holding my arm suggesting I need support and direction, I don’t believe we are asylum material yet. It wasn’t until we were safely locked in our room we realised he was enquiring which side of the ship we lodged. (We have an even number, but noticed he appropriately turned to the other side.)
At the Amazonian port of Parintins we enjoyed a festival called ‘Boi Bumba’. It is 2nd only to the Rio Carnival. Check it out at … http://boibumba.com/brief_en.htm The costumes are stunning and the rhythmic music is entrancing. There is little likelihood of going to sleep. At the restrooms latter I overheard a couple of guys commenting … “The girls really made the show – particularly the leading ladies who didn’t need costumes to gain attention”. The restrooms are the best place to hear true sentiment. The same guys would have told their wives and friends at dinner, “Wow, those costumes were stunning”. When Flypaper asked me how I liked the show, I said, “The music was a bit loud and repetitive”.
The ships 900 passengers use an astonishing amount of water. I suspect most is in the form of ice in the drinks. The ship has a massive desalination plant to convert salt water to fresh drinking water. However, the Amazon River is brown, silty, fresh water – the plant doesn’t work. As a result, the vessel purchased water at 3 of the major cities along the way. They also advised us not to drink the local water. There’s a conflict. We were additionally instructed to drink copious amounts of bottled water when ashore. Nothing unusual about this. Gullible people everywhere believe they need it. As a result, frail passengers who had spent a fortune purchasing flimsy clothing and lightweight shoes, staggered down the gangway laden with multiple bottles of water. These people had just risen from breakfast where they consumed juice, smoothies, water and gallons of coffee. Quite enough liquid to last 3 hours until lunch where the menu included water, juice, beer, wine and gallons of water. A significant amount of a 3- 4 hour excursion is typically spent at restrooms along the way. Such is the power of brainwashing. (Note to business people, not only involved in offering baubles to tourists but any business, offer free restrooms and you will prosper.)
I was privileged to spend some time over a coffee one morning with a gentleman who was a regular traveler on cruise ships. He was a widower of many years who figured out cruising was cheaper than owning a home and employing a house keeper – which he added, was still cheaper than taking on another wife. He proved to be very wise and shared his wisdom with younger guys like me. He said, “There’s lots of women aboard looking for a wealthy husband. If you want to meet them, and are a bit of a teaser, just fold up some toilet paper into your wallet and carry it in your trouser pocket. They will notice, and you’ll be very popular. When you’re tired of them, just say your previous wives bled you dry and you won your cruise in a raffle”. I could never learn valuable stuff like this by staying at home.
The Amazon basin is the worlds largest, virtually impenetrable rain forest. There are no highways or even local roads. All inhabitation is along the river and all transport is by water. There are water craft ranging from small canoe’s, to small Taxi’s, larger busses and huge trucks – all carrying every item normally transported by road. The boats all require fuel and every town has at least one barge on the river that is a petrol station. There is every other service imaginable for boats to be found along the shores. Travel between cities can take days and even weeks. The mainstay of longer journeys are multi-storied ‘bus boats’ which carry people, stock and freight. At night people sleep cheek by jowl in hammocks suspended above the deck. Children’s hammocks are often strung above adults. Frequent fights break out between parents when children annoy those below. Bed wetting is an example. The most important person on the bus boats is not the captain or the engineers – it’s the Satellite dish operator. Women will only take a boat that has a reputation for providing every available TV soap opera. As the boat snakes around following the river, the TV signal comes and goes. A skillful guy on the roof continually adjusting the direction of the dish to maintain a perfect signal is critical. If he fails, the women lose patience, the boat owner loses custom and he loses his job. They don’t care if the boat breaks down, just as long as the TV continues 24/7.
