Thursday, 12 August 2010

Too Darn Hot

I fall for this season every time,
When it's hot, and everybody smiles.
I can't help myself, I'm in love
With the summertime.
The Divine Comedy, The Popsinger's Fear of the Pollen
As Amy said, on Tuesday evening we were taken out to dinner in the Loop, kind of the altenative area of St. Louis, by Steph (who I met at the wedding) and her friend Herb, which was great fun. Herb and I shared a platter of American beers and we all ate way too much [I didn't eat way too much! I was quite happy - Amy], but it was a great evening - thanks guys! Wednesday we spent exploring Forest Park, the 7th largest urban park in the USA, which itself contains multiple things to do, each with its own car park. This is to avoid having to actually walk anywhere wthin the park away from the air-conditioning of your vehicle, because actually walking would be insane.

We're kind of coming to agree with this idea.

Given that the temperature is constantly in the mid to high 30s (celsius) walking around at anything other than snail's pace becomes really uncomfortable really quickly. Amy and I made it from where we had lunch to the art gallery by flitting from shade to shade (though after a while Amy gave up and just started walking in straight lines). The art gallery was nice and cool though so we spent lots of time there, though the best thing we saw all day was the turtle in the lake which kept poking its head just above the water, taking a look around and disappearing again. I do a really good impression of it, I'll show you some time.

When we've been at the hotel we've caught fragments of Amercan TV. This is quite frustrating because commercials take up literally about a third of the programme time, so you're constantly interrupted by adverts for medicines that seem mostly to consist of side-effects, political candidates who are either working for oil companies or not working for Barack Obama (depending on who paid for the ad), or places to eat where the serving staff wear talking hats. The news programmes seem to spend more time telling you what's coming up or what they've just told you and the reporters constantly shout, which gives an overall impression that you're being kept up to date by a deaf guy with Alzheimers ("and if you need any more towels..."). So yes, an exciting cultural experience all round. Also, if anyone knows what "tailgating" means in the context of something students do before watching a game, we'd be most grateful.

Today we're having a bit of a lazy morning so that we're not too exhausted for our extremely posh dinner tonight in a revolvnig restaurant that Amy found, though we might walk/saunter/crawl down to Laclede's Landing later on, which is where the first settlement of St. Louis was started. And then tomorrow it's off to Carbondale and Jamie....

PS - Amy wants to tell you all that on Monday night we found a fudge stall EXACTLY like the one in Cambridge (but with not-very-nice fudge), and that the people staffing the stall started a sing-along in the shopping mall, which was really cool. So now she has.


  1. Tailgating: in the context you're talking is essentially a BBQ in a parking lot. Kind of.

  2. Yes, the term comes from the time you'd pull into the parking lot before the big game in your station wagon and open up the back (tailgate), spread the food out and eat standing or sitting around the back end of your car. Now, of course, it's huge SUVs, pick-ups and Hummers.