This is a blog about my travels. My "regular" life is much too boring to bother blogging about.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Asheville, Day 1

Here I am, safe and sound. It has been an acceptable first day. My first impression of Asheville is pretty favourable. It has a cute, compact, Art Deco downtown; most of the good stuff the city has to offer seems to be located downtown (good for people like me without a car); there are scores of hippies and other miscellaneous weirdos (like the kind with dishevelled hair who talk to themselves on the street) milling about to keep things interesting; there are more than enough coffee shops, little shops and restaurants to keep me busy for 6 days; and the bars serve very, very, very good local beer. That's a pretty good package for a city of 75,000.

I didn't get up to too much today. I arrived in the city at about 4:30 or so, and by the time I was settled in my hostel, it was 5:00. That left me enough time to get my bearings around downtown, sample three pints of local beer and a sample of local mead (!!!), and eat an insanely large portion at a Carribean/Mexican restaurant (pulled pork enchilada with pineapple salsa and various other yummy things) which I still haven't fully digested. Then I had to wander back to my hostel to work on my NASSH presentation.* Sucks. It is very frustrating to be in a new city and have your exploring time limited by work obligations.

(*I'm staying by myself in a fairly large house just south of downtown. It's owned by the hostel I was supposed to be staying in. The dude who runs the hostel - a dude named BJ politically liberal enough to have already turned on Obama - had given away my reservation. I think he was stoned when I spoke to him. But he placed me two doors down in this house, which he's converting into a second hostel building. The place is, ahem, under construction - the living room is ripped up, and there's basically nothing finished in here except for the room I'm staying in and the bathroom. I'm the only guest staying here. B.J. is letting me pay half price, which is pretty sweet.)

Some random occurrences/observations from today:

-A sales clerk in the Detroit airport cold me that I had "cute jeans".

-The Detroit airport rules.

-Delta Airlines now charges $15 to check in luggage, the bastards.

-The Asheville airport is basically on a mountaintop. If a plane ever skids off the runway... well, let's just say I wouldn't want to be in that plane.

-The highway that connects Asheville to the airport is called the Billy Graham Parkway.

-My taxi driver, who I think could be accurately described as a good ol' boy, was cold to me, and perhaps even borderline rude, until he discovered that I was from Canada and not some stinking Yankee carpetbagger. Then he was super nice.

-Not too many Southern accents here so far, and the ones I've encountered aren't very pronounced (my taxi driver aside). I've decided I'm disappointed about this.

-I hate school.


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