One of the truly terrible things I set myself up for on this trip, other than the ten-hour layover in Mexico city followed by the jog-n-plead in the airport (and I still haven’t found that tiny piece of paper they say they gave me, which indicates to me that they, in fact, did not) is this crazy trip I’m about to embark on from Portland, Oregon to Ukiah, California, by train. In fact, the train is from about 2:30 this afternoon until 7:30 tomorrow morning to Martinez, California (huh? whassat?), followed by a three-hour layover in Martinez (ooooh, exploration!), and a bus to Ukiah, whereupon an old friend of mine from college will meet me in the Burger King parking lot (I think) and whisk me an hour further up the road to an idyllic land of book binderies, baby goats, cob architecture and swimming holes. Sadly, I have an approximate ton of work to do while there, but certainly the days should be long and peaceful, and hopefully filled with joy and inspiration. And I packed my own coffee. mwahahaha.
One of the other many things that is happening as a result of this trip (in addition to a morning-time trip to Fred Meyer to buy some nibbles for the road, or rails, as the case may be) is that I have what I think is the old Amtrak jingle going through my head. 1-800-USA RAIL. And then, because all the jingles live together in my noggin, I also cannot seem to stop silently humming the jingle from the store where I bought my bed in Santiago and which kept me on hold (on speakerphone) for many an hour, intoning “Almacenes Paris” in their special singy way, which then gets me thinking of how it sounds when the lady on the LAN (airline) website tells me “bienvenidos a LAN,” and I’m hoping that if nothing else, these next 17 hours will let me turn the tuned-to-jingles radio station in my head into the off position. Oh, and I hope whoever sits next to me speaks a language that I don’t. Because I love the socializing of the last couple of days, but right about now, I could use a hefty dose of chugga chugga, and not much else.