This is one weird country. Nobody walks anywhere. Believe it or not, given my less than athletic girth and stature, I do like to do a lot of walking when I’m away – I find it much easier to get the feelfor a place if I’m wandering around rather than stuck in a car or on a bus. Here it’s difficult though, as with very few exceptions they don’t appear to have pavements. Hence I’m spending most of my time dicing with messy and instant death picking my way through scrubby grass while big trucks thunder past three feet from my ear. It’s probably actually illegal. And you can get done for jaywalking if you decide to cross the road too.
They won’t let you cross the street for your own safety, yet they give any gum-chewing lunatic in a baseball cap a gun. I love this country.
It’s been a productive trip so far. Met some very nice people too, starting with the splendid Perry and Jason – official Mississippi luggage rescuers – at the airport. Twice yesterday and once today I was given lifts to places by complete strangers who’d seen me on a street corner trying to unpeel the large city map that the wind had attached to my face as soon as I’d opened it and offered assistance. Tremendous. If someone did that in London, you’d punch them in the face and run away.
Mind you, the one time I could have done with a vehicular angel of mercy was yesterday. My digital camera’s been playing up, so I set off for the one place in town that could have fixed it for me. It was a good hour’s walk jousting with Mack trucks and Cherokee jeeps and, of course, when I got there the place was deserted with a sign in the window announcing “we have moved”. Moved to within about 400 yards of the hotel, in fact. Naturally, by the time I’d walked another hour back, the place was closed. Ho-hum.
I do most of my walking with some good old fashioned blues on the iPod. Well, when in Mississippi and all that. It struck me that most of the singers wailing scratchily through my headphones have three names. Blind Lemon Jefferson. Big Bill Broonzy. Mississippi John Hurt. That kind of thing. I was thinking on the plane on the way over that Deep Vein Thrombosis would in fact be a great name for a blues singer. However, on this site you can actually work out your own blues name. Mine came out as Crippled Dog Hopkins, which sounds good to me. As I’ve just invested in a nice resonator guitar for that authentic blues sound, I may go out on the road under that very monicker.
Oh, and here’s me overcome with excitement at being in the shop where Gladys Presley bought an 11 year-old Elvis his first guitar. Let’s hope the expression on his face wasn’t quite as stupid as the one on mine.
By the way, for those of you who fell for the Crush Calculator I posted here the other day – and boy, were there some interesting responses, shame on LOTS of you – the blues name site is genuine and you won’t be made to look a sucker. Honest, guv.