Thursday, October 20, 2005

California Dreamin'......

Its official there are retards in California, and I am not talking about the governator.
Towards the end of the holiday heading back to LA driving along the Big Sur there comes a time when nature take over and you have to stop. The Big Sur for those who do not know is the name given to the piece of coast between Carmel and Los Angeles. It has one of the most fantastic roads running through it I have ever driven along. Mile after mile of twisting coast road that goes from sea level to a couple of thousand feet in the space of a mile or two. With the wind in our hair well the windows down and some suitable loud rock music on the CD player life really was as good as it gets.

But all good things have to come to an end after about two hundred miles of twists and turns the road turns inland before LA and you are on another interstate. That’s when nature called and we needed to rest as the Americans say at one of California’s finest rest stops. Now unlike the motorway services in the UK the Americans have developed a different system. At regular intervals you can pull of the interstate at any number of eateries. The selection is good the food plentiful and fresh. Actually whilst I am on about food to go, why we did get McDonalds over hear. In the US they are the lowest of the chains, the shit end of the fast food pool, the last resort when nothing else is available. Which is rare because there always is something else to choose? There are no end of small one man diners all who produce nice stuff. And lets not get on to customer service. Its only when you go abroad that you see how naff some countries are at some things. And customer service is one of them for us. Despite trying to change the culture with training and year and year of talking it up I am beginning to think that it’s just not in our national conscience to help people.

So back to the story. If you just need a quick rest there are also places that cater for that as well. These are large areas with parking and room to stretch you legs. Plus a couple of vending machines for sodie pop. There is also a toilet block with real people on site to maintain order and cleanliness. Lots of people just carry food around and use the picnic areas. These rest areas are the responsibility of the state there in. They employ the people who maintain and replenish the machines and tend to the grass cutting and litter picking on the land. It’s not an overly taxing job and I bet it pays somewhere near the minimum wage. Anyway in California someone has had the great idea to employ some of the more disadvantaged of society.

Now needing a leak puts you in a fairly one track frame of mind when you get out of the car. So signs and info just passed me buy until the matter in hand (No pun intended) has been dealt with. On my way back to the car fully rested I came across the sign telling anyone who was able to read all about the rest spot I had just frequented. Welcome to Bla bla bla rest area it said. Then I read on. 'This facility is officially run and maintained for the state of California by retards.' I nearly fell over. Mind you I should not have been surprised. This is the country that has parking bays in shopping malls marked Cripple Parking. As I said it’s not till you go abroad you realise how naff some countries are at something’s.
Matt x


Anonymous said...

Coast road looks fab, but not sure how many stops I would have to make, I have never managed to overcome travel sickness. (sorry probably more info that necessary).
Is it really pc to talk about retards and cripples, it do not sit easy with me. Gx

mcaretaker said...

If the greatest super power on the planet can well what can I say. Interesting though if you look at what retard actualy means.