At the front of every bus – not sure if this is the same throughout the US, or just in Miami – is a sticker, letting you know that the front seat is dedicated to the memory of Rosa Lee Parks, the woman who would not get up from the seat as expected during the time of racial segregation. It made me think of the Stone Roses song “Daybreak” which mentions her.
Now one thing that, at least in the past, has always made me laugh about America, is the names of the streets. As I’m sure you’re aware, they’re all numbered, and are either “streets” or “avenues”, so if you’re at a junction you might be at “54th avenue and 32nd street”. It sounds like such a simple system, as to be laughable. But laugh I did not when I regularly found myself somehow or other overshooting the number of the street I needed by some considerable distance, or on a couple of occasions going in completely the opposite direction to what I intended! So simple, there’s no way you could get it wrong or get lost!….
Anyway, at least if I did have to get a bus going back in the direction I came from, with a quick explanation, the bus drivers, in my experience, were quite willing to then waive the fare to make up for my incompetence (perhaps it was all they could do to contain their mirth) – and let’s face it, the chances of a jobsworth bus driver in Cardiff doing that would be zero.
On that first journey, and on a connecting bus, at around 10.30pm (I think in this case in the wrong direction) the bus was so busy, I found myself standing near the front, and here again, I encountered a couple of Americans quite passionately exerting the right to speak freely, and to show off. First a man in, I think, a Grateful Dead t-shirt, probably around 60, decided to loudly try his luck with some 16 year old girls he was stood next to, inviting them back to his for a drink. Nobody who heard batted an eyelid, and even the girls themselves did not seem to mind! I couldn’t believe it when, just as he got off, another man of about the same age – in fact, I think he said it was his birthday that day, and that he was 60-something – then did more-or-less exactly the same thing with these girls before he too stepped off the bus! I started to think it must be my turn next, but I managed to show the restraint that the old-timers clearly could not.
I confess, on the return journey, ie. once I was going in the right direction, I did try chatting up someone on this bus, but only as the people around me were chatting about the WMC, and it was pretty clear this woman was also going to a related event. Furthermore, at least she was approximately my age! She eventually declined my offer of an additional guest list place, but I think I did get her number.
So anyway, eventually I made it to the club at about 12pm, and it was a good thing the young lady had not taken up my offer – as it turned out, I did not have a “plus one” as I had vainly hoped, and I may well have had to fork out the 50 buck entry fee for her!
So anyway, now I finally felt I had arrived – getting in free to a club that had regular punters paying $50 feels quite good, I can tell you, and I didn’t mind quite so much paying the seemingly mandatory $10 for a beer. There were four different rooms at this club, with the main, central room having no roof – this was a super-cool club. Yet it was sad to see so few people actually dancing, especially in the main room – it was almost as if they were too cool to dance! I found a set-list and saw that Tom Novy was DJing in one of the other rooms at 4am, so set my mental alarm clock to then – that is to say, at 4am, I’d be going mental, dancing to Tom Novy!