Saturday, January 23, 2010


And what better way to leave Mecca than out on route 66. From old Roman roads in Europe to the Silk Route across Asia and now Route 66 across the states. There is probably no road nor highway across America that gains more intrigue than the famous route 66. Sadly there are no signs left to say you are actually on route 66 as it is priority number 1 on the 'want list' of every Harley Davison rider (after he gets that 'Born to be Wild' tattoo on his shoulder). But it was a beautiful route east through massive vegetable plantations, then extraordinary rock formations and later just out of the way wilderness. Considering I only met about 1 vehicle every 30 minutes it gives you an indication to the lack of traffic on this historic world renowned route.
As I pedalled on this barren route I thought about the upcoming adventure across America and one thing that felt real good was the fact that I was finally back in an english speaking country. I've spent much of the last year communicating with sign language, picture books and hopeless attempts at whatever the local language may be. But I've faced over 15 different languages over the past year and in some cases, I've had to communicate with people who have never seen or met a tourist. Communicating with people who have never met an adult who could not speak their own language can be very frustrating. From about Greece onwards, I generally choose my food in restaurants by walking straight into the kitchen and pointing at what ever looked good. I'd often have the kitchen staff either baffled or in fits of laughter as I rummaged through fridges, freezers and cupboards and I gathered up whatever took my fancy in the kitchen. If it was a case of being handed a menu, I'd generally just point at some random dish in the centre of the list. (The first few dishes are probably starters, the last few deserts, so the middle ones are most likely main courses.) I'm not a fussy eater so it would generally work out fine. But there have been a few occasions where I've been handed a plate of some random food that makes you question the pros and cons of hunger. But now that I'm here in the states, its a case of language no longer being a barrier and the sensation of being bombarded with choice;
'And what would you like to drink with that, sir?'
'Just give us a cola please'
'Would you like a regular Pepsi ,a diet Pepsi, a Pepsi max, a Dr Pepper, a cherry cola, a Coca Cola, a Coca Cola lite..........'

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