Saturday, 25th July.
Woke up at about 7am, had a shower and helped myself to breakfast in the enormous expanse that constitutes a kitchen in this house. For the first time, I met the Mike and Anna’s 8 month old baby, a girl named Kiran (also known as “picklehead”). The kid is very cute and has officially gained my approval, as she stopped crying once I picked her up from her chair. That’s all it takes.
Had a drive through the suburbs with Mike and Picklehead, admiring the greenery, open roads and plethora of restaurants. Public transport here is laughable, and it seems that driving is the new walking, even if you want to visit your next-door neighbour (who, admittedly, probably lives 2 miles down the road).
Met up with some friends of the landlords in the evening (Leslie and Mark), who took it upon themselves to decide that I absolutely must experience eating in an American Diner. Being resigned to the fact that I probably already have atherosclerosis, I accepted that this would be no bad thing: I’ll trade some of my arteries for the most cultural thing America can offer: a grill-bar called “three dollar burger”. Unsurprisingly, the food was delicious: I had a veggie pesto burger, with an obscene number of “fries” liberally scattered around the plate, and a small coke, which was about the size of my forearm. There was an incredible view of the sunset, with melting orange dipping into the purple hue of night. I sat contented, listening as Leslie recounted, with much aplomb, a hilarious tale of her friend who carried a dead dog in a suitcase through the metro (don’t ask how she got herself into this situation), and then had the suitcase stolen! I can only imagine the thief’s disappointment and utter confusion…