6/29/2009 11:49:00 pm

Food and Fame

Posted by Tom French |

Ocean City was loads of fun! Lesley and I had been talking about how we were really looking forward to going because we'd get to hang out with some real Americans rather than just sharing rooms with sleepy backpackers. We weren't disappointed.

We travelled to Ocean City on Greyhound which Van warned us was "ghetto". I'm not exactly sure what that means. If it means the buildings were dodgy, the service not that good, and their entire workforce being people from minority groups, then yes, it was ghetto. Still I enjoyed the experience. I enjoyed riding with people who can't afford to fly, and I liked seeing the country side.

Greyhound also doesn't have much by the way of food, so we spent the day eating food from vending machines.

On the bus we went over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. It's 7km long. It made me happy.

When we made it to Ocean City Nathan was waiting at the bus station to pick us up. I saw him out the window when we arrived, but I pretended not to because then it would have been awkward till we got off the bus. Meeting strange pastors you meet on the internet is an odd business. But happily he didn't kidnap us or turn out to be an 80 year old woman with lots of cats.

Nathan shook our hands and introduced himself. He was friendly, American and sounded just like he does on his podcast. It felt like I was with someone famous.

Nathan took us to the house we stayed at. We were put up by a lovely older lady named Grace. Grace lives in a little cottage by the lake. She has soft grass. It was a pretty nice place and Grace was very welcoming and hospitable. She cooked breakfast for us every morning and slept on the floor in the lounge room so Lesley could sleep in her bed. I was put in the spare room with the freezer. I really liked having a room to myself. I haven't had one of them since I left Sydney.

Once we'd dropped off our stuff at Grace's Nathan took us to his place to meet Carolyn, his wife, and Laura Marie, his 19 day old daughter. Laura Marie was pretty un-responsive to our arrival, but she made up for it by being cute. Carolyn however was very welcoming and friendly, especially seeing as she had just had a kid. In fact the Hydes spent the whole weekend with us, entertaining us, taking us out for dinner, and their baby was less than three weeks old. I was very impressed and felt quite blessed.

They took us to dinner that first night so we could get some crab, it's famous in the Ocean City area. It was nice and tasted nothing like crab sticks, much to my happiness. Crab sticks are disgusting. Crab soup and crab imperials on the other hand are very pleasing to the taste buds.

While we probed each other for cross-cultural information and personal history, the conversation was peppered with regular descriptions of various local delicacies, especially delicacies we could have for dessert. We found that this discussion of food would be a theme of the weekend. I like food, but I didn't know that there was so many opportunities in a day to talk about it until going to Ocean City. My eyes have been opened.

We went for a trip after dinner to the famous Ocean City boardwalk, voted 3rd best boardwalk in the United States. It was pretty impressive. It was kinda like a cross between Surfers Paradise and the Manly Corso if they were stretched out in a long line, stuck right on the edge of the beach, and made to sell only bad t-shirts and unhealthy food. I did enjoy myself.

We spent so much time walking and talking about food that we ran out of time for dessert. I'm sure this is irony or something like that.

Saturday was a lazy day. Grace took us to Wal Mart. It was like K Mart but 50% bigger. I'm pretty sure this was a small Wal Mart though. Then she took us to a fast food place that sells salad and bread. True to local form, Grace had spent all morning talking about the food this place sold.

In the afternoon we went to the Hyde's and watched a DVD (Henry Poole is Here if you're wondering) then went and at dinner at a themed restaurant in an old fire station. It was pretty cool. I like fire stations and stuff. I had a big pork chop and ate it all. I felt like a local. Laura Marie, as usual, slept through the whole thing. Rude.

And now I'm off to bed. I'll finish the Ocean City catch up tomorrow. Now I'm kinda sleepy.

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