thanks yous

Now that I've settled down in my life and have finished a travellin' all over this land, it's time to take stock write thank-you notes to a few of the places I have been over the last twelve months.

To Rapid City, SD: Despite the promise in your name of speed and urbanity, you have neither. You are a cut in the Earth to the netherworld, where the dead drive around in pick-up trucks and occasionally donate their bodies to Iraq and Afghanistan. Like the dinosaurs that once roamed your big box store parking lots, you await extinction sadly and patiently, charging outrageously for the crappiest hotel rooms I've ever seen. You have a great Mexican restaurant, though.

To the suburbs of Melbourne: How did you manage to hook on to an actual city? A couple of pizza/pasta take-outs and greasy Italian spoons do not a city suburb make. Hey Lilydale: what makes you think that you're part of Melbourne anyway? You think you're Doncaster? Shove off. Go hang out with Geelong or Werribee or something. Stop bothering the real cities.

To downtown Dallas: No offense, but trying to walk around your streets in summer is like having molten bronze poured over your head. Which must be why you're designed for public sculpture and tall monolithic buildings but not actual human beings. Obviously no mortal can withstand for long the crucible of your wide bright empty avenues or your shitty historic district.

To the Netherlands: I had a roommate just like you once: quietly but maniacally tidy, patient and understanding of my quirks but slightly smug, given to bicycle riding over driving. I spent many evenings talking with him as he smiled sympathetically and agreed with me in principle but pointed out every so often in non-judgemental terms that his energy-efficient, sexually relaxed and spiritually pragmatic lifestyle really was superior to mine. I disposed of his body in a deep freeze.