An curious feature of Brazilian travel is the ‘Tourist Police’. PC260011.jpg
They exist to keep an eye on the visitors and to maximise the tourism spend by extracting a little extra foreign currency if an offence is committed or even a transgression as trivial as failing to find a restroom resulting in an ‘exposure’ indiscretion down a secluded ally. The chances of falling foul of the law in this instance is heightened as Restrooms are not signposted. Actually, we have a similar situation in New Zealand. It’s called a ‘hotel toilet tax’). Our guides explained they were also there to rescue the disoriented and abandoned. Their demeanor and belt full of weapons suggest they deal with some very dangerous tourists. I wanted to tell a policeman that the feared lady on our ship who storms out of restaurants for inadequate service and berates the staff who stray within range, had just robbed a beggar whose empty cup could be used as evidence of her crime. I didn’t do it, because I feared she may escape. Call me a coward if you must.
I did display more courage when asked by another lady to confirm the river had risen overnight as a result of the rain. She based her concerns on the fact more floating rubbish was passing us and no ‘beaches’ could be seen at the rivers edge. I was able to reassure her she was safe and the river hadn’t risen. As proof I showed her a line marked on our ships hull and explained, “The water was up to this line when we entered the river and its still at that same line,” It was heartwarming to notice the calm that returned to her demeanor after this simple reassurance.
While onboard we have increased our knowledge and understanding about all sorts of things. Lectures given by credible Doctors of this and that, Professors, Geologists and retired Senior Diplomats. I was already aware that Brazil has an issue with corruption at the highest level. Indeed, the best president they ever had is currently in jail for getting caught at the game and his successor, the current president, is currently being impeached and will undoubtedly serve time soon. The drive to stamp out corruption is driven by the disadvantaged masses and corporates who collectively are able to fund the procedures. However, I don’t think this problem will be solved anytime soon. Today we learned that, here in Brazil, there is a waiting list to join the Civil Service which is regulated by the very costly bribe required to succeed. However, there are instances of clear thinking on the subject. It’s possible to receive a receipt from a ’guvmint’ servant to whom one made a bribe payment, and that receipt enables one to receive a tax credit in the following year. It’s a cost of doing business – seems sensible to me.
The Amazon River cities of Santarém, Manaus and Parintins are pleasant to visit. They have a shabby appearance as a result of equatorial climate, no understanding of the word ‘maintenance’ and low incomes, but display a sense of pride in being relatively clean and tidy. Most of the trash collection budget appears to be spent correctly. The regional capital, Belém, at the mouth of the Amazon River however, is in contrast. Its it could represent Brazil in the world championship for ‘garbage H/Q ‘. Initially I thought they may be hosting a ‘trash exposition’ … but soon realised this was more than just spreading around some rubbish. Belém has been prepared and matured over a long period. The smell is evidence of that and likely to clinch the gold medal. The meat market; an open-air collection of stalls hasn’t been even superficially cleaned for years. Even the flies could only stay for short periods. They attack in shifts. The fish market on the other hand (the largest in the region) and part of the huge ‘Ver O Peso’ Market offering everything imaginable, did get a hose out each afternoon, but smelt as though they recycled the same water every day. In a way, I suspect they do. If they pump it out of the adjacent river its right where they dump the fish bits they can’t sell. The smell causes visitors gut-turning dizzy spells. I suggested to the guide he should issue chemical warfare masks. Bizarrely, our guide took great pride in showing us their ‘piece-de-resistance’, a specially built sheltered inlet carved into the wharf, where the fishing boats come to clean and fillet their catch before hoisting the bins of fresh fish up to their sales agents in the adjacent market. When the tide goes out, as it does twice a day and occurred while we visited, the riverbed is exposed along with fish skeletons, fish heads and unidentifiable fish scraps. The smell is horrendous – but does serve to attract about 200 ugly black turkey vultures. If the judges are marking when the vultures are fighting over the scraps they will award gold, silver, and bronze.
A feature of the ‘Ver O Peso’ Market is the large section dedicated to natural herbal medicines. The Amazonians claim to have a prevention or cure for every ailment. Their health system is virtually non-existent so perhaps they have little option. I couldn’t help wondering why, having scoffed so much healthy herbal preventatives, anyone died in Brazil. I was also vexed (and possibly visibly indignant) when lady stallholders chased after me offering large bottles of their homemade Viagra. Given the large size of Brazilian families I have no doubt it works well but my vexation resulted from their immediate positive belief I needed the product. (They could at least suggest a test.) After leaving the market I wished I’d bought an assortment of various cures because I’m certain I don’t have immunity to many of the things I came in contact with there. I also fear my optical and olfactory system have been irreparably damaged.
