Monday 27th October. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States.

What a nightmare! In the last four days I have:
* hitchhiked through snow and sleet
* lost one of my damn gloves
* been frisked more than once- and a little too thoroughly!
* been refused entry to the United States
* been forcibly escorted back to Canada
* been forced to travel hundreds of miles to attempt a second border crossing
* successfully crossed the border at Niagara Falls
* been thrown off the interstate motorway *the friendly cop actually drove me to another highway where it's legal to hitchhike*
* slept the night- or at least tried to sleep- under a motorway overpass
* caught a chill
* drunk approximately seven hundred cups of coffee
* made it to Pittsburgh safe and sound!

I'd like to say a cheery 'up yours' to the US immigration officer at Detroit; the hideously bloated beast whose overstuffed face looks like it's about to burst. You sir, are proof that true ugliness comes from within. Never since George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' has a pig so resembled a human, or vice versa. Take a laxative, take a vacation and when you get back, get a real job where you don't have to bully people around just to made yourself feel adequate. Congratulations on being the first horrid American I've met on this trip! On the flipside, I'd like to say 'hi' to the hundreds of wonderful people who have made the last four months such an incredible, positive experience- not just for me, but for the hundreds of people who follow my travels, and 'meet' the people I meet. Thanks to all the people who have hosted me, and made me feel like a part of the family. Thanks to everyone for picking me up when I'm hitching, and for often driving out of your way to drop me off in a better spot. Thanks to Cindy for offering to put me up if I got stuck. Thanks to the Pittsburgh barmaid who refused to charge for the great 'hot toddy' she made to soothe my sore throat.

street mural, Pittsburgh.

Well then, having said my greetings... here I am in Pittsburgh at Amy's place. I'm off on a couple of weeks jaunt around the surrounding states, before making my way to the east coast and down to sunny Florida. First stop will be Cleveland, then Toledo, where I have an invitation to take a 'ride-along' with some inner-city cops. From Toledo, I'm off to Cincinnatti and Indianapolis, and across to Washington DC. It should be mid November by then, so I'll have a full month to get to Florida before hurrying back to New York to catch my flight to London.

close window