Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Driving in Miami

I rented a car to get around Miami -- and I am slightly regretting that decision. I passed six pile ups in ten miles on my way from the airport to the hotel last night. I'm not a confident driver to start with, and didn't receive a surge in confidence from the sight. I don't feel the slightest temptation to make fun of Florida drivers. The hotel charges $30 to keep the car overnight, as I found out at the registration desk. My mistake for not thinking of that sooner. And now it's already 2 pm local time and I'm still at the hotel, having accomplished maybe 5% of the planned reading for the day. I should stay here and keep reading, but instead I feel obligated to take the car out for a ride. I can already imagine the parking charges I'm going to pay in the tourist hot spots.

Last night, shaken up from the drive to the hotel, I took a walk to the nearest walkable destination: the mall. A mall is a mall is mall, but this had Argentine grill at the food court and five different ice cream shops. Everyone seems a little confused around here, as if they were all me, not sure what they are doing here and severely shaken up on the way. I talked to a woman at the checkout line at Publix, the local supermarket, who had blueberry muffins on her shopping list, but didn't know what they were. I tried to explain, but she just waved her hand, "Oh, it's too complicated." I said, "But they are right there!" and tried to point her to the bakery section, but she just folded her list and stuffed it in her pocket. "I'll just let it go," she said. I bought a bag of organic Gala apples for $4.95 and a chocolate chip cookie for 72 cents. The apples are very watery and not quite ripe, but I am not complaining.

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