The Land of the Free - NYC to Miami
New York Travel Blog› entry 10 of 16 › view all entries
George Carlin once said that 'When you're born, you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat' and most probably an opportunity join the production. We met the first member of the cast at New York Bus station, although I think we may have met one of his colleagues at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport when clearing immigration. Having cunningly disguised himself as a member of airport security, he bounced both of his braincells together and deduced that I had the appearance of a terrorist and should thus be subjected to further pre-cautionary checks before being allowed to enter the airport. After rummaging through my luggage and depositing the majority of it on the floor, it became apparent that I was in fact an international drug-dealer.
If the security man in Atlanta was a candidate for best supporting actor, the aforementioned human being we encountered in New York Bus station was most certainly nominated in the best actor category.
Between releasing gases from his body, he couldn’t contain his excitement when he realised we spoke the same language as him but the words sounded different. He had real difficulty in determining precisely where we from, although he was 100% sure that it was the UK, England, or London (readers in Europe will of course be aware that the three are obviously mutually exclusive). Seeking clarification, he stated that he wanted to check whether London was in the UK or whether the UK was in London. Unfortunately I lost it at this point, burst out loud laughing and made excuses to go somewhere else for a second to calm down.
At 6.30pm were boarded the bus and headed to Miami, via Newark, Baltimore, Richmond, Fayettville, Manning, Savannah, Hinesville, Brunswick, Jacksonville, St Augustine, Daytona, Orlando, Kissimmee, Ft Pierce, West Palm Beach, Ft Lauderdale and Miami North. I immediately realised that the journey was going to be long when I turned and initiated a conversation with the passenger next to me.
I wasn’t nearly as annoyed with her as she was about to be with Kev when he joined the conversation, just as she was lambasting England for its lack of exports. I could only muster Fish and Chips whilst she was questioning me, but Kev thought he had the ace up his sleeve. He announced that BP (British Petroleum) was one of the best things to come out of the United Kingdom. Now, bear in mind that when this was said, we were in the middle of Florida (one of the worst affected states by the Oil Well Leak), this lady was from a town on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico (THE worst affected area) and Tony Hayward has just made THAT advert which had only served to heighten tension and feelings of hatred towards BP. Kev would have been better off at the departures desk trying to check a bomb into aeroplane luggage whilst reciting the Qur’an and wearing a turban saying Pilot. The lady fixed a death stare on him, of such magnitude that I wondered if she had died.
That said, the mood would was significantly lightened when I walked into a toilet at Savannah Bus Station to find a man washing his balls in the basin. Of course it isn’t inappropriate to stroke your penis and roll your testicles between your fingers in the sink of a public toilet. Might as well give your arse beard a trim while you’re at it. Before we arrived in Miami, Kev had found time to entertain another fine piece of work on the bus. 25, single, unemployed, and with two kids, she was eventually removed from the bus for being too drunk.
And with that we saw the signs for South Beach. Time to party in the city where the music’s on....