Thursday, September 9, 2010

London to California in 15 ‘Easy’ Hours

From Above, Rivers Look Like Snakes
From above, rivers look like snakes

“What is your reason for visiting California?”
”I’m here to visit my grandmother,” as the sweat began to trickle down my back.
”How long are you staying for?”
”My ticket is booked for just under three months,” as my heart rate sped up.
”Cutting it very fine, you know?” His pockmarked, meaty jowls shook at me from across the counter-top.

The customs officer managed to make me feel like a criminal in no time at all, and I'm not one! That unhappy man interrogated me to within an inch of my calm! Perhaps he spotted my open excitement at visiting the USA for the first time, perhaps he noticed that I am happy with my life or perhaps he has nothing better to do than pick on people (I KNOW he doesn’t). Who can say, but whatever did it, he gave me a grilling from hell! I managed to convince him that I’m not attempting to come and steal his job, involve myself in ‘terrorism’ or become a crack dealer, and he let me through! PHEW!

It was a completely surreal experience travelling across so many time zones, something I've never done before. I've always gone north and south: South Africa up to Europe and back again, which is only one or two hours time difference, at the most. This time, I was totally thrown off by the extreme time zone changes. I arrived in San Diego at 8:30pm, but for me that was already 4:30am! Anyway, today I feel slightly more human, although my mind is telling me that it is evening, when it is in fact midday...hehe.

One thing I didn't consider in this whole experience is that I will be hearing A LOT of American accents over the next few months. I don't think it's the accent itself which gets me -in fact I know it's not as some of my best friends are American and I love their voices - but rather it's the way that so many Americans throw their voices out into the world as though releasing an enraged bull into a field of incapacitated matadors. It's just a carnage of speed and unintelligible noise, with no respect for the innocent bystander. Okay, I'm being dramatic, but it is interesting how loud many Americans choose to be. Bring on the forests, the trickling rivers and the silence of Om ;)

Finally, I am on the road, heading to it doesn’t matter where. I am staying with my gran down near San Diego for a few weeks, then heading up north...and life is GOOD!

No time limits, no idea or preconceptions about what comes next, no need to know. Let life flow!

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