Remember my 4 point american dream? Well its begun...
I touched down at JFK airport on the 4th of July and jumped onto the Subway and headed into the city proper. The subway was jammed packed with humanity of every colour and ethnic flavour and I had to sardine myself in amongst it all. I was a fly on the window as we were raced and thrown around. The old tracks were a far shot from the swan like glide of Berlins smooth transportation. The screech of tortured steel was mostly drowned out by the boom-boxes and booming voices of the revellers. The black people were the loudest and the most interesting. Conversations were ridiculously melodic and often would randomly break out into song and return to speech without pause. The mood was infectious, and I itched to get into the city. Though it was still light outside, the sun was slumping low over the outer suburbs. There was a comfortable dilapidation to those outer suburbs that reminded me of the town of my childhood. A grease-like film covered everything. Kids splashed in plastic pools set up in second hand car yards with the celebrating parents watching on, eating cheap meat and drinking cheaper beer. We sped on. Slowly the suburbs gave way to low rise buildings as the mood in my subway car began reaching fever pitch. Diving into a tunnel the world went black and I saw no more until I reached my destination. Finding my hostel was as simple as counting. The new york grid system may have deprived the egos of those who missed out on having a street named after them but it really is convenient. I found 106th west quickly. A smile, some cash, a shower, drop my bags and I was back on the street running. It was 8:30pm and the lady liberty called to me. Cutting through central park was being in an African jungle party. Thousands of blacks had swamped the park armed with barbeques, booze, boom boxes, and water balloons. Despite the festive abandonment there was surprising no rubbish and no damage. White Australians are much more destructive in their revelry. I passed through and kept heading east. I ran through a whirlwind of stars and stripes until I finally hit the Hudson at just after 9pm. Lady Liberty was lit up by the Independence Day fireworks and the throng that lined the banks waved their flags with hysterics. I was finally in the USA.
Taking a bite out of the big apple never tasted so sweet. Towers pull the sky down beneath your feet, pushing the boundaries of architectural excellence. This is a city that was built for giants and for me has redefined what constitutes as a city. I read once that no city has been destroyed more times on the silver screen than New York. I used to chalk it up to Hollywood unoriginality, but now I understand the fascination with the city. It truly is magnificent. Over the next couple of days I explored the city that has so much to see. Wall Street is incredible. Monolithic structures positively reek of wealth and power. After 5 days it was time to move on south.
I’ve been in Texas now for about a week. To be completely honest I really haven’t seen much. I’ve spent a lot of my time searching the internet for work. I’ve set myself up at a cheap ‘extended-stay’ stay hotel , which is about 10km north of downtown. I have my own apartment with a kitchen and bathroom. My stomping ground is along a six lane concrete highway that doubles as a commercial area. Being the middle of summer the heat is intense, though without any humidity lacks the same sting as the Australian heat. The sky is perpetually hazy, an off white that bleeds into the white concrete highway, the earth is chalky and sandy which melds into this concrete jungle. The prefab construction of concrete buildings is painfully dull, with a horrible light brown paint scheme that everyone seems to buy into. The heat waves blur the edges of your vision until the sky, ground, buildings and roads all melt into one another creating a beige visual horror. On my two hour trek to wallmart I noticed the most common buildings are Fast Food franchises, Churches, and Pawn Shops… in that order. I even saw one building that had a Church sandwiched between a Bojangles fried chicken shop and an attorney for injury law office, with a stray dog gnawing on trash outside. The image was so comical I wish I had a camera.
The people are super friendly though. Everyone is smiles and chatty like nothing else. The people seem truly happy, and do like to share it. The fatness is unavoidable though. If Texas was a country it would have to be the fattest place on earth. I understand that in this day and age people are going to get a bit chubby on the crappy food that is eaten, but this is taking it to a whole new level. Wallmart was more fascinating than any zoo I have ever been to. You know those kiddy seats they sometimes have on trolleys? At Wallmart they have adult seats on their trolleys. I saw a teenager that looked to be at least 150kg getting pushed by his equally massive mom, while his dad loaded up the trolley with cans of Sloppy Joes’ ground beef, I kid you not. The size of the people is astonishing. There is no public transport and no sidewalks either. When I walked to Wallmart I saw not a single pedestrian, or cyclist in two hours but thousands upon thousands of cars. When I buy some fast food, the lobby is always empty, but the drive though will be queued with ten cars. Ridiculous. Some fast food places are only drive in. This one place called Sonics, has numerous bays where you drive in. A machine lets you choose and pay for your meal through your window, while a flat screen TV plays shows for you in front of your face. Unbelievable. The only advantage that comes with everyone being so fat is that the Airplane seats are actually large enough for me to be quite comfortable.
I go for long walks around the place. There is a lot of bushland between the various suburbs which is interesting to check out. There are some really interesting lizards and tiny snakes that I’ve found, and a type of black bird with a super long tale that I’ve seen in the hundreds. I walk through these tic tac suburbs of identical houses that are quite scary. One street of identical houses even had the same SUV in every driveway. That gave me a chilled feeling of needless conformity.
So far I have been mostly looking for work, though without any bites yet. Early times though. I have had two callers to my apartment. The first was a black guy that was offering to sell me a pizza, cause he lost the address that it was supposed to go to. The second was a white guy who asked me ‘are you the good looking guy that ordered the blow-job?’
Blow jobs and pizza. I wonder what that says about Houston?