The last Brazilian I met was an interesting fellow. He is a one-man mobile radio station. Quite a brilliant commercial venture in this era where business promotion is very difficult given the diversity of media option. He travels on his bicycle to anywhere there are large gatherings of people,(eg. The market) to anywhere his advertisers want to target a specific audience and to sporting events. On arrival he cranks up appropriate music to suit the audience and proceeds to entertain. Between songs and jokes he delivers his advertisers message(s). He’s loud, he makes his captive audience laugh and is in demand. I liked him a lot … even though I didn’t understand a word he said. PC300041.jpg

Posted by Wheelspin 08:47 Archived in Brazil Tagged police turkey hammock carnival tourist brazil amazon o dress peso basin vultures belem fancy corruption santarem crocs ver viagra flypaper chiropodist stateroom parintins boi bumba brainwashing watercraft Comments (0)

Hitchhikers May Be Escaping Inmates

sunny -21 °C

Austin is the State Capitol of Texas. Few Americans know that. Even fewer people in countries outside of the US know that. All they know is Texas has the biggest of everything. This is not completely true – but there is some big stuff here. Austin is only the 4th largest city in Texas but when some cunning politicians tried to move the archives to Houston which would transfer the capital there, a mad woman called Angelina Eberly blew the side of the General Land Office Building out with a 6lb cannonball while the thieves were at work. The city erected a statue of her downtown and nobody ever messed with her again. Its an appropriate city symbol.
The biggest bat colony in the US lives under a bridge right in the heart of the city. Every night thousands of silly tourists watch about 1.5 million bats head out to feed. This has become big business. The most common question asked is, “What is that smell?”
Weird is big in Austin. For example, the Little Long Horn Saloon has a version of Bingo that involves chickens, chicken feed, and what happens after chickens eat. For $2 you get a ticket with a number on it that corresponds to a number on the table. The owner, Ginny, unleashes the chicken and the crowd waits for it to poo on a number. Serious coin to be won here – the locals flock to play. Another example is the Museum of the Weird. Definitely worth a visit and … Since 1963, Austin has celebrated the birthday of Eeyore, the fictional character from Winnie the Pooh on the last Saturday in April. It also features the race circuit that hosts the US F1 Grands Prix. It’s an iconic circuit. This is a great place.
The US is very pet friendly. For example, the Austin hotel next to ours near the airport is the Park & Zoom. They offer valet service for your pet and car, exclusive dog swimming pool and a program to improve your pets attitude towards you. I suspect many people ask if they can leave their children there. The city boasts 466 pet friendly restaurants. Many don’t require your dog to be on a leash and most have a pet menu. Pet friendly businesses are a fast growing category as more realize pets rule the family and often are the largest spenders.
The subject of pets reminds me of a radio advertisement we heard. We flick through countless radio stations while driving in attempt to find something to listen to. We seldom succeed. In the southern states Country & Western and new age Gospel stations prevail. Occasionally we pick up a gem like this. An entrepreneur has developed 29 varieties of pyjama’s for the whole family – including your cat and dog. This certainly is a country of opportunity. One morning we saw a guy who had donned the wrong pyjama’s. He arrived at the Fast Food shop for breakfast dressed in his dogs garment. I peeped into his huge F250 truck to see what the dog was wearing. Seems like the dog refused to go out in public.
Texas has lots of oil reserves … and they aren’t going to run out any time soon. Confusingly, a US gallon is 3.8 litres not 4.5. Petrol price is US$2.30 per gallon – that’s very cheap - NZ0.87c per litre. As a result, the populace is continually mobile. I suspect they all rush out and drive whenever I am on the road. Austin’s enormous flyovers maintain progress – the city would be paralyzed if they relied on traffic lights. But it makes a crazy dodgems environment as drivers zoom from one side of the highway to the other looking for their exit. Given half the traffic are gigantic trucks whose wheels are about the size of our rental car, I’m terrified most of the time. Dallas is worse. I was mentally scared in Dallas and don’t want to talk about it until counselling is complete.
