And a good evening to you from across the globe after a BUSY travel day in Southeast Asia. Sammy the Bull officially crossed off another travel destination tonight, as I'm currently typing this from the Island Shangri-la in...wait for it...wait for it...HONG KONG, BABY!!!! I know that Hitman calls me a "flavor of the month" kind of guy about favorites, but I simply must say it - this is THE NICEST hotel that I've EVER stayed in. In a word - WOW...I just keep waiting for Batman to jump off the Conrad Hilton beside me and kidnap the dude who stole all the mafia money.
So today has been a busy one, as I've been in taxis, planes, and trains. And let me tell you, it's also been an interesting one. Let's start with the cab ride...
So I get into this cab, and it's just the normal, slightly beat up, Hyundai (like Sunday) Sonata that you see all over town. The driver, however, WAS SOMETHING OUT OF A MOVIE. Seriously, this cat was a TRIP, and the second he found out I was American and not English, he could NOT stop talking. I realize that I'm summarizing a bit, but this is 95% verbatim for the conversation:
CRAZY ASS TAXI DRIVER (CATR): "American - you vote for Obama?"
Sammy the Statesman (SS): "Yes, I did."
CATR: "And what you think of his budget?"
SS: "Honestly, I was a little disappointed. I felt we didn't touch on some fairly fundamental elements of national spending that we must discuss if we want to trim the deficit."
CATR: "Your presidents! They spend all this money to get elected! If they no spend, there no poor people in America!"
SS: "Well, the average Convention winner will end up spending about $55 million US on his campaign, but that's really just a drop in the bucket. When you look at..."
CATR: "And TROOPS! You have troops EVERYWHERE! If no troops, no poor people!"
SS: "Well, I don't feel that's a fair statement. For starters, a lot of money is justifiably spent on National Defense. For the offensive portion, I would agree there are areas to trim..."
CATR: "And THE JEW!"
SS: (STUNNED) "Um, I'm sorry. What?"
CATR: "THE JEW! HE have all the money!" (side note - I didn't realize there was just ONE JEW in America and that he ran all the banks. Remind me to look that up tomorrow on Flagscape.)
SS: "Um, not really, no. I mean, yes, there are a lot of Jewish folks who have done very well in America, but to say that Jews have all of America's wealth is..."
CATR: "They have ALL the money. And they no listen! You been to Middle East?"
CATR: "How many times?"
SS: "Four, if you count Egypt."
CATR: "If they had listened to Jimmy Carter, no fighting! But now Jews no let peace happen!"
SS: "First off - Jimmy Carter was a HORRIBLE President. He is NOT who you should be listening to. Secondly, there is no easy route to peace in the Middle East..."
CATR: "But why the Jew have all the money!?!"
SS: (getting slightly agitated as I pass East Coast Parkway) "Folks of Jewish descent don't HAVE all the money."
CATR: "I read Chinese newspaper EVERY DAY. They tell me this."
This continued for ANOTHER 20 MINUTES. In fact, homeboy was SO excited that he actually SLOWED DOWN TO KEEP TALKING TO ME. Seriously -we were doing FORTY MPH on the interstate. I actually think I saw Grandma Moses pass me in a tuk-tuk...twice.
Finally he dropped me off saying, "My English not so good." I wanted to say, "Neither is your half -functioning brain, but thanks for playing." Good times at the goat rodeo...
The flight was good, but I must comment on the airport bathroom. So I walk in, do my thing, and on the way out there's a touchscreen that says, "Please rate our toilet." There are all these smiley faces, and I simply had to risk the germs - I selected "Excellent," because it was, well, among the best toilet experiences of my life. Okay, glad that paragraph's out of the way...
The ride from the airport in HK was super easy, and I'm now settled in at the hotel, watching ESPN (SportsCenter!) and getting ready to call it a night. Tomorrow's a FULL DAY of meetings, and Sammy the Bull's even breaking out the coat and tie. Yep, you can't hide sexy.
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and (fresh off soccer practice in preparation for the next World Cup) Jenny