I have finally made it to Sweet home Alabama. (Oh come on, it had to be said at least once).
Braving the marathon journey from Edinburgh to the City of Mobile, flying with American Airlines was definitely not as grand as flying with Delta to Denver was. Despite the comfort of starting the first leg of the trip from Edinburgh (and so getting to listen to airline staff talk about coughing parrots), I hadn’t quite expected the plane on the ten hour section to resemble something from the 60s. In flight entertainment?! Pah! Free drinks? You’ve got to be joking! Gluten free meal (that I had requested?) Get fucked.. take this pasta and like it.
Luckily customs didn’t hassle me at all this time, and so I was free to get on the last leg of the flight, which turned out to be in some sort of comedy, Buddy Holly plane. The words of Billy Connolly were left ringing in my ears from when he talked about how “you’d just hit the ground like a fucking dart.”
Caroline came to meet me, which is always good. Being stranded in Alabama after a long-haul flight would not have been the greatest experience in the world I’m sure.
I was thinking about various trips I’ve made over the years, and I’ve realised that one of the best feelings in the world is that first hug you have with somebody that you’ve not seen in a long time; it makes the whole arduous process – time and money spent – totally worth it.
I inhaled a chicken burger from Wendy’s (remember them!?) and we headed straight to ‘the Garage’ for some drunken karaoke. I felt a bit like my brain had melted by this point, but the rendition of ‘Circle of Life’ by Caroline and Mel is something that will remain with me for a very long time. Ahem.
This Garage actually looked a bit like a garage too – with big metal shutters. The barman told me America wasn’t always full of terrible karaoke singers, and gave me a shot of root beer and jager. Not bad, I have to say… much better than a jagerbomb anyway.
The next day I wandered about whilst Caroline was working, and got my first tastes of downtown Mobile.
My penchant for comedy signage was not disappointed.
and can somebody explain to me why a chicken place sells biscuits?!
I did spot a Segway though, and for a minute was definitely tempted to make off with it into the sunset.
I also spotted this gap between some buildings…
For those of you that used to watch Hey Arnold: Remember the episode where they clear out an abandoned spot of land and play baseball? This bit looks exactly like that location (albeit not in cartoon form).
and no matter where in the world you go, you can’t quite seem to escape the Scots…
First impressions: Mobile has a population of about 400,000 people, which is about 4 times the size of Dundee, but because of the way that American cities are spread out and not concentrated with town centres like we’re used to, it seems much smaller than it actually is.
Everyone seems very laid back and lives at a fairly nice pace… people know each other and the police don’t seem as intimidating as they do in other parts of the States. It may well have something to do with the fact that it’s still about 23 degrees (Celcius) on the 30th of December. Crazy.
Anyway, my bus is booked to Nashville, and we’ve got lots of other cool things on the cards (including a Mardi Gras parade for Hogmanay!), so I’ll update with these in due course.