There is basically only one category of food in Texas – meat. It does come in mind boggling variety – from Texas BBQ to hamburger patty with lots of spicy Mexican options between. Vegans are tolerated but must feel ill catered. I suspect they principally exist on moral indignation. Austin is the home of Texas BBQ. There are hundreds of these specialist restaurants but about 6 are serious tourist attractions. Many have ques of salivating diners waiting outside dreaming of the surprisingly tender poor cuts that are used. (Eg. Skirt / flap.) A typical plate of consists of enough protein to feed a family in NZ for 3 days. It is possible to get corncob, potato and salad / coleslaw in a bucket on the side. The meat is slow roasted / smoked for many hours, sometimes 2 days. It melts in the mouth and, from the appearance of the dominant customer group, immediately forms another layer of body fat. It’s a metaphysical marvel.
Texas steakhouses are the next level of dining preference. Again, quantity is a big factor in customer expectation. The meals are obscenely huge – but supremely delicious. Unfortunately, I now understand ‘delicious’ is another word for ‘positive weight accumulation’. Let’s be fair. The whole US has a serious weight issue but the others are very understanding and see this as an additional profit opportunity. There are products, spaces and assisting apparatus designed to accommodate this portion of society. I have also become very understanding. The food in the US is outstandingly delicious and moreish in the extreme. It’s a never-ending variety of sugar, fat and sodium. Scrumptious. There’s healthy stuff too. The labels’ explain its made from reduced sugar, fat and sodium – and it’s not nearly as tasty. We went to a ‘Dairy Queen’ franchise for lunch one day. After accepting our modest order, the cashier convinced me I hadn’t lived until I experienced their new ‘Health Blizzard’ – a whipped ice cream full of fruits, nuts, chocolate and ‘other’ beneficial nutrients. It was fantastically fabulous!!! I wanted another – until I felt the increased tension on my belt and checked the nutritional details … 1160 calories! The additional information made me wonder if I should call my doctor immediately. The US doesn’t have an obesity problem, they have an addiction problem. I’m hooked already.
It appears Mexicans represent about half the Texas population. Their food preferences are available everywhere. Supplementing these are the well-known ‘fast food’ outlets. The requirement to work in these establishments is an air of impatient surliness and the inability to speak clearly. At every food outlet from the BBQ to the snack bar, customers are bombarded with questions. A local is prepared with the answers – a visitor is stunned with varietal overload and no idea of the implications of poor choice. It’s probably all that saved me having to buy a new wardrobe. The embarrassment of declining the options is observing the astonishment of the order taker. They stand aghast saying something I’ve interpreted as … “You don’t want the stuff that is included for free?” They show serious concern when I decline the gallon of sugar fizz that seems obligatory with each meal. Even coffee comes in paper cups that could be used as large flower vases. Flypaper & I often purchase a minimal meal – and share. I feel so inadequate.
Driving through the outskirts of El Paso the most horrendous smell assailed us. Flypaper looked at me and expressed doubt when I denied responsibility. I reasoned even the spicy Taco for lunch couldn’t have produced this much distress. Having eliminated the in-car sources we looked out the window. Alongside the highway, for about 10 miles were successive enormous cattle feed lots – both beef and dairy herds. A little research revealed some of these lots hold over 30,000 cattle. Collectively 100’s of thousands of stock. Daily, an average cow produces about 7 gallons of milk (25lts) and 18 gallons (60lts) of manure. Manure management is another very ‘big’ thing here in Texas … but its not something we heard boasted about. Seems like they just realized putting that much raw fertilizer on the feed pastures results in a large percentage going straight through to the water table. Much of this leaches straight into the Rio Grange River and on into Mexico … so that sort of effectively reduces the problem considerably.
