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My favourite things, The Miami Affair

Arise, Mrs Boring!

Saturday 3rd August 2013

I’M TURNING INTO MRS BORING AND I AM NOT LIKING IT ONE BIT. Staying at home and living on a non-budget limits my options and reduces me to potato-couch status.

We spent want seemed like half the day in the car touring universities for Triplet1. The first one, Florida International University was beautiful. The second was in a sketchy area and the third was a satellite site of a main campus that was located a further 90mins drive away. By that point I refused to drive any further. I’d already driven for 90 mins. That’s a lot of driving. In the UK, that’s practically from one side of London to, well, the other side I guess. Either way, it was enough for me.

We went to Sawgrass Mill. Depending on who you believe, it is either sw Florida’s biggest shopping mall or the entire world’s largest shop mall. My own view; it was a monster of a mall – bigger than any that I’d driven round. And that’s because driving around it was the nearest we got to it. There were no parking spaces. We made a few minor errors of judgement. First – it was back to school crazy shopping time. Second – it was the middle of a Saturday. Third (and this one’s the killer error) – it was tax-free week. After 30 minutes of effort, we admitted defeat and drove home. Note to self’: sturdy hiking shoes are recommended for anyone brave enough to tackle that beast. I’m not mad keen on huge shopping centres so I’ll probably not attempt the journey again.

I’m starting to visualise a future me, here in the US. It involves running a coffee shop with good music, wi-fi, comfy seats and decent coffee….. and lots of hand sanitisers. Plus, an entire selection of vegetarian options. Egg-free cakes, decent veggie sandwiches and salads as a matter of course and a range of healthy eating options. Anything fizzy, other than sparkling water would be banned. ‘Juice drinks’ also banned. Only pure 100% juice allowed.

I’m deliberately non-specific about the location. I certainly have no intention of settling in ‘Stand Your Ground and Legally Slaughter Young Black Men, Florida’. The gun ownership and legally sanctioned racially motivated criminal mentality is not conducive to a healthy mindset for me. In order for me to settle here, I have to accept attitudes that are alien to me. I’m sure that in time, I will become desensitised to many things that I presently find unpalatable. If not, then I’m off to discover another country; perhaps Canada or maybe even following my brother’s footsteps to Portugal or somewhere else with sunny climes.I’m learning how to adapt to the Floridian way of driving. However, I do this with a London twist; I actually minimise my random acts of selfishness on the road to just three per day. By the third act, I realise that I’m turning into Roadzilla and I remember that I’m a Brit.Some random guy offered me his business card, after gazing at me in a really creepy way. I had no use of his services but accepted his card, for fear of offending him. Here, my survival tactic is to assume that 1, they all have guns and 2, they’re all crazy. This helps my to engage brain before mouth. But, when Mr Creepy asked me if I was married, mouth disengaged brain and I found myself almost shouting ‘definitely!’ Loose translation: “not in your wildest dreams Mister. Now back, the f@&k off before I have to get my pepper spray out of my bag!”

On that note, I’m signing off for tonight.

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