Wednesday, May 10, 2006


If baby buggies are large in the UK, everything is larger in the US. Even the pensioners. Rather than being the tiny shrinked-down grey-haired grannies and old-timers with their cuppas and teacakes, the US third-age population, at least in southern Florida, seems to be well-tanned, blue-haired and wide, gulping down huge lattes and carrot cakes the size of Wales.

And they tend to be very demanding and unapologetic, it seems. They want service, know how to demand it, have the green to pay for it and are stopping for no-one in their pursuit to get it. Including other guests or customers. That's what I heard from the local graduate students, who have the pleasure/pain of doing academic work in what is basically a beach resort. Florida Atlantic University's modern campus is in Boca Raton. Relatively unimpressive and unidentifiable architecture, surrounded by huge parking lots and a lot of nothing, it probably provides very nice functional facilities for higher learning and research, but doesn't really impress you like some campuses do.

Cambridge is a tourist attraction as well, but unfortunately we don't have the beaches or the sun. But, we don't get the type of tourists beach resorts usually get, which is a good thing. One-all score, I suppose. All in all, even though the trip was nice, the morning swims in the Atlantic really great, I'm glad to be back home. It all seems a bit more real and genuine. I'm sure it's just in my head.

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