We left Texas and travelled through New Mexico into Arizona to stay with friends. They live on a 10 acre lifestyle block in the wilderness not far from the Grand Canyon – which we visited. We’ve been to the canyon way back in 1978 – disappointingly, it hasn’t changed much. (Although the tourist infrastructure has developed to cater for millions of visitors.) Obviously, the intellect of the visitors has deteriorated as they now publish a book entitled “Off The Edge”. To date 685 visitors failed to return home. The book details every fatality and is updated each year given about 12 additions need recording. Many are skeptics not believing it is a mile to the canyon floor – so they lean out to check. That’s the American way – question everything. Some die of a condition known as hyponatremia – drinking too much water with inadequate salt intake. (This is quite common all over the ‘developed’ world as gullible people roam around sucking water continuously.)
Our friends have given me lectures about the flora and fauna of Arizona. I now know that Humming Birds hum because they don’t know the words and the difference between Crows and Ravens is very slight. Evidently one has and additional ‘pinion’ feather … therefore its simply a matter of ‘apionion’. Travel certainly broadens ones knowledge.
In Arizona I learned one shocking and disturbing truth … if I lived here with my ‘Wild West’ friends I may have voted for Donald Trump. By nature, I am Democrat(ish) – it’s platform involves support for free market capitalism, free enterprise and fiscal conservatism. It does lean a bit to the left which, as a filthy capitalist, would worry me. But the Republicans we know here have all the good toys. Cars, pickup trucks, motorhomes, quad bikes … and guns – lots of guns. All stuff that makes me feel invincible and free. On Saturday night our hosts threw a party in our honour. They invited all the neighbours. A more interesting and friendly group would be hard to imagine. They ranged from successful business people including automatic weapons manufactures through IT specialists, military personnel, tradespeople and professionals. Some carried serious and obvious twin holstered Colt style pistols (that caught my attention) and I’m advised most would have had concealed firearms. I guess they were unsure of foreign intruders and their tendency to be dangerous. I would not like to arrive wearing a frock and tea towel. Our fellow resident guests were Dutch. Even though the Dutch once rivaled the British in terms of global exploration and colonization, our friends will admit to being seriously competitive in the motorsport scene but have no asperations to invade the US. I, on the other hand, would like to rule the US. It’s a place that could easily provide satisfaction to many of the dreams and the desires I aspire to. And its obviously not too hard to do.
My conversations that night were uninhibited. I challenged their gun culture, their lack of concern for global warming, their unconcern for the dwindling oil reserves and reluctance to embrace new forms of energy and their global military presence. Throughout the entire evening I felt like a naked chicken on a rotisserie waiting for the chef to hit the igniter. But – I discovered these ‘salt of the earth’ people had never had the opportunity of discussions of this nature. Here, no-one would be so stupid as to challenge accepted ideology – but we could. There was a guy who had been part of an elite military group tasked with rescuing US military personal from foreign soil when missions went wrong. He had been trained in every military discipline and specialization I always dreamed of – from high altitude parachuting to submarine warfare. I undertook and failed an SAS audition (one in 100 succeed. I was 97 and woke up in hospital) and was totally captivated by the experiences of my new friend. There were experiences that he justified as ‘following orders’ I could never have carried out and he did have ongoing conscience issues that I don’t envy – but I feel privileged to have talked about them. In my view, he is a hero that we can’t comprehend in our idyllic cotton wool society.
These people tend to drive very large pickup trucks – we call them ‘utes’. A Ford F250 would drive right over a Toyota HiLux in NZ without feeling the bump. I’ve driven these huge SUV vehicles. They make me feel invincible and powerful. Like I could suck out an oil well in no time.
During my stay I fired 5 pistols. There are more accurate shooters around, but I can advise you - don’t mess with me under 25 yards. I also had my first experience in a ‘real’ gun shop. For $500 I could have wiped out all the politicians in our city and resolved a few outstanding disagreements. What’s not to like about this culture?
Each morning when Flypaper and I used our bathroom we were faced with an image of ex-President Obama on the toilet roll. I swear I was respectful and chose an alternative option. Flypaper on the other hand, thought it was a concept with satisfying outcomes. She’s drawing up a list in anticipation of finding a printer. If you suspect, you may be on her list (or indeed, want to be on her list) please email a good portrait.
