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Losing time

My favourite incidents from the past few days.

In Seattle at the weekend, I’m staying with my friend Chris. Now when I say ‘friend‘, I mean a man that I have conversed with over the internet for about 18 months and we’ve never actually met in person before, so he and his wife considered that I might be a scary internet stalker type, odd considering that the reason that I knew about his was from his website, i.e. he’s the scary man off of the internet.

• So, Friday night – suburban Seattle and we’re walking back to his house from the bar after a couple of drinks when we hear a woman call out to us “Excuse me, do you know anything about cars?”. We meet Kim, who is house sitting her friends house for the weekend including borrowing her car, and she’s using it to move some stuff out from her house which is where we are now, except now the key won’t turn in the ignition and we can we help? Yes we can!

Except ‘Yes we can!‘ actually translates into Geoff sitting in the car, turning the key and hearing – SNAP!– as it breaks in half leaving part of it in the ignition. I end up driving Kim across town back to her friends house looking for a spare key at 2am in the morning, only there isn’t one so I feel bad and give her money so that she can call out an emergency locksmith to get a new key made up. And trust me – that’s the very very short version of an very embarrassing story that I will be telling for many years to come.

• At a gas station outside of Portland, I remembered I hadn’t snapped any license plates recently (for my collection) and I asked a woman if it was OK to take a picture of her Washington one – it was. I then saw a car next to her (no owner present) with an Oregon plate and so I snap that too.

“Why are you taking a photo of my car?” I then suddenly hear – an angry male voice with a threatening tone. And it turns out that although this guy happily drives around in his car ALL THE TIME with his license plate on display for all to see, he gets antsy when I politely explain what I’m doing and he’s not happy until I delete the photo from my camera.

• At a campground on Sunday morning, a woman see’s me on my laptop and asks me if I can Google to find the address of the nearest church for her – she wants to go to a service. No problem and we politely exchange small talk and it’s all going fine until she leans in a little too closely for my liking, touches me on the shoulder and asks “Do you believe in God?” and looks at me with semi-piercing eyes. I fumble for a decent reply, “Well my mum did raise me a Christian” I go with – hoping that my beliefs as a child will be enough to not warrant any further investigating my her. Her voice drops to a whisper, her touch hardens on my shoulder slightly as she says “Don’t worry, Jesus has a plan for you”.

So I’m back in Idaho right now. I’ve got a small detour via Nevada to make today before ending up in Utah tonight. I picked up Ashley – companion number five – from Portland on Saturday (and Portland is as nice as everyone told me it would me, I can see why a lot of people I know talk about moving there) and we cracked on with a lot of driving.

Olympia, just south of Seattle was a nice large town that hadn’t lost its character and I scored some free Wi-Fi whilst parked in my car across from a coffee shop. Further down the same-name-line Kenton in Oregon turned out to be a horrible suburb of … well, trucks and truckers and business to do with trucks and I couldn’t find a single residential property, let alone a sign saying ‘This is Kenton’.

I am still desperately tired, I now longingly look forward to nights where I reason that I can stay in the same place for more than one night. I’ll be doing that tonight, and again at the weekend when I eventually get down to Texas. It doesn’t help thought that time is currently against me as I’m now travelling back east meaning that I’ll cross back into central time by the end of the week and lose two hours, before turning west and gaining them back again.

2 responses to “Losing time”

  1. Julia says:

    Ah, west coast Portland, which unlike east coast, doesn’t smell of fish.

  2. MumTina says:

    I am wondering what Jesus’ plan for you is, you should have asked the woman. I hope it’s to get you through the last few States, and home safely. Better still as you are now in Utah, maybe you could enlist the help of a local friendly Mormon. They believe in Jesus don’t they, or is it just Latter Day Saints? We have not had any round the house lately, so I can’t ask them.

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