Monday, October 12, 2015

"Show me the way to Amarillo . . . "


I'm sure many readers know Tony Christie's hit song from 1971.  Listening to it in South Africa at the time, I couldn't help being amused that an English singer had a hit with a song about an American city.  Be that as it may, Amarillo is where Miss D. and I are tonight.

We rendezvoused with the remaining Blogoradans for a final breakfast together.  It was, as always on the last morning, a bittersweet occasion.  We had a wonderful time together (I think this year's Blogorado is the best I can remember out of all those I've attended), but it's never nice to have to say goodbye to so many friends.  Still, there's next year to look forward to . . .

After checking out of our hotel, we took the time to have a slow puncture repaired in one of the tires on our car, then topped up with gas and headed south.  After a few hours' drive we arrived in Amarillo, found ourselves a hotel, and met up with author Alma Boykin.  We've been in touch with her online and in other ways for some time, but we'd never met before, so we decided this trip was the perfect opportunity to make up for lost time.

Alma's a fascinating lady.  Life has taken her all over the world, and her eclectic education has given her all sorts of skills and insights that she brings to bear on her writing.  We had a great evening together.  She took us to a hole-in-the-wall oriental restaurant that (as is often the case with such unprepossessing-looking places) served really good food.  Miss D. and I enjoyed listening to the sounds of properly heated woks as food was added to them.  The 'snap, crackle, pop' of very hot oil is unmistakable, and not something one hears in all restaurants of this sort - even though one should.

After supper we went to a local coffee shop for some very tasty brews, then back home, where we chatted for a while (and were studiously ignored by her very superior cat, who saw no reason why riff-raff like us should be permitted to darken the doorstep of her home).  We finally left Alma to get some sleep, and headed back to our hotel where I'm writing these words.

Tomorrow it's off to the Wichita Falls area, where we have several friends.  We'll spend a day or two enjoying their company, then we'll head back towards Tennessee.  We should be home by the weekend.

Please keep up your prayers for traveling safety and mercy for us.  There are lots of idiots on the road.  We had one hairy moment this morning in a construction zone.  Just as traffic was slowing and reducing from two lanes to one, a truck full of asphalt for the road surfacing machine came up the other way and did a U-turn across the median, right in front of an oncoming 18-wheeler, with yours truly and his wife and a few other cars just behind it.  We had cause to be very grateful for the excellent brakes on our rented car, and there was a certain amount of white smoke and tire-screeching from most of the other vehicles involved.  I daresay the air inside them turned blue as well . . .  Still, thanks be to God, we made it safely out of that predicament.  Please God, we won't have another close call like that!

Peter

2 comments:

Will said...

I'm tempted to call that u-turn problem "a near-miss Russian moment". If you watch enough of those Russian traffic videos, you quickly notice the more common screwups by those drivers. I used to think the wild vehicle antics during crashes in movies were a bit over the top. Not anymore! They seem positively pedestrian compared to the real crashes shown on u-tube.

I think that not having several generations of drivers to observe, as they were growing up, may be part of their problem. The other is probably drunk driving. Whatever the root causes, it is mindboggling to watch.

The robberies during heavy traffic were eye-opening. Road-rage interactions can be instructive on what to avoid doing, and how to respond when you see weapons of various sorts brought into view.

Cheap entertainment!

Wouter de Waal said...

I recently discovered the Springbok Radio channel on YouTube. Some nice memories there.