The political discussions were particularly delicate. I pointed out 90% of global opinion and 66% of US citizens consider President Trump is a turkey – while I personally, remained totally unopinionated. My hosts, and their neighbours, are not phased with this weight of opinion. They know it is skewed by the evil media and through the manipulations of wicked Hillary. Let me say, unequivocally with hand on heart, I am also skeptical of media influence. However, I have seen a particularly ‘hot’ picture of Hillary when she was 28 and don’t believe she could have developed such wickedness since then. My lovely hostess held the ‘trump’ cards (pardon the pun). She showed me the unedited direct tweets between her personally and Don T. Don daily asks for her opinion – and in my opinion, she has some good ideas about running both the US and the rest of the world. We have exchanged views and believe me, we could sort it out in no time. However, when I looked carefully at the tweets, I became concerned that the author wasn’t always Don T – but one of his ever-temporary henchmen. I also suspected some of the claims made were difficult to justify should one apply logic and sound reasoning. She quickly pointed out that this was my mistake and these processes were the authours of the past administrations misdemeanors. In the face of wonderful hospitality, impressive neighbourly support and the prosperity evident in their community, I cannot disagree. I was seduced by automotive decadence, local beer and the pleasures being heaped on me. A full belly of meat is hard to reject. Shooting stuff clinched it. Seriously, if I lived here, I would join the ranks of the Republicans. The fraternity and friendly support of the neighbourhood would make me want to belong to this wonderful group. After immersing in the US gun culture for almost a week I concluded … the West may no longer be wild – but I believe it could get very angry.
American readers are going to be questioning all of the ‘u’s in many of the words I use. (eg, neighbour, colour, flavour.) My friends, this is English. English as spoken and written by members of the British Commonwealth. New Zealand is proudly a member of this Commonwealth. I know it’s hard to understand – but you have some matters that are equally difficult to grasp. Let’s just live as friends with strange differences.
On the journey across New Mexico we searched for a place to enjoy the picnic lunch provided for us by our Arizona hosts. Our GPS identified a ‘Serviced Rest Stop’ known as, (this is true) The most complicated rest stop in the world’. We decided to forgo the ‘Scenic Lookouts’ in favour of the challenge. On arrival, the ‘Most complicated blah blah’ had been developed into a Casino. Bugger! We took the next sideroad and chose to stop in the shade of a tree near a small rural and obviously poor community where the only visitors drove old V8 pickup trucks and slowed as they passed. I was conscious I was not carrying a weapon.
A word of advice. Albuquerque Old Town is to be avoided. It only caters for women with a penchant for Indian jewelry and cluttering trinketry. There are no gun shops or automotive dealerships in the whole precinct!!! (And Flypaper wouldn’t let me have dinner at ‘Hooters’ either.)
Wichita Falls is mentioned in a well know song, but it should be recognized for something much better … The Worlds Littlest Skyscraper. Built by a conman, Augustus Newby, who escaped conviction when the judge did something the investors failed to do. He put on his glasses when he read the prospectus. Investors thought the height was 480 feet – the document correctly quoted 480 inches. Only in America.
Much of our journey included the south western 1/3rd of the famous Highway 66. There is so much worthy of comment on this highway it justifies a book. On this and other roads, among countless other interesting things, we have been made aware of penitentiaries. Ominous buildings surrounded by razor wire, buildings disguised with politically correct names (eg. Correction facility), apparent industrial complexes with towers at each corner featuring search lights and machine guns, etc. In Louisiana we saw ‘chain gangs’ tidying up the highway. A sign on Hwy 66 was particularly appreciated … ‘Hitchhikers May Be Escaping Inmates’. This sign, like nothing else, encapsulates the US we have seen. Friendly, informative, helpful, and, just a little bit ominous. I love the place. But, if I lived here, I probably would carry a concealed weapon. As a visitor I rely on Flypaper to keep me safe. She will affect a furious defense while I run.

Posted by Wheelspin 15:51 Archived in USA Tagged traffic food canyon arizona mexico grand new l boys toys bbq houston texas trucks trump oklahoma oi austin guns pickup steakhouse mexicans flypaper freeways Comments (0)

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