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Misadventure of a lifetime - Arvind Narayanan's journal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

Misadventure of a lifetime [May. 19th, 2007|04:02 pm]
Arvind Narayanan
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |Newark, NJ]
[Current Mood |indescribable]

Aah, West Texas. The wilderness of the West combined with the desolation of Texas. That pretty much sums it up.

That's where I did a cross-country yesterday. I have the world on my phone, but of course no cell phone signal. You'd be stupid to do this without knowing your route in advance.

I thought I did. But at some point early on in my trip I realized I wouldn't be able to take the route plotted by google maps, and was going to have to improvise. There were about 3 small towns en route my 6 hour trip where I could stop at gas stations and ask for directions to the next town. They wouldn't know directions to the place two towns away!

I started my trip at 8pm. Almost everything shuts down at midnight, so I had to make it to the last of the stops before 12'o clock.

I made it at 11:55. As I was leaving I overheard the cashier telling the next customer "cinqo minutos." Breadth of a hair.

But I still had two hours left. I had the rest of the directions memorized, but if I missed a highway, it would be ages before I even realized I was off track, and there was no way in hell I'd be able to get anywhere before the next morning. That would mean I'd miss my flight to Europe and be in a world of pain.

Add to that the fact I was running a temperature, and as usual, seriously sleep-deprived, staying conscious on a caffeine pill. Making things even more interesting were the facts that my vehicle registration had expired (I renewed online before it expired but the DMV hasn't sent me my new sticker yet), and I don't have a place to say when I get back (to California) from Barcelona! That's not even nearly all the crap I'm wading through right now. But it's all I can describe publicly. I was in more stress than I've been in a long, long time.

It was pure terror.

I finally reached at 2:30.

I had to get up at 5:30 to catch the flight.

The reason that I'm flying to Europe from West Texas has to do with transportation of my car to California and is so convoluted I'm not even going to try.

If I can make it through the next two weeks somehow, I should be ok. Wish me luck!

Oh, and the other thing about driving through rural Texas is that you obviously have no chance of catching any hip-hop on the car radio. In fact, all you hear about is Jeebus. The dude is everywhere, all over the spectrum. This place is smack bang in the buckle of the Bible belt.

The flight's been fun so far. As usual the TSA @#$@#%s gave me secondary screening. The guy who was screening me complained about getting secondary every time he had to fly! Apparently he accidentally got too close to Laura Bush once and has been on the damn list ever since. That's right, people. This is the town that gee-dubya-bee and the first liddy call home.

So I board the plane. Almost everyone except seems to be in their fifties, and of course almost all are white. I was the last one to get on -- brown guy in a bandana :-) I wish I could have photographed the faces! They hid it well, but when there's 50 faces some of them are going to reveal a little more than intended.

I'm in Newark, NJ now, having flown through Houston. Crossing the Atlantic is still ahead. I really really really hate these 9 hour flights. I hope to be able to sleep through it.

[User Picture]From: logofmymind
2007-05-19 10:17 pm (UTC)

Good Luck

Wish you good luck! Enjoy your trip!
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