Friday, February 4, 2011

Journey to England Part VII 1/2

(To all number purists: Sorry about the mixing of Roman numerals and Arabic numerals in the title.)

So there's a bit I accidentally left out of the last installment. Sorry, my memory failed me. 

I had previously mentioned our little road map, I think. If I didn't, let me bring you up to speed: We had a little road map. Ok. It helped immensely when figuring out the most sensible routes to not actually end up taking after the people that picked us up took us somewhere else entirely. Still however, knowing where we were in relation to service areas, and having an overall sense of distance was comforting. When getting stuck in the hitchhiking doldrums, we could always recheck our trusty little map and think "half an inch left isn't so bad!" 

So anyway here's the part I accidentally left out.

When we woke up in that field on our last day of hitching, it was gone. FUCK. We were practically in the middle of nowhere, heading someplace just north of nowhere, and now we didn't even have our map of nowhere.


We may as well have just been floating aimlessly through space like some sort of cosmic tumbleweed. But wait! We'd had it the day before, as we'd checked it just before giving up hitching for the day. It couldn't have gone far, it doesn't even have legs. 

I searched for "map with legs." Not exactly what I expected.

So we retraced our steps, and failing to find our map in various piles of dirt, concluded that we must've left it on a table inside the service station. 

In we went, perusing the area like a couple of people that aren't trying very hard to find something. Basically we checked the table we sat at and didn't see it. So we started asking around. "Did you see a road map booklet on any of these tables?" as if some teenager working there would say "Oh yes, I've got it right here random smelly stranger! Of course I would save such a specimen, despite similar maps being on sale in this very building!" and they'd hand it over, satisfied that they'd done a good deed. 

So nobody inside had it, but there was a janitor outside! He deals with trash more regularly! We asked him if he remembered throwing away a map. He couldn't quite remember. At least, that's all I could surmise from his dismissive grunts. Finally as a last ditch effort, which probably should've been my first ditch effort, I walked back inside to check the trash can nearest the table we sat at the night before. I pulled it out and started digging through it, hopefully with the confidence of some sort of undercover secret service agent looking for important clues, and definitely not some homeless person. 

And no way! THERE IT WAS! (Here's a 3rd way to emphasize text!)

It was absolutely soaked through with old coffee, as if a nearby cement truck had accidentally been filled with coffee instead of cement, and this trashcan was the closest receptacle they could use to dump their mistake. 

You know how old coffee smells like shit? Well being surrounded in other smelly garbage made it smell FUCKING GREAT!

So, it was both encouraging, as our persistence had paid off, and discouraging, as now we had to carry around a book with sticky shit-smelling pages for the foreseeable future. 

You're probably wondering why we didn't just buy a new map.


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