Sorry I haven’t written for a while – I’m a professional and professionals don’t mix business with pleasure.


This conference is meant to be about books but it’s just a cover for promoting world peace. Everyone here is over 60 – this seems to be a recurring theme in my travels – and they’re all super philanthropic. I feel guilty now that I don’t run a soup kitchen or volunteer at an aged care home or have a foster child. And they’re very generous with
their praise too. The meals have been almost supernaturally bad, but all I can
hear are murmurs of praise mid-meal and sighs of contentment afterwards. Then, on
the first night, we had a choir from Fresno primary come in to sing three songs
for us. They were awful – these kids clearly hadn’t practiced at all – but the
guy that spoke after them was all choked up and said that it was magical and that
children are the future. Hopefully not these ones.

I’ve had a few opportunities to shop in between sessions, but I’ve just found it too exhausting. In the US, you look at a product and a salesperson will
materialise. One minute they’re on the opposite side of the room and you think
you’re safe – you’re never safe – and then they’re at your side, or behind you,
or they’ve already started gift-wrapping whatever you were looking at. They’re
like terriers – you can’t shake them off, and even if you do, they’ll just
redouble their efforts five minutes later. One lady asked me if I needed help
five times in ten minutes.

I heard that if you want to see ‘eccentric’ people, you should go to Venice Beach, but I reckon they’re fairly well spread out across the US. I would have written about it if I’d been more conscientious, but when I caught a taxi from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington back to the hostel, my driver said that he worked for the FBI – unlikely since he’d just blown his cover – and then segued into black oppression and said that he had gone to a special university to get trained, but that that meant he couldn’t take any of the senators wives from them. What. I had my hand on the handle cos I had a
sudden panicky feeling that we weren’t heading back in the direction of the
hostel. We were – when I got out, he said ‘Let’s keep in touch on Facebook’.

Then today, I was walking home from the conference, and I saw a lady with a huge foam cheese hat on. I stopped to ask for directions, even though my hotel was literally across the road and had Marriot in huge red lights, but I really had to see this hat up
close. It was either Jarlsberg or the moths had got to it, but I didn’t want to
stare directly because she looked like she could snap at any moment.

San Francisco here I come!!

Ps. There’s a book of Mormon in my bedside table along with a Gideon’s bible. That’s new.


2 thoughts on “Sorry I haven’t written for a while – I’m a professional and professionals don’t mix business with pleasure.

  1. Oh, Megsjessie ………I seriously can’t LIVE without your RTW(round the world) blog ……although ‘serious’ and ‘your blog’ take me from the sublime to the ridiculous………
    Love the tactic used to get up close and personal to the ‘cheese’ hat, very clever, cunning…..perhaps you could join the FBI?
    So……..was it moth-eaten or Swiss?
    Aunty sand

  2. i’m only leaving a comment here so that you don’t think aunty sand is the only one that cares.. we do too!! i am going to be so sad when this is all over!!! having dinner with hans and mb tonight. bit of h and a. will have to post you when you get back.
    weekend after next (4th/5th) gonna hang with iz and jen.. you in??
    funeral was really good. will tell you more on your return. i probs won’t see you til sun.

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