I am currently sitting in blistering heat (aka 22 degrees Celcius) in the living room of my pal Natalie in Denver, Colorado. Colorado as in America; somewhere I never thought I’d find myself.
I flew out from London to Atlanta (the ‘Delta hub’), and then on to where we are now. The first leg of the flight was like pure luxury. Nine-odd hours on a plane was pretty daunting, so I splashed out on the ‘economy comfort’ upgrade which turned out to be totally worth it. After being used to the squalor of Ryanair, I felt like a king.
“Newspaper sir? Another cushion sir? Whisky sir?”
Don’t mind if I do!
A bit of an extravagancy, but as my wise pal Fiona M recently confirmed, there comes a point when you’d rather pay a bit more and avoid the normal horrors of air travel.
Saying that, despite being the first on the plane, my smugness was cut short when they pulled me for a ‘random bag search’ and everyone passed me by. Bah.
The second leg from Atlanta was not quite as luxurious. I managed to be sat next to a very large gentlemen. It was made even worse by the fact that he was crushingly nice. (no pun intended).
Customs lived up to their reputation and gave me a whole lot of hassle about how I looked different from my passport photo. I guess the big glasses, beard and piercings do constitute quite a change. As well as that, the fact that I didn’t know the street or suburb where I would be staying was apparently a major deal, as “Denver’s a big place”, and if they didn’t have the address then they “wouldn’t be able to find me”. Still not happy that they now have my fingerprints and that… nobody in the UK has that sort of information about me, so it feels weird. Kind of like I’ve crossed a line somewhere ideologically, but I’m going to have to put it to the side.
That said, once you get past the official, structured part of America that we all see in movies and on the news, it’s totally different. The people are incredibly friendly and unassuming and make you feel at home straight off the bat.
My beard seems to be right at home as well. We headed out to some bars after the plane got in, and despite tales of the altitude apparently making you drunker faster, and being awake for over 24 hours, myself and Caroline (both ‘jet-lagged’) managed to outlast everyone else and go to bed at 4am after a fair whack of whisky. Another victory.
Tonight we’re going out to camp somewhere with a fire and all that stuff. Apparently there are bears, but it’s okay because every man and their dog seems to have some sort of crazy weaponry. Thoughts of that Scottish guy who attacked the bear in Scandinavia have definitely crossed my mind.
Asssuming I don’t get eaten, I’ll have photos next time.