November 14th 1981

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0
Saleem

Life returned at about 3.30 am, still nearly 200 miles to go – we decided to stop off at Bill + Meher’s for breakfast.  I started driving, + managed about 45 mins before passing the wheel over to Val.  It seemed to her that I barely slept at all, but awoke with a jerk at 5.30 to discover that Valo had covered most of what was left – only about 50 miles to go.  I took over again a little while later when we stopped to get some gas, + drove to Bill + Meher’s (tho’ Val had to help me with some of the navigation once we were in Hayward – I had forgotten the way.

Arrived a little before 8, + they were very pleased to see us, + gave is breakfast.  The morning passed very pleasantly, sitting, talking, drinking tea, playing with the kids.  Saleem in particular had grown up some since we had last seen him, + had learnt many new words.  And then there was repair work to do, since yesterday Val had had a little accident.  A biro in the back pocket of her jeans had flooded, + stained the car seat.  We had got as much of it out as we could as soon as we noticed it, using petrol, but still there was a distinct + noticeable stain.  Unfortunately, it also resisted Meher’s spot remover.  After lunch, we slept – we had intended to leave, + push on with our journey, but Meher persuaded us to stay for the day, especially since there was a party that evening at a friend of theirs.  We did compromise tho’, + said we would leave at about 12 that night.  A really good sleep, then up + ready for the party.  Val borrowed a long skirt from Meher, which made a pleasant change.

The party was a good one, tho’ I have to confess I was really too tired to appreciate it fully.  As usual, there were huge quantities of food, + something which somewhat surprised me, a certain amount of booze.  Talked with lots of people – they do make an effort to include everyone, even clear outsiders like ourselves.  There was some singing (nice) + poetry telling, + finally a singing game which we couldn’t join in with.  Then a long, tiring drive to LA – we slept in a rest area just outside.

Apologies for the photo, included merely because Saleem is mentioned, but this is an old photo, from our previous visit. But I am running short of useable photos, so am rather clutching at straws. Nice that we should have received such a warm welcome; I had always thought we – or rather I – had been a bit rude during our stay before.

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