so, i made it to orlando and warrensburg and i got back without too much difficulty.
i got to orlando, and went to Wonder India, which is, truly, an international warehouse of all things india. not just incense, but packaged food products, housewares, clothing… if there is a local indian shop in the united states, it is probably supplied by Wonder India. the guy who i have been working with, one Karan Manglani, apparently quit his job without telling anyone, and i don’t know what’s going on with their “info@” address, but i got the name and phone number of the guy who i’m supposed to call. i haven’t yet called him, but i will soon, ’cause i’m running low on aparajita.
then i went to joe’s house, but joe wasn’t there and his partner looked like he had just woken up (it was fairly early in the morning), so i went to the beach, which, for orlando, means “out of town”. i headed east, and saw signs pointing to cocoa beach, which i’ve heard of, so i headed that way, but i took the wrong exit and ended up in titusville, instead of cocoa. titusville is the home of the world-famous canaveral national seashore, and, as it was still fairly early, nobody except a few naked people were present on Playa Linda, where i meditated for a few hours.
then i had dinner at the world-famous “Dixie Crossroads” in titusville, which was okay seafood, but it didn’t hold a candle to west-coast seafood. even ivar’s has approximately equivalent food. makes me wonder, a lot…
i went to epcot with joe the next day. joe is an old man, which is saying a lot, because joe and i are the same age. it’s kind of like rick: i keep on thinking that they are the same people i knew a long time ago. they are, but they’re both a lot older now, and that means that they’re not in the best of health. i am also not in the best of health, because i have experienced a brain injury, but apart from that, i haven’t suffered the ravages of old age like my friends rick and joe have.
EPCOT, actually an acronym that stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow – which i didn’t know, previously, was laughably outdated. the exhibits looked almost exactly like they were made in and for the late ’70s or early ’80s, and the geodesic dome wasn’t anywhere near as big as i had envisioned.
it was really good to see joe again, and we made arrangements to have dinner before i left.
i had planned on spending a week in orlando, but with joe not being as available as i had first assumed, i was left with a few days that were, essentially unacounted for, so i spent the next day traveling to saint petersburg to visit a friend of monique’s, and her husband, who live in a hippie paradise, and had the cannabis that i was, by this time, severely lacking to make my trip tolerable. we also went to the dalí museum, which was
the tourist map that was provided by the hotel was printed upside down, i.e. “north” on the map was printed at the bottom of the map, as you held it upright, which i didn’t figure out until the day before i left. it was terrifically confusing, because i drove what i thought to be “south” on the map, for most of the day, before i ended up in Eustice, which is north of orlando, and i could not, for the life of me, figure out why until after i had returned to the hotel. joe informed me that this is because “tourists don’t want to go north from orlando”, but my impression is that orlando, generally, is a city that is one, big, enormous strip mall, from one end to the other, and anywhere would be preferable. seriously, i only found one indian restaurant, a hare-krsna related joint that was vegetarian, and closed. i’m relatively sure that there are other indian restaurants, but… come on, orlando… really??
on the other hand, orlando has some really cool stuff, which includes lizards (which i was unable to get photos of, despite the fact that they are endemic), trees that look like this:
and plants that grow in peoples’ front yards which look like this:
and wild birds that look like this:
all of which was very interesting, and would have been moreso if i had remembered to bring, or buy once i was there, sunscreen… unfortunately, i didn’t think to do so until the day before i left, which meant that a lot of my meanderings were at night, which means fewer photos.
“puyallup” is no longer the most confusing place name i have ever experienced:
then, i flew from orlando to kansas city, missouri, where i rented a car and travelled to warrensburg, missouri. the first thing i noticed was the traffic lights in the middle of what would, ordinarily, be a freeway… and what appear to be “state highways” that, apparently, have names like “AA”, “BB”, “OO”, “X”, “Y” and “PCA” with no logical progression.
i met rosemary, my great-aunt, who i have never met “IRL” before, which was an interesting experience, essentially being included in her extended family, simply because we are related.
we actually had the time to go to Tightwad
and we went to the (abandoned) Marshall Cemetary outside Knob Noster, to visit my great-great-grandparents’ graves
i also went to visit John William “Blind” Boone Park, in warrensburg
and i also visited the Johnson County Historical Society, where i got even more information about my great-grandparents and my great-great-grandparents.
then i flew home