Monday, August 27, 2007

Hippy Dippy

Spent the weekend traversing the roads towards beautiful Vermont.
A six hour drive turned into a 9 hour affair after a cement mixer brushed our rental car and basically totalled the rear right hand side of the car. Nothing happened to us, except mild bureaucracy.
I was amazed at the speed with which the State Police towed the car. The officer who wrote the accident report was super helpful. And I'm amazed at the fact that we were given another car by the car rental company and they even paid for our cab fare. I was able to fill out an insurance claim over the phone with my credit card company, which was tortuous and slow, but doable.
This is American can-do at its best. To my endless surprise, the vacation continued more or less unhindered.
Now I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.
The roads up to Vermont are gorgeous. This is a gorgeous country. Right now, the corn is high, the meadows a myriad shades of green, the hills are alive with the sound of music. There is a lot of roadkill. In fact, unfortunately, and for the first time in my life I contributed to it by hitting a poor squirrel. Maybe a chipmunk, alas. :(
We drove on the smaller roads, to see the views. They were largely empty. I hate the interstates (they are soporific), but the American road system is a true marvel. You people probably take it for granted, but you shouldn't. The roads are good, mostly excellently signalized and they are everywhere. The only problem I see is the speed limit, which is for turtles.
So we arrived in Burlington in the dark. In the morning, it became clear we were in some sort of alternative universe of almost total hippieness. By hippieness I mean everything is organic and recycled and composted and liberal and some of it is tie dyed. The fashion color scheme tends towards the lilacs and mauves. There is no shortage of motel chains and other staples or corporate Americana, but people in Burlington seem to be on the side of independence of mind, even if that means that almost everybody is uniformly ecological, liberal etc. I guess in a place like that it must be very rebellious and even hip to be a Republican.
Lake Champlain is very gorgeous. We sat on the pebbly sand and were soaked by a flash storm that was very refreshing. We were treated super nicely by some New York friends who have recently relocated, who literally gave us their house to stay in and also by Vicky who took us to a great place for brunch and showed us around. We realized that outside of New York City people talk to you. They make small talk even if they don't know you. Sometimes the talk is not so small, and it takes a moment to adjust to the fact that, no, these people are not crazies, they are just friendly.

No comments:

Post a Comment