Monday, June 13, 2005

Oh! What a Wonderful Tour

We're back after a few days away, sensational days away, seeing America. Up to the Appalachians, to the Smokey Mountains! how amazing, I've never seen anything like it. We were spontaneous and simply set off, with the result there were some enforced detours. The first night we couldn't find a hotel room in Asheville due to a Dog show and numerous music and arts events that were happening. We ended up 50 miles away in Spartanburg.

Back to Asheville the next day, after many missed turns. It's a hippie hangout for North Carolinans, where the Cafe Soleil wants to charge 9 bucks for their organic free range eggs and a piece of bread, and boost the price of a ham sandwich by placing the single French word "La" in front of it. ("Excuse me, but La Ham Sandwich is inferior, may I speak with La Manager") Basically, the most inferior kind of American pretensions to sophistications. Read their stupid menu here (someone seems to be blissfully unaware that "la" has a friend called "le")

We took some reassurance in rebelling against 9 dollar eggs and going to the Waffle House. I firmly believe that the best place for myself is in the main flow of American society, regardless of the funny looks and occasionally hostile reactions to our bumper stickers. So it was that we sat and ate our waffles and listened to the old folks talking (they were ministers on a religious tour - Asheville's hippie zone had no place for old folks, we were OLD! there).

We headed out to Cherokee Indian Reservation, driving through those amazing mountains. I saw a real life American Indian or two - one Indian's house had a handmade sign that said "BITING DOGS", I thought that was good. We bought some great fudge (chocolate pecan for H, pumpkin for me), were latched on to by a drunk fisherman from Pennsylvania AND attacked by bugs (these things happening simultaneously). We went back to Asheville for the night and watched Mexican TV, brilliantly rude and odd, one five minute monologue revolved around disguising extramarital affairs via trips to a sushi bar.

The next day we headed out to Johnson City, Hannah wondered if it was a good city to move to when Law School ends. It isn't. It has this decaying, dessicated, vibe, like everyone is making a living by repairing everyone else's car. We zipped away on a long long drive that took us through Knoxville (smoke, large buildings, and smoke) to Chattanooga. Chattanooga is some place. As well as a great name, it's in a beautiful location, right on a wide river, with Signal Mountain in the background. We gave Paris Hilton some extra Shoe Money with a stay at a Hilton Inn downtown. There was a music festival in full swing, lots of families out, people having a good time. It was nothing like Memphis downtown where panhandlers, thieves, crazies, and carjackers make it a horror to venture down there, even in daytime.

We ate at a place called Tortilla Factory, really good food. I was carded for ID when I ordered a beer. Now, Hannah was looking after my ID, and it's a card issued by the Department of Homeland Security, basically it authorises me to work. However! via a misunderstanding, Hannah said, "This is his card, Department of Homeland Security" At that, the girl's voice dropped very low, and she said, "I understand!"

To make it more amusing, I had my baseball cap pulled way down, and the girl had copped to my unusual accent. The men at the next table had also caught Hannah's announcement, and they started whistling and looking around for threats, playing very seriously at spotting imminent terror threats! I sat there worrying that the manager would come out and ask to speak to me, but everything passed off gently - we also received incredible service, seemingly on account of my newfound Secret Agent status.

To bed and then up again, we rode up Signal Mountain and down again, for the views. We had the most horror-filled experience of the weekend, when we realised that a Waffle House employee had what looked like half a syringe sticking out of her neck. Personally, I don't think people recovering from tracheotomies make for the right vibe in a food environment. Sadly, this may have to be my last Waffle House visit.

Then we set off home, Hannah driving, me navigating, in perfect harmony. We stopped off and took this picture when we were back in Cumberland. Enjoy!


Blogger Jim said...

Next time, for the sake of your readers, please set aside your decorum and take a quick snapshot of the Waffle House employee with the tracheotomy tube sticking out of her neck.

Thanks. ;)

10:17 AM  
Blogger kingfelix said...

Jim, i could be like Barnum and dress up my disgusting pictures as "A Moral Lecture on the Consequences of Tobacco Use"

10:27 AM  
Blogger L said...

heh heh. sounds like you guys had a great time though. I bet you never thought that you could pull off the Secret Agent thing, eh?

9:29 PM  

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